Mule Skinner Blues

Terror wears a bonnet...

The new face of terror?

Say what you will about the Transportation Security Administration, at least they’re being thorough this time. CNN says TSA is requiring some colonial reenactors at an Easton, Pa., historical park to undergo background checks and apply for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential card.

These mule skinners regularly guide two mules named Hank and George as they pull a boat down a two-mile canal at the Hugh Moore Historical Park. Usually only transportation workers such as longshoremen or truck drives are required to apply for TWIC cards, but since the mule skinners hold Coast Guard credentials to operate the canal boat, TSA says they need a TWIC card as well.

Park officials say that’s ridiculous, since the boat travels at 2 miles an hour at best and is an unlikely terror target. They also say TWIC cards will cost the park $100 apiece. And Congress is starting to take notice: Rep. Charles Dent, R-Pa., grilled new Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about the mule skinners at a hearing on Wednesday. Napolitano said TSA would try to be flexible.

‘Now Hank and George, while sometimes are ornery, they are not terrorists,’ Dent said.

But maybe that’s just what they want us to think…


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