I am Not a Terrorist. But if I were…

Hello, Department of Homeland Security. I’m sure your web-crawling spiders have already found this blog post and flagged me for some kind of additional torture at the airport security checkpoints. I’m willing to take the risk, because somebody has to exercise their right of free speech and tell you that you are doing more harm than good.

I’m a travel journalist, which nowadays means being a combination of writer, photographer, and videographer. My increasingly heavy carry-on bags generally contain at least two camera bodies, three camera lenses, two video-capable cameras, and a laptop computer for work, plus my personal iPod for listening to music, Kindle for reading books, and Blackberry for receiving e-mails.

Your new policy of making me turn every single one of these devices on and off every single time I go through a security checkpoint is, in a word, insane. It serves only to enrage even the most frequent of flyers, and it does absolutely nothing to protect travelers from harm.

Let me be clear: I am not a terrorist. I have no desire to hurt anybody. I’m just trying to fly to wherever I need to get for my job.

However, if I did intend to blow up an airplane using my camera, my Blackberry, or my iPod, I’m pretty sure I could figure out a way to make the bomb work and still make the little red light come on at the security checkpoint. Your checking each of these on/off switches is not a security measure. It’s a waste of everyone’s time and patience.

I know you have a big job to do, keeping America safe. And I appreciate your doing it. Really, really do.

But please stop harassing innocent travelers like me in the process. Your policies need to make sense, not to turn hard-working Americans like me into your antagonists.

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