Friday, February 3, 2012

BECAUSE YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO CAREFUL: The TSA Edition - or "Bomb? I don't remember seeing a bomb. Do you remember seeing a bomb? Oh, that bomb over there."

It was last February, you may remember, that a security contractor at a federal building in Detroit found a package outside and brought it in for safekeeping.  Tossed it in the lost and found.  Where it sat for a few weeks until someone thought to run it through the x-ray machine.
Then they called the bomb squad.
That was then.
This time it was guardians at LaGuardia.  TSA.  And these babies.
No, those aren't skillets on a stove.  They're plastic bins, the kind you stick the metal in before walking through the detectors.  Sitting on a radiator.
And those things in them?
They were in carry-on luggage.  Metal tubes.  With springs inside.  Carefully removed after screening because, well, you're not supposed to take pipe bombs onto a plane.
Philip Messing and Tim Perone had the story in (sorry) the New York Post.  They begin with the guy who found them.
“When I saw the image, I took a step backward and said, ‘What’s that?!’ ” one startled TSA employee said, according to police sources.
Another screener saw the objects, one gold, the other silver, and both 6-inches long with “springs” inside, and thought they could be bombs, the sources said.
The screeners promptly called their supervisor. He questioned the passenger, who claimed the pipes were for homeopathic medicine.
The supervisor bought the story and let the man board his flight without taking down any information, the sources said.
Because, really, what more might you want to know?
Anyhow, ever concerned for public safety, and not wanting to take any chances, they put the things into the plastic bins and set them on the radiator while they called the bomb squad went for lunch.
That was around 11:30.
It was about 3 o'clock when that same anonymous supervisor noticed the things still sitting on the radiator in the screening area and thought,
Holy shit! We could all be dead. CODE RED. Evacuate the place.  NOW!
Sorry, scratch that out.
But the supervisor, being a trained professional and all, thought
Hmm.  Maybe.
So he placed a call to the TSA bomb experts.  Who rushed right over.
Two hours later.
And they looked upon the tubes and thought,
Holy shit! We could all be dead. CODE RED. Evacuate the place.  NOW!
Sorry, scratch that.
But being trained professionals and all, they thought
Hmm.  Maybe.
So they called the Port Authority PD.  Who rushed right over.
And they looked upon the tubes and thought,
Holy shit! We could all be dead.  CODE RED.  Evacuate the place.  NOW!
Which they did.
Being trained professionals and all.
And then they took the tubes in the bomb truck to the police bomb range in the Bronx.
Six hours all told.
Until they blew up the homeopathic medical supplies.
Because you can never be too careful.
Feel safer now?


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