Print 79 comment(s) - last by jbwhite99.. on Sep 11 at 7:58 AM

Travelers, brace yourselves for the latest indignity

Thinking about flying?  Well, in addition to "enhanced" searches and the risk that your privates may be photographed and stored by Transportation Safety Administration screeners, travelers now have one more woe to add to their litany of complaints.

According to the Daily Mail TSA agents at the Columbus, Ohio Airport have been subjecting travelers to random seizures/inspections of their drinks at the gate to "check for explosives".  

Of course, these drinks all were presumably were sold by the airport vendors, as any drink-size liquid containers are supposed to be seized by the bag screeners at the security checkpoint -- a policy that has been in place since 2006.  So at first blush it's somewhat unclear exactly why the TSA agents felt it necessary to screen passengers' Starbucks and soft drinks.

The incident has been leaked onto YouTube (of course):

Ryan Mauro, a national security analyst, told the Daily Mail, "They're worried someone could bring an ingredient past security and then mix it with a drink that turns into something else - a poison or something else."

TSA drink screening
Airport screeners test passenger's Starbucks coffee to make sure he isn't a terrorist.
[Image Source: YouTube]

In June, the U.S. reportedly thwarted an attempt to blow up an airliner by a Yemen-trained, Norwegian citizen who was a member of the militant fundamentalist Islamic group al Qaeda.  Despite the potential terrorist's plot failing, national security officials are reportedly alarmed about the fact that his spotless record and lack of inclusion on no-fly lists could have allowed him to escape scrutiny, were it not for the tips.

In a statement the TSA confirmed it might now be seizing people's drinks as a precautionary measure, commenting, "TSA employs multiple layers of security throughout the airport where passengers may be randomly selected for additional screening.  One measure may include testing liquids that are in a passenger's possession."

Is that a coconut water or a bomb?  Let's find out. [Image Source: YouTube]

TSA agents "examine" the beverages using a special security screen, which appears to involve taking a small dropper or swab sample of the beverage, then testing it on a slide with some sort of reagent mix.

Some say that the policy goes to far, though.  The person who captured the incident on video told the Daily Mail:

I couldn't help but notice the two TSA women that were 'testing' any and all liquids that people had in their hands.  Now remember that this is inside the terminal, well beyond the security check and purchased inside the terminal ... just people waiting to get on the plane. 

My wife and son came back from a coffee shop just around the corner, then we were approached. I asked them what they were doing. One of the TSA ladies said that they were checking for explosive chemicals (as we are drinking them). I said 'really..inside the terminal? You have got to be kidding me.'

I asked them if they wanted to swab us all. She responded with something like, yes sometimes we need to do that. I then asked if she wanted a urine sample.

The TSA is way out of control. I understand that my ranting to one of these $11.00 per hour TSA goons probably does nothing, but you have to say something. Whats next...perhaps the TSA will come to your home prior to your drive to the airport? The police state of the U.S. is OUT OF CONTROL!

Indeed, as the list of indignities grows at a pace proportional to the would-be terrorists' increasingly imaginative plots, one has to wonder where the line must be drawn.

Sources: YouTube, Daily Mail

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RE: Not about chemicals
By GotThumbs on 9/5/2012 1:22:04 PM , Rating: 2
Well the fact that you do not own the plane is important to remember.

Also, ever think someone might place a caustic liquid like acid or who knows what, to sabotage the flight in some way?

Personally, my one single goal when I do choose to fly is arrive alive. I could care less about some whiny persons personal freedoms. Go buy your own plane if you have a problem with it. Don't be too naive to think something can't happen to you....I'm sure a few passengers on the planes on 9/11 thought the same thing.

RE: Not about chemicals
By max_payne on 9/5/2012 1:30:04 PM , Rating: 3
Thank you sir for allowing us to do preventive cavities search on yourself as you enter the airport. You are a model flyer !

RE: Not about chemicals
By MrBlastman on 9/5/2012 3:27:14 PM , Rating: 2
He does have thumbs...

RE: Not about chemicals
By SPOOFE on 9/5/2012 1:33:53 PM , Rating: 2
Also, ever think someone might place a caustic liquid like acid or who knows what, to sabotage the flight in some way?


Mercury doesn't play very well with aluminum, at all.

Just a tiny amount of mercury in just the right spot on an airplane and you can take the sucker down.

