Last night, I toyed with the idea of wearing a humorous button when I go through airport security in a few hours. There were even jokes about full body cavity searches.
I’m flying out of Baltimore. If I were flying out of Houston, I wouldn’t even think twice.
Because if you’re flying out of Houston, you can get on the plane wearing shoes with hollowed-out soles. With bomb components. Without declaring a laptop computer. And even with an Arabic name, because nobody will think to stop you.
To sum up:
Last week, a man with a “Middle Eastern name” showed up for a flight to Atlanta. He was asked if he had a laptop computer, and denied it. TSA screeners spotted the laptop, and they along with a Houston cop examined the bag. Inside they found the denied laptop, a clock with a nine-volt battery taped to it and a copy of the Koran. They then looked at his shoes, and determined that the soles had been hollowed out.
In short, he had everything he needed to make a bomb short of the actual explosives. And since he lacked that final ingredient, he was allowed on to the plane.
Apparently, neither the TSA screener nor the HPD officer are familiar with the concept of a “dry run.”
No word on whether the ACLU is helping the passenger file a civil lawsuit, but I suppose it’s only a matter of time.