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Good Judgment Must Join New Security Rules

November 01, 2003

On Oct. 9 I went to Los Angeles International Airport to pick up my elderly mother and father. I saw my dad at the Frontier passenger pickup area as I drove up. I stopped, and as I did, I saw to my surprise that my mother was in a wheelchair. My wife and I got out to help them into the car. Of course, according to airport security, the car was unattended and I was immediately given a ticket by a zealous airport traffic officer. When I protested vigorously, the cop said nothing and continued writing with a smug "gotcha" attitude, ultimately punctuating the silent treatment with "get out of my face."

After getting into the car I was threatened with another citation by the same cop as my wife and a porter tried to load a few, small carry-on bags into the car -- because the rear was in the crosswalk. This is not reasonable treatment of people in the name of "security."

Rather, it is just one more small indicator of larger judgment problems by officialdom that could be harbingers of much greater and more serious types of confrontations with the public in the future regarding security and the so-called war on terrorism.

Peter Fraser

Alexandria, Va.

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