No Logic Office at the TSA

So now you are allowed to carry a knife on board an airplane. Yes, the TSA announced that if your knife’s blade is no longer than 2.36 inches, you will be allowed through security and onto the plane.

You must leave your 10-ounce tube of toothpaste behind. And your 6-ounce bottle of shampoo. And your bottle of water. Because you might be a terrorist. And terrorists can bring down planes with toothpaste. Or with whatever they filled the tube with. (They must be really, really clever if they managed to put anything back into a toothpaste tube.)

There is apparently no Logic Office at the TSA. Clearly a terrorist can do a lot of damage with a blade 2.36 inches long. As much damage as the 9/11 baboons did with the much shorter blades of box cutters. If the TSA fears terrorists, allowing them such blades makes no sense.

Nor do the bans on stuff like toothpaste and shampoo. The TSA worries that a terrorist might carry an explosive in the containers. If those containers holds less than 3.4 ounces, no problem.

Duhhh…what if Ahmed carries one 3-ounce tube? And his brother carries one? And his cousin with the camel nose carries one? And his uncle with dung breath carries one? It has to be pretty easy for these birds to sit near each other and mix them together. To create enough explosive to blow the tail off a 747. Or to blow open the door to the cockpit. Or to create enough liquid to fill spray bottles with acid to blind crew members. Or whatever.

Until now the TSA confiscated all knives. Along with anything that could become a sharp weapon. Meanwhile, the airlines served up wine in small bottles. Bottles which could easily be turned into lethal blades.

They served water in first class in heavy, thick glassware. Terrorists could be trained to crack such glassware into razor-sharp chunks. They could clamp the chunks into devices they could wield and …. Why they would be easily as dangerous as 2.36-inch knife blades.

Imagine if you gave a few cases of beer to a bunch of geeks at your local college. You asked them to come up with ways to bring down a large airplane. I bet they would produce fifty ways before they got through half the beer.

Remember the air marshal the TSA used to place on planes? He was supposed to be aboard secretly. To thwart any would-be terrorist.

It seemed not-too-smart to me that the TSA made him wear suit and tie. On weekend flights to Fort Lauderdale in August he did stand out. Especially when he was ushered on board before everyone else. “Mr. Smith, please report to the counter.” He showed no ticket, no ID. He simply walked by all the agents and onto the plane. And he carried no bag. He did carry a bulge on his ribs. And he sat in the first row.

He should have worn a sign on his forehead. “YES. I AM AN AIR MARSHAL.”

Maybe I am too tough on the TSA. Maybe he was a decoy. The real air marshal was the old lady with the walker. Armed with a knife with a 2.40-inch blade and a family-sized tube of Crest.

From in Morgan.

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