Brad Messer Commentary
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Boxcutter Boy prosecution a sick joke

Now it is apparently a crime to embarrass the government by proving airport security is imaginary.

The FBI charged 20-year-old Nate Heatwole with carrying concealed weapons aboard airplanes after he snuck boxcutters and imitation explosives onto two Southwest Airline jets, with notes about inept security.

Nathanial Heatwole

The FBI apparently wants to send him to prison for ten years.

But not CBS News. In February, 2002, "CBS News ... [used] a fake driver's license to purchase tickets on three major airlines at five different airports." [1]

And not the New York Daily News. Last year on Labor Day weekend, "reporters carried box cutters, razor knives and pepper spray aboard flights at 11 different airports, including those used by the September 11 hijackers." [2]

No, we don't punish reporters. We punish a college student who's trying to sound an alarm about inept airport security.

The government is showing the same silly, illogical buffoonery as when a GI Joe doll was confiscated from carry-on baggage because Joe was carrying a two-inch toy rifle.

Airport security, and this prosecution of Nathanial Heatwole, are sick jokes.

Brad Messer commentary, KTSA.

Brad's Homework

NY Times 10/21/2003 College Student Is Charged With Hiding Hazards on Jets
[1] CBS 2/27/2002 Airport Security Fails Test
USA Today 3/25/2002 Weapons slip past airport security
[2] New Yorker 9/24/2001 Who Shortchanged Airport Security?
CNN 9/5/2002 Reporter: Airport screeners 'never really looked' at bag
American Reporter 8/29/2003 STOP, OR MY GI JOE WILL SHOOT!

First No. American rights granted Infinity / CBS Radio for
broadcast on date only. All other rights reserved