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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."

I
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 tecknurd on 9/9/2012 2:48:33 AM , Rating: 0
Fuck you mocyd. You do not know what you are talking about. If I buy a drink after going through security, it is the airports fault. TSA should be testing all contents that a company is selling after security checks. It is stupid to check all people's possessions after security checks have been done. If TSA is not willing to test the contents of the company's products before the customer buys it in the airport after security checks, then TSA does not have a right to test my drink or food.

Drink or food testing after going through security check is just too redundant which will hurt me and everybody else that have to travel by air. TSA needs to check every company's products before being sold to the customer to do security properly. I am not OK if TSA swab my drink or food because I am a germaphobe. If they do not use a new clean swab, I am dumping the drink and smashing the food in their face. Then buy a new drink and billing TSA for their stupid security checks after security checks.

One of the reasons why I did not go to my cousin's wedding last month is because of the extra security TSA has added. Flying by air is getting disgusting because the redundant security. The full body scan is for show and not for tell. Engineers have said that the full body scan is not accurate. Heck the machine did not alarmed when Adam Savage, one of the host of Discovery's Mythbusters, had a long 19 inch razor blade on him. This means the full body scan does not work. Sure TSA will not report what the full body scanner alarmed, but with out telling those results means it is for show and not for tell or it does not work.

Something else to think about what is good for the first security checks if the next security check is swabbing a drink or food. Also something to think about if TSA have to test drinks and food after buying from a reputable company after going through the security check, what is TSA saying about the reputable company. To me, I think TSA distrust the reputable companies that are after the security check. TSA distrusting American made companies like McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and Subway shows that TSA security just sucks or they fear that food companies will be poisoning the TSA agents.


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