Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Search For Terrorism in TN Nets Seatbelt Violations

A three-state, 50-agency project called "Operation Sudden Impact" in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi was conducted last week to ferret out "terrorists", but what was really happening?

Reports note that law enforcement officers taking part in this search for terrorists stopped vehicles at random at a Walmart in Covington and issued 9 citations for violations of the state's seat belt law. So now you know that if you see a driver or passengers in a car without a seat belt, you've seen a terrorist????

The "sweep" was first touted as proactive anti-terrorism raid, then as a crime-fighting effort, and also a test of law enforcement communications and cooperation.

Was something else taking place here?? Did they know something they did not want to admit?

And do we really need nifty military-style nicknames to accompany law enforcement actions? I know it isn't a new thing, but still ...

At Reason, pundits note a lack of focus and intent ("They also issued about 1,300 traffic tickets, and according to one media account, seized "hundreds" of dollars"
) in this "operation" (which they call "martial law lite") and indifference by the local media. Were there warrants for all these searches?

If law enforcement stops every car and driver, searches every business and home, they will likely find some kind of violation of something somewhere ... but that's playing a game of blind luck and not 'enhancing security efforts'.


  1. Terrorist don't wear seat belts it is a known fact.

    Back when the seatbelt laws were first being discussed I had a sinking feeling it was much more than meets the eye. I was on my soap box to everyone that any personal law designed to offer protection for the masses is another bite out of the liberty to decide for yourself.

  2. Border "security" is handled the same way. 12 million workers, the "vast majority" of whom are "decent people" (W's words), are lumped together with a much smaller number of bad people When we round up without making the difference, we are counting on blind luck and not enhancing real security.

    The main difference is that the non-terrorists who are caught in the border net are ripped from their U.S. homes and families, unlike the victims of the Sudden Impact net, who get a traffic ticket.

  3. Oh for crying out loud. Maybe if they tried a little harder they could net some illegal cartons of cigarettes smuggled from across the border, too.

  4. And let me add: a "proactive anti-terrorism raid," at a Covington Wal-Mart?

    My bullshit meter is in overdrive.

  5. preach it, SB. traffic tickets as anti-terror or even anti-crime propaganda is truly idiotic.

    as i asked in the post - what the heck was really going on here? did officials just need to spend some money/time on this to earn or keep some federal revenue? and why on earth has the media in that area offered such limp coverage?

  6. what the heck was really going on here?

    I'm going to say they were looking for illegal immigrants but were scared of looking racist. That's just my hunch.