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UK Terror Chief Blocked From Boarding Aircraft 237

Posted by samzenpus
from the tonight-on-security-theater dept.
Jeremiah Cornelius writes "Two days before toner cartridges threatened western civilization, Britain's Home Office minister Baroness Neville-Jones was en route to a Washington summit when she was found to have an over-sized aerosol can in her bag. While being questioned by airport security staff for transporting a container with more than 100ml of liquid, the Baroness seemingly took offense at being lectured on the importance of security procedure: 'Of course I know how important it is,' she said, 'I'm the Security Minister.' The Baroness is also former head of the British Joint Intelligence Committee, and was traveling at the time to discuss the war on terror with US security chiefs. According to a Home Office spokesman, trained in the use of the passive voice, 'Liquids were inadvertently left in a bag. The item was removed and the Minister fully complied with subsequent checks.'"
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UK Terror Chief Blocked From Boarding Aircraft

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  • by mirix (1649853) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:43PM (#34193106)

    Why would the people implementing security theatre want to subject themselves to it?

    They know it's just show. Not to mention the whole being above the law thing.

    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:53PM (#34193164)

      Why would the people implementing security theatre want to subject themselves to it?

      They know it's just show. Not to mention the whole being above the law thing.

      It has long since ceased being kabuki theater and has passed into bukkake theater.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by syousef (465911)

        Why would the people implementing security theatre want to subject themselves to it?

        They know it's just show. Not to mention the whole being above the law thing.

        It has long since ceased being kabuki theater and has passed into bukkake theater.

        Only for ordinary riff raff. The minister is excempt and shows contempt. If you do the same prepare to spend time in prison.

        • by besalope (1186101) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @11:08PM (#34193242)

          Only for ordinary riff raff. The minister is excempt and shows contempt. If you do the same prepare to spend time in prison.

          Exactly. The Inner-Party members complain about the hindrance. The Party members are trained to put up with it or they will be unpersoned. And no one cares about the proles because they cannot afford to fly anyways.

      • by polle404 (727386)

        It has long since ceased being kabuki theater and has passed into bukkake theater.

        Bukkake theater? No thanks,
        not with her.
        Rule 35 or not.
        http://bit.ly/bRmdRV [bit.ly]

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        One more time, it's actually Bunraku. Pay no attention to the men in black.

    • by Animaether (411575) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @11:19PM (#34193298) Journal

      tinfoil hat on

      Because stories like these make the general public feel a little less singled out... clearly if even the security bigwig herself is subject to the same rules, then at least they're being 'fair'. If she then throws a mini-fit about it, the general public will realize that she's aware of the annoyance and grievances and she isn't any more fond of them than they are. Then later a statement is released in which she acknowledges this more formally, while pointing out that she deeply believes that these measures are necessary to stop actual terrorist plots... and the general public may just feel a little bit more sympathetic to her given the aforementioned.

      tinfoil hat off

      Now, about those body scanners...
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJGvsAgpfig [youtube.com] (not a rick roll, have pinches of salt ready though).

    • by arivanov (12034)

      Answer:

      All animals are equal. Some are more equal than the other.

      George Orwell, "Animal Farm: A Fairy Story"

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:45PM (#34193122) Journal
    The security staff really let an opportunity slip past them here.

    "I'm terribly sorry madam; but surely the real Home Office Minister Baroness Neville-Jones would be properly familiar with aircraft security procedure. Come with me, please."

    *Whispers*"We caught a terrorist impersonating the Home Office Minister! What'we do now?" *Whisper*"Just throw a bag over her head and hand her over to the Yanks, those bloody-minded bastards love that sort of thing."
    • Re:Hmm, Pity... (Score:5, Informative)

      by ChipMonk (711367) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:57PM (#34193196) Journal
      Yeah, something like this [youtube.com].

      Note that it was posted just today.
      • by Shikaku (1129753)

        Someone mod this up.

      • lol I feel sorry for anyone who has to go through a body scanner or who is singled out for a search (having gone through many, since I often travel with weird prototypes), the girl in that movie keeps saying, "all I was doing was asking questions." Totally reminds me of this [xkcd.com].

