The TSA’s latest “enhancement” to keep us safe

Via CNN:

Washington (CNN) — To the list of instructions you hear at airport checkpoints, add this: “Put your palms forward, please.”

The Transportation Security Administration soon will begin randomly swabbing passengers’ hands at checkpoints and airport gates to test them for traces of explosives.

Simply incredible. The list of things these morons will do to stay busy never ceases to amaze me. I guess “TSA” no longer stands for “Thousands Standing Around,” cause they’re not standing around anymore. They’re just creating work, either by fighting the good war against shampoo or by leaving nothing to their imagination by seeing us nude. And that’s only when they’re at the checkpoint. Of course they’re also doing their best to keep us safe at the gate nowadays.

When will this lunacy stop? What’s next?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. “Soon will”? They swabbed my palm last week at ORD – and it wasn’t random, it was pretty much everyone in the line behind me 🙂

  2. I disagree with your post completely. Swabbing passengers for explosives is exactly what TSA should be doing. As was recently demonstrated in the Christmas day attempt, explosives are the weapon of choice, especially given that they have the potential to be highly effective and TSA is not currently screening most passengers for them.

  3. Are they going to remove those anti-virus handwash lotion dispensers that appeared all over some airports courtesy of H1N1? And close the airport bathrooms? After all, we wouldn’t want to make it too easy for the bad guys to wash their hands prior to security….

  4. First off, your blog is great, and I do love to read it and will continue to do so.

    But, I think criticising the very people that work hard for us to keep flying safely (you especially since you fly more than most) is unwarranted and dangerous. TSA employees have one of the toughest jobs in the world. And I doubt that most Americans would want to do what they have to do on a daily basis.

    With a few exceptions here and there, they have done a very good job with a very difficult mandate. Any large organization makes mistakes, but discouraging anyone from trying to help make our country safe only makes our enemies stronger. Please don’t forget that. Ever wonder if no one wanted to be a baggage screener, agent, or other TSA official? What then? I will happily subject myself to a swab, pat down, or secondary screening when asked.

  5. @Tim — according to Wikipedia, the TSA current staffs 450 commercial airports. That’s orders of magnitude more than Israel has to cover. I’d assume that the US also has orders of magnitude more air travelers that need to be profiled, questioned, investigated, etc. I don’t claim to be an expert on Israeli airport security, but I have my doubts that the US is willing to foot the cost for that kind of security operation.

    And then, of course, let’s remember that commercial aviation is just one potential terrorist target/weapon. As we just saw last week, it doesn’t take more than a little four-seater prop plane to more cause significant damage/havoc. And then look at the power grid, the water supply, … Heck, read yesterday’s NY Times article about the FBI closing the 2001 Anthrax attack investigation. It has some interesting numbers in it about the cost of that little episode of (apparently) domestic terrorism.

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