Who’s afraid of a bomb-making barista?

Timing was never the TSA’s thing.

It started checking our shoes for explosives only after Richard Reid tried to blow up a plane with his footwear. It began patting down air travelers en masse only when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to incinerate an aircraft with his undies. From bans on liquids and gels to printer cartridges, they’ve all been done only in response to a threat, not in anticipation of one.

But this latest security precaution, if it proves to be new, is a real head-scratcher: A Grand Junction, Colo., TV station reported last week that TSA agents have begun testing liquids purchased after passengers passed through the agency’s vaunted 20 layers of security.

“Every time you think the TSA can’t come up with anything more stupid or abusive, they prove you wrong,” my colleague Lisa Simeone noted on the popular watchdog site TSA News.

Testing liquids post-screening, which can render them undrinkable, had been observed before, notes Simeone. But not apparently on the level seen in Grand Junction last week, which made some TSA observers conclude that the agency was testing a new procedure in response to an unspecified threat.

Whether it is or isn’t — and I’ll get to that in a moment — the TSA’s sense of timing on this is beyond clumsy. It’s dangerous.

Last week the nation was in the grip of a heat wave. On July 3, the day that news of TSA’s liquid screening procedure broke, the high temperature in Grand Junction was 99 degrees — just three degrees shy of the record high. Whoever instructed agents to start testing passengers’ bottled water purchased after they went through the checkpoint was not the sharpest tool in the TSA shed.

Of course, the TSA doesn’t just test a new procedure at one airport. So odds are, if this is a new thing, it’s happening at terminals across the United States even as temperature records are being shattered.

Tinkering with bottled liquids can put the most vulnerable passengers — the young and the elderly — at greater risk of dehydration. What’s more, there’s no evidence that, as one critic proclaimed, baristas are turning lattes into bombs.

The TSA insists its liquid-testing procedures aren’t new. In a blog post on Thursday, it said the agency had been randomly screening beverages since 2007, and that the gate-checks are “business as usual.” It also pointed out that the test doesn’t make the liquid undrinkable, because the test strip doesn’t make contact with the liquid. I suppose it’s up to each passenger to decide whether a bottle of water that’s been handled by a TSA agent is good to drink or not.

TSA suggested it needed to rescreen the liquids during the hottest week of the year in order to show the bad guys how unpredictable it could be.

“If everything we did was always the same, it would provide a checklist for people to know exactly what to expect,” it noted. “While this would be extremely helpful for passengers, it would also be useful to those wishing to do us harm.”

If demonstrating the TSAs randomness was the goal of that little exercise in Grand Junction, and perhaps elsewhere, then let’s order those agents a “Mission Accomplished” banner. They did it, and then some.

They also showed us how thoughtless they could be about the well-being of their passengers by implementing a bizarre liquid test during a week of extreme temperatures. But they knew they could get away with it. Last week was unusual in at least one other regard. Most of the airline passengers were inexperienced tourists who wouldn’t know what to do when a guy in a uniform waves a test strip in front of their espresso. So the agents probably met a minimum of resistance.

But I suspect this is more than a random test. I believe that like the shoes, underwear and printer cartridges, this is part of something bigger and as yet unspecified. When the TSA started its controversial pat-down and scan procedures a few years ago, it told us more or less the same thing. We know better now.

Either way, forcing passengers to undergo a liquid screening at the gate sends a troubling message to all air travelers: that the agency doesn’t believe its own screening procedures are completely effective, and that it’s afraid of a bomb-making barista.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at chris@elliott.org. Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • http://www.blackchickontour.com/ Terri Lundberg

    If the secure area is no longer secure, then TSA isn’t doing it’s job in screening the airport employees, vendors or the product coming in and out of its back doors. They say they’ve been doing this; I don’t know that I believe that.  I think they did this in Grand Junction Regional as a way of testing how much they can get away with.  Why wasn’t this conducted at major airports with international arrivals and departures?   I’m really shaking my head at this one.  #disgustedwithtsa

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SMOTAZRV3WTQYP6EKL5TS4IFLA Anne

    Yes, this is too much, but we have had liquids taken away at the gate in other countries frequently – Amsterdam and Delhi do a gate check routinely after regular security.

