The TSA were diligently screening all passengers passing through JFK Terminal 7 on Saturday morning, spotting any metallic items with their carefully calibrated magnetometers. Until someone finally realised why not a single passenger had caused the machine to bleep that morning:
The chaos at Terminal 7 was caused by screener Alija Abdul Majed, who had manned Lane No. 1 during the morning shift with no idea his metal detector had no juice, sources said.Well, that's not really true, is it? If they had any reason to suspect that the disabling of the scanner was deliberate, they should have immediately arrested the responsible screener and grilled him. As it was, this was a pure cover-our-backsides action, security theatre at its best. No-one really expected to find a suspect item on any of the passengers re-screened -- and anyone who had successfully taken a suspect item through security would have had plenty of time to hide it before re-screening and pick it up afterwards.
Higher-ups at the Transportation Security Administration finally discovered the security boondoggle at 9:44 a.m. — leaving the Port Authority with no choice but to call for a complete evacuation of the international terminal that is home to British Airways, Cathay Pacific, United Airlines and others.
Congratulations, TSA and Port Authority. You took a security snafu and used it to make it clear that you really don't intend for these procedures to contribute to actual passenger safety, merely as a continued source of government funds for your activities no matter how useless and annoying.