Additional Reporting by BC Bass
But today, with the government’s warning to air carriers that terrorists could be planning to surgically implant explosives into people to circumvent screening systems, Pistole called on commuters to display more patience and tolerance.
TSA Holds Press Conference to Announce New Screening Procedures
John Pistole on Wednesday held a press conference to confirm that new screening measures will be put into place immediately for an indefinite period of time.
“The TSA is constantly evolving its practices to ensure a healthy balance between security and individual liberties. In order to accomplish this successfully, we must think one step ahead of the terrorists at all times. Beginning immediately, passengers will be required to undergo an improved screening procedure that has the capability of detecting surgically implanted explosives. The reality of the situation, as demonstrated by new intelligence, is that passengers flying to the United States are likely to face additional screening measures.”
In addition to the usual terrorist hub countries, Pistole said that passengers arriving from destinations such as Brazil and Sweden may be targeted under the new protocols, where extremely high incidences of surgical implants have been reported: “The TSA is training agents to remain abreast of new profiling trends and to employ more intensive pat downs and cupping techniques where implants seem likely.”
Specially trained TSA officers will also be authorized to conduct cavity searches at their discretion.
“In these dangerous times, it’s more important than ever for Americans to do their parts to protect their freedoms from those who want nothing more than to take away our sacred way of life,” Pistole continued. “Although I want to stress that we are not in imminent danger -- and have absolutely no reliable intelligence suggesting that terrorists have surgically installed explosive devices -- it’s important that we get this warning out there so the American people remain constantly aware that the possibility of the potential for danger could theoretically exist, and that the TSA is necessary to stop evil terrorists.”
Mr. Pistole confirmed that the new screening procedures have already deployed in most major airports, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, and Manchester, NH.
Additional Security Changes Announced
In order to prevent the in-flight construction of “gut bombs,” all personal medical equipment will now be banned from travel. If medical equipment is absolutely necessary for safe travel, passengers must provide a doctor’s note and offer a detailed description of their diagnosis to the TSA screeners assigned to them. The passenger will be given a government-issued replacement in lieu of their medical device, for a nominal fee.
To combat the threat of bombs that may have been surgically installed in the past, travelers will need to explain any and all scars found during the screening process. They will also be required to turn in a form detailing their entire medical history, any prescriptions taken during their lifetime, and the number of abortions they have received, both in and out of the country. Refusal to provide medical background data, or submitting misleading information, could result in felony charges of harboring a terrorist.
In addition, nearly all airport personnel now have the ability to arrest suspected terrorists. In recent years, only TSA agents, air marshals and airline captains had the power to physically arrest a suspicious traveler. This power has been extended to flight attendants, gate agents and baggage handlers.
Janitorial staff and gift shop employees do not yet have the power to make arrests, though they can physically detain suspected terrorists for the purposes of interrogation.
Mr. Pistole concluded the press conference by explaining the mission of the TSA going forward:
“We’re now taking a more proactive approach to combating terrorism. It was becoming clear that the American people were taking their safety for granted simply because hundreds of millions of flights had occurred without incident since 9/11. What this told us was, hey, maybe we need to get out there and remind people that they need us to protect them. Safety demands preventative measures. Americans can’t wait for something to happen or rely on actual intelligence to prove that point; the best way to keep the public on guard is to creatively illustrate all the atrocities terrorists could devise to destroy planes midair, and then use those examples as stepping stones to rally support and implement new changes. We now have an entire department within the agency dedicated to doing just that. In fact, one of our newest managers came in yesterday with a whole new angle we hadn’t thought of. Imagine if a terrorist were to surgically remove his own face and switch it with that of another person. They could even change their hair, voice, and mannerisms -- and nobody would know the difference, not even the victim’s own family. I think our manager said he saw it in a movie once, but that’s not going to stop us from treating it as a serious threat. Therefore, in the coming weeks, we will announce new security procedures to stop terrorists from stealing your face.”
Asked about the possibility of the TSA overlooking seemingly benign objects, such as box-cutters, while focusing on more sophisticated plots, Mr. Pistole responded, “Let’s be realistic; a terrorist walking around with a brick of C4 installed in his lower intestine or a big bosomed Middle Eastern temptress with a rack full of nitroglycerin could very easily decimate an airplane in flight. Who could bring down a vessel that size with a box-cutter?”
(c) 2011. All stories are works of satire and parody.
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