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Yet Another Colossal TSA Embarrassment

The Boston Globe reported yesterday that only because of an inadvertent mistake by baggage handlers in Boston that it was discovered that the following items in a checked suitcase got past cracker-jack TSA (Thousands Standing Around) agents in Las Vegas earlier in the morning:

“A locked handgun box containing a semi-automatic handgun, a fully loaded gun magazine, several boxes of 9 mm and 7.62 mm ammunition, three model rocket engines containing an explosive mixture, military pull-type fuses, switches, electronics kit boxes with various components, and a hand grenade fuse assembly with detonator.”

A 22-year-old Marine from North Carolina (whom I’d bet had no “right-wing” malicious intent and simply forgot to declare the contents of his bag at the airport) was arrested and charged with “possession of an infernal machine (“infernal machine?”) and possession of a concealed weapon in a secure area of an airport.”

Hmmm. That reminds me. . . .

As you may or may not know, I moved back to Las Vegas from Carson City earlier this month (got a GREAT deal on a foreclosed home!). And my girls had a nine-year-old friend fly down from Reno last week for a visit during his Easter break (known now, of course, as spring break in public schools).

As a minor traveling alone, I had to escort him to the gate at the Las Vegas airport on Friday for his return flight home. And darned if the boy wasn’t jerked out of line after something “suspicious” was detected by the TSA screener at the “Papers, please” security checkpoint.

Turns out his tube of toothpaste, packed in a government-approved clear plastic bag – which was missed by the crack TSA agents in Reno on his trip down to Vegas – was too big. And yes, they confiscated it.

How in the world are we ever going to rid ourselves of these idiots and this hugely expensive insult and assault on our freedoms? Thanks a lot, President Bush and congressional Republicans.