Friday, December 31, 2010

Outrageous Story of TSA Vandalism

 "During one of those pat downs, the TSA goon even looked IN MY PANTS and UNDER MY SHIRT! My crime (that time)? The metal detector beeped when I walked through." In this truly outraging email, Humble Libertarian reader, Karen follows up her horrible experience in the quote above with a story of TSA vandalism that makes me livid:

Dear Wes,

I used to love to travel. Until recently. You know the rant - the TSA!

I was patted down on two separate trips even before this recent craziness. During one of those pat downs, the TSA goon even looked IN MY PANTS and UNDER MY SHIRT! My crime (that time)? The metal detector beeped when I walked through. I had NO metal on me - I was sure of it. A very thorough wanding (front, back, sides, and up between my legs) confirmed that I had no metal on me. Still, I was taken into the back room for the pat down. Naturally, nothing turned up.

Today I discovered another, lesser, cost of the TSA pat downs. I was actually breathing a sigh of relief that I made it through the TSA circus relatively unscathed, but it wasn't meant to be. Today's indignity is contained in the rant that I posted to FB which I will copy and paste below. I apologize that it is lengthy, and it is not a formal essay - it is a rant. But it is what is on my mind today since I am now on the other side of the country without a prescription medication I depend on.

Here it is:

It took the second incident for the light bulb to go off. But it did today.

Like almost everyone does and everyone is instructed to do, I carry all prescription (and non-prescription) medicines with me on the plane. A few months ago, while unpacking after a flight, I noticed that a bottle of liquid prescription medicine that I always take with me on trips had leaked all over the plastic bag I carry it in.

At the time, I wrote the spill off to being "one of those things" and called the doctor to have it refilled.

Fast forward to today. I was on another flight. As with the aforementioned flight from a few months ago, I carried my medicine on the flight with me. As with the aforementioned flight from a few months ago, I got to my destination and found that the entire contents of the bottle had leaked out. Which would be natural given the lid was *completely* off the bottle.

The medicine costs $90 for a 120 ml bottle.

This sort of thing had never happened before these two very recent incidents. I have literally traveled all over the world, by plane, train, and automobile, and carried this medicine with me and never had it leak out. I might have lost a bottle once, but never this.

Ah ha! Here's the light bulb moment: The difference between this trip and the countless similar trips over the past two decades is that in both of these instances the TSA tampered with my prescription medicine. I personally saw them rifle through my bags and open my prescription medicine and "test" it after it was flagged as "suspicious" by the TSA busy body at the X-ray machine - I guess to make sure I wasn't going to blow up the plane with it. (DO NOT get me started.)

During the first of the two trips, the TSA goon even broke the factory seal on some OTC liquid medicine I also routinely carry. When I said to him, "Uh, that's factory sealed!" he turned to me and, I promise he said this, sneered, "Yeah, so what? Terrorists know how to factory seal stuff too." (*sshole!)

Although I digress, let me also point out that the bottle that opened / spilled today was a brand new prescription. I filled it at Publix Supermarket yesterday (December 1) and had not even opened it.

It was in perfectly fine shape when I packed it. I assume it was also in perfectly fine shape when the TSA tampered with it.

My bad for not thinking to check anything and everything that the TSA thugs tampered with to make sure they were in the same shape as before being tampered with.

Maybe coincidence, but you be the judge. Decades of travel with this medicine and never a leak. Two trips in a few months in which the TSA opens / tampers with my prescription medicine and both times the medicine leaks, ruining the entire contents.

Lesson to everyone. Never assume the TSA won't ruin your stuff. Check every single thing they touch before you leave the "security" area.

###

And people want to put Washington in charge of our health care??


Filed by: W. E. Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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