RE: Not about chemicals
By geddarkstorm on 9/5/2012 1:45:16 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are overexaggerating.

While mercury reacts thoroughly with exposed aluminum, which does not have an oxide layer (aluminum oxide does not react with mercury, so you have to cut the surface to get down to the metal and add the mercury before it re-oxidizes), it takes a lot of mercury. Nor would it make the aircraft explode unless reacting with aluminum on the fuel tanks or engine. Nor is any aluminum exposed in the cabin of the aircraft, and remember you have to find exposed aluminum and cut it enough to get to the metal; so just spilling mercury in the cabin isn't disastrous.

Mercury in large quantities has been spilled on aircraft before, so at least the results are not an unknown. Note, composite craft like the 787 should be immune to this anyways.

RE: Not about chemicals
By ClownPuncher on 9/5/2012 4:19:28 PM , Rating: 2
Mercury?! Are you serious? A bigger threat would be a crate of motherfucking SNAKES on a plane!

RE: Not about chemicals
By geddarkstorm on 9/5/2012 1:49:00 PM , Rating: 4
Caustic liquid like acid they got from terminal vendors? I don't think so...

Remember, all your liquids are already check when you go through security; anything people have liquid wise now was picked up from the airport vendors, who are already screened. Furthermore, it takes -a lot more- to bring down an aircraft than a little cup of liquid acid or mercury; from the inside anyways.

Now if you could slip something to the maintenance crew and sabotage the plane on the ground... but the normal flight checks should discovery such a problem before it even left the terminal.

People need to not be so cowardly; it's a type of ignorance and naivety of its own. The planes of 9/11 were brought down by hijackers that flew them manually into objects; not by a cup of vendor sold liquid.

RE: Not about chemicals
By Ammohunt on 9/5/2012 2:40:04 PM , Rating: 3
wow! i now understand the problem with America people like you. Willing to give up any and all rights for the illusion of safety(there is no suck thing as true safety). You are the same people that refuse profile those that would truly threaten us; the most apt analogy would be the scene from the movie Scary Movie when Carmen is running from the bad guy and presented with a knife,hand grenade or a banana she chose the banana just like you.

RE: Not about chemicals
By TSS on 9/5/12, Rating: 0
RE: Not about chemicals
By Invane on 9/5/2012 4:19:12 PM , Rating: 2
And what good do you think checking your drinks is going to do to help you arrive alive? If they were to pass security with some dangerous liquid, do you really think they have to put it in their cup to bring it on the plane? They could just release it into a crowded gate terminal and do as much or more damage. They could place it into a body cavity and bring it onto the plane that way.

If you actually believe that the TSA screening drinks is somehow keeping you safer, you need to do a little bit of critical thinking. Allow me to point out a few facts for you:
1) Your odds of dieing from cancer is 1 in 7.
2) Your odds of dieing from a motor vehicle accident is 1 in 100.
3) Your odds of dieing from *falling down* is 1 in 236.
4) Your odds of dieing from fire/smoke is 1 in 1100.
5) Your odds of dieing in an air travel accident? 1 in 20000. And that's including mechanical/maintenance/technical failures.
6) Your odds of dieing by a TERRORIST? Let's try 1 in 20000000.

The number of US citizens that have died from terrorist incidents in total in the last hundred years is just over 3000, nearly all of which were from 9/11 (I researched this some time back, but don't have my link handy at the moment). The number of people killed JUST IN DECEMBER of 2010 from motor vehicle accidents (including pedestrians): nearly 6000. How much safer does having your drink tested make you feel now?

Yet here we are, passing crazy government power expanding laws like the NDAA and the Patriot Act. Here we are, more than willing to give up our constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure for a little perceived safety. Here we are, spending billions and billions on the TSA. Here we are practically soiling ourselves every time the government says 'terrorist'.

If you are scared enough of dieing in air travel to allow the government to drastically curtail our hard fought rights and freedoms, you have bought into the government bogey-man propaganda engine.

Not only that, but you should seriously do a little research into the safety of the body scanners they're currently shoving you sheep types through. Let's just say the approval process was a little shady.

I do NOT fear dieing in an air travel accident in the slightest. I do NOT fear dieing by a terrorist. I DO fear losing my constitutionally granted rights piece by piece due to ignorant, easily manipulated, and under educated people in this country allowing it to happen.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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