  • http://twitter.com/vtflyer Lee Morelli

    When the tsa does secondary screening at the gate, they are admitting that they do not trust their screeners do a thorough job at the checkpoint.

  • Daisiemae

    Who cares if people drop dead from heat stroke?  The important thing is that TSA is keeping us safe.

    To that end, why not ban beverages within a 100 mile radius of all airports?  TSA could set up checkpoints all along the perimeter.

    All those old people drink too much anyway.

  • BrianInPVD

    Happened to my Southwest flight this week at PVD–fortunately hadn’t bought any beverages to carry on board.  The TSA agents didn’t touch anyone’s drink, they just held the strips above the opening of the container.  Done in this manner, I wouldn’t see any hygiene issues.  Is it rather pointless–of course.

    In the realm of pointless gate re-checks, at least these are relatively quick and don’t involve turning over your carryon bags or pat downs.

  • ClareClare

    “It also pointed out that the test doesn’t make the liquid undrinkable, because the test strip doesn’t make contact with the liquid.”

    Right, and going through scanners isn’t hazardous to your health, either.

    I would like to KNOW what these goons are waving around my drink!  What’s it made of, how does it work?  How is it possible that it “detects” that a drink is really a secret explosive… while not actually doing anything to the drink?!

    The TSA will respond, of course, that they can’t answer that question, because it would endanger our security by explaining to the public how it works. 

    That’s what they always say.  And they boast that they’re unpredictable…

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    “Most of the airline passengers were inexperienced tourists who wouldn’t know what to do when a guy in a uniform waves a test strip in front of their espresso. So the agents probably met a minimum of resistance.”
    Umm, what would an *experienced* tourist do?  I’m unclear as to what resistance would be allowed at that point.

  • Daisiemae

    I’d start by chugging the drink down and handing them the empty container.  Only then I guess I’d have to give them a urine sample to prove that I drank the beverage.

  • backprop

    Your points about not trusting its own procedures are good.  But I had to roll my eyes at the part about putting “the most vulnerable passengers — the young and the elderly — at greater risk of dehydration.”  That sounds like hyperbole that I would expect from a Monday or Tuesday mediation letter. 

  • Daisiemae

    The strips are probably only plain cardboard anyway.  Just another stupid pointless TSA trick to condition the people into instant and mindless obedience.

    And just supposing that these strips are actually some legitimate test, how are these high school dropouts going to be able to interpret them? If they were able to pass high school chemistry, what are they doing working for TSA?

    But you’re right, it would be all the same to them if they were waving strychnine over your beverage. After all, anything to keep you safe, right?

  • Daisiemae

    The point is to teach the public to mindlessly obey anyone in a government uniform. 

    Look for stories soon that tell how screeners use a positive test to further abuse, molest, harrass, and humiliate innocent and vulnerable passnegers.

  • SoBeSparky

    This is common practice leaving China.  International flight passengers must surrender all water/soft drink bottles before being allowed on the plane.  This is along with carry-on secondary hand inspection.  Very thorough and gives me some peace of mind, real or just perceived.

  • y_p_w


    “A man nearly died from alcohol poisoning after quaffing a liter (two pints) of vodka at an airport security check instead of handing it over to comply with new carry-on rules, police said Wednesday.

    The incident occurred at the Nuremberg airport on Tuesday, where the 64-year-old man was switching planes on his way home to Dresden from a holiday in Egypt.

    New airport rules prohibit passengers from carrying larger quantities of liquid onto planes, and he was told at a security check he would have to either throw out the bottle of vodka or pay a fee to have his carry-on bag checked as cargo.

    Instead, he chugged the bottle down — and was quickly unable to stand or otherwise function, police said.”

  • cahdot

    this has been done in EU countries for years and in january-(dulles  wash airport)-what an armpit  of an airport..  they tested our water bottles before getting on the plane.. and it was hotter than ?>> in the airport as the heat was blasting ..what a waste of resources

  • Daisiemae

    Thank God we’re safe!

  • judyserienagy

    While I support the concept of ever-changing screening tactics to keep the bad guys nervous at the security checkpoint, this is definitely dumb.   They should be checking items inside the shops before sale instead of torturing the passengers who are thirsty. 

