Mood In Airport Security Line Found Tense

The Today Show’s report on TSA procedures is mainly a bunch of crap everyone knows already, but we decided to edit together all the passenger interviews from the story to give a little dose of the current passenger mood regarding security lines. Takeaway: they hate them and would like to be able to bring on baby formula to feed their children.

We have to remove our shoes because of the failed shoe-bomber. We have to only bring 3oz on because of a never-really fulfilled plot to explode planes involving liquids. It’s a complete waste of time while any would-be terrorists are busy devising plots that involve neither shoe-bombs nor exploding shampoo bottles. The TSA is a farce and should be abolished.

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  1. bluemeep says:

    Clearly we’re not putting two and two together here. The real threat is shoe polish.

  2. CreativeLinks says:

    Amazing what we’ll give up for the illusion of safety. I have heard that Penn Jilette has a little Bill of Rights cards that he had imprinted on a metal sheet.

    So when he sets off the detectors, he has to turn over his bill of rights.

    Gotta give him style points.

  3. Aeroracere says:

    Saying the “TSA is a farce and should be abolished.” is not particularly helpful in solving the problem. The TSA performs a valuable service for the travelers of this country, and while particular agents don’t always do their job well, blanketing a whole organization tasked with keeping airports safe as ‘a farce’ doesn’t seem right.

    Granted, there are things on an organizational level they could do better, and I’m sure their training and technology could be improved, but I’m unwilling to see them as ‘a farce’ or unnecessary.

  4. visualbowler says:

    I just got back from Israel and I have to say they know how to run airports. They have regular sweeps of the bathrooms for anything out of the ordinary, probably more thorough than the jail cell sweeps in the US. They have 16+ security lanes for metal detector/x-ray machines so that at any time there are never more than 4 people at each lane. Your shoes stay on, they don’t care about liquids they care about keeping the place safe and they know that both the shoes and the liquids do little except inconvenience people and hold up lines. we should take a page from their book and learn how to run a secure airport.

  5. TeraGram says:

    @Aeroracere: No, it is a farce. Time and again, TSA fails their spot-checks. The real threats are ignored.

    Example:
    Fake bomb eludes airport test
    Albany facility’s security measures fail in 5 of 7 trials, mostly at the passenger checkpoint
    [timesunion.com]

    Passengers are hassled to give the appearance of security and safety. It is a crock.

  6. bambino says:

    Wow so much to reply to here.

    @CreativeLinks: Give me a break. I’m ‘handing over my bill of rights’ every time I go through a metal detector? How high-school-melodramatic that is.

    @Aeroracere: Agreed. If I were a terrorist, I would just hold off on making any shoe/liquid bombs until they stopped checking for those things.

    @visualbowler: I also agree with you that the Israelis have a pretty stringent system. However, unless you like to be racially profiled (yes, if you look middle easter, you WILL be questioned), then I suggest we not look to them for guidance.

  7. Trai_Dep says:

    No, they’re a farce. Otherwise, they’d crack heads to stop the security kabuki and deal with real threats: cargo, contractors and cutting their budget by half (deficits a larger national threat than 1,000,000 sippy cups).

    They don’t, they know they’re ineffectual and unanswerable, so yes, they’re a farce and must be abolished.

  8. SBR249 says:

    Well, to paraphrase Friedrich Nietzsche, the secret to reaping the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously. I say we get rid of security lines once and for all. :)

  9. jtlight says:

    The TSA is an absolute farce. Just because they are tasked with something, doesn’t mean they actually get that job done. In fact, the security checks Americans go through are almost worthless.

    Then again, most airlines in America are a total joke, that can’t even turn a profit. Why would we expect forward thinking and ingenuity from the government agency involved in the industry.

    What further pisses me off about this entire situation is that nothing will ever be done because all the brain-dead policies are implemented under the guise of “national security.”

  10. Art Vandelay says:

    Watch this video recently?

    I agree with you. They’ve failed at about the same rate since Septemeber 11th, so how do they make us safer? They don’t. The fact still remains that effective attacks are innovative and not greatly anticipated, so further scrutiny does little to stop them.

  11. lordbeef says:

    I think you it’s fair to say that part of the trouble airlines are having with being profitable is that it’s such a pain in the butt to go through security to use them.

