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Tue, Oct 21, 2003

Could You Pass the Screener Test?

You Could, If You're the Right Kind of Person

One of the questions prospective airport screeners are asked has to do with why it is important to screen bags for "improvised explosive devices," commonly referred to by security people as "I.E.D.s."

Choose one:

  1. The I.E.D. batteries could leak and damage other passenger bags.
  2. The wires in the I.E.D. could cause a short to the aircraft wires.
  3. I.E.D.s can cause loss of lives, property and aircraft.
  4. The ticking timer could worry other passengers.

Don't worry, though: the answers to most of the questions were thoroughly discussed just prior to the screeners' taking the test.

Remember: the screener pool was carefully selected to meet all kinds of hiring quotas; the initial test results were never shown to the applicants; the scores were never allowed to be made public. Then, once an 'anointed' applicant was 'approved,' that candidate was given access to many of the questions and answers on the so-called test.

Since the scores weren't reported, it was impossible to ascertain whether the most-qualified candidates were ever picked... but the screeners we have now (aside from being a lot of the pre-9-11 group, now wearing federal uniforms) certainly represent the best of the best -- that's why they could answer tough questions like the one above.

Now that a college student has shown how embarrassingly simple it is to slip contraband aboard airliners, the FBI, TSA, and the rest of the government 'security' cabal are doing what that group would be expected to do: shooting the messenger. There are no reports that anyone in the TSA is being disciplined for letting these items get aboard; the FBI says it knew about it all along; and the messenger who obviously posed no threat -- he's getting hit with multiple felony counts.

Maybe, "embarrassing the government" will be added to his list of felonies. It's possibly the most serious crime of all.

FMI: www.tsa.gov

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