Thursday, February 18, 2010
More TSA Mission Creep
Thought you had pretty much seen the last of the absurd TSA hassles once you got through the checkpoint and into the so-called secure area of the airport, where you could expect to be left in peace?
No airplane ride for you!
The leaderless TSA, still drifting along with appointees and Civil Service hires from the Bush era, has a new idea to keep itself busy and keep those expensive contracts flowing.
The agency said it is now dispatching its agents with carts and the latest in federal-contract technology to randomly grab passengers to submit to an inspection of their hands in secure sections of the airport, such as the boarding gate areas.
The new procedure involves a TSA officer -- presumably one not involved in wanding pet parrots or pranking college girls with a joke that illegal drugs had been found in their carry-ons, or delivering subpoenas to a couple of easily frightened bloggers to show where they got a memo that everybody in the media already had -- approaching you to swab your hands or your bags. "The swab is [then] placed inside the ETD [explosives trace detection] unit which analyzes the content for the presence of potential explosive residue," the TSA says.
Not to worry! "To ensure the health of travelers, screening swabs are disposed of after each use," says the agency.
The TSA, which has been without a permanent director for more than 13 months, remains under the nominal direction of a Bush appointee, Gale Rossides (shown above), who has been in top positions with the agency since it started, and thus bears a lot of responsibility for ... uh, you know... everything.