From my Bloomberg View column this week:
I'm writing this column aboard a flight from Detroit to Amsterdam. I first entered the TSA matrix for this trip at Reagan National Airport. As is my practice, I opted out of the body imager and asked for a pat-down. I do this in part because I don't trust the government's assurances that the radiation emitted by the machines is harmless. And also because I don't enjoy raising my hands like a mugging victim inside a radioactive box so a government agent can look at me naked.
During this pat-down, the TSA agent, while running his hands carefully up my leg, came across a small bump near my left knee. He asked me to describe the nature of the bump. I told him it was a benign cyst. (I realize I'm oversharing, but there's a purpose to this story.) The agent called over a supervisor. The supervisor questioned me about the cyst. The supervisor and the agent then discussed the cyst. This has happened to me at two other checkpoints. My dermatologist is much less interested in this cyst than is the Department of Homeland Security. Eventually, the supervisor ruled that the cyst (or, I should say, "alleged cyst") was too small to be a threat to a commercial airliner.
Read the whole thing. I provide other pertinent examples of security theater.