    Surely the TSA can come up with several meaningful procedures to implement on a rotating basis to keep things uncertain for the bad guys.  But then again, we are dealing with the government where logic is an unknown term.

  • jim6555

    Several years ago, I was waiting in a long line at the TSA screening area at the Providence RI airport when I observed a man pushing a large cart loaded with food items and beverages coming from the unsecured side of the airport terminal. He approached the corridor that passengers use to exit from the gates to baggage claim and was waived through by the TSA employee charged with making sure that no one entered through the exit area. None of the other TSAholes gave the guy with the cart a second look. Apparently, these deliveries to restaurants and shops in the secure area are frequent and routine. It occurred to me that if I were a terrorist, I could bribe one of these delivery guys to smuggle weapons into the secure area by hiding them among the items on the cart. Or, I could place explosive chemicals in the water and soda bottles that were being brought in. 

    Instead of harassing passengers waiting to board flights, the TSA needs to start doing a thorough inspection of food and merchandise brought into the gate areas.

  • cjr001

    Bad poll. TSA has long since gone too far, and they’re now utterly lost and hopeless.

    All *any* random crap at the gate does is prove that TSA has no faith in their security procedures at the actual security checkpoint.

    The solution? Get rid of TSA.

  • cjr001

    Are you really admitting that you’d let some stranger hold some unknown item over the opening of your drink, and then not immediately throw away said drink afterward?

    I know some people will dislike this, but, well, Brian you are the very definition of a sheeple.

  • ExplorationTravMag

    So – we can’t bring liquids in.  We can’t buy them once we’re in.  How long before TSA regulations remove all beverages from the terminals?

    I’l with @twitter-265271705:disqus , if this is a concern for them, that there’s a chance there are beverages inside the terminals past TSA, they aren’t doing their jobs.

    However, what I really believe it to be is more TSA theater.

  • cjr001

    Unfortunately, TSA cares far more about making a show out in the open in front of passengers – and with passengers – instead of where they might actually make a real difference.

  • BrianInPVD

    It’s more making an intelligent interpretation of risk.  I’m exposed to a lot more harmful substances walking through the cloud of second hand smoke on my way in to work from the clutch of smokers on the sidewalk.  I’m much more likely to get ill from interacting with my colleague’s toddler.  Even walking outside on a hot day like today is more hazardous to me since I have asthma.  I give my personal information to multiple strangers whom I never meet for the privilege of arriving at my destination in 1 hour instead of 6 hours at a lower cost and my identity hasn’t been stolen yet.

    I doubt those strips are laden with cyanide or arsenic since we all arrived at our destination alive.

    And for the record, or course I wouldn’t let them wave something over my drink–because I avoid the $5 bottles of water in the “sterile” areas, and I rarely carry any other beverages on board.

    And for those of you wanting to avoid it, they were only going for visible drinks in hand. Buy your soda or water, and when you’re boarding, put it in your bag and zip it closed.

  • djp98374

    I have a feeling if the tsa was to do this with me the water may slip out of my hands and on to them….

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “The TSA agents didn’t touch anyone’s drink, they just held the strips above the opening of the container.”

    What on earth could they determine from that? Is it enough for mere fumes to make contact with the test strip? Why do I suspect this isn’t sufficient?

    If it is, in fact, the case that waving a test strip above something reveals nothing about it, that would provide incontrovertible evidence the TSA is truly engaged in useless exercises aka “security theater.”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2NZAJ6KPWUWJV23TTE3TNBMJZI Trudi

    If I thought the TSA agents were actually chemists who knew what they were doing with that test strip, I MIGHT feel this was okay. They aren’t ergo, I’m not encouraged. I had this done when leaving IND a couple years ago; when I got onto the plane. The agent held my cup, sniffed it, then held a paper over the opening (I’d been drinking it), then she flipped the plastic cap down and handed it back to me. When I boarded I handed the cup to the flight attendant and asked him to dispose of it. It was lousy coffee anyhow. Today, I generally take an empty water bottle through security and fill it at a drinking fountain. It just seems the best plan for me. I don’t know how often the filters and water systems on planes are cleaned, and I’d rather avoid them. I feel like flying these days is a matter of preparing yourself for your own comfort in the absolutely least conspicuous manner possible. I tell myself: always wear flip-flops, never make eye contact, keep a vacant smile in place, do not speak unless spoken to directly, pretend they are Gestapo and know nothing.

