Jennifer Abel gets off a good rant explaining part of the problem:
Should’ve left well enough alone. Should’ve stayed off-line. But no-I checked a couple of news websites instead and read something which must’ve shown on my face, for my boyfriend asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” I snapped in the same tone of voice most people use to say “Fuck you and everyone you love.” Then I quickly added, in a much softer tone, “I’m not a violent person but I swear, every time I read about the latest TSA travesty I want to punch something.”
If you were fool enough to try flying yesterday, then you might have learned the hard way what I learned about online: TSA has decided that Thermos bottles and other insulated food containers are the latest Potentially Dangerous Terrorist Threats.
When I first heard about this, I thought it was stupid. Then I thought, well, maybe they got intelligence about a plot. Maybe some special forces team ransacked an Al-Qaeda training camp and found thermos bottles filled with explosives.
Despite the warning, however, authorities stress that there has not been any intelligence about a specific threat involving the drink-toting bottles. The closer inspection is simply an additional safety check to ensure safe holiday travels, they said[.]
Sigh. As Jennifer explains:
The thuggish behavior now standard in American airports is creeping to other forms of mass transit, too. Washington DC kicked off the holiday season by starting “random checks” of Metro passengers’ baggage on the Winter Solstice. New York City has already done that to subway passengers for a few years now. And whenever the latest invasion of our privacy is announced, the government PR agents calling themselves journalists find some dimwit to give a Man On The Street quote: “Oh, yes, it’s worth it so the government can keep us safe.”
No, dammit, the government doesn’t do this to keep us safe; they do this instead ofthings that would keep us safe! TSA’s so busy feeling your underwear, they can’t find the actual bombs that test agents smuggle through security checkpoints; so busy measuring how many hundredths of an ounce of shampoo you’ve got, they can’t bother checking what’s in a plane’s cargo hold.
Careful, Jennifer. If you try to prove that TSA security is stupid, you might get a visit from the FBI:
SACRAMENTO, CA – An airline pilot is being disciplined by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for posting video on YouTube pointing out what he believes are serious flaws in airport security.
The 50-year-old pilot, who lives outside Sacramento, asked that neither he nor his airline be identified. He has worked for the airline for more than a decade and was deputized by the TSA to carry a gun in the cockpit.
He is also a helicopter test pilot in the Army Reserve and flew missions for the United Nations in Macedonia.
Three days after he posted a series of six video clips recorded with a cell phone camera at San Francisco International Airport, four federal air marshals and two sheriff’s deputies arrived at his house to confiscate his federally-issued firearm. The pilot recorded that event as well and provided all the video to News10.
At the same time as the federal marshals took the pilot’s gun, a deputy sheriff asked him to surrender his state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon.
A follow-up letter from the sheriff’s department said the CCW permit would be reevaluated following the outcome of the federal investigation.
You can almost smell the retaliation, can’t you?
Whatever problem that pilot discovered, you can bet the TSA knew about it long before he posted his videos. But now that he told the rest of us about it, they’re going to claim that he’s the one who’s endangering people.
Actually, there’s another way to look at it: The TSA isn’t pissed off because the pilot showed us how lax security is behind the scenes. Rather, they’re pissed at him for showing us the pointlessness of all the checkpoint security.