Commenters attack snarky TSA blogger

The TSA blog: I read it so you don’t have to.

Yesterday I highlighted some fun bits from the Q&A over at the TSA blog about the new ID requirements for flying. As promised, here are some entertaining and insightful posts from the comments following that exchange.

  • One commenter wonders whether the “No Fly List” isn’t more trouble than it’s worth: “What kind of threat do they pose if they have already been screened for weapons? They going to punch a hole in the plane?”
  • Chris (the TSA blogger) writes in the comments that his original snark was merely an attempt “to bring some levity to a long drawn-out discussion of a serious matter while providing some insight into why we think ID is important.” Another commenter responds: “Christopher, while I understand your intent, you did not succed at either of your goals. Address the hard queston with some real answers, let Leno and Letterman handle the comedy.”

Questions to ponder next time you’re waiting to hand over your ID at the airport:

  • “Why is a guy who says he lost his ID less dangerous than a guy who says he prefers not to show his ID?”
  • “I show up a the airport and say I forgot my ID, because I have memory loss. You ask me questions I can´t answer because I have memory loss. Can I fly?”
  • “Let´s say I turn up at an airport and say I forgot my ID, and that my name is John Smith. There are probably a few thousand John Smiths. How will you ‘establish my identity’?”

Finally, here’s a lengthy but incisive comment from one Trollkiller.

“If the TSA lawyers are so cock sure of the legality of this new policy then that means they have done the research on it. The information I am asking for should be on hand and easily retrievable.

All I am asking for is the TSA lawyers to show their work. Believe it or not, I would much rather be proven wrong than to think that an agency of MY government is knowingly perpetrating an illegal act on 2,000,000 people a day.

I have repeatedly stated my argument clearly, citing the section of the law that I believe disallows the forced ID check to be used as a criterion for granting access to a sterile area.

You are pretending that I am just sitting on the web with my tin foil hat screaming “it’s wrong, just wrong, it’s a conspiracy man, they are out to get us….” That is just silly, we all know it is the tin foil underwear that protects us.

All silliness aside, Christopher, I have done all the work for the TSA lawyers. They don’t have to guess at what I am asking…

The definitions in Title 49 Part 1540 § 1540.5 limit screening to a search and inspection FOR weapons, explosives, and incendiaries as THE condition for granting access to a sterile area.

Adding a forced ID check as a criterion for granting access to a sterile area is not permitted as it falls outside the search and inspection FOR weapons, explosives, and incendiaries.

I am going by the section of law that YOU cited as justification for the TSA’s illegal act. You can not keep part of the law and discard the part you don’t like.”

Well said! This is, in case you couldn’t already tell, the best comment thread ever. Sorry, Gadling faithful.