The TSA has finanlly got a storm, perhaps a firestorm, on its hands with the reaction of the public and pilots to the full body scanners and, for those who refuse to be subjected to X-rays, aggressive, hands between the legs pat downs by TSA personnel. The story of a man who refused the scanner and recorded the voices of himself and a TSA employee as he discussed the patdown with the TSA led the news tonight on two national newscasts, NBC and CBS. ABC News had the story in the first third of the newscast (they were busy with Diane Sawyer reporting from China).
The TerryReport is not objective on the issue of body scanners and hands between the legs and we don’t pretend to be. We intend to be responsible in reporting on this issue, but the scanner machines probably are a vast waste of government money (tax money) that will not prevent a single terrorist from flying while, at the same time, cause hundreds of thousands of passengers to be subjected to prison like conditions. The only thing missing now is to take all your clothes off, go into a shower and be de-liced.
Janet Napolitano was trotted out today at the Department of Homeland Security to try to push back against the potential of a growing movement to boycott flying. She said it would be “irresponsible” not to use the machines. We will see how long that line lasts. Probably a couple of weeks at most.
It seems what Napolitano is saying is that any technology, not matter how invasive, requires us to use it, instead of thinking before hand about what we are doing. The choice of being stripped scanned or having people feeling between your legs represents two bad choices, not one good and one bad. That’s the kind of position they want people in when flying: do this or else.
This whole thing got a big boost by two pilots unions saying that their members should never submit to a body scan. The pilots, who fly the damn planes afte rall, are understandably upset that they are being treated like common criminals. Reading their statements very closely, however reveals that they are not upset for the rest of us. They are looking out for themselves and, perhaps, the rest of the flight crews.
The TerryReport has posted details on the unnecessary and wasteful aspects of the security mess at airports for years. We will continue to do so and will follow this developing movement closely. We are also planning to set up a separate website just for this issue. If you are interested in helping, please contact us at once.