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Ex-TSA head: Let passengers carry on machetes

- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 7, 2013

Kudos to the new Transportation Security Administration plan to let passengers carry on small knives, said the former chief of the agency. Now let them carry on machetes, he added.

"Bravo on the 2.6 inch knife," said ex-TSA director Kip Hawley, to CNN. "In retrospect, I should have done the same thing. ... [Now] they ought to let everything on that is sharp and pointy. Battle axes, machetes ... bring anything you want that is pointy and sharp."

The idea, he said, is to keep would-be hijackers from taking over the plane.

"It is as simple as that," he told CNN.

Mr. Hawley, who headed TSA from 2005 to 2009, said he was not joking, or using hyperbole, CNN said. After all, those with intent can "commit acts of violence" with a soda can, a ruler and duct tape, and the like, he said.

"I really believe it. What are you going to do when you get on board with a battle ax? And you pull out your battle ax and say I'm taking over the airplane. You may be able to cut one or two people, but pretty soon you would be down in the aisle and the battle ax would be used on you," he said, to CNN.

His comments follow an announcement from TSA to allow passengers to now board airplanes with knives with blades up to 2.6 inches long and with certain sports equipment — like hockety sticks — that were previously banned.

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