The best part of the story is that these things are called "VIPR Teams." When you learn what the acronym stands for, you'll understand how far they were stretching to give themselves a scary, scary name.
The TSA sends out its Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams to set up unannounced checkpoints used to “Dominate, Intimidate, & Control” American travelers. The purpose of VIPR teams is to maintain a presence in public areas and force travelers to submit to searches, including opening up bags and being patted down.... TSA records show that the teams ran more than 8,800 unannounced checkpoints outside of airports last year alone. These included searches at train stations, bus stations, the Indianapolis 500, the Superbowl, the Democratic and Republican national conventions, political speeches, and sports stadiums, more. CBS Los Angeles reported that TSA conduct an estimated 9,300 “suspicionless” spot searches of travelers in 2011.("Dominate. Intimidate. Control." is apparently the motto posted at the TSA's Air Marshal training center.)
Does that change anything for anyone from our previous discussion?