Wednesday, March 2, 2011

TSA Missed THREE Box Cutters at JFK?!!

If there's one reason I hate terrorists the most, it's because of the negative impact they've had on air travel (you know, besides the whole "killing of innocent people" thing). Remember the days when you could walk up to the jetway and hug your loved ones good-bye? The kids could sit by the window and wave to the plane as it took off? Not worrying if your toothpaste was more than 3 ounces? And you could keep your shoes on as you walked through the metal detector? Not to mention the fees we now have to pay, per leg of each trip, to support the TSA - the undertrained, latex glove-wearing collection of faux-security guards responsible for enforcing these ever tedious and ridiculous restrictions.

But I never complain (out-loud, at least) about the TSA, because I've flown well over a hundred times, both internationally and domestically, and I've yet to be on a hijacked plane. So all those restrictions must be deterring the would-be terrorists. So TSA became a necessary, albeit frustrating, part of air travel, and we accept their 3-1-1 guidelines (no matter how seemingly ludicrous) because we trust that they'll keep us safe.

But what happens if they fail? It's all over the news today that three TSA officers at JFK here in New York, including one supervisor (who let's hope, has received a little more training), failed to see THREE box cutters (you know, the weapon of choice for the 9/11 terrorists - the reason the TSA even exists today). I can't bring a water bottle on the plane, but this guy can bring three blades? I'm with the PAPD saying they were asleep on the job. Not literally, but completely zoned out.

And this isn't an isolated event. A friend of mine didn't realize a 9" hunting knife was in his bag on one of our trips. He got it through LAX and didn't realize it was in his bag until he was home and unpacking. I may or may not have had a Leatherman in my bag one time (I'm not indicting myself here). That's got a 3" blade on it.

And then there's the Honolulu debacle where 27 TSA agents are under investigation. Or the Buffalo drug trafficking fiasco. And do we really need to mention allegations of sexual assault?

Seriously TSA, get your act together. We know we can't fire you. You're necessary. Just do your job and do it well, or your incompetence will be the first thing terrorists plan on when plotting their next attack.

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