Henry Kissinger gets TSA pat-down

May 14, 2012

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger got a TSA pat-down. (Paul Sancya/Associated Press)

Yeah, the guy who was once an advisor to presidents, the one who helped negotiate the end to the Vietnam War...and, oh yeah, he’s got a Nobel Peace Prize.

But not, apparently, in his pocket.

Kissinger, who will be 89 this month, was spotted on Friday at LaGuardia airport in New York, getting routed to the pat-down line while going through security. Freelance reporter Matthew Cole recognized him — something the TSA agent checking identification did not.

After asking Kissinger his name as he passed through the scanner, the agent sent him to be searched. Kissinger was in a wheelchair, Cole tells us, not because he couldn’t walk, but because, Cole surmised, it was a long walk to the gate. In the search area, Kissinger was subjected to what Cole called “the full Monty” of the usual groping. “He stood with his suit jacket off, and he was wearing suspenders. They gave him the full pat-down. None of the agents seemed to know who he was,” he says.

But the security sweep didn’t seem to put the Kissinger in a foul mood. Once settled into his flight to Toronto, Kissinger asked the aide travelling with him to find out what was being served for breakfast. Informed that it would be ham and eggs, Kissinger asked his associate if he could locate an alternative meal. “But do they have any schnitzel?” he inquired.

That seemed to be less a genuine request and more of an inside joke, Cole said, since the aide and Kissinger both laughed.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.
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