  • bodega3

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  • bodega3

    Same in Mexico. 

  • bodega3

    There has been a concern for several years about product mixing between passengers once through security.  Obviously something is up that as the flying public we are not being made aware of.  Where there is a will, there is a way and I would rather TSA keep ahead on things than behind.  Freedom to travel still exists and if you don’t wish to deal with this, don’t fly.

  • bodega3

    And where do you think this should be?  Easy to make a comment with no concrete suggestions to back up your idea(s).

  • Sadie_Cee

    Any telling just what (if anything) the strips are laden with?  Curious…

  • cjr001

    “It’s more making an intelligent interpretation of risk.”

    Oh, the irony of this statement.

  • cjr001

    Apparently, bogeda3, you’ve now repeated that enough times to actually believe it.

    Meanwhile, in reality where most of the rest of us live…

    Hint: several people have already said it. Maybe you should actually read what people are typing, before you let your knee jerk?

  • cjr001

    Thank you, Mr. Broken Record.

    Of course, we’ve NEVER seen TSA at the subways, trains, highways, have we?

  • cjr001

    Have you ever been in Colorado, or anywhere at elevation (besides on a plane at 30k feet)?

    It may shock you to know that elevation, extreme heat, and low humidity do indeed lead to dehydration much quicker than usual.

    On top of that, I would not be surprised in the least if the Grand Junction airport does not have gangways for the planes, but instead you have to walk from the gate out onto the tarmac to board the plane via stairs. Thus further exposing those most at risk, even if for a short time.

    Yes, as usual, TSA is putting people at risk. No, it is not hyperbole.

  • bodega3

    Yes WE have.  Try riding the Metro on the 4th of July in DC. Try going to the World Cup or Olympics while in the USA. You’ll see those and more of what you are so afraid of.

    I will continue to come back to you with my views when you post yours. Until you can come up with a better way to provide something to the traveling public that is better, I won’t stop. I am not a fan of going through security screening to serve on Jury Duty, go into a business building, fly a plane, visit certain schools, but I also don’t have any better ideas to a job that sadly needs to be done.

  • cjr001

    Then again I recommend you try exercising your 4th Amendment rights some time. You might find you actually enjoy having them.

  • bodega3

    I have yet to read anything that really addresses a change to what we currently have.  You, too, repeat your mantra, here, so I just respond in kind.

  • backprop

    If someone actually TOOK my water (and the important thing is they DON’T), and I was at a risk of dehydration, I’d get another bottle of water or go to a water fountain before leaving the gate.  Or get some on the plane.

    I’m as much of a critic of the TSA as anyone, but I’m suggesting that complaints address valid concerns and not play the elderly/disabled person/child cards when it’s completely tangential to the actual complaint.

    What about the security line?  If it’s twelve minutes long, and I have to get rid of my water bottle before getting in queue, is the TSA putting me in danger of severe dehydration?  Give me a break.

  • bodega3

    I practice my rights by not being afraid and traveling the way I wish. 

  • BrianInPVD

    My best guess is that they are looking for peroxides (like hydrogen peroxide–chemical or industrial strength, so it’s probably an organic compound that changes color in response to free radicals.  I don’t know if these have been tested for health, but from a quick google search, it looks like most of the products on the market don’t require Material Safety Data Sheets, which generally indicates a low risk to health in an occupational exposure.

  • streamerstoo

    They have gone to far with everything they do. We citizens have no rights whatsoever. I am sure they could do their investigating without totally demoralizing passengers. To make matters worse, we have heard plenty about the agents stealing, swearing at passengers and treating passengers like dirt when they themselves are not above suspicion. 

  • frostysnowman

    I voted no, but only because they have gone to far across the board.  This is just one more example of their ridiculousness.  I was at PHL a couple of weeks ago, and the TSA was checking bags of random people on my flight at the gate.  If we already went through security, and deemed not to be a threat, why are they second-guessing themselves?  Will they now be checking all liquid shipments (soda syrups for the restaurants, bottles of water for the news stands, etc.) prior to letting them in the airport?  Somehow I don’t think so.  More useless Kabuki theatre. 

