Leaked! – TSA Internal Memo

February 3, 2010

Making the skies safer, one nap at a time...

To all TSA (Travel Security Administration) personnel:

As America’s last line of defense in the fight against domestic terrorism, we have instituted the following guidelines and procedures to help our frontline personnel stop potential terrorists, preferably before they board the plane. (Once they are on the plane, it’s all in Allah’s hands. Or God’s. Or the Dutch.)

Be aware! At any time, someone could set us up the bomb!

To this point, our “if it looks foreign, detain it” policy has served us well. However, some recent minor (but potentially calamitous) glitches have presented us with a chance for improvement. To this end we have devised the following list of “red flags*” to be on the lookout for:

*May also be “orange” or “yellow” depending on current threat level as determined by the NSA’s random number generator. Fun fact: number generator can also be used for office keno games!

Clothing and Accessories

  • Unseasonably warm clothing/loose-fitting clothing – Can hide bomb components.
  • T-shirts with drug references – Implicit support of terrorism/troublemaking punks.
  • Abnormally large purses – Use your judgment. Some women carry these year-round as part of a generally nomadic existence.
  • I “Plane” NY shirts – Just seems wrong in a way we can’t put our finger on/troublemaking punks.
  • Fanny packs, man purses – Anything that can be done to discourage use of these items would seem to be a good idea.
  • Open-toed shoes – Considered “unsafe” in most workplaces, doubly so in a workspace where everyone is forced to breathe the same recycled air. Also tends to indicated “freeminded” hippie types, who have been nothing but trouble since the Nixon administration.
  • Diaper bags – Often filled with deadly fluids, deadly nail clippers/safety scissors, deadly powdered formula and deadly interminable stacks of baby photos.


"TSA officials often complete their useless pre-flight screenings by uselessly praying for their passengers' safety."

Mandatory Strip Searches

  • People of a darker complexion travelling with visas
  • People of a darker complexion not named Jose
  • People of a darker complexion named Jose
  • Women rated higher than 7.5 according to hotornot.com
  • Troublemaking, sarcastic bloggers

Suspicious Activities

  • Loitering
  • Twittering
  • Talking loudly into Bluetooth headsets
  • Sexting
  • Bomb or weapon assembling
  • Blogging (especially “live-blogging”)
  • Periphery-circling
  • Post-checkpoint shoe adjusting
  • Gathering of 5 or more people without the proper permit
  • Fieldtripping
  • Raving
  • Masturbating
  • Speed walking
  • Complaint/lawsuit filing
  • Drug dealing
  • General bitching

Look kids! Bomb ingredients! And all of these can be found in your parents' carry-on bags!

(Note: please post this list inconspicuously and be sure to inform travellers that the forbidden item list is subject to change at anytime, especially if they insist on being indignant or uncooperative. Use the following phrase to defuse tense situations: “You’re about five seconds from travelling to Cleveland in the nude, buster. [Use “bustette” if speaking to a female.]

Remember: Irrational fear is your best weapon. [Note: Feel free to use your actual issued weapon if need be.])

  • Nail clippers
  • Saline solution
  • Homemade snacks
  • Moonshine
  • Explosives
  • Lighters/matches/two sticks/flint/magnifying glasses
  • Laser pointers
  • Snuggies
  • “That smartass mouth of yours”
  • Shoelaces/belts/zippers
  • Off-brand sodas
  • Lifesaving medicine
  • Battery-powered toothbrushes (manual toothbrushes are still allowed)
  • Non-fluff reading material
  • Valid photo IDs
  • Keepsakes
  • Rosary beads
  • Anal beads
  • Wallet-borne prophylactics
  • Manual toothbrushes
  • Opened copies of Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Artificial limbs
  • 50,000+ frequent flyer miles
  • Black-market kidneys
  • Your dignity

In-Flight Rule Changes
As you know, we are constantly striving for a safer travel experience. To that end, we have made the following changes to our patented “too much, too late” policy of overreaction and obtuseness.

  • Passengers will now line up single file in alphabetical order (last name first) and be led on-board by the on-duty air marshal, whose weapon must remain drawn for the duration of the flight. (Remember to check that the safety is safely in the “off” position for speedier overreaction time.)
  • For the first and last hours of the flight passengers are to remain in a supine, spread-eagled position with fingers interlaced behind their heads. No conversation or eye contact will be allowed.
  • No conversation while the aircraft is in motion.
  • Passengers must ask permission to use the restroom. Tipping your restroom attendant is mandatory.
  • In the likely event of an airborne terrorist situation, passengers are encouraged to “take matters into their own hands” as 1.) it has a proven track record and 2.) your air marshal will most likely be going mano-a-mano with the restroom lock or contemplating a mid-air career change.

Let’s all hope that these changes will lead us into a new era of regulated inefficiency and borderline brutality.

Remember, only YOU* can prevent domestic terrorism!

*”YOU” meaning “us” as a bureaucratic entity with far-reaching power and minimal oversight.



  1. No anal beads allowed? Shit! Oh . . . not good with beads in play. Fantastic blog, CLT. I actually interviewed for a job with TSA, and made the very final round, but couldn’t identify enough proper “shadows” on the simulated X-ray screen for luggage. Maybe it was on purpose – I mean – twelve hours of more of that would fry what little cells I have left. Please don’t ever tell anyone . . . I just needed a damn job. Any job. Even THAT one.