    I’m sure there have been people saying “Let’s just drive, I can bring my toothpaste and feed my baby easier that way” due to security restrictions

  12. banned says:

    I can’t wait until a terrorist figures out how to hijack a plane using only carry on luggage, the clothes off their backs, and a baby!

  13. LionelEHutz says:

    Politicians are all caught up in giving us the appearance of security rather than real security. That’s what the TSA airport crap is all about.

  14. m. mangosteen says:

    The last comment about baby formula worried me, so I checked it out. At least according to the TSA’s web site – baby formula, breast milk and juice is allowed, in quantities greater than 3 oz. Same goes for jarred baby food. I think I’ll print out this page and bring it with me next time I fly with my baby. [www.tsa.gov]

  15. LionelEHutz says:

    @bambino: I believe that the Israelis profile passengers on their behavior. Israeli born Israeli’s and Arabs tend to look similar so profiling based on appearance (i.e. looking Middle Eastern) is worthless to them.

  16. jtlight says:

    @LordBeef: The problem isn’t with a lack of people flying. Passengers are flying now more than ever before. The problem is poor innovation and business models.

  17. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    The problem is the bs rules they pick to enforce. The TSA is a joke. If you want to get “dangerous objects” on a plane, you will find a way. Easy to slip through while the morons in uniform are hassling some 80 year old about their shoes or the 3 1/2 ounces of shampoo they have forgot to put in a clear plastic bag.
    And SFTU about the ‘liquid explosive’ bullshit.

  18. Steel_Pelican says:

    @Aeroracere:
    The TSA treats attackers like mice to be trapped. If you have seen a mouse in your cupboard (or an attacker has tried a shoe bomb) you place the mousetrap in the cupboard (or you force people to take off their shoes). The difference here is that a mouse’s behavior is predictable (that’s why you put the trap in the cupboard), and the mouse community doesn’t learn from its mistakes. People who want to take down an airplane are often more inventive than mice, and their comrades aren’t prone to trying the same thing twice.

    The TSA DOES NOT provide a valuable service to travelers of any country, and it DOES NOT make anyone safer. At best, it provides an illusion of security for idiots. At worst, it is an encroachment on civil liberties.

    We are no safer now than we were on September 10, 2001. We have just as many enemies now, if not more. The most dangerous weapon that our enemies have is not shoes, liquids, box cutters, or dirty bombs. It’s their ingenuity and their determination.

  19. WV.Hillbilly says:
  20. getjustin says:

    “Evil-doers” are nothing if not inventive, cunning, and clever. Could anyone have imagined the plot that went down on 9-11? No. They worked within the rules and exploited the system. Now we have more rules and a slightly tighter system, but there will always be loopholes. That’s the beauty of freedom: you’re free to take a flight with a bottle of water or some explosive the little machine can’t detect strapped to your chest. There’s nothing TSA can really do to stop something no one’s ever thought of.

  21. bambino says:

    @LionelEHutz: I’m fully aware of the similarities. I was speaking to the middle-eastern population in the US.

  22. Treved says:

    The real “news” and travesty of this piece is the piece itself. Shame on NBC for this fluff piece where it essentially becomes a mouthpiece for TSA propaganda.

    How is enforcing a 3oz ban making us safer? If 4oz can blow up a plane, two passengers meeting on board are good to go.

    NBC should have had the balls to do a real investigative piece about how all these “rules” are not making us safer but are just providing an illusion of safety. You’ve got the spokesperson for the TSA right there – ask her some hard questions! I’m ashamed of NBC.

  23. Pelagius says:

    Farce! The TSA regularly fails to find mock explosives during internal ‘secret inspector’ tests.

    In a recent test at Albany International the screeners confiscated a water bottle but missed the bomb in the very same carry on.

    You wonder if PERHAPS THEIR PRIORITIES ARE A LITTLE OFF?

  24. cnc1019 says:

    I took a government class in college titled “Suicide Terrorism” that was taught by an Israeli National (at the University of Texas at Austin). He always talked about the way security was performed in Israel and how ignorant our efforts could be at times.

    One such story was when he went through airport security coming back into the US from Israel. The 80 year old woman in front of him and the 8 year old girl behind him were both subjected to an extra search. Meanwhile, he walked right through.