        Remember people, protest rules when you actually have a chance to make a difference. When you are trying to get through security, your best bet is to get over your fear of nudity and just get through.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Can't believe the alternative is to have an entire body grope. How is that procedure even remotely decent enough to be considered for deployment in an airport? That's probably worse than prison treatment, and the people in airports are presumed innocent (yeah right).

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by phantomfive (622387)
            lol worse than prison? Pray that you never get sent there man, pray hard; you know not what evil lays there in deep cavities.
          • by Raenex (947668)

            That's probably worse than prison treatment, and the people in airports are presumed innocent

            I saw a television show where people being locked up in the county jail had to strip naked and spread their ass cheeks for the guards. This is, of course, before trial and innocence must be presumed.

        • Remember people, protest rules when you actually have a chance to make a difference. When you are trying to get through security, your best bet is to get over your fear of nudity and just get through.

          And since "protesting rules" works oh soooo well in the arena dominated entirely by bought and paid-for politicos, by screeching far-right demagogues peddling bed-wetting fear and by corporate "security-military-industrial-complex" money - who are all making a killing on the wholesale shredding of what remains

      • by bradley13 (1118935) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @02:52AM (#34194094) Homepage

        Yeah, something like this [youtube.com].

        This really has gone too far. TSA should be eliminated. Let the airlines and airports provide security - they, at least, have no interest in intimidating and humiliating their customers.

        I'm not the type to write Congresscritters, but it can do no harm. A bit of Googling... It turns out that both the House of Representatives [house.gov] and the Senate [senate.gov] provide convenient web forms that let you contact your Congresscritters.

        Even if you are not normally political, please consider taking the time to send a message. It takes no more time than posting on /.

      • Thanks for that, if nothing else it will be another straw for the camel's back. The TSA show the same sociological ingroup/outgroup ideas that are the basis for the very worst sort of human behaviour. Travellers, not terrorists, have literally become the enemy for these people.

      • Re:Hmm, Pity... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by corbettw (214229) <corbettw AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:51AM (#34196876) Journal

        This has got to stop. To that end, I just sent this letter to both my Representative and Senator (names obscured to protect the guilty):

        Dear (Rep|Sen). Soandso,

        I am writing today about the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), specifically regarding your support in defunding and disbanding this agency.

        The TSA is notorious among travelers for being arrogant, rude, and invasive. They routinely conduct searches on the flimsiest of grounds, during the course of which they subject citizens to degrading conduct. The rationale given for all of this behavior is that they are "keeping us safe" from terrorists.

        I consider this argument to be absurd. First of all, prior to 9/11, there had only been a handful of plane hijackings in American history. The last one, FedEx Flight 705, was hijacked by a FedEx employee. The TSA would not have helped in this instance. The only commercial flights hijacked within the United States prior to 9/11 were in the 60s and 70s. Given that it had been more than 20 years between the last of those in 1978 and 9/11, it's unfair to say that the TSA have made a difference in hijackings between 9/11 and now.

        Secondly, none of the airplane bomb threats to emerge over the last 10 years have been foiled by the TSA. They've all been foiled by a combination of effective intelligence and alert and responsive passengers. There is nothing the TSA has done to make us safer.

        Thirdly, even if they did make us safer, I believe very strongly that Dr. Franklin was right: we should not sacrifice liberty for safety, as we will end up with neither.

        The last straw, for me, happened recently, when I learned of a young woman, Meg McLain, in Florida being arrested and having her ticket torn up because she did not want to submit to a full-body scan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJGvsAgpfig). This is an outrage. If we can't protect the dignity of our people to be safe from invasion by the government, why did our ancestors fight off the British in the first place?

        When I was young, during the Cold War, I remember being shocked at some of the things I heard about living in the Soviet Union. That citizens had to carry passports at all times; that they had to register with the government before they could travel; that they had no right to privacy when traveling; and that their political opinions could result in their being unable to travel. What does it say about our country that every single one of these abhorrent practices are now common place in the United States of America?

        I hope you'll agree with me that enough is enough and it's time to return our nation to one of liberty, to make us once again the "land of the free and the home of the brave".

