"Ask the pilot" on the "gels, aerosols and liquids" idiocy

From the 2006 retrospective edition of Salon’s excellent column Ask the pilot:

Speaking of things that never happened, how could we forget last summer’s liquid-bomb terror scare. In case you were living on Neptune at the time and missed the news, British police broke up an alleged London-based scheme to bring down several U.S. airliners using hard-to-detect liquid explosives. The public continues to believe that authorities rushed in and saved thousands of lives in the nick of time. Quite the contrary. What makes the story so special is how much of an overblown ruse the whole thing was, and just how preposterous our reaction to it has been. The fact that both alleged ringleaders of the plot have been released without charge has gone scarcely noticed by the press. Meanwhile, despite assertions by experts that the types of bombs alleged in the scheme are all but impossible to brew, millions of travelers remain subject to absurd prohibitions of liquids, gels and aerosols from their carry-on bags.

And the result: the insane, chaotic scene from Heathrow that I blogged about recently. But to fix this, some politician somewhere is going to have to violate the most important taboo in politics: Never Admit That You Made A Mistake. Apparently it is more important to be consistent than to be right. (Probably because in this complex world, nobody can actually tell if you’re right, but any idiot can tell if you’re consistent. Dumbed-down political discourse. Good grief….)
P.S. Did you know that the plot ringleaders had been released? I certainly missed it….