    Is racial profiling fair, of course not. But if the majority of the problems are caused by one set of people, be them white, black, green or blue (got to watch those blue ones), shouldn’t that group of people be more closely watched. At the risk of pissing someone off and being called a racist, you wouldn’t search a black man for evidence that he participated in a KKK lynching of another black man (a very simple comparison to a very complex issue, so it doesn’t cover everything).

    Professor Pedhazur said he should be searched every time he goes to an airport strictly because of his last name. He had no problems with this because he knew it had a chance of giving some sort of protection to the greater good.

    Take it for what it is worth, but it seems reasonable. Please commence calling me Unamerican and a Communist (don’t forget racist too).

  25. ravensfire says:

    I think that the TSA is an important organization to have. Their purpose is a good one. However, at the moment, they are focusing on the wrong things. The things they are presently searching for are so specific that plots would have to occur in very specific ways to make protecting against them make any difference. TSA is focusing on threats, not risks. Threats are very specific and numerous, i.e. >3oz Liquid, shoe bombs, etc. Risk is calculated by taking into account things like the likelihood of a threat being exploited as well as how important the asset is that the threat is to. Israel is taking a Risk-Based approach to Airport Security. In their case, this means remaining vigilant to suspicious activity. Bruce Schneier http://www.bruceschneier.com, a well known Security Expert, calls these ultra-specific threats Movie-plot threats. In order for them to be exploited, everything would have to happen in such a specific way that the threat exploitation is actually highly inprobable.

    @GETJUSTIN
    Look-up the pilot episode of “The Lone Gunmen,” an X-files spin-off.

  26. Steel_Pelican says:

    @cnc1019:
    I’m going to assume your race here, but if I’m incorrect, I apologize, and I’ll try to find another analogy if this one doesn’t fit.

    Assuming that you’re white like me, wouldn’t you think it was bullshit if everyone assumed you were a part of the KKK? Let’s say a black family in your neighborhood had their house spray-painted with racist slurs. How would you feel when the police came and knocked on your door, wanting to search your place for spraypaint, just because you’re white- and the majority of the people who commit racist vandalism are white?

  27. Chicago7 says:

    It’s the typical Bush administration response to anything. Spend a lot of money to make a program that makes people “feel” that there might be better security, but screw it up so badly that people just get ticked off.

  28. Slytherin says:

    “It’s a complete waste of time while any would-be terrorists are busy devising plots that involve neither shoe-bombs nor exploding shampoo bottles. The TSA is a farce and should be abolished.”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  29. oldtaku says:

    The purpose of the TSA isn’t to protect you from terrorism – they regularly fail checks where (our) people try to smuggle bombs and guns and other Bad Things through and succeed just fine. The classic case is of course where the TSA goon missed the bomb, but pounced on the dangerous water bottle right next to it.

    The TSA is there to a) make you feel scared, and b) make you feel like they’re doing something about it.

  30. zero_o says:

    What is wrong with racially profiling people as they go through the airport? “Oh no it’s not politically correct” If you take a statistical probability matrix and apply it across the races you could speed up going through security for the majority.

  31. Steel_Pelican says:

    @zero_o:
    It’s “Liberty and Justice For All” not “Liberty and Justice for Most.”

    It’s not about political correctness, it’s about basic civil rights and constitutional protection.

  32. urban_ninjya says:

    Those terrorist babies.. We need to find a way to cryogenically freeze them so they can be safely transported on flights.

  33. Murph1908 says:

    There’s a comedian who jokes about the fact that there was one foiled shoe bomb plot, and now we all need our shoes examined. He is hoping someone tries a bra bomb plot. It would make the wait in line more entertaining.

    But his point (as well as the points of many posters here) is valid. Checking shoes and limiting liquids because of one attempt is ridiculous. It’s closing the barn door after the horses escape, to provide the illusion of safety. Soon, there will be more plots discovered, and we’ll not be allowed to bring in plastics (plastic explosives and plastic GLOCK guns), fold-up umbrellas (the metal could be sharpened), violins (the strings can be used as garrotes)…I could go on. When does it stop?

    And I love the comment about multiple terrorists each bringing on their 3 ounces, and combining them. This alone proves the futility of their policies.

  34. JustAGuy2 says:

    @Murph1908:

    Someone on flyertalk.com has the sig:

    Every time I go through security, I thank God that Richard Reid isn’t known as the underwear bomber.