        Sincerely,

        corbettw

  • What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

    • Re:Gander (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @11:01PM (#34193220)

      What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

      Always. It ought to be a rule that anyone voting for, or enforcing, a law that "balances" personal liberty with anything else, including "security" must not only be required to experience the full force of the process, but to do so at least once a month for the duration of their employment.

  • Missed Opportunity (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lunoria (1496339)
    She missed a glorious opportunity to praise the airport security for her unplanned security check. It is a good thing that British Security Officers check all people, even the Security Minister.
  • by Nimey (114278) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:48PM (#34193144) Homepage Journal

    Should've made her go through the porn scanner.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CodeBuster (516420)
      Why stop there? Surely such a large aerosol can warrants the full body cavity search with glove <snap!>. What makes all of this security theater even more stupid is that they refuse to profile. How many white 71 year old female bombers have there been?. They probably would have waved someone wearing a burka right through while they were wasting time with the minister who is quite obviously of old British decent (she even has a peerage!) just so that they aren't accused of profiling. Ridiculous!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by the_humeister (922869)

        The problem is that other groups will claim racism due to said profiling. And then after that, them terrorists will be recruiting white 71 year olds.

      • by bcmm (768152) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @05:19AM (#34194644)
        How many people in burkas have blown up planes?

        Terrorists on planes tend to dress very normally to avoid suspicion.

        When you complain about people in strange clothing not being subjected to extra humiliating checks, you're just voicing some kind of gut instinct to punish entire cultures you seem to consider your enemy. Just like, say, Bin Laden.
      • Excellent idea! I prefer to smuggle my explosives onto planes using 71 year old ministers as dupes.
    • by Shark (78448)

      Maybe the prospect terrified security to the point where they considered the risk of annoying her worthwhile.

  • Not good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ArchieBunker (132337) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:52PM (#34193160) Homepage

    This really isn't good. The monster that is airport security is too big to control. Not even high profile politicians can seem to escape it.

    • Re:Not good (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Huntr (951770) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:59PM (#34193204)
      I disagree. I think the key to affecting change is to demonstrate the utter stupidity and futility of current regs and prohibitions to people of import, such as Ms. Neville-Jones. They need a picture painted for them in order to understand, so paint that mother.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Zero__Kelvin (151819)

      "This really isn't good. The monster that is airport security is too big to control. Not even high profile politicians can seem to escape it."

      On the contrary, this is exactly what is needed. Unless the foolishness affects those in charge of it they will never stop their ill conceived practices.

      • by delinear (991444)
        If it ever affected them in any real way, don't you think they'd just put in place regulations that specifically let them bypass the checks (something along the lines of diplomatic immunity) citing that it affected their ability to effectively do their job (and ignoring the massive irony of what it means to everyone else trying to do their jobs)?
        • No, because while most of the general public would probably miss the irony until it was pointed out to them, a large part of the media would not miss it, and Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert certainly wouldn't miss it.
    • Actually quite the contrary. That's the only good thing about it.
    • by Tim C (15259)

      Are you saying that you would prefer that the law does not apply equally to all people regardless of social standing, job, etc?

  • Hm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:55PM (#34193180)

    "The Baroness is also former head of the British Joint Intelligence Committee, and was traveling at the time to discuss the war on terror with US security chiefs."

    They must be talking about the 'terror' that they use to manipulate the average sheep into believing that these blatant invasions of privacy and freedom are a good idea.

  • Blocked? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Seriously, Slashdot is getting worse than the mainstream press.

    How was she "blocked" as the title says?

  • Paraphrasing: "Mistakes were made. We don't care."

    You made the rules, you have to live by them.

  • I suppose it's fair when they get caught in the same system they suggest for everybody else.

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @11:07PM (#34193234)

    While being questioned by airport security staff for transporting a container with more than 100ml of liquid, the Baroness seemingly took offense at being lectured on the importance of security procedure: 'Of course I know how important it is,' she said, 'I'm the Security Minister.'

