Keeping Me Safe

Obviously, since 9/11 our nation’s airports have been on high alert.  There are so many rules and regulations saying what a passenger can and cannot take through an airport security checkpoint, but we can’t know everything.  Sometimes there are exemptions to these rules, but who really knows what’s getting through those X-ray machines?  I once read a story about a guy who was making fake boarding passes and using fake IDs to get past TSA – those entrusted with keeping our planes, trains, and automobiles safe – just to make the point that it’s not security, but security theater that we experience when traveling.  When a TSA agent asked him why he had two full-sized contact lens solution bottles in his bag he responded with, “Two eyes,” and he was allowed to proceed with both.  Had he been planning shenanigans then he would have had a free pass.

Part of TSA’s job is to notice any suspicious behavior.  I imagine they are trained to do this, though how extensive the training is I cannot say.  Noticing suspicious behavior is also part of my job, only to a lesser degree.  My training is presumably not nearly as extensive as TSA’s, but I do know that in order to notice suspicious behavior one must look at people.  I don’t know how many times I’ve walked up to a security checkpoint in uniform only to have an “agent” ask me if I have liquids in my bags or ask me to take my shoes off before passing through the metal detector.  I know that if they cannot discern that I am a uniformed crewmember (and therefore exempt from liquid/shoe rules), that they are not on the lookout for anything suspicious.

I also had a couple friends tell me about the time a TSA agent let a man through the security checkpoint when the name on his ID did not match the name on his boarding pass.  This was not a simple misspelling or omission of a middle initial, but two different names . . . like Terry Tate and Ndamukong Suh (who, by the way, should win the Heisman Trophy).  This security breach occurred in Dulles – a very major airport.  Thanks for keeping me safe, TSA.  I hate you.

3 Responses to “Keeping Me Safe”

  1. hmmmm, who told you bout that security breach?? THe story sounds VERY familiar to me!

  2. The terrorist have succeeded in fully terrorizing the US and many other countries. We now have big brother watching our every move for “suspicious activity”, searching our person, searching our possessions with or without our presence (and taking some of the more desirable possessions when the opportunity presents itself), and having everyone leery of every other traveler, especially the foreigners. We are treated as criminals when we want to travel by air. Not to mention every other aspect of goverment surveillance. It wasn’t very long ago that much of this was consider unconstitutional and illegal. The terrorist achieved their objective probably beyond their wildest dream. With these results, it becomes very clear why we will live with terrorism for the rest of our lives. My problem is I don’t trust the goverment any more than I do the terrorist. The TSA leak is somewhat of an example. Something akin to the Keystone Cops.

  3. You know what cracks me up is that liquid rule. It only takes a drop of each of two liquids to make a b-word-that-you-can’t-say-in-an-airport. The rule makes it LOOK like they’re keeping you safe, but not only are they NOT keeping you safe, they’re annoying the crap out of you trying to stuff all that liquid into a teeny bag!

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