TSA Handcuffs Student for Arabic-English Flashcards

As the Progressive reports, prompted by a suit from the ACLU, the Transportation Security Administration detained a college senior for carrying Arabic-English flashcards. Once detained, they peppered him with questions like:

TSA supervisor: “You know who did 9/11?”

George: “Osama bin Laden.”

TSA supervisor: “Do you know what language he spoke?”

George: “Arabic.”

TSA supervisor: “Do you see why these cards are suspicious?”

The kicker?

When George told them he didn’t know why he was being held, one of the agents called him a “fucking idiot.”

It seems he had traveled some throughout the Middle East, which may have triggered him for a watch list. But it’s ridiculous that a set of flash cards is enough to be detained at the airport for several hours – another sign that most of the TSA’s efforts represent security theater instead of actual security.

(Thanks to Boing Boing for pointing this out.)