The mighty TSA had already taken down 7-year-old would-be terrorists with cerebral palsy and made at least one suspected al-Qaeda operative pump her own breast, so why not go after Atlantic writer Jeffrey Goldberg's 79-year-old tiny mother in law? "Okay, I now have definitive proof that al Qaeda has actually won," Goldberg writes, retelling the Rhode Island-to-Washington, D.C. trip his 4'11" mother-in-law was taking. The "proof?" Per Goldberg:
The TSA agent said, again, in full voice, "There's an anomaly in the crotch area."
This is, of course, a painful post for me to write. Like most normal American men, I don't want to see the words "my mother-in-law" and "crotch area" in the same paragraph. But let me go on anyway.
My mother-in-law said, "As far as I know I don't have any anomalies in the crotch area."
The TSA agent told her she would have to go through the scanner again. She demurred, saying she didn't like the machine very much. The agent told her she could opt for a pat-down. My mother-in-law refused to be frisked, figuring, correctly, that "they were going to pat-down my crotch area. I mean, there wasn't an anomaly in the chest area."
So she went through the scanner again. Of course, this time -- one minute later -- the TSA found no "anomalies," and she was free to go.
The TSA picked the wrong mother-in-law. Goldberg is a longtime critic of airport screening procedures: In 2008, he wrote a story for the magazine headlined The Things He Carried and appeared on The Colbert Report to talk about it. In case you were wondering, the Twitterverse has sided with Goldberg. But hey, the TSA keeping us safe right? Well at least when they're not in cahoots with drug couriers.
For Goldberg's full recap, head on over to The Atlantic.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.