  35. aiken says:

    The 3oz thing is just silly — you can bring on multiple 3oz containers of the same thing. How is bringing on 6 3oz containers of shampoo somehow safer than bringing one 18oz bottle? Nevermind the fact that liquid explosives do not exist, and to the extent that liquids can be dangerous, it would take four people many hours in a lavatory — with an ice bath! — to do anything nefarious.

    The TSA is all about security theater. Heck, that may even discourage some stupid would-be terrorists. Of course, it does nothing at all against the smart, organized bad guys. And, wow, those are the ones we should be worried about.

  36. consumeristReader says:

    @zero_o:

    Regarding ‘What is wrong with racially profiling people as they go through the airport?’

    All it takes is one person who doesn’t fit the profile. A terrorist organization need only find one white person who hates the US. Or perhaps they sneak a bag inside granny’s luggage, unbeknownst to granny.

    Schneier recommends behavioral profiling. Thats what they do in Israel. They ask you tough questions, see how you act on your feet. See if your behaving strangely.

    [www.schneier.com]

  37. Dustbunny says:

    @cnc1019:

    ITA. Until Al Quaida starts massively recruiting Midwestern grandmas and little kids, quit wasting time searching the wrong people. It’s political correctness run amok.

  38. AndyMan1 says:

    A while back I went through DIA. The person in front of me had his unopened 12 oz bottle of Pepsi confiscated from him. He and I both happened to head right to the convenience store about 20 yards away from the security checkpoint.

    He bought the exact same bottle of soda.

    I took camera phone photos of a bottle of 3-alarm hot sauce and plastic spray bottle being sold in the store.

    I found it amusing I can’t drink the same bottle of soda but for 6 dollars I can make my own bottle of mace and not have to worry about being searched.

  39. cnc1019 says:

    @Steel_Pelican: I am white and I would find that search to be rediculous for one reason: many people have spray paint, just because I had some wouldn’t prove anything. But ignoring that, I honestly wouldn’t have a problem with it. As long as the cops show curtesy towards my belongs and do not intentionally break anything, they can search all they want (unless they are searching for my supply of mp3s in connection to terrorism). I have nothing to hide but because people similar to me might be hiding something, I’m willing to be inconvenienced for the greater good.

    I’ve been searched trying to get into a professional baseball game before. It didn’t bother me because I knew I had left my pocket knife in the car on the way in. What did bother me was that I saw people handing their knives to their wives to put in their purse so that it wouldn’t be found. Yes the purses were being searched, if you call having you hold it open and they just look down into it without moving it around or opening any of the extra pockets.

    Warning: the following is a comment that might inflame others. Would we have the same opinion of “racial profiling” if it was called “prior history profiling”? (as a side note, I personally believe that white people should also be subjected to racial profiling since one of the largest terrorist attacks in the US was perpetrated by a white male in Oklahoma)

  40. balagon says:

    @bambino: the Israelis question *everyone*. My spouse and I are caucasian, “ordinary”-looking American tourist types, and we get the same basic treatment as anyone else–a lengthy series of questions about our plans, our reasons for visiting, how much Hebrew we speak, etc etc etc etc. On one trip, we spent about 15 minutes answering questions and having our luggage searched when re-entering Israel from Jordan, even though everyone else in line–primarily Arab–cleared quickly. I suppose that we just didn’t fit the usual tourist profile (travelling outside of a group tour, perhaps).

    As others have said, the Israelis are looking for behavioral clues. It’s very effective. It’s also very time-consuming and expensive. Guess why we don’t have something similar implemented in the US.

  41. Chicago7 says:

    @urban_ninjya:

    Those terrorist babies.. We need to find a way to cryogenically freeze them so they can be safely transported on flights.

    Don’t give them any ideas. Pretty soon people on planes will travel like cargo, each in their own little bombproof, exitless pod. You will load into your pod before the flight and they will only let you exit after they’ve landed at your destination.

  42. MalcoveMagnesia says:

    I did a backpacking trip into Israel a few years ago. Apparently I fit their “suspicious” profile (I’m a Italian/German Goy) and I must admit it was somewhat humiliating to dump my entire suitcase into a big bin and watch while teenage girls fingered through my dirty laundry and boxer shorts. UGH.

