- On November 23, Washington Post writers Jon Cohen and
Ashley Halsey III headlined, "Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Americans
support full-body scanners," according to a Washington Post/ABC News
poll, even though "half of those polled say enhanced pat-down searches
go too far."
- A new Zogby (11/19 - 22) poll disagreed, saying:
- At 61% opposed, "(i)t's clear (most) Americans are
not happy with TSA and their enhanced security measures recently enacted.
The airlines should not be happy with 48% of their frequent fliers seeking
a different mode of transportation due to these enhancements."
- Neither should passengers facing molestation and harm
to their health. More on that below.
- Calling enhanced screening a "virtual strip search,"
the ACLU also objected, saying:
- "We need to act wisely. That means not trading away
our privacy for ineffective (and overly intrusive) policies. Ultimately,
it is up to the American people to figure out just how much privacy they
want to abandon....The ACLU represents those who value privacy in this
- AP reported it already received over 600 complaints,
passengers saying "they were subjected to humiliating pat-downs at
US airports, and the pace is accelerating, according to ACLU legislative
counsel Christopher Calabrese."
- He added: "It really drives home how invasive it
is and (harassing) they are....All of us have a right to travel without
such crude invasions of our privacy....You shouldn't have to check your
rights when you check your luggage."
- Public outrage also makes headlines, passengers complaining
about intrusive screening, especially being groped. The more often they
fly and endure it, the louder perhaps disapproval will grow, especially
for techniques some critics call ineffective.
- Reports also call them heavy-handed. A Michigan bladder
cancer survivor, wearing a body bag to collect urine, said its contents
spilled on his clothing after a Detroit airport security agent patted him
down aggressively. He called the experience "absolutely humiliat(ing).
I couldn't even speak." Other accounts are also unsettling, and for
- Screening Fails the Test
- An October 28, 2006 Ron Marsico Newhouse News Service
article headlined, "Airport screeners fail to see most test bombs,"
- 'Screeners at Newark Liberty International Airport...failed
20 of 22 security tests conducted by undercover US agents last week, missing
concealed bombs and guns at checkpoints throughout the major air hub's
three terminals, according to federal security officials."
- On October 22, 2007, Thomas Frank's USA Today article
headlined, "Most fake bombs missed by screeners," saying:
- Screeners failed to detect them at "two of the nation's
busiest airports," Chicago O'Hare and Los Angeles International."
The failure rates "stunned security experts."
- A November 11, 2010 published report by the Airline Pilots
Security Alliance headlined "The Truth about Airline Security - from
the Pilots Themselves," saying:
- Post-9/11, despite elaborate airport procedures, FAA
tests showed "airport screeners failed to detect deliberately hidden
weapons from 66% - 95% of the time, (and) new independent government reports
confirm screening failures....just as high....for both weapons and explosives."
- X-ray machines are no better than metal detectors. The
number of bags screened, and numerous shadows and shapes on each viewed
from only a single angle, makes it very hard to identify weapons among
the clutter of gadgets, clothes, and personal articles passengers pack
or carry on their person. As a result, "screening weaknesses make
the system very easy to deliberately exploit."
- In fact, besides being a health hazard (discussed below),
it's useless and unnecessary. So-called bomb plots are fake. Remember past
ones, including a fake shoe bomber, a fake underwear bomber, a fake Times
Square bomber, an earlier fake one there, fake shampoo bombers, a fake
Al Qaeda woman planning fake attacks on New York landmarks, fake 9/11 bombers,
and others in a fake democracy with fake elections and fake public servants.
Now intrusive airport screening for fake security and corporate profits.
More on that below.
- America's war on terror was fabricated to incite fear.
It's a bogus scheme to facilitate America's imperial agenda, including
global wars, homeland repression, greater corporate dominance, and an oppressive
security apparatus that includes intrusive airport screening, more perhaps
coming to communities and many neighborhoods.
- Look for them next at train and bus stations, on city
transit systems, at random city checkpoints, in court houses and government
buildings, and on interstate highways, then perhaps at home, work, shopping
malls and elsewhere, making America Orwell's worst nightmare - Big Brother
harassing, watching, listening, screening, and destroying the last remnants
of civil liberty protections.
- Yet the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled passengers
have no right to refuse, saying:
- "Requiring that a potential passenger be allowed
to revoke consent to an ongoing airport security search makes little sense
in the post-9/11 world. Such a rule would afford terrorists multiple opportunities
to attempt to penetrate airport security by 'electing not to fly' on the
cusp of detection until a vulnerable portal is found."
- Not a word (from a right-wing court) about harassment,
worthless procedures, hazardous radiation, lawlessness, fake threats, or
that state terrorism alone imperils everyone. More details below.
- Lies, Damn Lies, and Government Pronouncements
- So far, Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) systems operate
at America's 68 largest airports, passengers opting out subjected to humiliating
pat-downs. Those refusing both procedures won't fly. However, they'll be
harassed, interrogated, possibly arrested, and fined up to $11,000 - for
lawfully demanding their rights.
- Yet Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano calls
screening procedures effective for public safety, saying:
- "There is a continued threat against aviation involving
those who seek to smuggle powders and gels that can be used as explosives
on airplanes. The new technology is designed to help us identify those
- False! The above section exposed the lie, but there's
- She also calls AIT machines (Advanced Imaging Technology)
"safe, efficient, as well as strengthen newcomer privacy. They have
been exclusively evaluated by (the FDA,) a National Institute of Standards
as well as Technology (and) a Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics
Laboratory, who have all endorsed their safety."
