My friend was flying from Canada to visit a friend in the US for a couple of days and wanted to bring a gift of local wines (don't laugh, Canada does too produce wine) for his host. As wine is now a terrorist threat, he couldn't carry it on the airplane, but as he was only going for a couple of days he only had one small bag, so he checked the whole thing. The bag also contained a palmtop computer with a folding bluetooth keyboard. In hindsight he knows he should have taken the computer out and put it in his shirt pocket, but he didn't.
So the bag goes through security, onto the airplane and back off again. The wine arrives unbroken. But his computer has been turned on and left on. The computer is of course also a wireless communications device. So in the interest of 'security' the TSA has activated a transmitter and left a heat generating device in a container with flammable material. I'm thinking the clothing, when I say flammable: Canadian wines aren't like Scandinavian liquors. Now, the chance of a small computer either interfering with airline navigation or starting a fire in a suitcase is very small, but this was in no way a positive move for anyone's security. They had looked at his e-mail and his media files. Checking, no doubt, to see if any of it read "Dear Osama bin Laden, here are the naked photographs of my eight year old daughter which you requested. Do you have any more of those music downloads to share with me?"
It was a positive move for someone in security, though. That is for the person who got an almost new wireless bluetooth keyboard for nothing. The keyboard was missing from the suitcase. I guess the bag checker thought it was pretty cool. So even if the battery hadn't been run down from running in the suitcase during the flight, he still wouldn't have been able to use his computer.
The most grievous thing about this kind of treatment is that you can't even write them a letter to complain. Well you can, but you might as well word it as "Dear TSA, Please make as much trouble for me as possible at all security checkpoints. Here is my name and address."