    Good. I'm happy she was offended. I say we run through the entire procedure word-for-word, action-for-action for EVERY public official who flies commercially. And I hope every single one of them is every bit as offended as the rest of us are for being treated at best like petulant children who need to be taught a lesson, and at worst like criminals who have no rights. The more public officials get pissed off over being treated the same way the average citizen is treated, the more likely there is to be an outcry against this kind of crap.

    As the Security Minister, she should have known damn well that she needed to double check her bags for compliance BEFORE leaving home. So if she gets pissy over having to endure the same lecture as some other poor sap who simply forgot it was in there, tough shit. She's not above the law. And since she's one of the ones who seem to think it's so important, she needs to the standard just as much as everyone else, if not moreso.

    • Really, this should apply in this case. Officials responsible for law production are welcome eating their own dog-food.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eating_your_own_dog_food [wikipedia.org]

  • by quacking duck (607555) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @11:08PM (#34193236)

    The Baroness' behaviour sounds positively tame compared to former Canadian Conservative MP Helena Guergis's temper tantrum when trying to catch a flight home earlier this year, going so far as throwing insults and her boots at security officials:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/airport-worker-says-guergis-meltdown-among-worst-hes-seen/article1482043/ [theglobeandmail.com]

    Any of us little people would've been tasered, handcuffed and carried away after a stunt like that. Power certainly hath its privileges.

    • by fadir (522518)

      Depends on how much former this PM is. If she's not responsible for this utter nonsense called security check then she has all reason to be upset. Instead of complying with all the rediculous crap I'd prefer to throw shoes at those people as well. Sadly I'd like to reach my destination so I throw shoes (and do worse things) just in my imagination and politely (as good as I can fake it) comply to get done with it.

  • Cobra (Score:3, Funny)

    by redvision4 (105878) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @11:30PM (#34193360) Homepage

    Clearly they finally had the chance to really hinder Cobra and they missed it. Gi.Joe must be pissed.

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      Clearly they finally had the chance to really hinder Cobra and they missed it. Gi.Joe must be pissed.

      I'm always amused when I read news stories about British government officials attending Cobra meetings. Either it's an example of someone's sick sense of humor, or they really have no clue.

      • by delinear (991444)
        More likely they just wanted to make their tedious jobs sound a little more interesting. "Hey, today I attended a meeting at COBRA!" Good for you. The stupid thing is, I bet there's not even a Cabinet Office Briefing Room Beta - they just realised that they could turn COBR into a "cool" acronym by appending an extra letter.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @11:58PM (#34193490)

    I was waiting to pick a friend up at the airport. I was early and they were late. I had seen a report on the local news that week that they were going to start wiping peoples hands and running them trough a sniffer to see if there was explosive residue on them.

    I wanted to find out what chemicals were in the wipes because of alergies. There was a person watching the exit from the secure area who was obviously bored (very small airport, could be 15 minutes between people at times) She needed only to make sure nobody went the wrong way. So I decided to ask her about it. Took awhile to explain what I wanted to know and then confirm she didn't know and was just willing to make stuff up.

    I went back to waiting and then suddenly 5 police officers were around me to ask questions. 2nd degree and background check and other fun. I felt like asking if I was being detained, but I could not afford to be taken away for 24 hours.

    Eventually I was let go after about 30 minutes. They did not take me anywhere or touch me but it was eye opening.

  • Cobraaaa! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Dachannien (617929) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @12:37AM (#34193662)

    Why would you hire the Baroness as your minister of security? Next you'll be telling me that Destro is the new Prime Minister.

    • I realize to non-British, the term "Baroness" sounds like something from a Hollywood Vampire movie, but the term Baron(and hence Baroness) goes to the heart of the British class system.

      Its roots lie in the fact they were monarchy endorsed, often due to excelling in military service.

      So yes, a Baron(or Baroness), would be an epiphany of this role in modern times.
  • AND her name is The Baroness?!? I can see why she'd be blocked, she sounds terrifying. And possibly a mortal enemy to GI Joe.

