This happened back in April, but it’s worth telling, because you just can’t make up this kind of stupidity.
At Los Angeles International Airport, employees of the Transportation Security Administration discovered that passenger Daniel Brown was on the no-fly list, so they grabbed him before he boarded his plane and interrogated him, despite the fact that he was a uniformed Marine.
He had his military identification and his travel orders, and he was traveling with 26 other Marines who could vouch for him.
Wait, it gets better.
You might think, as I did, that this was one of those name mixups we keep hearing about where someone has the same name as a terrorist and the TSA is just too stupid to realize this. After all, these are the guys who detained Senator Ted Kennedy because some terrorist once used “T. Kennedy” as an alias.
But no, it wasn’t a case of mistaken identity. USMC Staff Sergeant Daniel Brown really was on the no-fly list. The reason? On a previous trip, when Brown was returning from a tour in Iraq, the TSA found gunpowder on his shoes.
Imagine that. Gunpowder residue on the shoes of a U.S. Marine returning from a war zone.
The same article that reports this story also mentions a recent Government Accountability Office report leaked to NBC News concerning recent security tests. GAO security testers tried to bring bomb-making materials through the TSA security checkpoints. They tried this at 21 airports around the country, and succeed at every single airport. With these kinds of decision-making skills, that doesn’t surprise me.
When the TSA folks finally kicked Daniel Brown loose, he caught another flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul, where he found that all 26 of the Marines he had been traveling with were waiting for him, so they could take the bus home together.
That doesn’t surprise me either.
(Hat tip, Reason‘s Daily Brickbat.)