It now seems that Subash Gurung wasn't an evil-minded terrorist, just a ridiculous boob. At least so say the Feds. When I wrote yesterday that releasing him immediately on bond seemed pretty foolish, a number of readers wrote in that what it looked like was that the authorities were letting him go in the hopes that he might lead them to more clues or associates.
On paper that made good sense. But the Feds' subsequent rearrest of Gurung, so soon after the locals cut him loose, points pretty clearly, I think, to the original conclusion that letting him go was just a screw up, plain and simple.
Anyway, the follow-up information to Gurung's arrest provides the really pitiful details about the state of our current airline security system.
When Gurung went through the normal security check point, the security guards noticed something in his pocket, which turned out to be two knives. They confiscated those knives and waived him through. Only later in a random check at the gate by United Airlines personnel were seven more knives discovered in his carry-on luggage along with two more weapons of micro-destruction -- a stun gun and mace.
Now just in order to give the story all the dramatic punch possible, it turns out that the security company responsible for this bang-up job was Argenbright Security, the company that the federal government has already repeatedly cited for hiring various hoodlums, illegal aliens and ne'er-do-wells to do their screening for them.
Argenbright said their employees had done everything by the book, but responded with this gem, the comedic potential of which seems not yet to have been fully explored:
Effective today, any individual who has a suspicious item confiscated by security personnel ... will automatically have their carry-on bags searched as well by Argenbright personnel ...
Let's unpack this.
Under Argenbright's new ultra-draconian rules, once you are found trying to take a weapon on to a plane, all your carry-on bags will be searched. No exceptions!
Is this a joke? You know, I don't want to be too much of a hardass, but for my money, in the post-9/11 universe, if you get caught trying to bring two knives on board a plane, I'm willing to say you just can't come on the trip.
Call me heartless.