Feel Any Safer Yet?
The Washington Post has a front page story about the TSA’s wet work. No they’re not going around offing people, just trying to keep all the liquids off the planes. If the Washington Post is right, TSA doesn’t seem to be very effective.
What I find interesting is that this is making many Americans federal criminals. If you get caught, you could get fined, land on a watch list and your life otherwise made miserable. Did that inspector get laid last night? No. Wrong day to smuggle that hair gel, better to suffer the bad hair day.
Now, as most of us know by now, the myth of binary explosives is a Hollywood legend or at least not as realistic as various governments would like you to think. This doesn’t matter because you still need to check those evil liquid or semi-liquid substances if you want to fly the friendly skys. Although according to Wonkette, your
sex gels personal lubricants are safe. Whipped cream and cattle prods on the other hand are no-no’s. That’s nice to know – PLAN ACCORDINGLY. Maybe the TSA didn’t want the work to get too wet. (Sorry)
For me, the take home lesson in the WP article came in on the second page.
Gary Boettcher, a pilot and president of the Coalition for Airline Pilots Association, a trade group that closely tracks security issues, said he constantly sees people drinking from illicit bottles of water or putting on lip gloss when he walks through the passenger cabin. Most of the time, he said, it doesn’t bother him.
“They are just doing their routines like they always did,” Boettcher said. “An old woman drinking a bottle of water doesn’t concern me. . . . The whole screening process is a facade to make the public feel safe, to show that the government is doing something.”
Passengers said they didn’t feel any safer after reaching their destination and realizing they had inadvertently left a banned item in their carry-on bags. [emphasis mine]
So we have a make-believe threat, passengers who aren’t worried and overworked security people. Well the government thinks passengers feel safe, the passengers feel annoyed and the TSA has a long, wet winter ahead of them.