Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Threat to National Security

I took a flight late last week and learned that I am a threat to national security. I was informed by the nice lady at the United counter that I was on the 'No Fly List.' I asked why, but she didn't know. I began to sweat - What had I done? Who did I know? Where had I been? I puckered my anus for the full cavity search as she explained that I had been placed on the TSA's (Transportation Security Administration) "federal watch list." Then the interrogation began:

"What's your birthday?" she queried.
I responded with the proper date.
"OK, you're fine," she smiled. "Go ahead and board."
That was it. I'd threaded the needle of TSA security and got on my plane.

I'm not sure what was more unsettling: finding myself on some Orwellian watch list, or getting off said list by simply supplying my birthdate. Apparently the birthday ruse is one the terrorists haven't yet figured out. They may kill thousands of innocent people on a hijacked plane, but lie about a birthday? Never.

As an epilogue, I shared this with a good friend at the other end of my flight. He laughed, poured me a drink, and admitted that he too had been put on the list and narrowly escaped with the birthday feint. Together over dinner we conspired as wanted men. This friend, by the way, has government security clearence.


Blogger Major John said...

Personally speaking, I'd have shot you in the face and left your America-threatening corpse there to bleed and serve as an example for all...
But seriously, what did you give as your name, Qu'arn al-Jihadi?

11:28 AM  
Blogger Inner Prop said...

I was stopped and given extra attention WHEN I WAS IN UNIFORM. That was in Jan when I went back to Afghanistan from leave.


5:00 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I didn't realize in their infinite wisdom the TSA, FAA, HS or whatever government organization would be behind this would have the brains to come up with such a fool proof interrogation tactic as to ask for one's DOB. That'll stop the terrorists like nobody's business.

6:56 PM  
Blogger RTO Trainer said...

They are foolish fo telling anyone that they are on the list. Hey shoudl ask 4 or five people to come to the counter (the actual subject of concern among them) and ask them to show their driver's license one more time (justify it as a ramdom spot verification) and be done.

No one should even know a list exists.

10:16 PM  

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