- False again, according to Johns Hopkins Lab spokeswoman
Helen Worth, telling CNN: "That was not our role. We measured the
level of radiation, which was then evaluated by the TSA."
- Dr. Michael Love, head of an x-ray lab for the biophysics
and biophysical chemistry department at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
exposed another lie about safety. On November 12, AFP quoted him saying:
- "They say the risk is minimal, but statistically
someone is going to get skin cancer from these x-rays. No exposure to x-ray
is considered beneficial. We know (they're) hazardous but we have a situation
at airports where people are so eager to fly that they will risk their
lives in this manner."
- Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco
(UCSF) also raised concerns about "potential serious health risks."
Biochemist John Sedat and his colleagues said skin and underlying tissues
get most scanner energy. "While the dose would (cause less harm) if
it were distributed throughout (the) entire body, the dose to the skin
may be dangerously high."
- On June 29, Dr. David Brenner, head of the radiological
research center at Columbia University told the London Telegraph:
- "If all 800 million people who use airports every
year were screened with x-rays, then the very small individual risk multiplied
by the large number of screened people might imply a potential public health
or societal risk. The population risk has the potential to be significant."
- All travelers are at risk, especially pregnant women,
their fetuses, young children, cancer patients, HIV-positive flyers, and
anyone over 65. Calling the technology safe is untrue, yet the Obama administration
deceitfully does it. However, not without growing criticism.
- Unions for American Airlines and US Airways asked their
pilots to bypass scanning, citing radiation concerns. On November 20, Los
Angeles Times writer Brian Bennett headlined, "TSA exempts US airline
pilots from pat-downs and body scans," saying:
- "After weeks of pressure from pilot unions....the
(TSA) agreed (on 11/19) to exempt pilots....traveling in uniform. (Instead,
they'll go) through expedited screening after two forms of their (ID) are
checked against a secure database, TSA Director John Pistole said in a
- New Jersey and Idaho legislators also want enhanced screening
banned. So do New York City ones, wanting them out of JFK and LaGuardia
Airports. Georgetown University Professor Marc Rotenberg, President of
the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), heads a lawsuit challenge
to suspend their use, pending an independent safety review, saying "The
TSA (Transportation Security Administration) has shown a frightening disregard
for the concerns of American travelers."
- November 24 was designated "National Opt-Out Day!"
for citizens to "stand up for their rights, stand up for their liberty,
and protest the federal government's desire to virtually strip us naked
or submit to an 'enhanced pat down' that touches people inappropriately.
The protest's goal is to arouse public outrage, and demand lawmakers change
policy. Otherwise, flyers face a "no-win situation: both the naked
body scanners and the enhanced pat downs (grossly violate) privacy rights
and dignity, both make you feel like a criminal....Is there....no better
way to provide aviation security....?"
- More at issue: why have what's intrusive, harmful, unneeded,
and destructive of civil liberty protections! Why sacrifice privacy rights
and the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and
seizures! Why put up with government tactics that allow it! Why let America
fast track toward tyranny, a nation no longer fit to live in! Why stay
silent when more than ever Lynne Stewart's advice applies:
- "Organize! Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!"
- A Final Comment
- In response to widespread complaints, Obama did what
he does best, deceitfully saying the following:
- "TSA in consultation with counterterrorism experts
have indicated to me that the procedures that they have been putting in
place are the only ones right now that they consider to be effective against
the kind of threat that we saw in the Christmas Day bombing."
- False, as the above information explains, but more's
at stake as well - the profit motive.Among others, Bush administration
Homeland Security (DHS) head Michael Chertoff's company, the "Chertoff
Group" profiteers from the scam, his company saying it:
- "provides strategic security advice and assistance,
risk management strategy and business development solutions for commercial
and government clients on a broad array of homeland and national security
- He represents Rapiscan Systems, an AIT machine maker.
His advocacy, in fact, dates from his DHS years, ordering five Rapiscan
scanners, a relationship now exploited for profit. In fact, four days after
last December's underwear bomber incident, the company got a $165 million
contract to supply more.
- On December 29, 2009, Washington Examiner writer Timothy
Carney headlined, "The TSA and the full-body-scanner lobby,"
- "Let's look at those expensive, hi-tech body screeners"
Congress appears ready to buy.
- AIT maker Smiths Detection hired transportation lobbyist
Van Scoyoc Associates to promote machines.
- On December 28, 2009, Cleveland Plain Dealer writer Leila
Atassi said AIT manufacturer America Science & Engineering, Inc. retained
K Street's Wexler & Walker to lobby for their installation.
- Last December 29, Bloomberg said former Senator Al D'Amato
represents L3 Systems, Jeffries & Co. analyst Howard Rubel claiming
the company "developed a more sophisticated system that could prevent
smuggling of almost anything on the body."
- TSA plays ball, an agency Mother Jones writer James Ridgeway's
book ("The Five Unanswered Questions About 9/11") said "has
a dismal record of enriching private corporations with failed technologies,
and there are signs that the latest miracle device (AITs) may (be) more
of the same."
- Follow the money, former government officials profiting,
as well as at least one notable investor, billionaire George Soros, never
one to let an opportunity go unexploited, especially with inside information
to do it, how billionaires make more billions.
- On November 14, Washington Examiner writer Mark Hemingway
headlined, "George Soros also profiting off controversial new TSA
- He "owns 11,300 shares of OSI Systems Inc. the company
that owns Rapistan," an investment he's profited on handsomely.
- Is it just coincidental that two letter changes make
Rapistan Rapescan, passengers, taxpayers, and core democratic values affected!
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour
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