I’ve seen some pretty appalling stories of people who’ve been maltreated by the Transportation Security Administration, but this has got to be a topper:
Confrontation With TSA Agent Leaves Grandpa’s Ashes On Floor
John Gross, a resident of Indianapolis’ south side, was leaving Florida with the remains of his grandfather — Mario Mark Marcaletti, a Sicilian immigrant who worked for the Penn Central Railroad in central Indiana — in a tightly sealed jar marked “Human Remains.”
Gross said he didn’t think he’d have a problem, until he ran into a TSA agent at the Orlando airport.
“They opened up my bag, and I told them, ‘Please, be careful. These are my grandpa’s ashes,'” Gross told RTV6’s Norman Cox. “She picked up the jar. She opened it up.
“I was told later on that she had no right to even open it, that they could have used other devices, like an X-ray machine. So she opened it up. She used her finger and was sifting through it. And then she accidentally spilled it.”
Gross says about a quarter to a third of the contents spilled on the floor, leaving him frantically trying to gather up as much as he could while anxious passengers waited behind him.
“She didn’t apologize. She started laughing. I was on my hands and knees picking up bone fragments. I couldn’t pick up all, everything that was lost. I mean, there was a long line behind me.”
First let me say I’m impressed and amazed at this man’s restraint; had my loved one’s ashes been left for the vacuum cleaner, that laughing jackass would likely be picking her teeth out of the carpet.
The rest of the article, which includes a video report, mentions that TSA rules, contrary to what Mr. Gross was told, actually do require physical inspection of human remains, including ashes. Fine. Then arrange a process whereby they can be pre-cleared and treated with respect by agents who do not make Bevis and Butthead look like geniuses.
This is something I would expect from goons straight out of Central Casting, not agents of the United States charged with protecting us with terrorism.
And it’s also illustrative of the broader problem with TSA: they’re going about their mission in all the wrong way. They’re looking for devices and weapons, not for the type of person likely to be a terrorist. They’re looking for things, not patterns of behavior. They’re pawing through human remains when they should be profiling human beings.
Like El Al does. When’s the last time an Israeli plane was hijacked? 1968. And they profile.
Let’s be honest: TSA is a failure. It doesn’t protect us, but it does succeed in humiliating us on a regular basis. Time and again.
It’s time for it to go.
via Moe Lane
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)