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Nuttin’ Honey

Security screeners at the Bakersfield, Calif., airport detained Francisco Ramirez, 31, after they found “suspicious” bottles in his checked luggage. Security equipment signaled the bottles contained explosives. TSA officials tried a second test, which indicated different explosives. When they opened the bottles to get a closer look at the thick, amber liquid inside, they became nauseated. All along, Ramirez assured them that the bottles just contained honey: he was visiting family in the heavily agricultural area, and got some to take home. Still, since it was just days after the “Underwear Bomber” incident, TSA officials sent two screeners to the hospital, called in hazardous materials experts and the bomb squad, diverted incoming flights, and evacuated the terminal. After a “massive investigation,” analysis showed the mysterious goo was ...honey. “I think this was an example of TSA working well with the airport as well as with our partners in local law enforcement to ensure that passengers remain safe at all times,” said a TSA spokeswoman. (RC/Bakersfield Californian) ...Gross overreaction is not an example of “working well” after a gross underreaction, but it is a typical government response.
Original Publication Date: 24 January 2010
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 16.

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