Friday, May 18, 2007

Thieving and Sneaky Administration

The US Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) has finally upset me. I've been giving them a lot of slack in recent years because I know it is hard to do what they do and harder still to do it within a huge bureaucracy. Recent events have caused me to reconsider my good behavior.

A couple of months ago I accidently left a tiny Leatherman Squirt on my key ring when I went to Dulles Airport near DC. It was my mistake and I fully expected it to be taken by security (even though the cutting blade is no larger than the file on a set of nail clippers and therefore no conceivable threat to anyone's life). I gave it to the TSA agent on the other side of the metal detector. He looked at it, smiled and put it into his own pocket. It was obvious that he intended to keep it.

Last week I flew to New York State for a meeting. I had my iPod in my only bag, which I carried on. On my way through airport security in Ithaca, a TSA agent told me that my bag would would need additional search. She searched it all right, and stole my iPod at the same time.

I understand that it is hard to find good, honest people to do a job like that. Maybe that should tell us something about the way we attempt to provide "security". Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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