  • Daisiemae

    Well, that’s definitely an “intelligent interpretation of risk.”  Only the visible beverages are potential bombs.  The hidden beverages couldn’t possibly be dangerous.

    Thank God TSA is keeping us safe!

  • BrianInPVD

    By no means implying that the TSA’s policies are intelligent, or that they are intelligently assessing risks.  

    My point was more about the risk incurred to you personally by waving a piece of plastic over your drink.  If is enough to give you the heebie-jeebies, then you may as well lock yourself away, not eat produce that’s conventionally grown, live in the middle of nowhere, not drive, not smoke, not drink…

  • Michelle C

    The TSA has gone too far since 2001.  The single guy ahead of me doesn’t get extensively patted down but I as a 20 something year old female with baby gets the extensive pat down because I need to bring formula.   The formula also goes through the “sniff test” and chemical wipe down test.   Then the gloves of my molester… I mean screener goes through another chemical test.    ok..so I’m being dramatic- the people who have patted me down were nice, explained the procedure, and not overly touchy albeit thorough. The pat down of people who bring liquid for babies is new-  I didn’t get patted down in January but had to each trip through security after May.  I don’t feel any safer.    They always seem to randomly pick the people who are statistically less likely to be terrorist…In my humble opinion.

  • Michelle C

    Yes I believe in profiling if they are not going to screen everyone.  I believed in it before I started getting the pat down.   What the hell is the point of patting down the incontinent grannies,  stage 4 cancer patient who are going on their last vacation, mother’s with babies, and per-schoolers  if you are not going to pat down men / women traveling alone.    Until I started traveling with a baby I was NEVER patted down or asked to go through the irradiation viewer, but now I’m a threat.  It isn’t random, they select easy targets because the TSA doesn’t care if they find anything.    It is all for show.  

  • Extramail

    Please tell me that this story is a joke. And, what would happen if I declined the opportunity to have my drink tested? And, how effective is a test strip waved across the top of my drink? The terrorists have ALREADY WON!

  • DavidYoung2

    Amsterdam ONLY does passenger screening at the gate.  And before the TSA-crazies get too fired up about dehydraded toddlers having their Evian tested, there’s always the ‘bring and empty water bottle and fill it at the drinking fountain’ trick.  Saves you six dollars too.  Sigh, but I’m sure that’s just a TSA plot against our liberty

  • DavidYoung2

    It’s amazing the ingenuity of people who are about to “drop dead from heat stroke” in that air conditioned terminal.  They seem to save themselves by quickly finding that device providing free cold water, which is usually located under the sign reading “Water Fountain.”

  • Michael__K

    I’m not sure this is exactly new.

    I’ve seen this a few times going back several years (full blown re-screenings at the gate including confiscations of liquids purchased in the secure area) on flights from the U.S. departing to Tel Aviv.  Although I understand in that case it isn’t TSA.  It’s a private security company (the uniforms are very different from TSA’s).

    Also, at some foreign airports (I specifically recall experiencing this at SJO and at TSR) , flights headed to the U.S. (only) had redundant gate screenings which included confiscations (not inspections) of liquids purchased in the secure area.

  • cjr001

    Now there’s an idea: set TSA to keeping the drinking fountains clean.

  • cjr001

    Again, the irony.

    If you need TSA to keep you safe when flying then you might as well not even head to the airport, as you are far, fare more likely to be killed in a car accident than be blown up a terrorist.

  • cjr001

    You don’t have to get rid of your bottle before getting in the queue. TSA often conveniently puts trash cans for bomb, err, bottle disposal right before they actually check your boarding pass.

    And that’s assuming that you actually put it in the trash and don’t just forget it in your bag. At which point hit goes through security and makes it through the other side unscathed. Yeah, I’ve done exactly that.

    So why are we paying billions for this kind of crap, again?

  • cjr001

    Because that’s what I want America to be: just like China or Mexico.

  • cjr001

    So you don’t leave your home then? That’s probably best for all of us.

    It’s not even about “better ideas”. It’s about recognizing that life comes with risk, and you can’t remove that risk.

    Yet, some people think they can try. And others, like you, support them in their fruitless waste of time, money, resources, and the piddling away of our rights in the process.

  • bodega3

    Yeah, how did they ever survive before the bottle water craze?

