Questioning authority

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I am befuddled by the FAA's decision to levy hefty fines against Northwest Airlines for allowing agents to carry dynamite bombs aboard NWA aircraft. Befuddled because I know that these infractions could not possibly have occurred once the undercover troublemakers were asked "The Questions."

"Did you pack these bags yourself?" "Were these bags out of your sight at any time?" Every airline passenger knows the drill by heart. Now, it is probably true that the question "Did you pack dynamite bombs in any of these bags?" probably was not asked on the occasions in question. But it is certainly implied in the standard luggage-interrogation script.

Two possible scenarios emerge here: Either the wily FAA agents managed to dodge the questions, or the questions themselves are a silly exercise designed to get the FAA off the hook for potential security breaches. I have no answers, only more questions.

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