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TSA follies: Intruder sneaks onto plane at JFK

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“It’s for your own good.” That argument, which is the universal fallback of parents trying to coax their young children into taking a spoonful of yucky medicine, has been the mantra of the Transportation Security Administration ever since they instituted more stringent policies last November, among them invasive pat downs and potentially harmful x-ray scanners.

It is the argument the government is including in legal briefs filed in the case of New Yorker Robin Kassner, who is suing the Department of Homeland Security for $10 million for injuries she sustained when TSA agents hurled her to the ground at Reagan National Airport in 2007.

The argument might carry some weight if it were not for the increasingly common breaches in airport security. One of these breaches occurred last week when TSA employees at John F. Kennedy International Airport failed to detect box cutters in one passenger’s carry-on luggage.

Another occurred in late February, when a Maryland man succeeded in sidestepping TSA checkpoints at the same airport and boarded a plane that was ready to take off. To add disbelief to injury, the New York Post reports, this is the second time the man, Ronald Wong, managed to bypass airport security, the first time being in San Francisco last December. Fool them once, shame on them. Fool them twice …

Wong, who is reported to have a history of psychiatric problems, is now the subject of an ongoing FBI-Joint Terrorism Task Force probe that could result in federal charges being brought against him. The Post quotes a government spokesman as saying:

This guy has exposed serious flaws in passenger security in at least two cities.

There is no word on whether the FBI-Joint Terrorism Task Force intends to launch a simultaneous probe into the obvious deficiencies in the TSA, which would seem to be money better spent.

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