The Transportation Security Administration has come under considerable criticism over the past few years, usually for harassing children and the elderly, leering at travelers they find attractive, stealing people’s possessions, and just generally being abrasive and snippy.
As disturbing as those actions and attitudes are from people who are supposed to be serving the American public, the latest TSA revelation is even worse.
On May 25, a man was attempting to board a one-way flight at JFK Airport in New York to his home in Yemen. He was traveling with another man from Yemen. Bassam Alkhanshli, age 32, and Methaq Mohammad Ali, age 28, were detained because one-way airline tickets always raise a red flag.
The TSA screeners discovered that the men were carrying more cash than is permitted (one had $12,000 and the other had $14,000), and the subsequent questioning caused them to miss their flight.
So far, so good. That’s the way the system is supposed to work. But here’s the clincher. Their 10 pieces of luggage had already been cleared by the screeners, and were, of course, not placed on the original flight. But when the luggage was re-examined before being placed on the later flight, two AK-47 assault-rifle magazines were discovered in one of the men’s bags. The clips were described as “high capacity ammunition-feeding devices.”
So, let me make sure I understand this. The TSA is very proficient when it comes to determining if you have 3.5 ounces of shampoo instead of 3.4 ounces, and they’re great at patting down little children and the elderly in their wheelchairs, and they are skilled at pocketing a gold watch that someone accidentally leaves in a tray, but they miss an AK-47 assault rifle magazine clip in luggage.
Maybe TSA agents were afraid that examining the luggage too closely would have been engaging in racial profiling. Because, you know, that kind of political correctness is much more important than catching a potential terrorist before he boards a flight.
Your tax dollars at work, ladies and gentlemen.
Do you have any stories about your encounters with TSA agents? Please let me know, good or bad.