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TSA, harassing soldiers not terrorists

A Column by the Editor
web posted August 3, 2007
COLUMN – Reports on EdgefieldDaily.com are a bit thin today because I spent my day in Columbia waiting on my wife to return from a business trip in New York. Her flight was scheduled to arrive at 12:40 pm but did not arrive until almost 2 pm. As I sat waiting at the entrance to the terminal I had the opportunity to observe the fine men and women working with the TSA as they harassed travelers trying to board their flights.

Now, I understand the security concerns after 9/11, but after over two hours of observation I have determined I will drive anywhere I need to go or charter a private flight. I would not do well having one of these clowns put me through what I saw them put so many people through just trying to fly home, many of which were military personnel.

The whole “3-ounce” rule for liquids placed in a quart sized ziplock bag is ignorant. As these TSA jerks would search through baggage to find a tube of toothpaste or any other simple item they would pull the passenger out of line and force them to return to the back of the line so they could place whatever item they found was not in the plastic bag. Nine out of ten were soldiers trying to fly home or to deploy overseas.

“You will have to go to the sign by the big clock,” the TSA inspectors would say, “and place the item in a baggie that is provided in the basket before you can be allowed to board the plane.” So many of our fine military personnel would walk by me rolling their eyes and making comments I cannot publish as they would be sent to the back of the long line to get on their flight.

I just had to ask one of the TSA officials standing near me, “how hard is it to just hand them a baggie and let them move on?” She said, “We can’t do that, it’s against the rules.”

I asked about the 3-ounce rule for liquids and was told that terrorists could use more than 3 ounces of some items to make a bomb to bring down the plane. So I asked, “What stops ten terrorists from boarding the place with 3 ounces each and then combining their items to make a bomb?”

“That’s the rules,” was the terse response.

So, one by one people had to take off their shoes, empty their pockets and be turned back because they had a tube of lipstick, make-up, or mouthwash that was considered a “threat” by these morons.

Another thing that really got to me was that TSA personnel would change at every location about every fifteen minutes. I guess we cannot have these wonderful people being over-exerted as they harass our fine military members as they tried to board a plane.

As I stood at the area where arriving passengers exited the terminal I talked to many TSA workers. There again, the person “guarding” the post would change every fifteen minutes, and as they arrived they would all ask me the same stupid question, “Are you waiting on someone?”

The first four or five I would answer “yes” and carry on as I watched the other TSA workers look at x-rays of baggage to find anything to pull a solider out of line and move them to the back of the line. But my patience ran out.

By 1:30 the next government jerk would take over and ask me, “Are you waiting on someone?” and I would reply, “No, I just like hanging out at airports watching TSA workers waste my money harassing soldiers.”

That went over real well.

I then asked one of the nice TSA workers, “Why are you harassing the very people (military personnel) who are going to war to fight the terrorists and treating them like terrorists?” She said, “We treat everyone the same. You can’t be too careful.”

I do not need to fly in America. I would not stand for the ignorance that I saw displayed countless times by the TSA at the Columbia Airport. Somehow I get the feeling I would end up in jail rather than on my flight. My biggest pet peeve is stupidity, and I have no qualms about pointing it out to the ignorant government worker that thinks a patch and a uniform makes them better than the person paying their salary.

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