Today's big Air Travel Freakout is that the Transportation Security Agency apparently allowed someone very bad to board a commercial airliner last year, and they let the very bad person board without taking his very bad shoes off, even though he (or she! feminism!) was recognized by a TSA officer, triple exclamation points!!!


Who was this person? All we know so far is that it was "a convicted felon and former member of a domestic terror group," and that according to a DHS inspector general's report, the Mystery Person is

a former member of a domestic terrorist group. While a member, the traveler was involved in numerous felonious criminal activities that led to arrest and conviction. After serving a multiple-year sentence, the traveler was released from prison.

The report also says that the traveler had "convictions for murder and offenses that involve explosives." Hmmm...

OK, so Bill Ayers was never convicted of anything. Angela Davis was acquitted, and besides, she was accused of using a gun, not explosives... explosives and deaths, huh? John Landis, maybe? No, he was acquitted too... besides, for all its horrific actions, the Director's Guild of America hasn't been classified as a terrorist group. Yet.

Whoever it was, it sounds like the TSA really screwed up! When the person was at the airport, they were even recognized by a TSA agent, which you'd think would have put the kibosh on their plans. It would appear, however, that they were all out of kiboshes that day:

After checking the traveler's boarding pass and identification, an alert Transportation Security officer at the airport recognized the felon and alerted his supervisor," said the DHS watchdog. "However, the supervisor directed the [officer] to take no action and allow the traveler to continue through the TSA pre-check lane."

Seems to us like the skill sets of TSA agents vary pretty widely: Some instantly recognize convicted domestic terrorists, and others aren't quite aware that the "District of Columbia" is not a foreign country.

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You also have to wonder what happened to that supervisor after the incident in June. Maybe they were transferred to the Secret Service, which might explain why the drunk agents the other day got a ride home instead of a breathalizer.

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TSA promises that it's going to tighten up screenings to make sure that no more domestic terrorists get on planes, at least not without a good stern talking-to. In a statement responding to the inspector general's report, the TSA said,

All passengers, including those with TSA pre-check on boarding passes, are subject to a robust security approach that employs multiple layers of security, both seen and unseen. Together, these layers provide enhanced security and a stronger, more protected transportation system for the traveling public.

We feel safer already. Still, given the choice between sharing a seat with a retired (?) domestic terrorist and a drunk sociologist with delusions of political martyrdom, we'll take the terrist any day.

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Perhaps we'll never know. But since our mind is still on earworms, here's a long-distance dedication to the Unknown Bandit Flyer, who definitely doesn't want to get caught up in those funky kicks going down in the city:

Big Ol' Jed Had a Light On...

[CNN / DHS]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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