Magazine December 20, 2010, Issue

The Glove Will Not Save You

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer directs an airline passenger at a security checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport, N.J., December 29, 2009. (Mike Segar/Reuters )
So let’s get real about airplanes and terrorists

There’s probably no context in which rubber gloves are anything less than alarming. These hands, they seem to announce, are tasked with some dirty business. These fingers, say the brightly colored latex digits, are crossing into unsavory terrain. You don’t know where those hands have been, and you don’t want to know where they’re going, but wherever it is, they’re going to need protection.

Which is why, I think, the most unsettling part of passing through airport security — more disquieting than the quasi-police TSA uniforms, which always seem at least two sizes too snug; more heart-racing than the body-imaging equipment,

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