mind your business

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Homeland Security - Stuck on Stupid

More fun for area commuters: Last Thursday, DC Metro officials announced that "anti-terrorism teams" will immediately begin conducting random bag searches.

Metro released plans for a similar scheme in October 2008, but never implemented it. That month, in an online chat with Washington Post readers, Transit Police Chief Michael Taborn was woefully short on straight answers.

"Can I carry my pocketknife?" an Alexandria resident asked, "and what if I'm returning from the supermarket with lighter fluid for my grill?" Owners of "contraband" will be "subject to prosecution," Taborn replied: "If you are unsure of whether a particular item is contraband, you should seek legal advice." So budget that into your travel time.

It's nice that the searches won't be as invasive as an airport porno-scanner or a Transportation Security Administration agent's cold rubber glove. But if .....

Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute and the author of The Cult of the Presidency.

Filed by Grant Davies,
Regular Columnist, THL
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