  • bodega3

    Uh, you do know that Mexico is part of America?

  • bodega3

    Tell that to all those that died in 9/11 and those on plane that were grounded that day.  Our way of life changed in those few minutes, just like those who work in high rise buildings in SF after the One California killings, or the schools where kids have been killed because of guns in backpacks.  I’ll trust TSA over your method right now,as no one here in the US has come up with anything better.  I have heard talk of something like El Al does, but I doubt that would make you happy either. 

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    The redundant screenings at foreign airports for flights headed to the US are done purely to pacify the paranoid US. Other countries buckle under to the bully.

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    frosty, They do it because they can. Slave training.

  • Daizymae

    Predators always seek easy prey.

  • jet2x2

    Ok here is one suggestion – a screening area for all of the vendors and contractors going into the secure airport area, accompanied by mandatory background checks of all of these people.  Businesses will scream that it costs too much and it won’t get done.  But if passengers have to be screened, everyone entering the airport should be screened. If they work there regularly they should be subject to a background check. Another suggestion is screening of all packages entering the airport – supplies, etc. It would be horrifying if a bunch of people inside the terminal were poisoned or bombed – terrorism doesn’t have to happen on the plane itself. Having said all that, I don’t think TSA is that effective so I am not advocating this, as it would be done as poorly as everything else they do.

  • john4868

    Soooo… You spend the first paragraph making fun of the TSA for not being proactive and only responding to threats after the fact. You then spend the rest of the article being critical of them for being proactive about a potential threat.

    So which is it Chris… Do you want them to be proactive or reactive? Can’t have it both ways.

    BTW the concept is called defense in depth. By having multiple layers of protection, no one layer has to be 100% effective (because they aren’t). Manufactures use the same concepts to insure quality output.

  • john4868

    Hmmm… That’s funny Lisa. I was stopped for secondary screening in Germany. Had to go back over my travel plans with two guys with automatic weapons inside the secured area.

    The year was 1998 and I was traveling on military orders.

    I was also grabbed for secondary screening in Belfast two years ago coming thru the checkpoint when I set off the metal. Had no idea that I was headed to the US.

    Why do I point out these two incidences? One was before 9/11 when airport security was a joke in the US blowing your myth out of the water and both locations have a history of dealing with terrorist acts. Something the US has only limited experience with.

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    Doesn’t change the fact that the Brits, the French, and the Mexicans have all complained about the excessive screening, re-screening, and yet more re-screening the U.S. insists they do at various times. Obviously, YMMV.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L25F2VMINAMVSS7222IXVCUL2Q Adele

    Uhm, when did TSA start running security at Grand Junction airport?  Last I knew, they had received permission (like many small airports) to have a private firm do the security screening there.

  • Theodore Rosenberg

    There was an article a few months ago sayint the “liquid bombs” the TSA was looking for was H2O2.  Well, anyone who took 9the grade chem knows that high concentrations of H2O2 are extremely explosive, they ALSo should know how unstable the stuff is.  Anyone carrying a bottle of H2O2 with enough oomph to damage an air plane has maybe a 2-3%  chance of making it across the airport alive,  SNEEZE once.  Stand next ot a door which slams, or just go past a kid walking loudly and your H2O2 will become 2H2O  1O2, and LOTS of energy, spreading you across the concourse like jelly.  That iis assuming you even make it to the airport.

  • Bill___A

    The current system is supposed to be that we are not allowed to bring in liquids and the TSA will only allow us to buy liquids that are deemed “safe” after the gate.

    If they are going to test liquids at the gate, then they can test them at the checkpoints,so put a special liquids testing line in the entrance and allow people to bring in their own liquids.

    The United States is supposed to be an advanced society, but the actions of the TSA seem to imply that things are a lot more primitive than they need to be.

    That said, I’ve only run into a few inappropriate TSA agents.  The majority of checkpoints have been quite reasonable.

    However, if they are going to run around checking bags and drinks in the screened area, they are simply not doing their jobs at the entry points.

