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Posted at 5:55 AM ET, 12/17/2010

Metro's random bag searches to begin

By Mark Berman
Mark Berman

Metro's announcement Thursday that the transit system will immediately start random inspections of passengers' bags and packages to try to protect from attack doesn't give commuters much time to prepare for the new reality, but it's here. The plan is to pull aside every third person at locations where checks are going on, and they will occur at various spots among the system's 86 rail stations and 12,000 bus stops.

Riders, this could potentially impact a lot of commutes. That's where you come in. We want to know what you're seeing and experiencing out there. Is this causing big delays for travelers, or are you not even noticing any hiccups? What are the searches like? How are people reacting? Tell us below, and we'll help get the information out to your fellow commuters. And tweet what you see with the hashtag #wmatasearch.

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By Mark Berman  | December 17, 2010; 5:55 AM ET
Categories:  Metro, Metrobus  
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Comments

This has become the United States of Fear. We are the land of the enserfed and the home of the craven. I used to be indignant that our civil liberties (habeas corpus, protection against unlawful search, freedom from torture, etc.) were being systematically dismantled. But it has become evident that the mob of slack-jawed dolts that is the American people is hardly worthy of those liberties.

Posted by: Werther | December 17, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

No warrant, no search. They're going to have to arrest me and I'm going to sue them when it happens.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | December 17, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Keep Fear Alive.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 17, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Keep Fear Alive.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 17, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Do they search people before they enter the fare gates, or after? I would hate to have to turn around and leave after paying my entry fare.

Posted by: dkp01 | December 17, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"No warrant, no search. They're going to have to arrest me and I'm going to sue them when it happens."

I'm with this guy. Never been arrested or had runs with police other than a speeding ticket about 15 years ago and as a witness to car accident.

from now on, all questions from law enforcement (including customs) will be met with "am I being detained" and "i'm going to exercise my right to remain silent. I do not consent to a search of my property." and on those trips abroad, I will no longer be questioned as a condition of re-entering my own country.

And if I'm ever on a jury for anything stemming from this -- jury nullification. no warrant = not guilty.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | December 17, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

>>No warrant, no search. They're going to have to arrest me and I'm going to sue them when it happens.

You will be disappointed to know that none of that is going to happen. You will not be arrested and will miss your chance to be in the news.

You will simply not be allowed to use Metro is all. All this is perfectly legal, by the way.

Posted by: JeffRandom | December 17, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

>>No warrant, no search. They're going to have to arrest me and I'm going to sue them when it happens.

You will be disappointed to know that none of that is going to happen. You will not be arrested and will miss your chance to be in the news.

You will simply not be allowed to use Metro is all. All this is perfectly legal, by the way, and if you attempt to use Metro anyway you will be arrested for criminal tresspass, which requires no warrant.

Oh, and by the way, you will be searched when you get arrested. Again, this requires no warrant.

Posted by: JeffRandom | December 17, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

for all those who gladly give their civil liberties for "security," ladies and gentlemen, the TSA:

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=7848683&rss=rss-ktrk-article-7848683

Posted by: NoVAHockey | December 17, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone see the gestapo this morning? If so which stations? I came in on the red line and did not see them. If I am stopped I will exit and use another entrance to get to the Metro.

Posted by: alterego3 | December 17, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

@Jeff - just because the second circuit found it to be legal doesn't mean the dc circuit and the supreme court will.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | December 17, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

This has gone TOO FAR. RANDOM searches of government workers, students, and workers on the metro will NOT make us safer.

This is NOT the change that i voted for. Bush would have been KILLED if he assaulted personal liberties the way they have been assaulted under obama.

Although on the plus side, now i know that there is no hope for our country so I can just relax and fiddle while rome is burning.

Even if there is an imminent terrorist attack, this is not how you stop it.

Posted by: citizenp77 | December 17, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Do they search people before they enter the fare gates, or after? I would hate to have to turn around and leave after paying my entry fare.

Posted by: dkp01 | December 17, 2010 10:19 AM
-----------------
WMATA said it would take place before the fare control so that someone who refuses to cooperate may leave the system without charge.

Posted by: 1995hoo | December 17, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing to me that no one wants to discuss how to stop this madness that has overtaken the American people. Why no discussion of how to prevent terrorism or the fear of terrorism? The only way to prevent attacks is to stop them at their source and I don't mean by bombing Muslim countries back to the stone age. Been there, done that and guess what? It doesn't work. The only way to stop the potential for terrorism is to stop killing people in the Middle East. Oh, you will still have a few years, I suppose of revenge attacks, because after all the US has murdered perhaps up to 1 million people over there and that's produced a lot of long lasting hatred against America. But once the people over there are not reminded by daily bombings, why they hate the US, things will settle down. These current terrorist problems that America is experiencing are very much "made in the USA".

Posted by: Archie1954 | December 20, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing to me that no one wants to discuss how to stop this madness that has overtaken the American people. Why no discussion of how to prevent terrorism or the fear of terrorism? The only way to prevent attacks is to stop them at their source and I don't mean by bombing Muslim countries back to the stone age. Been there, done that and guess what? It doesn't work. The only way to stop the potential for terrorism is to stop killing people in the Middle East. Oh, you will still have a few years, I suppose of revenge attacks, because after all the US has murdered perhaps up to 1 million people over there and that's produced a lot of long lasting hatred against America. But once the people over there are not reminded by daily bombings, why they hate the US, things will settle down. These current terrorist problems that America is experiencing are very much "made in the USA".

Posted by: Archie1954 | December 20, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

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