Here’s a good way to improve national security: arrest people who admit to inadvertently taking potential weapons onto airplanes. Yeah, that will really encourage people to be helpful. So let’s say, just hypothetically, that I or somebody I knew had accidentally taken a utility knife or knitting needles or whatever on a flight or two, and airport security missed it. If I report this fact in the interests of improving screening procedures and helping authorities identify weak points in airport security, I could face jail time. What a great idea!
In a novel, this state of affairs would be tragicomic. In 2002 America, it’s deeply stupid and somewhat scary. To paraphrase Ellen Ripley, did IQs just drop sharply when I wasn’t looking?