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Ron Paul Calls TSA 'Jack-Booted Thugs' in Response to Highway Checkpoints


"...will we soon have to build in an extra 2 or 3 hours into our road trips to allow for checkpoint traffic?"

A week ago, Tennessee became the first state to team up with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to implement highway checkpoints for random searches in a move to counter terrorism.

Ron Paul's response? That the Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) program with its "sinister, military-style acronym" is violating Fourth Amendment rights with random highway checkpoints by "jack-booted thugs." He writes on his website:

So first we are told by the U.S. Supreme Court that American citizens have no 4th amendment protections at border crossings, even when standing on U.S. soil. Now TSA takes the next logical step and simply detains and searches U.S. citizens at wholly internal checkpoints.


The real tragedy occurs when Americans incrementally become accustomed to this treatment on the roads just as they have become accustomed to it in the airports. We already accept arriving at the airport 2 or more hours before a flight to get through security; will we soon have to build in an extra 2 or 3 hours into our road trips to allow for checkpoint traffic?

Listen to more of Ron Paul's take on the TSA highway checkpoints in a video he released on Monday:

VIPR was created in 2005 in response to the 2004 Madrid bombings to increase security at rail and mass transit systems in the United States. By 2007, VIPR had "augmented security" at transportation facilities in cities like New York, Buffalo, Los Angeles and Boston.

So why has VIPR moved to Tennessee highways? Channel 5 reports Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons as saying "Where is a terrorist more apt to be found? Not these days on an airplane more likely on the interstate."

The Examiner goes as far as to liken the checkpoints to "those used in Nazi Germany." The report also states that these checkpoints were not established based on any specific threat.

Watch News Channel 5's local report for more information:

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