TSA To Ease Onboard Liquid Ban. Why? Did The Terrorist Threat End?
The Department of Homeland Security is easing its ban against carrying liquids and gels onto airliners. An announcement is scheduled for later this morning.
Under the new rules, most liquids and gels that air travelers purchase in secure areas of airports will now be allowed on planes.
My question is, why the change?
Is there no longer a terrorist threat? Hard to believe, with Osama Bin Laden still at large and our government not trying very hard to catch him. Does DHS now believe, as others have suggested, that it's near impossible to bring chemicals onto a plane, mix them, and ultimately detonate them? Do they no longer believe the plot to blow up airplanes over the Atlantic, foiled by the British, was plausible -- or repeatable?
Has the government figured out how to test for liquid explosives? DHS says it plans to test technology Japan demonstrated for the U.S. back in January. Maybe the GAO and FBI are prepared to issue new reports, reversing themselves after saying last year that the U.S. has no adequate way to detect liquid explosives. No?
I'm hoping that the DHS' decision isn't political. With an election just a few weeks away, what we need is a DHS that sees the red flags, and quickly tests and implements technology to screen for liquid explosives.
Easing the ban, which no doubt will continue to confuse passengers and employees, makes little sense, unless DHS plans to tell the American people that the threat of onboard liquid explosives is non-existent, and that the fears generated this summer were the result of speculation and hyperbole.