With TTAC’s editorial team rendezvoused in Georgia in preparation for our Southern Tour, it seems the state of Tennesse has been warned of the coming invasion of Niedermeyers, Langs, Schmitts and Baruths. According to Nashville’s News Channel 5 [via Robert Farago's Truth About Guns], the Volunteer State has, er, volunteered to become the first state to bring a Transportation Security Administration presence to its highways and byways. Says Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons,
Where is a terrorist more apt to be found? Not these days on an airplane more likely on the interstate
What evidence is there, besides the imminent presence of some particularly depraved automotive bloggers, for this purported increase in terrorist activity on Tennessee’s interstates? Who knows? Not the point. And there’s no “opt-out” lane on the freeway…
The effort to patrol Tennessee’s highways is known as Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR), and the “awareness” and “safety enforcement” mission is being undertaken by Tennessee’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security on Tuesday in partnership with the TSA. So what does this mission entail?
Agents are recruiting truck drivers, like Rudy Gonzales, into the First Observer Highway Security Program to say something if they see something.
“Not only truck drivers, but cars, everybody should be aware of what’s going on, on the road,” said Gonzales.
It’s all meant to urge every driver to call authorities if they see something suspicious.
“Somebody sees something somewhere and we want them to be responsible citizens, report that and let us work it through our processes to abate the concern that they had when they saw something suspicious,” said Paul Armes, TSA Federal Security Director for Nashville International Airport.
And why is this necessary again? Oh right, it’s not: according to “officials,” the
statewide “VIPR” operation isn’t in response to any particular threat.
And not only that, but get this:
The random inspections really aren’t any more thorough than normal, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott
“Security Theater,” or the post-9/11 term for the public exercise of pointless security rituals that don’t actually make you any safer but make people feel safer, has taken ten years to metastasize past airports… and now it’s hitting the open road. For now it seems that truck drivers will feel most of the immediate impact of this shift, but expect this to be the beginning of a trend towards an ever-greater security presence on American highways.