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When a Kiss Isn't Just a Kiss, But a National Security Issue

I had to write about this, a security breach at Newark Liberty International Airport that seems to be a man wanting to walk his girlfriend to her gate and give her a goodbye kiss. Ever since people were banned from seeing off friends or family at the gates (and I can remember when you could get a kiss and hug as you left) airports are a little more sterile. I kind of miss the teary-eyed goodbyes that are now abbreviated and awkward moments before one enters the security line and a guard tells everyone to leave.

Nowadays the only way one can see off a friend or relative is to buy a cheap ticket in the same concourse. Of course, that's the price we paid for national security, right? Giving up our loved ones saying goodbye to us -- because as we all know, those were the people responsible for hijacking planes. Oh, wait -- they weren't. It was just another knee-jerk policy to prove that the Federal Aviation Administration was doing something about national security.

However, the security breach in the above video is a little disheartening because apparently anyone could have wandered through without any security check. (At least in the old days, even if you were seeing someone off at the gate you still had to go through security.) And this isn't a a tiny airport in the middle of nowhere, but one of the busiest airports in the country. Apparently a solitary TSA agent left his post guarding the concourse for 85 seconds, enough time for a man to move under the security cordons to visit with his ladyfriend.

"You have people right up against the exit lane," Fred Cate, a security expert and professor at Indiana University told the Star-Ledger. "In most airports, you have a corridor. But Newark doesn't have room. They need some low walls to create an exit, so you don't have people behind a taped barrier. . . . It's a total screw up in every sense."

So much so, that the officer in question has been put on administrative leave, although others are calling for his termination. Terminal C was closed for six hours and caused nationwide delays.

So far, the grainy video isn't good enough to figure out who the man or woman were, but officials are still looking for the man, who cameras also caught leaving the airport. Somehow, I doubt the federal agents will be lenient when they find him, they aren't known for their sense of romance.

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