February 6, 2004

A PACK NOT A HERD: Homeland Security remains a joke, but alert airline passengers noticed a felon sneaking on board a plane at LAX:

Airport cameras captured it all: On a busy morning at Los Angeles International Airport last month, a convicted felon wearing a sweatshirt, sunglasses and gloves strolled unnoticed past two security checkpoints in Terminal 5 and walked onto a jumbo jet without a ticket.

Kareem Thomas, a 19-year-old Decatur, Ga., resident on probation for burglary, was discovered hiding in an airplane restroom by passengers and was apprehended by police before takeoff.

(Emphasis added.) One of our faculty candidates was on that flight, and told us the story — I was surprised that it didn’t get any attention at the time. He said that a passenger noticed the guy walk right past the ticket-taker and onto the plane, and followed him to see him sneak into the rest room.

Your (rather large number of) tax dollars at work. Maybe we should have pushed harder on that Impeach Norm Mineta campaign. Because, so far, the people who are paying for their seats seem to be the main source of airline security, not the people we’re paying to protect us.

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