Archive for February, 2006

“You have been chosen for extra attention” – TSA

Monday, February 27th, 2006

This from Peggy Noonan.

Please read the whole article. It’s getting scary out there.

“Ahead of me, throwing bags in bins, is a young mother with a two or three year old girl. The mother is tense, flustered. Bags, bottles, a stroller to break down and get on the conveyer belt. A security agent yelling: “Keep your boarding pass in your hand at all times.” The little girl is looking up, anxious. All these yelling adults, and things being thrown. “My doll!” she says as her mother puts it quickly in a gray bin. “We’ll get it on the other side!” says the mother. She grabs her daughter’s hand roughly.

“Take off your sneakers!” a clerk yells.

The mother stops, hops, quickly removes her sneakers. Her daughter has already walked through the magnetometer and is wandering on the other side. She looks around: Where’s mommy?

Mommy gets her sneakers in a bin, on the belt, gets through the magnetometer.

I’m relieved. Her daughter holds her mother’s leg. They begin to walk on.

A TSA clerk shouts to another, “You didn’t check the sneakers. You have to put the sneakers through.”

The second clerk yells–“Your daughter has to go through again!”

The little girl is scared–What did I do wrong? I’m sorry, mommy.

The mother is tense, gets a look.

I lift my chin at the TSA agent, smile, and say softly, “Miss, that poor girl with the child, she is having a tough time. The little girl is scared and–”

“We are following procedures!” said the TSA agent. Her mouth was twisted in anger.

I nodded and said softly, “I know, I’m just saying–a little gentle in your tone.”

She looked at my ticket and smiled.

“You have been chosen by the computer for extra attention.”


“You have been chosen by the computer for extra attention.”