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Flying from LAX to PHL on November 24 after Thanksgiving, I ran into the latest in airport security. One of the nameless male TSA guards ordered me to take off my pull-on sweater. I don't always have something on under it. He didn't ask.  He didn't offer me a dressing room.

When my backpack came through the X-ray scanner, a second male guard picked it up and turned it this way and that and asked me, "Is there anything behind this?" I asked what he meant by "behind this?" He picked up my shoes and asked if they were mine. I said Yes. I figured he was about to call me a shoe bomber. He grunted that I could put them on. Then he took me and my backpack into another room where he had me sit 4 feet from my backpack.

Wearing blue gloves, he went through everything, making a mess of my packing job. I asked what he was looking for. He asked if I had anything sharp in my backpack. I told him No. He kept pulling stuff out. I asked what he was looking for. He asked if I had any money in the backpack. I told him Yes. And again, I asked what he was looking for. He said Bottles. All my bottles of liquid goo were in my clear plastic baggie, outside my backpack. He didn't find anything sharp or any bottles.

The TSA guard then let me put my sweater back on.  No apologies. He stuffed everything back into my backpack randomly and let me go. It was pure harrassment. I wished I'd been naked under my sweater so people would have seen that these guys are out of control. Let this be a hint to the readers for travel attire over the holidays, as TSA ramps up its vigilance from orange to pink.

Originally posted to phillyswede on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 10:27 AM PST.

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