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May 11

Another week, another TSA stupidity

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the TSA’s heavy-handed tactics prove that they show no end to their insanity.

This time, it happened at an airport I travel to on a frequent basis, Kansas City International Airport (or as the locals call it, KCI – yet the airlines call it MCI – but that’s another story for another day).

This time, Kansas City pastor Jacob Jester watched as agents patted down an 8-month-old after the child’s stroller alarmed while passing through the checkpoint.

Infant being screened by agents at KCI

Infant being screened by agents at KCI

First, and foremost, the screeners at KCI are not TSA agents, but a private contractor operating on behalf of the TSA. Based on my experience at KCI, these screeners typically seem more friendly and helpful compared to their TSA counterparts. Unfortunately, they have to follow the TSA rules and procedures for screening, just like any other checkpoint.

Of course, the TSA’s “Blogger Bob” has weighed in, saying that the stroller was swabbed for explosives, and the device alarmed.  According to Blogger Bob, their “security theatre” procedures requires that all persons traveling with the object that alarmed face enhanced screening.   This, unfortunately, meant the infant as well.

This seems a little insane.  I understand the needs to take precautionary measures, but an infant for goodness sake?  I doubt the child’s diaper could hold enough explosive to down an aircraft, and where else could it be hidden on the infant.  Strollers roll down public sidewalks, through shopping malls, stores and other places.  There’s no telling what could have accumulated on the stroller to cause an alarm.

The good news is that the inherent design of KCI meant they didn’t miss their flight.  The gate is never more than 100 feet from the checkpoint.

Again, its long past time for congressional investigations into the actions of the TSA, and if necessary, TSA Administrator John Pistole, and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano should both be forced to resign.  The TSA is seriously failing in its primary objectives, and if they can’t fix the problems, then the house needs a good cleaning.

About the author

Michael Jones

Michael Jones is the founder of On The Spot Communications and On The Spot Blog.

A native of Ottawa, Kansas (approximately 60 miles South-West of Kansas City), he was born in the early 70's and lived most of his early life without traveling far from home.

He has since lived in Lenexa, Kansas (suburb of Kansas City), Houston, Texas, and now resides in Frisco, Texas (north of Dallas, Texas). He has had the experience of traveling to Tokyo, Japan and Tel Aviv, Israel, as well as numerous places around the USA.

A self-professed computer geek, when Michael's not working in his telecommunications job, he enjoys Model Railroading and Paintball.

Michael Jones is the founder of On The Spot Communications and On The Spot Blog.
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