Today's Security Saga: 'Show Me the Blankey'

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Reader Andrew Metcalf, fresh off a trans-Atlantic flight, has this report.

>>I just came back from London to Atlanta with my 2 year old daughter and wife. My daughter was randomly chosen for a security screening in London. They put a sticker on her boarding pass. When we got down the jetway a screener asked her to stand up out of her stroller, and she asked for her to show her her blanket. They also had to double check our passports for some reason as part of the screening. Meanwhile I got to watch everyone else get one board to take our overhead space (fortunately there was some left!).

The whole time the staff was very polite, and some apologized for how stupid this was. I really couldn't believe it. I was kind of glad they chose her rather than me: I had an entire duffle bag full of toys and electronics (for the 9 hour flight ahead) that would have taken another 10 minutes to go through.<<

Previously in the toddler-menace saga here. Really, how long can this go on?

Update: TSA's John Pistole is among the guests on the Diane Rehm show today, starting at 10am EST.  Details here.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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