The Atlantic Online | November 2008 | The Things He Carried | Jeffrey Goldberg

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Great article in The Atlantic about the pathetic state of airport security and why security theater is worse than no security at all:

On another occasion, at LaGuardia, in New York, the transportation-security officer in charge of my secondary screening emptied my carry-on bag of nearly everything it contained, including a yellow, three-foot-by-four-foot Hezbollah flag, purchased at a Hezbollah gift shop in south Lebanon. The flag features, as its charming main image, an upraised fist clutching an AK-47 automatic rifle. Atop the rifle is a line of Arabic writing that reads THEN SURELY THE PARTY OF GOD ARE THEY WHO WILL BE TRIUMPHANT. The officer took the flag and spread it out on the inspection table. She finished her inspection, gave me back my flag, and told me I could go. I said, “That’s a Hezbollah flag.” She said, “Uh-huh.” Not “Uh-huh, I’ve been trained to recognize the symbols of anti-American terror groups, but after careful inspection of your physical person, your behavior, and your last name, I’ve come to the conclusion that you are not a Bekaa Valley-trained threat to the United States commercial aviation system,” but “Uh-huh, I’m going on break, why are you talking to me?”

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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on October 22, 2008 10:48 AM.

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