Sippy Cups as WMD's
by Becky Akers
by Becky Akers
I guess because they didn't beat her to a pulp, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) claims that its "Officers" did not "Hassle Female Passenger with Toddler at Reagan National Airport over Sippy Cup." Perhaps the agency needs a dictionary with "hassle" defined in one-syllable words that even its cretins can understand.
Monica Emmerson was trying to catch a flight on June 11 when she collided with the TSA's policy against liquids: her son's sippy cup had water in it. The goon searching her child stole — sorry, confiscated — the cup. And a good thing, too: those jumbo jets may look sturdy, but American aviation is a frail and fragile industry undone by gels and lotions, cigarette lighters, passengers' shoes, and, of course, sippy cups. "Monica wanted the cup back," wrote Bill Adler, the blogger who broke the story last week, "because [it] was the only way her son would drink... So she was willing to spill the water out. Drink the water. Anything — all that she wanted was to be able to have a cup that her 19-month-old toddler could drink from."
Imagine how smugly a bully willing to rob a toddler of his sippy cup greeted Monica's suggestions. Kids clutching contraband are about as close to terrorists as airport flunkies come, so they abuse them accordingly. Bonus points for making the mothers cry harder than the kids.
Monica was "advised that I would have to leave security and come back through with an empty cup in order to retain the cup. As I was escorted out of security by TSA and a police officer, I unscrewed the cup to drink the water, which accidentally spilled because I was so upset with the situation. At this point, I was detained against my will by the police officer and threatened to be arrested for endangering other passengers with the spilled 3 to 4 ounces of water. I was ordered to clean the water, so I got on my hands and knees. ...while I was being detained,... the officer threatened to arrest me if I moved....I was ordered to apologize for the spilled water, and again threatened with arrest. I was threatened several times with arrest while detained, and while three other police officers were called to the scene.... A total of four police officers and three TSA officers reported to the scene where I was being held against my will. I was also told that I should not disrespect the officer and could be arrested for this too. I apologized to the officer and she continued to detain me despite me telling her that I would miss my flight. The officer advised me that I should have thought about this before I 'intentionally spilled the water!'"
Monica is either a current or former employee with the Secret Service, which predictably "declined comment on [her] employment status." And you can see why: confirming that little detail would likely endanger national security as much as her son's sippy cup has. But since Monica is or was with the Feds, we shouldn't be surprised if she's mendacious. And the TSA lost no time in calling her a liar. That takes a fair ton of gall, given the agency's extreme allergy to truth. It lies about everything all the time, from the delays its checkpoints cause passengers to its air marshals' murder of Rigoberto Alpizar. And though Monica's account does contain some discrepancies, it doesn't approach the number in the average press release from the TSA.
Her tallest tale seems to be that she spilled the water when she may have deliberately dumped it. The TSA's "official Incident Report" claims that "she opened the child's drink container and held her arm out and poured the contents (approx. 6 to 8 ounces) on the floor." To bolster this story, it posted video footage of Monica's travail on its website. Actually, at the crucial moment, a passer-by blocks our view of Monica's hand and the cup so that it's unclear exactly what happens. We see Monica shaking the cup upside down immediately afterwards, but she could be demonstrating its emptiness. This ambiguity implies that the ham-fisted TSA hasn't doctored the film: otherwise, the camera would zoom in as an ocean cascades to the floor. Meanwhile, Monica gives as good as she gets: she calls it a "gross lie" when the TSA alleges that she "told an officer that she was a Secret Service agent, flashed her credentials and said she was exempt from the ‘stupid' policy restricting liquids on planes." As proof, there's the "video footage [that] shows her digging in her luggage for identification."
More important than who's lying is the TSA's outsized attempt to discredit — and therefore silence — this critic. Even the mainstream media notes that it took an "unusual step" when it posted the video. But the TSA went further: it features the film in a newly created section entitled "MythBusters." Joseph Goebbels must be rolling his eyes. The TSA apparently reasons that Monica's inaccuracies, whether deliberate or due to stress, somehow excuse its five years of unconstitutional searches, thefts, groping, rapes, and assaults. It also assumes — tragically and correctly, given such comments as those on ABC-News — that Americans are far enough gone in totalitarianism to applaud officers' surrounding a mother and child, menacing them, forcing the woman to mop the floor, humiliating her as other passengers flow past. The video goes on…and on…and on for almost 10 minutes (Monica and her son don't appear until 55 seconds into the 10-minutes-and-48-seconds clip), as brutes with nothing better to do torment this innocuous duo. Monica tries to walk away at one point; a female officer grabs her arm and yanks her back. Two TSA dimwits laugh at her. A cop arrives on a bicycle as though this unarmed woman and baby pose a threat. Something's horrifically wrong when a puddle can occupy this many leeches for this long. Nevertheless, "The TSA said in a statement that the incident and the videotape demonstrate that its ‘officers display professionalism and concern for all passengers.'" Leviathan's lackeys wiping the floor with a citizen shows many things, but "professionalism and concern for all passengers" are not among them.
Earl Morris, a "deputy assistant administrator for security operations with the TSA," told the Associated Press, "The allegation here that we were out of control is absolutely false." So is the allegation that the TSA fights terrorists.
June 19, 2007
Becky Akers [send her mail] writes primarily about the American Revolution.
Copyright © 2007 LewRockwell.com