A senator on Sunday called for a "no-ride list" for Amtrak trains after intelligence gleaned from the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound pointed to potential attacks on the nation's train system.
Sen. Charles Schumer said he would push as well for added funding for rail security and commuter and passenger train track inspections and more monitoring of stations nationwide.
"Circumstances demand we make adjustments by increasing funding to enhance rail safety and monitoring on commuter rail transit and screening who gets on Amtrak passenger trains, so that we can provide a greater level of security to the public," the New York Democrat said at a news conference.
U.S. officials last week said evidence found after the raid on bin Laden's compound in Pakistan indicated the al Qaeda leader or his associates had engaged in discussions or planning for a possible attack on a train inside the United States on September 11, 2011.
Schumer, citing U.S. intelligence analysts, said attacks were also considered on Christmas and New Year's Day and following the president's State of the Union address.
He called on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to expand the Secure Flight monitoring program, which cross-checks air travelers with the terror watch list in an attempt to prevent anyone on the "no-fly list" from boarding, for use on Amtrak.
Such a procedure would create an Amtrak "no-ride list" to keep suspected terrorists off the U.S. rail system, he said.
What a fucking moron. Hasn't he ever seen Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?
Now, in fairness, Paul Newman and Robert Redford DID get on that train, not just put a bunch of dynamite on the tracks. But do you think a "no-ride" list would have stopped that train robbery? Hardly. And it wouldn't stop a terrorist from putting a piece of C4 explosive on a train track either. So what purpose exactly does Chuckie Cheese think a "no-ride list" would serve?
It's enough to drive a person mad. I have family in North Carolina, and I'm running out of ways to get there. I don't like to do a 10-hour drive alone in a car with eighty thousand miles on it. I don't like the idea of flying in a tin box piloted by someone who gets paid less than an assistant manager at Abercrombie & Fitch. Now if Chuck Schumer has his way we'll go through the same pointless bullshit at Penn Station that we do at the airports. So what's left? Greyhound buses?
And yet, I'm sure there are people out there, the same frothing morons out in God's country who have lived the last ten years terrified that Muslim terrorists are going to blow up the local Hardee's while they're in there enjoying a Monster Thickburger and a caramel crunch hand-scooped ice cream shake, who are going to be shown on the evening news saying, "Well, if it makes us safer....".
So what's next? Backscatter scans in order to pick up a bottle of White Citrus lotion at Bath and Body Works at the mall? Checkpoints at state borders on highways? Strip searches in order to pick up a venti skim vanilla latte at Starbucks at the Molly Pitcher Service Area? How far are we going to take this? And for God's sake, why is a fucking Democrat advocating this?
What Glenn Greenwald said:
So Al Qaeda breathes the word "trains" and Schumer jumps and demands the creation of a massive, expensive and oppressive new Security State program to keep thousands and thousands of people off trains. The "no-fly" list has been nothing short of a Kafkaesque disaster: with thousands of people secretly placed on it without any explanation or real recourse, oftentimes causing them to be stranded in faraway places and unable to return home.
To replicate that for trains -- all because some documents mentioned them among thousands of other ideas Al Qaeda has undoubtedly considered over the years -- is hysteria and ludicrous over-reaction of the highest order. Trains can obviously be attacked without boarding them (indeed, these documents apparently discussed tampering with the rails, which wouldn't require boarding the trains at all). And if there's a "no-ride" list for Amtrak, why not for subways and buses, too? If Al Qaeda is found to have discussed targeting restaurants, will we have a no-eat list? If Al Qaeda is found to have discussed targeting large intersections or landmarks, will we have a no-walk list? How about a no-shop list in response to the targeting of malls?
But this, more or less, encapsulates the U.S. response to Terrorism since 9/11: the minute Al Qaeda utters a peep about anything, the political class collectively jumps to restrict our freedoms, empower the Government, and bankrupt ourselves in self-destructive pursuit of the ultimate illusion: Absolute Security. Al Qaeda has caused us to do more harm to ourselves than it could have ever dreamed of imposing on its own. And even in death, Osama bin Laden continues to serve as the pretext for all of this.