Thursday, July 25, 2002

"Instapundit" Glenn Reynolds has been arguing for a while now that "airport security is a dangerous joke", completely incapable of accomplishing anything beyond acute passenger harassment. I've generally been inclined to cut the security folks a little more slack than that, given the difficulty of their job and the constraints (including the political ones) under which they're working. But my experience yesterday at Sea-Tac International Airport (in the Seattle area) has gotten me thinking that maybe Prof. Reynolds has a point. You see, my fellow passengers and I were all subjected to the now-standard thorough security check, including baggage X-ray, before being allowed into the terminal gate area--from the plane. That's right--we were led directly from our overseas flight to the immigration officers, then baggage claim and customs, then the metal detectors, where they carefully searched us for any firearms we might have acquired in Europe and brought on board our airliner (but somehow neglected to use up until that point). They even checked my shoes for explosives, just in case I might have smuggled some C4 plastique onto the plane in the soles of my New Balances, only to change my mind and target the duty-free shop instead.

As I told them, "you guys are so lucky making jokes about this stuff is illegal."

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