    • I’m surprised that your lack of identification skills kept you from being hired, Dan. From what I’ve seen, it’s pretty much mandatory. Hell, you could’ve made captain.

      On the other hand, you’ve still got your freedom, dignity and self-paid health insurance.

      We all do desparate things during dire times, Dan. Your secret is safe with me.

  2. First off, let me say how relieved I was to read that Dan, too, has squandered his (what I am sure were surplus) brain cells. It is amazing how well a few dwindling dendrites can perform. I don’t think even napalm can extinguish those core cells that have become hypertrophied from use following the early demise of the superfluous ‘booster’ cells. Okay, back to the TSA which is a favorite topic of mine. Truth be told, I am old enough that I no longer feel the need to be PC. Here is my solution: put all Muslims on a plane. Their OWN plane. The professional, peace loving, PROFILED Muslims will quickly get FED UP with the strip searches and other indignities passengers have to endure and will perhaps start SPEAKING OUT and railing against terrorism. Wait, I take that back. There will be NO NEED for TSA because Muslims would not want to take their own peeps down. Win/win. Problem SOLVED.

    • Excellent idea, Elizabeth! There’s no time like the present to begin profiling in bulk. Think of the time it would save!

      They could choose from two destinations: mecca or building. (Only one of those is round-trip.)

      You could get Dan McGinley to help you out. He was within shadow-identifying distance of a TSA job recently.

      Great comment, e3. Always a pleasure having you and your dendrites in attendance.

  3. I tip my theoretical trilby off to you, CLT. So many witticisms, so little time for me to comment on each one of said “bon mots” (if you will).

    (sidebar-I Plane NY??)

    Anyway, your multi-colored flag lists are brilliant. But if I could, I’d like to add a few to the “suspicious activities” section. (I mean, let’s face it, you can never be to safe-or suspicous- these days.)


    -perusing the “Rosetta Stone” kiosk

    -standing in line for hours at the food court Burger King only to order a “Garden salad with lite dressing”

    -pointing out the window and yelling “De plane, boss, de plane!” whenever an airplane comes in for landing

    -letting the people at TCBY know that you’re on the Activia 14-day challenge

    -claiming that you’re from the Country of Krakozhia, then single-handedly finishing the construction of Gate 67

    -asking someone to take your picture with “Cletus-The World’s Oldest Airport Ambassador”

    -ordering your coffee black

    -ordering your coffee black with “just a little sugar”

    -ogling the alcohol in the duty free (trust me, I know this one for a fact)

    -excessive sighing and checking of watch


    …Great work, CLT. You make racial/gender/animate profiling fun again.

    • Thanks for the compliments, bschooled. I graduated with honors from Bon Mot U. I got a nifty T-shirt that also doubles as a diploma.

      (sidebar – it exists at http://www.tshirthell.com )

      Truly a side-splitting list. It adds so much and takes away nearly as much. In fact, I’m seriously considering swapping your list for mine in hopes of hoovering up some undue credit.

      Bonus points awarded for:
      -Activia mention
      -Black “with sugar”
      -Excessive sighing
      -Harassing Dan during his first day on the job. The TSA job.

      Thanks for the comment, bschooled. You make pointing out Dan’s employment misstep fun again. And again.

  4. I love the subtle nuances of your humor…. ‘or Dutch’ was brilliant!

    The truth is that they don’t know what the fuck they are doing. All they can do is to go off of what has been attempted in the past. And unfortunately, these new breed of terrorists are not as dumb as the Iron Sheik always pushing Hogan over the edge and then having to deal with Hulk-a-mania running wild all over him.

    I think one start would be hiring competent, creative thinking people who will demand a higher than ‘living wage’ salary. That being said, I don’t think that the next large-scale attempt will have anything whatsoever to do with a plane. From the articles I’ve been reading, the big boys are waiting until they can ‘bring the big hurt’ so to speak.

    I wonder if Iran is going to nuke Israel on the 11th? …..Nah.

    • Thanks for catching the Dutch joke, Scott. Sometimes I get worried that I’m the only one who sees the connection, and if so, then maybe the connection doesn’t really exist.

      My favorite part of that whole fiasco (other than the TSA’s hilariously stupid knee-jerk reaction) was Michael Moore’s attempt to claim that some tough union autoworkers were to thank for shutting down the terrorist, just because it happened over Detroit.

      You’re spot on. Nothing says “incompetence” like basing your new policies on something you couldn’t prevent in the past. They’re about as useful as CCTV when it comes to actually preventing crime.

      Iran wouldn’t dare. Israel has one of the most badassssss militaries in the world.

      Wonderful to see you, Scott. If you run in to Dan M., be sure and ask him about his experiences with the knuckleheads over at the TSA.

  5. Don’t get me started, I hate the TSA, its Nazi BS and deeply unamerican. They deserve every ounce of comedy directed at them. And a fine job you did at that…keep it up. Its funny BTW.

    • Thanks, FJ. Those clowns couldn’t find money in a sack with a “$” printed on the outside.

      BTW, Dan once applied at the TSA. He’d like for us all to keep it under our hats.

  6. Great post, CLT. We have to stay vigilant against those free-minded hippie types and their open toed shoes. Nixon would be proud of you.

    • Don-

      You can never be too careful around those hippies. They’ll steal your freedom and leave nothing behind but flowers, patchouli stench and unpaid rent.

  7. Yet when you show up naked they get mad about that too!

    Excellent as always CLT…

    • You can’t win with these losers. Hence the name “losers.”

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