    As much as that experience sucked, I felt much more secure flying out of Israel than I do flying anywhere within the USA. I always pack little bottles of toothpaste and skin lotion into my computer bag and the TSA drones never EVER do a secondary screening of my bag or confiscate the bottles.

    Bad guys who want to bring down a plane can do anything from sneaking a bomb onto the plane via cargo (i.e. all airlines transport cargo beyond the passenger’s luggage; I don’t believe these packages are aggressively screened), or shoot one down via a shoulder fired missile, etc. The passenger isn’t a real threat anymore (and any random crazy person spewing hijack or bomb threats will get tackled by fellow passengers).

    The TSA only exists to push government authority and crush liberty while stomping on the little guys (err, passenger). Think that’s bad? Wait ’til the “naked x-rays” get deployed to all the airports.

  43. NoWin says:

    @ WV.HILLBILLY

    Neat-O! Thanks!

  44. Televiper says:

    Going after shoes and water bottles only leads to distraction for TSA employees. They’re trying to turn airport security into something that has assembly line logic, and assembly line procedures. They need to pay these people more, train these people more, and get people with higher educations.

    If you want real airport security you’re gonna have to pay for it. Airport security cannot be run as a commodity. That’s the problem the US has right now.

  45. Peeved Guy says:

    I was going to read the posts in this thread, but I know what they are going to say, so I’m going to save those minutes of my life to do something important, like trim my toenails.

    A few points, however (without having watched the video to save time for toe hygene as previously mentioned):

    You mean Today actually interviewed people in a long line and they DIDN’T like it? Holy crap! Stop the frgiin’ presses. Talk about the no shit moment of the year! Who produced this, Captain Obvious? Maybe next they’ll place porn on a computer and give it to PC repair shops in the hopes of exposing the little-known fact that computer geeks like free porn. Oh. Wait. They got scooped on that.

    Bottom line people – Flying is not a necessity or your God (or god) given right. if you don’t like the TSA for being incompetent or draconian, just don’t F’n fly and shut the hell up about it already.

  46. overbysara says:

    TSA is a JOKE. It’s completely ridiculous that the 99.99% of people traveling on a plane just to get to the destination on the ticket in their hand are treated like threatening criminals. I have gotten through airport security with more than 3 oz. of liquids and mace. Total joke.

  47. Craig says:

    The TSA was created to give the majority of air travelers a greater sense of security after 9/11, however false that sense may be. If it weren’t for the TSA we’d have fewer air travelers, more bankrupt airlines, and higher airfares. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re saving you money.

  48. snowferret says:

    People arn’t allowed to bring baby formula?
    And then people complain when babies cry?
    Oh yeah that’s great!
    And don’t say a woman could breast feed. We all know America hates boobs in public more than terrorists, hangnails and crying babbies combined.

  49. missdona says:

    They should have kept the security private and held them to the higher standard.

    Has the government ever created an entity that was more efficient than the one it replaced?

  50. TechnoDestructo says:

    @getjustin:

    Apparently most of the ones we hear about are neither cunning, nor clever, nor particularly inventive. If they were, they wouldn’t get caught. (And we wouldn’t be inconvenienced in ways relevant to their lack of creativity)

    For fuck’s sake, you had to take a sip of any beverage you carried into the UN building in 2000. Also, Die Hard With A Vengeance. Liquid weapons are not a new idea, and there are better ways to handle them than banning everything. (Except that doesn’t create a captive market for “secure” beverages at airports, does it?) FUCK AMERICAN AIR TRAVEL.

  51. TechnoDestructo says:

    @snowferret:

    Is she carrying more than 100ml? Is it in a clear plastic bag?

    Ma’am, I’m sorry, but we can’t allow you to fly unless you come with us and get a mastectomy.

  52. Slytherin says:

    @overbysara: I’ve gotten on a plane with a lighter rolled up in a T-shirt in my carry-on bag.

  53. dcndn says:

    Consumerist,

    When I click “play” on a video, that button should not mean, “take me to the next page so I can watch it there.” I wish to watch it inline, otherwise I’d click to the post-specific page. While the site looks nice, the above problem, as well as the ghost links to your internal tags, are making the site increasingly frustrating to use.

    I understand artificially inflating your page views is your goal here, but it’s resulting in a sucktastic website.

