Mushnick said after the column was published he received 30 to 50 emails from readers who had their own stories about what they also perceived to be security breaches and some of those seemed to definitely be talking about skycaps as opposed to TSA agents.
But of his incident he said, “She had TSA identification on her. I know what a skycap is, I’ve traveled long enough.”
“I felt like what I was getting was an attempt to discredit me and my story...instead of routing out what really goes on at these security positions at the airport. What I wrote has maybe stopped this particular scam. I wish they’d spend more time trying to eradicate that security issue than trying to discredit me, but in the end I’m sure it’ll have a positive effect," he said. “Didn’t any of these security people find it odd that after I went through the scanner that he [Mushnick’s friend in the wheelchair] just walked unaided and clearly wasn’t disabled?”
Mushnick said the reason the column ran on Sept. 11 is because he pitched it as a story to his editors twice, but they didn’t follow up on it so he wrote the column over his concern for potentially rogue TSA agents or skycaps--whichever it was--and their ability to circumvent security.
“I can only provide speculation but I’m sure if I had given this woman $20 to hold my toiletry bag as I passed through the scanner, she would have--and then would have handed it back to me. And I would have had a nice little bomb making kit right in my hand,” he said.
Farbstein said that a skycap and the wheelchair would have to be re-screened to meet someone on the other side of a security checkpoint, in addition to providing valid identification.
Numerous calls to the Post’s editors went unreturned.
photo by Inha Leex Hale/flickr