Saturday, February 18, 2012

Security at the Superbowl

Before the Superbowl, there were confirmed reports of a DHS presence, including bag searches and x-ray ray scanners for bags and trucks. As if that wasn't bad enough, there were also rumors that naked scanners would be employed.

When I read this, I though "Welcome to your police state."

So what actually happened? It was arguably much worse in some ways. The night before, we got this report:
Helicopters and planes equipped with special monitors for radiation and biological agents constantly hover and scan high above Super Bowl village...
In addition to air patrol, on the ground police use giant x-ray machines to scan every vehicle arriving at the stadium, and surveillance cameras, which allow officers to monitor both the interior and exterior of the stadium. The videos are streamed into command centers set up throughout the area nearby. Hidden monitors test the air for toxins and biological weapons, and police patrol with portable radiation detectors. 
Although vehicles were subjected to x-ray scanning, there does not appear to have been naked scanners for people. But, everyone go a pat-down! And, if you watch this video, at least some football fans didn't care about this gross violation of their rights as long as it didn't take too long (which it didn't):

Why are  so many okay with the feds interfering with a nominally private event? (And when will truckers stand up to the cargo scanners that are quite dangerous?)

Underbomber witness statement

Please read this heroic statement by underbomber would-be victim, Kurt Haskell. An excerpt:
In closing I will just say that regardless of how the media and government try to shape the public perception of this case, I am convinced that Umar was given an intentionally defective bomb by a U.S. Government agent and placed on our flight without showing a passport or going through security, to stage a false terrorist attack to be used to implement various government policies.
The effect this matter has had on my life has been astounding and due to this case, I will never trust the government in any matter, ever.
In regards to sentencing, nothing I’ve said excuses the fact that Umar tried to kill me.