  54. quagmire0 says:

    The TSA just gets what they pay for. They hire morons for low wages and expect them to be James Bond when it comes to detecting terrorists. It’s just not going to happen that way.

  55. ZzFDKzZ says:

    QUAGMIRE0 starting salary is $14.09.

  56. telepod says:

    These people are amazing, how quick they forget 9/11! If only for the daily work of our Nations Security Professionals at all levels, this has prevented another attack. My solution for the people in the report, if you don’t like the Security Measures- DON’T FLY….

  57. Lordstrom says:

    @quagmire0: I don’t think they have any expectations. I really doubt they even care. What they care about is having bodies to fill the schedule to give off the above mentioned illusion of serving a noble purpose.

  58. aishel says:

    I just came back from a trip to Israel, and they know how to do it right. The lines move quickly and efficiently, they ask questions that are appropriate, and they’re trained to read into what you’re saying. Even better, they profile everyone. This way, the RIGHT people get searched/asked questions, instead of 89 year old grandmothers.

  59. Alvis says:

    Simple answer:

    If you have to forego privacy to do something, DON’T DO IT in the first place!

    Then everyone has their privacy, and companies/governments have no option but to change their policies. Of course, this doesn’t work when there are millions of selfish people who only care about getting from point A to point B, regardless of the effect their complacency has on the rest of us.

  60. FLConsumer says:

    The TSA is useless! 100% absolutely useless.

    I’m all for true security, but the TSA is a barrier to actual security. Replace these overpaid, useless “screeners” with retired cops. You want someone who has experience interrogating and interviewing people, not someone who took a 4-hr study at home course from a Sally Struthers 3am infomercial.

    At this point, I say let’s throw out the TSA entirely and bring back the old system. Maybe leave the air mashalls in place — they haven’t screwed up things badly yet. The number of hijackings pre-9/11 seems to be about the same as it is post-9/11. Granted, we’re only 5 years post, but 5 years prior to 2001 I don’t recall there being any hijackings of US-originated flights.

  61. Ola says:

    I’d say the TSA reminds me of the DMV, but the DMV has mildly improved.

    @Murph1908: Just so you know, the “plastic Glock” thing is an urban legend that’s made the rounds so often it’s quoted as fact. It actually contains plastic (actually polymer – which is visible in scanners) parts, but about 83% is steel, so it would show up anyway.

  62. Alvis says:

    @Ola & Murph1908

    I thought the urban myth was a ceramic Glock, as per Die Hard 2.

  63. crankymediaguy says:

    Remember how the terrorists who destroyed the WTC traveled together? If that was happening today, what would stop them from EACH carrying a 3 oz. bottle of something dangerous and combining the contents on the plane?

    These rules are to make the public FEEL safe, not about actually MAKING the public safer.

  64. missdona says:

    @crankymediaguy:

    Or a few 3oz bottles in one ziploc bag

  65. miburo says:

    While I agree that most of the TSA employees are way undertrained. To say we don’t need it at all is to ignore the fact we haven’t been attacked by plane since 9/11.

    You guys think that the terrorist just stopped trying ? not by a long shot

  66. Slytherin says:

    @telepod: BWAHAHAHAHAHA! I see you have been brainwashed by the current administration. Bush for President in 2008? Oh, that’s right, he sucks and there’s a two term limit. Oh well.

  67. Slytherin says:

    @miburo: Another brainwashed Bush monkey. Oy!

  68. jblums says:

    I’m with the “TSA is a farce” crowd. My wife works as a gate agent at Detroit Metro, she never has to go through security and has direct access to the flight crew. This is standard proceedure there and sound like an easy security loophole for terrorist to exploit.

  69. Consumer-X says:

    “We have to only bring 3oz on because of a never-really fulfilled plot to explode planes involving liquids.”

    Unfortunately for all fliers, explosive liquids have been smuggled on airliners and detonated killing a passenger. That bombing was a test for a larger Al-Qaeda plot involving the destruction of ten airliners over the Pacific Ocean.

    See [en.wikipedia.org]

    “The “Mark II” “microbombs” had Casio digital watches as the timers, stabilizers that looked like cotton wool balls, and an undetectable nitroglycerin as the explosive. Other ingredients included glycerin, nitrate, sulfuric acid, and minute concentrations of nitrobenzene, silver azide (silver trinitride), and liquid acetone.”

