How Many TSA Agents Does It Take…

…to realize the metal detector isn’t plugged in?

No one knows how long it took for the light to dawn yesterday morning for one TSA agent at New York’s busy JFK International Terminal that his metal detector had been unplugged—apparently for hours:

Amazingly, he failed to realize that alert lights never flashed once as streams of passengers filed through the dead detector.

As a result, the entire terminal was shut down, and two planes already on the runway ordered to return to the terminal, in order that passengers be rescreened—with no certainty that others had not been missed.

While the dearth of alert lights ought to have seemed out of the ordinary—given their proclivity for alerting to the “dangers” of passengers with underwire bras, joint replacements, etc.—one might have thought there being no green “ready” light might have provided the first clue.

One more time: abolish this useless and demeaning agency.

Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of the Independent Institute. Having received her A.B. in economics from Stanford University, she is Managing Director of Lightning Ventures, L.P., a San Francisco Bay Area investment firm, former Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Salvation Army of both San Francisco and Alameda County, and Vice President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California.
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