  • by dbIII (701233) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @01:01AM (#34193736)
    Why do we still have the liquid restrictions when they are not a credible threat? Meanwhile flammable liquids and gasses in cigarette lighters are ignored as they should be.
    It's really become an expensive joke instead of anything resembling security.
    • by xenobyte (446878)

      As many have already pointed out - it's security theater and it has nothing to do with security except in the name. It's a pathetic joke designed to make it appear to the less intelligent (which obviously includes most of the power establishment) that something is done.

      * None of the checks at the airports, including the porn scanner, would not have stopped the 9/11 terrorists.
      * It takes less than 200ml of liquid explosive to down a plane and you're allowed five times that (in separate containers but still).

      • by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @04:31AM (#34194468)

        A simple profiling banning everybody that had connections with extremist organisations would have stopped both all the 9/11 terrorists and all subsequent attempts using shoe-bombs, underwear bombs, liquid bombs and so on. All the people involved were on watch-lists, as were many others by the way. Sure, you'll ban a lot of legitimate travelers as well, but people chose their friends and if they chose to associate with extremists it might (or will) have consequences, like the inability to travel by air.

        While I agree with you about your other points, this is simply the old good Nazi/Soviet/What-not "guilt by association" shtick. Its even worse than the perversity already being committed. So a brother of a guy you buy kabobs from at his mobile cart in front of your office joined the Jihad somewhere in Pakistan and you being a computer nerd happened to help the stand owner get his wi-fi working on his netbook while waiting for your kabobs. Neither of you had a clue about the new Holy Warrior being minted in some cave but its just too bad anyway. Goodbye air travel, hello body cavity searches. Etc and so on.

        The real goals of "guilt by association" are of course things like Aryan Purity (because anyone not "pure" enough is quickly "associated" out of relevance or even existence) and also a very convenient to rulers abject fear of the security apparatus by the populace. Because it takes only "an association" (completely arbitrarily defined) to fuck you up for life and so enforcement becomes entirely the matter of whim of your "betters" (i.e. the members of the Securocracy).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jimicus (737525)

      Because it has nothing to do with security and everything to do with the appearance of security. The two are often quite different, and should not be confused.

      If our politicians wanted security, they'd canvass the opinion of the worlds' experts. If they want political appearance of security, they will do what they think looks good.

      The worlds' experts have almost universally said "Everything being done is a waste of time - obvious knee-jerk reactions are pointless"; the world's politicians have without fa

    • BBC News article [bbc.co.uk] - watch the embedded video for a real-life detonation of a liquid bomb inside an aircraft fuselage.

      Why do we still have the liquid restrictions when they are not a credible threat?

      The Judge in the case disagreed: "I'm satisfied that there is every likelihood that this plot would have succeeded but for the intervention of the police and the security service. Had this conspiracy not been interrupted, a massive loss of life would almost certainly have resulted - and if the detonation was over land, the number of victims would have been even greater still."

      Three men are cu

    • No, it wasn't a hoax - it was just a really bad plan. The most likely outcome, had they got onto the plane, was that they would have died in a small explosion in the toilet while attempting to mix the explosive. Personally, I wish they'd done exactly this - I don't think anyone could be terrified of an organisation whose operatives blew themselves up in toilets - but they were caught first.

  • by skywire (469351) * on Thursday November 11, 2010 @01:38AM (#34193866)

    The story title aptly characterizes her as Terror Chief. Her role, like that of her American counterpart, is to instill terror in the populace. She is one of the most valuable, if unofficial, players on the Al Qaeda team, thanks to the interest of our ruling elites in promoting (for different reasons) terrorism.

  • by Aceticon (140883) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @05:21AM (#34194648)

    I'm actually surprised she was flying on a normal airliner - had she been flying on a charter flight she wouldn't have to go through the pointless hassle of security theater in the airport.

    Maybe an unintended side-effect of the recession and the UK government having to cut custs will be that, now that most public officials can't easilly justify the cost of charter flights, they'll be subjected to the same humiliations as us plebes have been facing in UK airports thus coming to the conclusion that (now that they have to go through it) the current security practices are excessive and unjustified.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GameboyRMH (1153867)

      I can't wait for a terrorist to hijack a charter flight. The first step to undoing this insane airport security crap is to inconvenience the wealthy and powerful. Either that or it will help expose the stupidity of the system to the media.

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