    “Yousef smuggled the nitroglycerin on board by putting it inside a contact lens solution bottle.”

    Read the whole thing. It is truly chilling.

  70. gamabunta says:

    @CreativeLinks: You can get those from the EFF store. I’ve carried mine around for 2 years but I’ve never had to take it out (dunno if that’s a good or bad thing.)

  71. prekrasno says:

    I have served in the Army for 18 years now, and in November 2006 I had to escort the body of a friend from OKC to ATL for his funeral. At the security line, I got “selected” for “special screening” — even though I was in my Army green uniform, medals and all. I was forced to put my coat, shoes, and belt through the scanner, and when I explained why I was even travelling that day, the TSA morons got snippity and called their supervisor over. Of the 200-plus passengers shuffling through security at that moment, I was the ONLY one “selected” to be nearly strip-searched in plain view of everyone. Had the TSA morons continued, I would have been inclined to walk through in my underwear, uniform in hand. As I was putting my uniform back on, I told the agent that it was a sad day in our country’s history when an soldier traveling in dress uniform has to be subjected to such humiliation.

    After the incident, another passenger said he told his TSA agent that I sure didn’t look like a terrorist, and replied, “Well, show me what one looks like then!” Idiot. I told that other passenger that he could rest assured I would not attempt to bring down any planes, especially the one with the body of my friend in its belly.

    So, do you think I want them to start profiling? You bet your sweet ass I do.

  72. brettnew says:

    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. — Benjamin Franklin

    words never more true than our lives in the post 9/11 Era

  73. visualbowler says:

    @bambino: But I don’t think that the TSA isn’t racially profiling people already. They may claim that they aren’t but in reality you see a middle eastern man with a turban going through security and he is going to be rescreaned. I know because my friend goes through this every time he flies.

  74. JustAGuy2 says:

    @prekrasno:

    1. Everybody has to remove their jacket, shoes, and (if it alarms) belt. You were subjected to the same idiocy as the rest of us.

    2. I can go on eBay and assemble an excellent facsimile of a military uniform, complete with decorations, certainly good enough so that a non-military person would never notice.

    3. Someone who’s about to commit suicide by crashing a plane is unlikely to care about the fact that the cargo includes someone who’s already dead.

    Bottom line, the fact that you were in military uniform is no reason not to apply the same security to you as to others. It doesn’t mean that security makes any sense (shoes, for example), but it shouldn’t get you a special pass.

  75. JustAGuy2 says:

    @prekrasno:

    By the way, the TSA agent was exactly right when he said “Well, show me what one looks like then!” Tim McVeigh was (a) a terrorist, (b) white, and (c) (formerly) in the military. Does that mean that all white male veterans should be suspected terrorists?

  76. prekrasno says:

    OK, justaguy2: how about sticking to the topic? Tim McVeigh (a) did not try to bring down any planes; (b) did not wear a military uniform during the commission of his crime; (c) was not under official orders when the act was committed and (d) was in fact a FORMER soldier when he committed his crime. All I’m saying is give soldiers a break when we’re traveling in uniform and/or under official orders.

    Besides, genius, name one active-duty soldier who ever attempted to commit an act of terrorism like the subject at hand.

    I didn’t think so.

    Sure, any moron can buy a genuine-looking military uniform, even cut his hair and shave enough to look like a soldier — but can anyone reasonably assume that terrorists can fake a military ID *and* official orders? If you think military ID’s can easily be faked, then I’ve got a bridge to sell you. Verifying the veracity of a soldier’s ID card is simple and cheap.

    All of you who think that it is reasonable to ask us soldiers to leave our country to defend you — yet not give us a little leeway when we’re on our way to suffer the horrors of war — should be ashamed of yourselves.

  77. JustAGuy2 says:

    @prekrasno:

    I was sticking to the topic. You seem to believe that a military uniform (as honorable a profession as that is) should insulate you from screening – it should not. If it were to do so, all we would need is for a terrorist group to find the one soldier who agreed with their aims, and they’d have a guaranteed ticket through security.

    Attempts to focus on what terrorists “should” look like (i.e. let’s only target the brown men!) only create gaping holes if terrorists are able to find candidates who don’t fit those descriptions.