Adding to the “I can’t believe you haven’t commented on this” kind of list is the latest entry in the TSA’s ongoing War on Liquids. Odds are good you’ve seen some coverage of the ‘incident’ between a woman going through security at National Airport and the TSA who said she couldn’t take that sippy cup through – it had more than the magical three ounces of liquid in it. When she declined to simply surrender the cup she was told she’d have to go out and back through security again with it empty.
What makes this so sad is that it only became news when there was some kind of altercation as she was on her way out the exit hallway. The she-said they-said has actually escalated to the point where the TSA has put security camera footage on their website that they claim clearly proves the woman was the one in the wrong, not them. Sad, because this is about on the level of a security guard following a young black man around the record store for an hour then pointing to his losing his temper at the harassment as proof that he was right.
I’d like to see video on TSA’s website showing this woman waiting though the security line, passing through the metal detector and having her bags all fully screened and pronounced okay, then being told that she couldn’t just drink the water in the cup and keep on going – she’d have to go out and go through the whole process again. That might be more illuminating. Perhaps some supplementary material of a TSA expert explaining how her drinking the water on the spot is less secure than her stepping out, drinking the water, then going back through. Other than how it increases the wait time for people behind her.
Bonus points for explaining why the liquid would be allowed through if it was formula and not water and what capacity the TSA screeners have to distinguish formula from so-called hazardous liquid. My favorite fun fact is that “nursery water,” water with extra fluoride that is otherwise indistinguishable from tap water, is allowed through.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs