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Revolt against TSA: Ban the body scanner?

By Melissa Bell
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A groundswell of anger has rippled through the nation's airports: People are not happy about the body scanner security systems.

While The Post's Andrea Sachs did not find the procedure too invasive when she tested the new technology ("I found it comforting to know that the body scanner would uncover items missed by older equipment and that we travelers have one more layer of protection against those exceedingly crafty terrorists."), other people have not been so happy with the experience.

Some people are bothered by the idea of a stranger seeing the naked outlines of their body, others worry about the images being stored. Another complaint is that if you opt out of a scan, you're subjected to a pat-down that has gotten a wee too invasive for some folks. "One US Airways pilot said he felt as though he had been "sexually molested" by the pat down," Mike Cleary, president of the US Airline Pilots Association, told USA Today.

Some people are planning a National Opt Out Day for Nov. 24. Fliers are supposed to opt out of having a body scan or not travel at all. The Web site writes, "You should never have to explain to your children, 'Remember that no stranger can touch or see your private area, unless it's a government employee, then it's OK.' "

Meg McLain, a radio host, went on the program "Free Talk Live" and said she had been handcuffed and harassed when refusing to use the body scanners. The Transportation Security Administration released security camera footage that appears to contradict at least some of her claims, as she is not handcuffed in the footage.

The angry fliers have professional support: The unions at American Airlines and US Airways have advised their 14,000 members to avoid the scanners and opt for the pat-downs.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a lawsuit July 2 to stop the installation of more scanners at airports in the United States, saying the procedure was "unlawful, invasive and ineffective."

TSA, meanwhile, contends the body scanners are safe and necessary. "Advanced imaging technology safely screens passengers for metallic and nonmetallic threats including weapons, explosives and other objects concealed under layers of clothing without physical contact to help TSA keep the traveling public safe," an entry on the administration's blog reads.

By Melissa Bell  | November 12, 2010; 1:18 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Next: Wired magazine and the brouhaha over breasts

Comments

Google the video entitled "Michael Chertoff and the TSA: The Naked Body Scanner Scam"

Posted by: Cincy911Truth | November 12, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

It is obvious that to be employed by the TSA one does not have to have a high IQ. Still, this does not excuse the fact the people don't seem to possess reasoning skills nor do they seem to possess common sense. Are pat downs of 8 year olds necessary? For that matter - why are we Americans being patted down at all? It is just another measure of Government control over our lives.

What next - an Army created by the Government to come to our homes and check on us and make sure we are in line?

One big problem in our country - appears to be too many people emersed in the internet and technology - so much so that we can't tell the difference between real and imaginary and we don't seem to be able to judge people for what they are and not for what they are capable of doing. If we judge people for what they are capable of doing - then all of us would surely be doomed.

I understand the need for body scanning (to a degree). Not so - pat downs. Still, I wonder how much control by government there is in allowing people to believe there is more danger than what is actually there.

It used to be really fun to fly. All you had to do was show up at the airport in time to run to the gate and jump onboard. You could accomplish this is 30 minutes. Loved ones could even accompany you to the gate and lingerly hold you in their site until you walked through the door and onto your flight.

Since 9/11 - we Americans have lost many freedoms and at what cost? I have often said - if you have to live your life in fear - then what good is living your life?

This being said - just remember - there are probably only a handful of terrorists in the world - yet all of us are treated as criminals. The percentage of people that would harm others is very small - but we - the public - stand accused and we must prove our innocence.

Posted by: Clearlyannoyed | November 12, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I fly once a month. When they no longer give us the option to “opt out”, then I will stop flying.

For myself, I don’t really care about them looking at me naked or trying to humiliate me, the army made me care less about that. If the TSA wants to grab my junk I’ll pull it out and show it to them. However I do care about my skin being irradiated with technology that was rolled out in a rush, that has not been independently tested or proven itself harmless over time. Technology that is now in question by independent scientist, professors, airline pilots,air crews, and anyone who can think on their own. These machines are not about safety. They are about someone making money, like Mike Chertoff, (imagine that). His company will make millions of dollars paid with our bailout money which didn’t stimulate squat except for special interests like his company. I don't care if they say it's the same amount of energy in a chest x-ray. Getting x-rays are never good and an x-ray every month I fly can't be good. Since when do you believe everything the gov't tells you to be true? These machines have to be calibrated and are run by software. Do you think 30,000 people who used to work at your local burger joint before 9/11 who are now employed by the TSA even care about calibration, software glitches, or the consequences to you?

Why are airline pilots getting scanned? Who does TSA think is in the cockpit at the controls?

While the TSA molests or fondles kids,grandmas,and your wife at the airport, people from many different countries are crossing the Mexico border with drugs and weapons of whatever kind.
The whole airplane as a weapon is done, because as soon as some moron trys anything on an aircraft,10 passengers are going to beat the crap out of him.

These people in charge speak with their actions their words are nothing but lies to keep us calm as they slowly kill and control us. It is truly evil. People need to wake up before they find themselves slaves in a country where many have fought and died to keep free .

Posted by: DCSHOPS | November 12, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Yes revolt; this take it way to far! I will not allow it and will gladly subject myself and carry-on to a more thorough search.

Posted by: dbin78 | November 12, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Stop writing this type of Garbage! And unless you have a better idea on how to better security and are overall safety please keep your mouth shut! Revolt against our own security and safety!!! You are all MORONS. Cry bay Americans are the threat to national security. Change this, Change that. What do you people want!!!? Oh and another thing, I don’t give a damn if they are Pilots (Air Taxi Drivers) LIVE WITH IT you freaking babies! It’s the world we live in now! Like it or not.

Posted by: msfgabe | November 12, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Looking forward, as technology gets more sophisticated and more difficult to detect, where will the line be drawn? The TSA is never going to admit that their procedures are too invasive and too costly and things will only escalate from here.

Posted by: morattico | November 12, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

A moron investigated:

"Stop writing this type of Garbage!"

(we have no right to protest anything)

"And unless you have a better idea on how to better security and are overall safety please keep your mouth shut!"

(sorry they made things worse, but they had to do something)

"Revolt against our own security and safety!!!"

(as if they would leave the borders wide open if they cared about safety)

"You are all MORONS."

(msfgabe is a moron)

"Cry bay Americans are the threat to national security."

(America must become a Dictatorship to keep us safe)

"Change this, Change that. What do you people want!!!?"

(We want TSA to stop changing the rules and we want the Government to stop changing the Constitution)

"Oh and another thing, I don’t give a damn if they are Pilots (Air Taxi Drivers) LIVE WITH IT you freaking babies!"

(he hasn't thought of the fact that pilots could just crash the plane directly)

"It’s the world we live in now! Like it or not."

(the terrorists have already won)

Posted by: FabricSoftenerKills | November 12, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

People's vanity about what someone might see in body scan may end in the deaths of hundreds of passengers.

I would recommend one of two things: 1. If you cannot stand rigerous security, try flying from an airport not protected by federal inspection; 2. If they cease to do thorough checks to maintain security, stop flying with any airline that fails to do that.

Posted by: johnlloydscharf | November 12, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Boycott Flying! Please join us:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Flying/126801010710392

Posted by: fakedude2 | November 12, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Here's a T-Shirt idea:

Transportation Safety Admistration:

"We Fondle You Long Time!"

Posted by: joebloe1 | November 12, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Those, like msfgabe, who blindly believe that the TSA is making us safer are mindless SHEEP. What the TSA is doing is theatre. There is an enormous amount of "show," so people who know nothing about security processes will be duped into thinking they are safer. They must be safer, because it's all so inconvenient!

If you want to know how useless the current TSA processes are, read this entertaining and sobering article:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/11/the-things-he-carried/7057/

Posted by: danthrax | November 12, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Ban the dam TSA. With a few armed american passengers, nobody would hijack anything.

Posted by: Thinker1 | November 12, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

My brother just sent this letter to his Congressman (names omitted to protect the dignity of the molested):

Dear Congressman ________,

I was recently subjected to a physical search by employees of TSA at airports in X and Y. This is a normal procedure for people like me with prosthetic implants (in my case, a total hip replacement).

I have willingly agreed to such searches in the past because they did not involve the examination of my private parts. Now, however, TSA officials insist (I am not exaggerating) on groping one’s inner thighs, stoking one’s buttocks, and touching one’s testicles. I find this behavior highly offensive and unnecessary. (No terrorism is prevented by such practice.) My elderly mother-in-law was made to suffer similar indignities, merely because she has artificial knee implants.

On our behalf and on behalf of other outraged citizens, I ask you to investigate or protest this gross violation of our personal privacy and dignity.

Respectfully,
(unnamed victim of TSA abuse)

Posted by: GlobalNomad | November 12, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I have also had a total hip replacement. I have always been subject to a pat down since receiving the new hip. In the last 2 years, I have noticed a much more agressive (no other word for it) pat down procedure. I have worn sandals, and while standing there in my bare feet, they have asked me to show the bottom of my feet to check, for WHAT, I don't know. But it is the pat down that has elicited my response today. I understand the need for security, but feel that the "grope" that I have been subjected to is beyond the pale.

Some here have questioned the body scanners. If you have never been subjected to the current pat down protocol then maybe I can understand being against the scanners. But I have. I would rather take 10 walks through a scanner than have a TSA employee pat me down again. I wish I could relate what it is like to have the scanner beep, and have them check the front, the side, and the back of my hip, seperately, and then after all that to do a full pat down. Maybe I'd feel better about it if I was leaning over the roof of my car after being pulled over for doing 120 mph and threatening a cop (which I have not done). At least I'd understand why the search.

I am still going to fly, but the "flat earthers" who rail against scanners ought to undergo pat downs for every flight they make.

Posted by: smee281 | November 12, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

My son is a top level junior golfer, and he flys to tournaments often. He hasn't yet been asked to go through the backscatter machine. Of course, I won't let that happen. I also won't allow him to be groped. He was supposed to go to an event in Hawaii in December, but that's not going to happen now.

Posted by: astuteobserver | November 12, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

A couple TSA friends of mine at Anchorage International Airport are a little grossed out by this one. Evidently TSA was having a little trouble getting their agents to actually mess with guys testicles. So who wound up somehow doing that job? You guessed it. That job is now being "handled" by what appears to be a "Fag Squad." The American government is getting creepier and creepier. Now you have to get felt up by queers to travel in America. I wonder if this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind in 1776? Even the British in 1776 weren't this bad. Felt up by queers or irradiated with x-rays. At least we're free! God bless the good old US of A. Where men are men and travelers are queer bait.

Posted by: Doug49 | November 12, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm posting links to these articles on the Moslem country websites and blogs to show how twisted America really is. Abu Ghraib was not an anomaly. Many cultures on earth will not allow their genitals to be fondled by government queers. Americans and Europeans are among few cultures on earth who would put up with beind "handled" by government perverts. That's a sad commentary on Americans. I doubt the Taliban would put up with that. Perhaps they are a better people than the American sheeple, who will eventually be led off to slaughter like the boot licking farm animals they are.

Posted by: Doug49 | November 12, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm looking forward to seeing naked body scans of all your children on the pirate bay (or other BitTorrent indexing site)! They normally don't save the scans, but once in a blue moon they do. And one of those ghetto dwelling low-iq TSA officers will leak it out just like a movie critic leaks out pre-theatrical-release DVD screeners to the movie pirates!.

Posted by: GreatIncaYahoocom | November 13, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

I am so offended by the TSA's activities that I refuse to fly, I take trains EVERYWHERE. I resent having to take off my shoes and belt, I resent having all my stuff turned upside down in the search and I refuse to submit to a full body pat-down or a full body scan. The TSA is crazy if they think we will willingly submit to this insulting form of invasion of our privacy. Mark Montgomery NYC, NY boboberg@nyc.rr.com

Posted by: boboberg | November 13, 2010 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Once again the terrorists win. Classic revolutionary tactic, get the population upset at their government's ham-fisted efforts to impose "security" by violating fundamental rights. And for the wise acres who say if you have nothing to hide, here's a tid bit from the man who designed security at Ben Gurian Airport in Israel:

Canwest News Service April 23, 2010

A leading Israeli airport security expert says the Canadian government has wasted millions of dollars to install "useless" imaging machines at airports across the country.

"I don't know why everybody is running to buy these expensive and useless machines. I can overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747," Rafi Sela told parliamentarians probing the state of aviation safety in Canada.

"That's why we haven't put them in our airport," Sela said, referring to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport, which has some of the toughest security in the world.

Sela, former chief security officer of the Israel Airport Authority and a 30-year veteran in airport security and defence technology, helped design the security at Ben Gurion.

Posted by: ChrisW1958 | November 13, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

"Stop writing this type of Garbage! And unless you have a better idea on how to better security and are overall safety please keep your mouth shut! Revolt against our own security and safety!!! You are all MORONS. Cry bay Americans are the threat to national security. Change this, Change that. What do you people want!!!? Oh and another thing, I don’t give a damn if they are Pilots (Air Taxi Drivers) LIVE WITH IT you freaking babies! It’s the world we live in now! Like it or not.

Posted by: msfgabe | November 12, 2010 6:26 PM"
========================

Sorry, but speak for yourself. This isn't the new world that we live in. If you want to live in constant, delusional fear, then that's your business, but don't cram your fears down our throats.

9/11 was a lucky, one-shot type of deal that managed to work. Two things were needed in order to prevent another 9/11: secure cockpit doors and more vigilant passengers. Cockpit doors are now fully reinforced, and passengers will beat the daylights out of anyone who tries anything stupid on an airplane.

The more we become complacent to all of these ridiculous restrictions and procedures, the more we'll turn ourselves from a free nation to a third world country. This is exactly what al-Qaeda wanted, a population of people such as yourself who wants to live in constant fear. Thanks to you, they're winning.

Every new security measure taken since 9/11 is overblown and unneeded. From the restrictions to what we can take onto flights, to the long security lines, to having TSA agents molest us individually. The government works for us, and we should be able to tell them what they should be spending our tax money on, not the other way around.

It's really sad that we need to be more vigilant against our own government than we do against terrorists.

Posted by: ClandestineBlaze | November 13, 2010 3:49 AM | Report abuse

SEE AN OUTLINE?

That's mockingbird propaganda!

Here is what the TSA irradiation actually looks like. If what these liars state were true then why is this woman naked?

Posted by: daestradapalma | November 13, 2010 5:47 AM | Report abuse

Grow up. This is minimally invasive considering the possible consequences. Jesus!!!!! Have we really become this big a nation of whiners?!?!?? "Ewwwww...I don't care if the plane might crash. Someone might see my bummy!!!!"

Posted by: creamy | November 13, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

The issue for me, as for many others, is repeated exposure to radiation.

The airport screening process is a politically correct approach to security. Put everybody, regardless of risk profile, through the same security process. The whole body irradiator is more of the mindless approach.

I plan to opt out every time, to avoid the repeated overdoses of radiation, not because I am a security risk.

Posted by: Torishimariyaku | November 13, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Team Obama and Big Sis are bringing a new meaning to 'touchy feely' -- guess that is what we should have expected from socialist leaning progressive liberals!

Chalk up another one Mr. Obama! Anything for the people -- huh??

WOULD SOME DEMOCRAT WITH SOME COMMON SENSE PLEASE RUN AGAINST THIS NEOPHYTE IN 2012??

Posted by: wheeljc | November 13, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

We keep being told that it is just too expensive to put bombproof insulation inside all airplanes and place an air marshal on every flight....same measures that have prevented a hijacking or bombing of an El Al flight in decades.

Yet, our fed govt can waste millions on intrusvie equipment that poisons with radiation and lets low wage poorly trained rent a cops do who knows what with your naked images?

surely it wouldn't cost much more to rely on El Al's proven method??!!

Posted by: BushMustGo | November 13, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Wheeljc, The TSA and body scanners were both creations of the uber McCarthyistic Bush Administration who did nothing but expand the size and control of government and wage war against any and all civil liberties. Under Bush, TSA or federal building rent a cops refused to respect even though most basic of legal rights, including insisting that new security measures need not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and any paraplegic or invalid who couldn't physicially comply with the security procedures in the same way as the non-disabled simply couldn't fly or enter government buildings. And there was a very well-documented litany of retaliation against anyone who dared file a written complaint against them, no matter how valid.

No Administration in modern history had less respect for the constitution that George W. Bush!!!!!

Posted by: BushMustGo | November 13, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

All this stuff at the airports, it`s all a sham, the naked body scanners were purchased from Michael Chertoff`s company with stimulus money, Chertoff, who has dual citizenship, US/Israeli or is it Israeli/US? Hmm, if you`re going to put up with this, you`ll put up with anything, right. Fema camps next, oh, they`ll have TV there, it`ll be ok! Sheople, wake up, smell the tyranny

Posted by: JimmyLou | November 13, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I think the enhanced pat-downs were introduced in order to coerce travelers to go through the scanners. Bradley (Hartford) airport has five scanners, and only one International flight-to Canada! Last time I flew from there I was put in one of the little booths to be tested for explosive residue. Puffs of air, not unlike an old time fun house, blew up & around me. I was startled, and jumped a bit-TSA agent tells me "Don't Move!". Does that make sense? Would my moving in the booth prevent detection of reside? Or would it make it more detectable as it would have been airborne?
As an act of civil disobedience, I will (reluctantly) submit to the pat down rather than irradiation, although I'm sure I'll want to shower afterward.

Posted by: connecticutlaura | November 13, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

A message I read in a blog by Steve Coast:

There is another reason why you don't want to go through those body scanning machines at the airport.

Essentially, they’re untested for safety. The testing that has been done is based on volumetric absorption of xrays, whereas these backscatter machines concentrate all the dose in a thin skin layer.

Read the PDF for the gruesome detail. Basic takeaway: don’t go through those machines.

http://www.npr.org/assets/news/2010/05/17/concern.pdf

Posted by: kees90 | November 13, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Great Quotes in American History

“I regret that I have but one life to give for my country” Patrick Henry before execution by British

“I regret that I have but one crotch to be groped by Czar Napolitano,” anonymous traveler November 13, 2010 just before the routine tsa sexual assault

Posted by: ProCounsel | November 13, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Who's the lucky TSA Lesbian who gets to stare at the images of Napolitano and Justice Souter?

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | November 14, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Finally it seems that people are beginning to wake up to the reality of Terror Fever and the fake War on Terror. They've already taken the fear mongering to ridiculous lengths. What was the latest one? Ink Cartridge bombs??? And people believe this stuff!
Join the growing tide of opposition - scrap the scanners!
http://scrapthescanners.wordpress.com

Posted by: SamEdi | November 14, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

If a person does not like the new scanners, the GO RIDE A BUS, DRIVE TO YOUR LOCATION or use something other than the airlines.

Posted by: srwpe | November 14, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

It's long overdue to start PROFILING and TARGETING CERTAIN POPULATIONS.

If that means people with a Middle Eastern or Somalian appearance and command of English will no longer be allowed in planes, that's tough.

That's one of the reasons to have your own country ~ to keep harmful foreigners out, or under stricter control while they are present.

Posted by: muawiyah | November 14, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

"By buying your ticket you gave up a lot of rights," countered the TSA supervisor.

You cannot give up your First Amendment rights by buying a ticket -- nor your right to due process; cannot get jail without trial. You cannot give up your rights not to have the private areas of your body groped. This is especially egregious when the TSA, according to some stories, presents a male agent to intimately frisk a female flyer on the excuse of no female agent available (one of the first stories on Drudge I believe) for a random check -- not a bomb threat at 35,000 feet.

Posted by: DenisDrew | November 15, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Check out hot nude pics of unsuspecting travelers at http://www.scannerporn.com

Posted by: Elwar | November 16, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

So, a terrorist blows up a plane with explosives stuffed in a body cavity: What's TSA's next step? A terrorist detonates himself at an airline security CHECKPOINT: What's TSA's next step? A terrorist blows up a subway car: What's TSA's next step? A documentary called Please Remove Your Shoes will kill any residual confidence you might have in TSA. Google it, or go to pleaseremoveyourshoesmovie.com

Posted by: thermo | November 16, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

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