FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
They couldn't catch a guy with a bomb in his shorts aboard a plane bound for Detroit on Christmas day… but they're hell on a disabled child with leg braces.
The transportation security administration refused to allow a four-year-old disabled boy to pass through airport security without first taking off his leg braces.
A Philadelphia Inquirer columnist reports how screeners at the Philadelphia airport made this insane request of a boy taking his first flight to Walt Disney World last March.
The four-year-old, who was born premature, has malformed ankles and low muscle tone in his legs. He was just starting to walk at the time of the incident.
The parents told airport screeners their son couldn't walk without the braces, which are made of metal and plastic. But that didn't matter to the screener, who insisted this little boy had to walk through the checkpoint on his own.
When the father, a New Jersey police officer, asked to see a supervisor and pointed out his four-year-old clearly wasn't a terrorist, he says the supervisor told him: "You know why we're doing this."
The TSA now says the boy never should have been told to remove his braces. No kidding. They say the parents should have been told to take their son to a private screening area. The TSA has apologized to the family. With all the training these agents go through, maybe they could include a class in common sense.
Here’s my question to you: Is the TSA going too far when it makes a 4-year-old disabled boy remove his leg braces?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Andrew in New York writes:
The TSA cannot protect us and the alleged air marshals program cannot protect us… "Profiling" is ruled out, even though it probably would have caught Mr. Christmas Day bomb-in-the-pants. So we are left with this sort of nonsense going on. The TSA is conducting a crude pantomime of fake measures that no longer even serves the purpose of pretend-play safety.
Tim in Texas writes:
Jack, What do we expect when we pay these folks about ten bucks an hour? As far as the father pointing out that his 4-year-old clearly wasn't a terrorist, that lacks common sense as well, because obviously an adult could put an explosive inside the brace of a kid.
When you are disabled, sometimes you get treated strangely or impolitely, it just happens. When you are an airline passenger these days, you are treated like cattle or baggage. Back in the days when airline passengers were treated nicely, somebody might have felt like being kind to that little boy.
Absolutely not. When some parents do things such as encouraging children to shoplift for them in shopping malls, there's no reason to assume other wouldn't exploit their children's medical condition for their own purposes. Airplane safety isn't negotiable.
When are the American people going to learn that airport security is nothing more than a theatre show being put on for our benefit? The TSA's job is to make you feel safe, not make you safe. We didn't even bother to sell our freedom and privacy; we just gave it away.
Carl in Phoenix writes:
Yes, the behavior is unconscionable. That poor kid. However, al Qaeda is getting pretty crafty, I hear, by hiding explosive devices in female operatives' breast implants. I wonder how the TSA will be dealing with that in a sensitive manner? I'm just asking.