Sunday, May 31, 2009

Security Theater in Three Airports: Istanbul, Paris, and Atlanta (Bob Higgs)

Bob Higgs on his dreadful experiences at airport security checkpoints:

Bob HiggsReturning recently from a trip to Turkey, my wife and I had the distinct displeasure of passing repeatedly through “security” checkpoints, not to mention waiting in long queues in order to arrive at these unpleasant passages. Although every country’s airport security boasts its own unique idiocies, all have much in common. It’s a waste of time to fret about swine flu; the more pressing danger to the world is obviously fool flu - although I am not sure who are the greater fools, the politicians and their flunkies who put these stupid procedures in place or the masses who put up with them in the wholly mistaken belief that their security is thereby enhanced.

But let us not dwell on generalities when specifics lie so close at hand. Consider food. As all travelers have learned, the authorities strictly forbid passengers from bringing onboard an aircraft any food that has not been purchased in the airport outlets available to them after they have successfully navigated past the checkpoints. Moreover, U.S. authorities forbid travelers entering the United States from bringing various food items into the country with them. Nevertheless, because the Turks make scrumptious candies and pastries - I particularly recommend the baklava with finely ground pistachio nuts - we decided to bring some of these treats home with us despite the security prohibition, being confident that the security employees’ abysmal level of competence gave us as a good chance of success in the commission of this forbidden act. Suffice to say that our packages of candy and pastries sailed though all of the checkpoints ever so smoothly.

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