"Kip Hawley is an Idiot": Phrase is a threat to Homeland Security

I've been reading this thread on Flyertalk since if first popped up. Ryan Bird, the passenger detained reports his story in the first post of the thread. Now it's on CNN, too.

A Frequent Flyer wrote "Kip Hawley [TSA Head] is an idiot" on his clear baggies that contained his toiletries. Because this form of political speech is apparently they same as making a joke about a bomb or an imminent act or terrorism, TSA and the sheriff's department detained him.

'Idiot' barb gets passenger detained
POSTED: 9:34 p.m. EDT, September 28, 2006
From Mike M. Ahlers

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Wisconsin man who wrote "Kip Hawley is an Idiot" on a plastic bag containing toiletries said he was detained at an airport security checkpoint for about 25 minutes before authorities concluded the statement was not a threat.

Ryan Bird, 31, said he wrote the comment about Hawley -- head of the Transportation Security Administration -- as a political statement. He said he feels the TSA is imposing unreasonable rules on passengers while ignoring bigger threats.

Given the stupidity and pointlessness of the current liquids/gels ban, this statement really is nothing more than saying the Emperor Has No Clothes. But that kind of dissent isn't really being tolerated by TSA anymore.

At this point, it comes as no surprise the the British terror plot in August was pretty much a joke. It simply would not have worked. More and more news outlets are starting to publish stories like this:

"So who came up with the idea that a bomb could be made on board? Not Al Qaeda for sure. It would not work. Bin Laden is interested in success not deterrence by failure," Wylde stated.

"This story has been blown out of all proportion. The liquids would need to be carefully distilled at freezing temperatures to extract the required chemicals, which are very difficult to obtain in the purities needed."

Once the fluids have been extracted, the process of mixing them produces significant amounts of heat and vile fumes. "The resulting liquid then needs some hours at room temperature for the white crystals that are the explosive to develop." The whole process, which can take between 12 and 36 hours, is "very dangerous, even in a lab, and can lead to premature detonation," said Lt. Col. Wylde.

Yeah. No one's going to notice if you try that in an airplane bathroom.

So rather than addressing the underprotected chemical plants in the country, the nation's major shipping ports, or even commercial air cargo, DHS has decided I can't take shampoo on the plane because somehow it might be used in an impossible plan. Good work, guys. That right there is tax payer money well spent.

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