Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Your government in action

Terror babies of the skies:

Infants have been stopped from boarding planes at airports throughout the U.S. because their names are the same as or similar to those of possible terrorists on the government's "no-fly list."

It sounds like a joke, but it's not funny to parents who miss flights while scrambling to have babies' passports and other documents faxed.

Ingrid Sanden's 1-year-old daughter was stopped in Phoenix before boarding a flight home to Washington at Thanksgiving.


Sarah Zapolsky and her husband had a similar experience last month while departing from Dulles International Airport outside Washington. An airline ticket agent told them their 11-month-old son was on the government list.

They were able to board their flight after ticket agents took a half-hour to fax her son's passport and fill out paperwork.

"I understand that security is important," Zapolsky said. "But if they're just guessing, and we have to give up our passport to prove that our 11-month-old is not a terrorist, it's a waste of their time."

Well, all 11-month-olds look alike - it's easy to get innocent babies confused with terrorist babies of the same name. Oh wait - the name on the list isn't a baby? So they're needing proof that the baby wasn't the terrorist, like, put in a time-machine and regressed to babyhood so he/she could be smuggled out of the country? Or what?

Call me naive, but it seems to me that if you're looking for a 48-year-old John Smith, and have before you a one-year-old John Smith, or even a teenage John Smith, common sense should tell you it's not the same John Smith as the one you're looking for.

The mavens of Fatherland Security are keeping us all safe.

From babies.


At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Ace said...

I just got back from a trip to Seattle; I flew home on the "red-eye". Whilst going thru the security screen for the "red-eye", there wasn't much of a line as you might suspect.

About two people ahead of me in line was a young mother with her child in a harness on her chest. The baby looked to me to be about 4-6 months old.

As she went thru security, they had her remove the baby from the harness so an inspector could feel the harness to assure that it was just cloth and not full of some other solid material that might have a nefarious purpose. It wasn't, the mother and child got through the screen and went off to the seating area to reassemble everything. A female TSA officer was helping the young mother get everything back in order.

By that time, I was through the check-in point and had to put on my shoes and belt. I had a seat about 8 feet from the mother, child and TSA officer. After I was back in order, I went to the TSA officer and asked her what were the indicators that would require her to X-Ray the baby. She just laughed and said that would only be necessary if the baby came out of the harness and started to fly around the security area on its own.

At least there is a modicum of a sense of humor left in that less than joyful event known as "Airport Security Screening"...


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