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TSA employees vie for top prize in 'Invasive Search Contest

TSA employees vie for top prize in 'Invasive Search Contest

Note:This column by A. Barton Hinkle posted by the Richmond Times Dispatch is one of pure jest (I hope). As far as I know, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) isn't running any official "Invasive Search Contest" amongst its many rubber glove-handed employees.

Still, it's not hard to imagine just how one could easily get started:


From: Paul Witchowski, American Federation of Government Employees General Secretary and Past President and Steward of AFGE Local 277, Barnstable, MA.

Dear Fellow Officers,

Many of you have written to ask me about the status of our Invasive Search Contest. Knowing this is a subject of great interest to all of you and that there has been a lot of rumors and innuendoes going around the "grapevine," I have decided to use this week's newsletter to fill everybody in on the latest developments.

Ever since New Orleans Transportation Security Officer Thibodeaux Broussard confiscated cans of Play-Doh from 3-year-old Josh Pitney, our TSA rank-and-file have really been "bringing their A game." The name Janice Johnson is well known to all of us by now and needs no introduction. Janice is the Northwest Florida Regional Airport TSA officer who insisted late last month that the 95-year-old mother of Destin resident Jean Weber remove her dirty adult diaper that she was wearing so Janice and her fellow TSA officers could proceed with our Wheelchair-Bound Traveler Protocol (WBTP).

The story of officer Johnson's dedication and professionalism has garnered a lot of attention, with Google showing more than 3 million results if you search for the terms "TSA" and "diaper." As the front-line of defense against terrorism, foreign agents and leukemia-riddled little old ladies in wheelchairs, TSA officers are usually the "unsung heroes" of homeland security, but it is safe to say that is not the case with officer Johnson. We should all give a shout-out to officer Janice! You go, girl!

Needless to say Janice is now at the top of our Invasive Search Contest Leader Board. But there are several other strong contenders, including Mike Rogan of our Kansas City International Airport team, who gained fame far and wide back in May when he was photographed searching a baby's diaper. Needless to say, Mike did not find any PETN or other high explosives, though we hear he did detect the residue from an organic "stink bomb," ha ha![...]

Now maybe you are thinking, "Paul, there is just no way I can hope to win the invasive-search contest after hearing about cases like that." Don't be too sure! Many of you have probably seen the recent stories about how the Department of Homeland Security says terrorist groups are looking for ways to hide explosive devices inside the human body by using surgical implants.

Just the other day I read a story in The Wall Street Journal about this. It said that implants are very common. And we all know that they are most common in the areas of the breasts, buttocks and certain other portions of the anatomy. So I would say this means our Invasive Search Contest is still very far from over! With a little imagination, any one of you could be our Grand Prize Winner. All it takes is the right attitude and a pair of rubber gloves.

Read the full column here

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