4 years, 11 months ago
A Defense Department employee was stopped at Newark Airport yesterday after inspectors found inert land mines in her luggage.
Roxan Hatcher, 32, of Union Township, was headed for an early-morning flight to San Francisco with two unarmed Claymore mines she planned to use in a Special Forces training exercise, law-enforcement sources said.
Hatcher, a mechanical engineer at the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal in Morris County, told cops that a co-worker headed for the same destination had an inert mine in her checked baggage that TSA inspectors did not detect.
Now, it is utterly irrelevant for our consideration that the mines, which were claymores, were “inert.” The point is that the chosen method for detection missed mines just like it earlier.
As I have pointed out before, if we really cared about security, we would install explosive trace detection portals, just like those in use at the access portals to nuclear power plants in the U.S. (explosives trace materials are sniffed with machines, rather than people being watched with cameras and groped with hands) This, combined with abolishing the TSA and sending the work to private contractors, would actually benefit security and save money to boot.
But we don’t want that. We would rather have ignorant goobers gawk at cute figures and have random violations of our fourth amendment rights. And speaking of ignorant goobers violating our rights, Jeffrey Goldberg gives us this distasteful example of airport security from personal experience.
She entered the machine and struck the humiliating pose one is forced to strike — hands up, as in an armed robbery — and then walked out, when she was asked by a TSA agent, in a voice loud enough for several people to hear, “Are you wearing a sanitary napkin?”
Remember, she’s 79.
My mother-in-law answered, “No. Why do you ask?”
The TSA agent responded: “Well, are you wearing anything else down there?”
Yes, “down there.”
She said no, at which point, the friend with whom she was traveling, also a not-young volunteer library advocate, came over and asked if there was a problem.
The TSA agent said, again, in full voice, “There’s an anomaly in the crotch area.”
This is, of course, a painful post for me to write. Like most normal American men, I don’t want to see the words “my mother-in-law” and “crotch area” in the same paragraph. But let me go on anyway.
My mother-in-law said, “As far as I know I don’t have any anomalies in the crotch area.”
The TSA agent told her she would have to go through the scanner again. She demurred, saying she didn’t like the machine very much. The agent told her she could opt for a pat-down. My mother-in-law refused to be frisked, figuring, correctly, that “they were going to pat-down my crotch area. I mean, there wasn’t an anomaly in the chest area.”
So she went through the scanner again. Of course, this time — one minute later — the TSA found no “anomalies,” and she was free to go.
The experience left her flummoxed, however. “What did they think I was, a lady underpants bomber?”
I asked her if she felt embarrassed by the manner in which the TSA treated her.
“I’m not embarrassed,” she said. “I just think they’re stupid and their machinery is defective and they should learn to whisper when they’re talking about my crotch, or anyone’s crotch.”
There you have it. That’s what happens with you cloak a federal jobs program in national security garb. And statists far and wide are willing to give up their rights and the rights of others under the guise of being safer than we were before.