Jason Edward Harrington
February 20, 2014
Earlier this month, the Transportation Security Administration announced a ban on all carry-on liquids for flights between the U.S. and Russia. The ban came in response to a warning from the Department of Homeland Security that terrorists may have been planning to smuggle explosives aboard planes in toothpaste tubes ahead of the Sochi Olympics. Now, Homeland Security is issuing a new warning: that recent intelligence has detected a new “shoe bomb” threat from overseas (while, at the same time, anonymous officials stress that there is “no specific threat”). Hold on to your loafers.
Absurd rules at the airport have become a fact of life at the post-9/11 security checkpoint — perhaps the central focus of the scorn and ridicule that is routinely leveled at the TSA. But while the public often directs its anger at the agents on the ground, they should really save their ire for the agents’ bosses, both local and back in D.C.
When I came out from anonymity on a blog I’d been writing while employed by the TSA, much of the angry e-mail that I received from former co-workers expressed anger that I had given floor-level TSA employees a bad rap, while failing to take on TSA employees in higher pay grades. They may have had a point.