  • Michelle C

     Good point

  • http://blogs.ocweekly.com/stickaforkinit Dave Lieberman

    The secret they don’t want to divulge is it’s actually just cardstock run through a cross-hatched shredder…

  • http://blogs.ocweekly.com/stickaforkinit Dave Lieberman

    They’re secretly looking for the 18-year-olds who put vodka in the water bottles. It’s part of a new partnership between local police and the TSA. (roll eyes)

  • http://blogs.ocweekly.com/stickaforkinit Dave Lieberman

     I think you mean the United States.

  • Daisiemae

    Here’s an interesting tidbit.  Babies are dangerous.  They require extra patdowns and swabbing.  A whole New Jersey airport terminal was shut down because a baby was not thoroughly searched.

    Dogs, however, are completely harmless.  My friends fly frequently between Newark and Phoenix with their dog.  Whoever is holding the dog does not go through the xray machine.  It’s too dangerous for the dog.  So they rotate who carries the dog through security.

    Just thought you’d like to know that babies are so much more dangerous than dogs.

  • Daisiemae

    And yet somehow the high school dropouts employed by TSA will be able to detect all those bombs that have made it all the way to the gate and then will be able to safely remove and detonate those highly unstable bombs. 

    What a miracle!  I’m so grateful for TSA.  Maybe I can donate additional taxes earmarked especially for TSA.

  • bodega3

    Wow, what a nice person.  Glad you are above everyone else in your job and education and in the know of others. 

  • Michael__K

    Would you feel unsafe and avoid travelling from Israel to a non-U.S. destination?  Because the liquid restrictions often won’t apply in that case…  You also won’t have to take off your shoes and your crotch won’t be groped.

    Do you feel safe waiting in the security line at the airport?  Tell it to all of the families of civilians — numbering well into triple digits — who have been killed in the unsecured areas of airports (see DME/2011 and LAX/2002 for relatively recent examples).  This is a genuine known and proven threat.  TSA has done nothing to address it.  The Israeli’s — who experienced this type of deadly attack in 1972 — have airport perimeter security in place to deal with this type of threat.

  • bodega3

    Why are you asking me?  Don’t you want to ask crj001?

  • Daisiemae

    This idea is just too sensible for either TSA or bodega.

  • Daisiemae

    Oh, admiring yourself in that mirror you have hung above your computer, are you?

  • cjr001

    But if we repeat it enough times, bodega might actually read it and remember that it’s been suggested.

  • cjr001

    “Our way of life changed in those few minutes”

    There you have it, folks: the terrorists won. They got us to do EXACTLY what they wanted.

    Worse, our own government is now terrorizing us more than ever, too, and people are perfectly happy with that as long as they get to live the delusion that they’re safe.

    At least the people on the 9/11 flights stood up for themselves, instead of sitting back on the couch letting all of this happen around them. What’s your excuse?

    And FYI, I’ve brought up Israeli security methods myself in the past.

  • Daizymae

    Oh, Happy Day!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/E4G7SNH5N7V73GE25KY4ZON7UI Unegen

    Well, the real irony is that you are buying into the “no germ or unsanitized substance or surface must ever come near my person” mentality, which is so common and thoroughly misguided, yet you don’t seem to realize that doing so makes YOU a sheeple.  

    Honestly I would suggest you pull your head out of your butt, but I don’t think you could find it with both hands and a map.

  • cjr001

    See, the problem with your logic is that it’s TSA who has been using those gloves to do exactly that, and THEN they want to put those gloves near you.

  • cjr001

    I think you’re being obtuse if you thought I meant anything else. And that goes for both of you.

    Mexicans and Canadians don’t call themselves Americans or North Americans.

  • Mel Snyder

    As a routine business traveler, I suspect you’re right – there is more than a random act of inconvenience at work here. TSA may have picked up Internet chattter about airport concessions people as vectors for getting hazardous substances past security.

    Actuallyt, I welcome this kind of pre-event imagination by TSA. I happened to be flying American the day after Richard Reid’s shoe-bomb attempt out of London in December 2001, and was rather surprised that TSA hadn’t had the forethought to imagine such a risk. Sure, this and the whole gate screening efforts inconvenience millions without any evidence of actual plots being aborted. But it only takes one…

  • bodega3

    For Daisiemae, cjrool and Lisa, looks like your next visit to the airport will be tougher and so will your visit to the movies.  Tell all those who were just killed in Bulgaria and Aurora about their freedoms.  Oh yeah, you can’t.