Guess what’s next?
To the list of instructions you hear at airport checkpoints, add this: “Put your palms forward, please.”
The Transportation Security Administration soon will begin randomly swabbing passengers’ hands at checkpoints and airport gates to test them for traces of explosives.
Previously, screeners swabbed some carry-on luggage and other objects as they searched for the needle in the security haystack — components of terrorist bombs in an endless stream of luggage.
But after the Christmas Day attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit, Michigan, the TSA began a program of swabbing passengers’ hands, which could be contaminated by explosive materials, experts say. The TSA will greatly expand the swabbing in the coming weeks, the agency said…
Under the new protocols, tests will be conducted at various locations — including in checkpoint lines, during the screening process and at gates. Newer, more portable machines make it easier to conduct tests away from fixed locations such as the checkpoint…
Because some legal substances — such as fertilizers and heart medicines — can result in “false positives,” Stanley said the ACLU also wants to ensure that people who test positive be treated respectfully.
“It’s important that the government treat people who do show up as a positive — fairly and with dignity — and not parade them off in handcuffs and treat them as terrorists, but do rational things to investigate what the problem might be,” he said.
How many people out there expect TSA rent-a-cops to behave rationally and not treat you as a terrorist? Raise your hands!