In October of 2005, I flew back from Iraq for my two-week leave, then flew back to the Middle East when the leave was over. As is the custom, I flew on commercial airlines with my uniform on. Both on the arrival trip and the departure trip, I went through all the airport rigmarole.
But what I went through in 2005 was mild compared to what is going on in airports these days.
Our government`s failure to profile the demographic group from which the terrorists emerge means that everybody else can be harassed.
Erick Erickson at Redstate relays the personal account of a soldier returning from Afghanistan and his experience at the Indianapolis airport. You can read the whole account here:Another TSA OutrageErick Erickson, Redstate, Nov. 18th, 2010
To make a long story short, the soldiers had already been inspected and passed through customs in Afghanistan. But upon arrival to Indianapolis, the soldiers in question, even though it wasn`t their final destination, had to leave the plane, bearing their weapons (without ammunition) and pass through security. Then, the contributing soldier relates, this happened:
â€¦So weâ€™re in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his GerberÂ multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that theyâ€™re going to confiscate his nail clippers. The conversation went something like this:Sure does make you feel secure doesnâ€™t it, knowing that soldiers returning from Afghanistan wonâ€™t be allowed to carry nail clippers through your local airport!
TSA Guy: You canâ€™t take those on the plane.
Soldier: What? Iâ€™ve had them since we left country.
TSA Guy: Youâ€™re not suppose to have them.
TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.
Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And Iâ€™m allowed to take it on.
TSA Guy: Yeah but you canâ€™t use it to take over the plane. You donâ€™t have bullets.
Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?
TSA Guy: [awkward silence]
Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the f**k out of here. Iâ€™ll buy you a new set.
Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]
Of course, I donâ€™t mean to suggest that there arenâ€™t some soldiers that we neednÂ´t be concerned about . Major Hasan of Fort Hood comes to mind, but then, his demographic isn`t the one being profiled.