Homeland Stupidity

Al Gore bypassed airport security

The easiest way to get past airport security, without going through airport security, is to have an accommodating employee take you around the back way into the supposedly sterile area. Why would an airport employee do that?

There are at least two possible reasons. The first is that the employee is helping terrorists. The second is that the passenger is former Vice President Al Gore.

(Though I’m not sure if the difference there is all that significant.)

On Feb. 28, as he was leaving Nashville, Tenn., on his way somewhere else to lie about global warming to yet more people, an airport employee checking Gore in helped him and his entourage bypass the security checkpoint and go directly to his departure gate.

“There are no exceptions. Everyone must go through security,” airport spokesperson Lynn Lowrance said. . . .

“Everyone who comes through this public airport terminal must be screened, so it’s a breach of rules. It’s serious,” Lowrance said.

The airline employee took Gore down an elevator and then through a secure door. She ran her security card through the electronic lock a total of three times to let Gore and his two colleagues pass through the turnstile one at a time. — WTVF

He would have gotten away with it, too, if someone hadn’t been waiting for him just on the other side of the security checkpoint.

The breach was spotted by airport police officer Sgt. Gary Glover, who was assigned to wait for Gore to come through security and escort him to his gate.

After Gore never came through security, Glover found the former vice president, his communications director Kalee Kreider and another staffer waiting at the gate for the flight to Miami.

The officer asked the group if they went through security, and when they said they hadn’t, they were taken back and fully screened. Gore did not complain and cooperated fully, Lowrance said. — Associated Press

The airport employee was not named, and faces retraining. The problem, it seems, was one of communications, or perhaps of too much Southern hospitality. Maybe it was just undeserved hero worship. We’ll probably never know.

Gore’s communications director, Kalee Kreider, says her staff usually notifies airports ahead of time to make arrangements to ensure that the former vice president’s visit doesn’t cause major disruptions for other travelers. “It was just an unusual situation where he was taken past security and taken directly to the gate,” Kreider says. She adds that “we didn’t know if standards had changed or what. There are different policies at different airports and you basically do what you’re asked to do.” — USA TODAY

And unlike you, Al Gore made his flight.