Beatdown with the TSA

Omaha was a blast - we did pretty well I think. The real story, of course, was today's terrorism of America by the American media. You all know the story so far - homegrown idiots in England wanted to use incendiary devices on flights to America.
So on CNN this morning, we had the story evolving from "21 people pulled off flights with bombs" to "4 people arrested at home with bombs" to "21 people arrested at home on suspicion of wanting to bomb aircraft." Despite having no story at the time, and no evidence, CNN were quick to blame Al Qaeda - I think it took them all of 20 seconds to get that in.
But on to the meat and bones of this blog entry : flying back home. Well America has gone fucking crazy. The TSA have wigged out completely and banned all "liquids" from carryons. I get to the security checkpoint and the guy hand-searches my only bag, and pulls out my toothpaste, shaving gel and aerosol deodorant. The conversation then went pretty much like this:
Me "Why are you confiscating the deodorant? It's not on your list"
TSA1 "Let me check" (walks off, comes back) "Yes it is, even though it's not on the printed notice we've put up."
Me "Oh great"
And this is where it got interesting:
TSA1 "Don't blame us, you started it."
Me "Excuse me?"
TSA1 "If it wasn't for your countrymen we would have to be doing this."
Me "What? So because I have an English accent you're lumping me in with those people arrested in England and blaming me?"
TSA1 "That's not what I said...."
Me "Yes it is - you said 'you started it'. You know whay? At least our police caught them before they got on to aeroplanes. That's a whole lot better than your so-called security services who screwed up so badly before 9/11 that you ended up with planes flown into the trade centre towers!"
At this point, his supervisor who had been within earshot, came over, pursued by a security guard (with a gun).
TSA2 "Is there a problem here?"
Me "Too bloody right - your agent here just said 'Don't blame us, your countrymen started it'. I'd hate to think what he'd be doing if I had dark skin!"
TSA2 "That's not the point here."
Me "It wasn't the point, no, but it very much is now. He confiscated something that wasn't on your published list of items, then basically accused me of being to blame for all the delays because I was English!"
Security Guard "Sir don't turn this into a them and us situation."
Me "What? I didn't - your security screener is the one who turned it into a them and us situation with his racist comment!"
At this point I'd drawn quite a crowd. I wouldn't have had any problem with the confiscations (as stupid and knee-jerk as they are) if that stupid idiot hadn't got mouthy with me.
TSA1 "It wasn't racist"
Me "Really? So singling me out because I had an English accent and telling me my countrymen were to blame for this mess doesn't count as racist to you? Do you even know who was responsible for this? Muslim extremists that's who. Do I look like a Muslim to you? Does my name on my drivers license look even vaguely middle-eastern?"
TSA2 "Sir - lower your voice"
Me "Why? Because you've got a bloody idiot working on your security line who's racially profiling people?"
TSA2 "If you want to keep these items you can go back to checkin and check your bag in the hold."
At this point I was just getting fed up.
Me "You know what? Forget it - I'm not going to give you the pleasure of making me go back and checking my bag - just throw them away."

And I walked off.
I sat down at my gate and the supervisor followed me over after a minute or two and apologised for the screener's actions and said he would be reprimanded because his comments were "entirely out of place". A few minutes later I saw another security guard come down from the other side of security and talk to the supervisor and then they both escorted TSA1 away. I hope the little shit loses his fucking job.

The best part of the story is that because of the panicking Americans, the airports are full of news crews, and the local Fox crew had heard the "ruckus" I was causing. The newsgirl came over to ask what had happened and then asked if I'd mind being interviewed for their evening segment. So I recalled the yarn on camera to here and I can presume they might have aired some of it in Omaha tonight.

They've just gone fucking bonkers. Not only do they confiscate things like bottles of water now, if you buy more after the checkpoint, from screened vendors inside the secure area, they now have a TSA guy at the gate who will confiscate it AGAIN! So in England - where the attacks would have come from should they have not been caught, the draconian security measures have wound down a little at the end of the day - people are being allowed to carry on gels, creams etc and bottles of water as long as they are in transparent bags. Here, thousands of miles away from High Wycombe, where there's been no threats, no plots, no arrests, fucking TSA are basically behaving like Nazis. This has got to stop. Fear and oppression are the hallmarks of a dictatorship, and the TSA's actions in airports across America today are nothing short of criminal.

It's amazing. These guys were arrested at home in the "final stages of planning". ie. they were nowhere near any aircraft or even the airports. But the media frenzy has created exactly the effect those "terrorists" would have wanted - panic, hysteria and global travel disruption. The media have done a far better job of panicking Americans and disrupting air travel than the 21 people arrested could have ever done.
Nicely done CNN. Now could you please stop telling people "the answer is not to fly".
Why does American media hate America?

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