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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Thank goodness for post-9/11 airport security

We all remember that the US federal government decided, post 9/11, that it was high time to start taking airport security seriously. Damn good thing, too.

Except it's a cluster-fuck.

In a recent unannounced test, airport screeners at Newark (NJ) international airport failed to find 20 of 22 planted "weapons", including bombs and guns.

Yes, you read that right.

So, we're not safe, we're just more hassled. We've all heard the stories about harrassment for lip gloss and juice boxes, but maybe my favorite is the following, from David Gagne:

"About a week ago I flew to Rhode Island on business. I was forced into the 'security threat' line because I was in a bad mood and refused to remove my sunglasses at the second of four TSA checkpoints at LAX."

“There’s no law that says I can’t wear my sunglasses in the airport. ma’am”

“Yes, there is. It’s a rule.”

“It’s not a rule.”

“It is. I can’t let you pass.”

“Yes, you can.” She took my boarding pass and used her yellow hi-liter to turn the line into an X. An X of shame and potential threat.

She called to the top-of-the-stairs officer, “Threat alert!”

The story of what happens next is both frightening and hilarious. You can read it at this link.

So, we're no safer in the end. Federalizing airport security has resulted in an incompetent net that is, well, pretty much like a net: more holes than string.

In the meantime, it's taken a toll that's more important than a bit of hassle and delay. The result is that we're just a little less free. The pathetically ineffectual federal security lock-down of airports is but one of myriad post-9/11 measures that has given the government more power to intrude on our lives.

But it's all okay, you know, because it's all about fighting the terrorists. Because the terrorists hate our freedom.

Yay, freedom.

(Hat tip to BoingBoing for both pieces.)


Comments on "Thank goodness for post-9/11 airport security"


Anonymous TheSphynx said ... (9:45 PM) : 

Loved the story... The sad part is that it is entirely believable... Unfortunately, we are moving in a world where the lowest common denominator prevails...


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