Wow — not only are lighters allowed on US airplanes again, but Kip Hawley, the guy who runs the TSA, has described the ban on lighters as "security theater." The term "security theater" is Bruce Schneier's, and has been used exclusively by critics of the TSA — to hear Hawley use it suggests that he isn't the capricious, eight-armed* vengeance deity implied by the airport security process.
Lawmakers said that if Mr. Reid had used a lighter, instead of matches, he might have been able to ignite the bomb, but Kip Hawley, assistant secretary for the Transportation Security Administration, said in an interview on Thursday that the ban had done little to improve aviation security because small batteries could be used to set off a bomb.
Matches have never been prohibited on flights.
"Taking lighters away is security theater," Mr. Hawley said. "It trivializes the security process."
*One arm to hold your boarding pass, one to hold your shoes, one to hold your freedom baggie, one to hold your phone, one to hold your laptop, one to hold your coat, one to hold your belt, one to hold your coins, and one to salute the flag as you bend over and let someone from the TSA shine a flashlight up your colon.
Update: Damien sez, "They also now allow
'mothers flying with or without their child [..] to bring breast milk in quantities greater than three ounces'
Lets hear it for *some* common sense."