Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I'm Leavin' On A Jet Plane - Don't Know If I'll Be Searched Again

Posted by codemorse

Thanks to Scott, I've been pointed toward this gem of an article on CNN. Since 9/11 I haven't traveled much by airplane, and it isn't because I'm scared of dying in a terrorist attack (I'd have more luck accidentally drowning in my bathtub, according to all available statistics). It's because flying has become the equivalent of a Prison-themed carnival attraction.

"Experience what it's like to feel guilty until proven innocent!"

"Have your cavities searched!"

"Be treated as though you must earn the right to call yourself a human being!"

It's "Terrorists of the Carribean," and we're the attendees.

From CNN.com:

A Wisconsin man [Ryan Bird] who wrote "Kip Hawley is an Idiot" on a plastic bag containing toiletries said he was detained at an airport security checkpoint for about 25 minutes before authorities concluded the statement was not a threat.

....A TSA screener saw the bag and went to get a supervisor, who grabbed it and asked Bird if it was his.

...."It was obvious that he was already angry," Bird said, adding that the screener told him, "You can't write things like that."

The supervisor told Bird he had the right to express his opinions "out there" -- pointing outside the screening area -- but did not have the right "in here," Bird said.

...."My level of frustration with the TSA and their idiotic policies has grown over 2 ½ years," he said. "I'm frustrated that poorly trained TSA people can pull random passengers out of line and pat them down like common criminals. The average traveler has no recourse."

Damn straight.

On every trip I've taken post-9/11 I've been specially flagged for 'screenings.' I am taken to a holding area and made to remove shoes, belt, and sometimes my pants (luckily, I've not yet been strip-searched - unlike others I know). These 'random' searches have succeeded in singling me out each and every time.

Which tells me one of two things:

Either the very 'randomness' of these things is off, or I'm on some sort of 'flagged passenger' list. I have never committed a felony. I pay my taxes on time. And the full measure of my political extremism is this blog.

Yet on six different trips (both coming and going) I've been treated, as Bird says, like a common criminal.

And that's both humiliating and anger-inducing.


At 4:21 PM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

I'm flying to Baton Rouge Sunday so I guess I'll get to experiece some of this joy.


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