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Body Scans & Airport Backlash

Full-body scanners and deep pat-downs have Americans pushing back over the indignities of airport security.

An airline passenger undergoes a full body scan at O'Hare International Airport, Nov. 17, 2010 in Chicago. (AP)

We stood in line. We took off our belts and shoes. We threw out our water bottles, and put shampoo in little plastic bags. But the latest security measures at American airports are pushing some passengers over the edge: the full body scan; the deep body pat down.

Eighty percent of those polled say they have no problem if it’s for flight safety. But twenty percent do, and they’re making a lot of noise and threatening to snarl air travel this week, the busiest travel week of the year.

Everybody’s asking if there isn’t a better way. We examine the uproar over American airport security.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Benet Wilson, online managing editor for business aviation for Aviation Week.

Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Douglas Laird, former director of security for Northwest Airlines and current president of Laird & Associates, an aviation security consulting firm.

Peter Wood, former professor of anthropology at Boston University and author of “A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America.” He’s president of the National Association of Scholars.

Here’s the much-discussed “don’t touch my junk” incident:

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  • cory

    Flying is voluntary. If you don’t care for the security measures you can always drive or take a boat. Life is suffering, so why should airport security be any different?

    Leftfield, Wisconsin.

  • Beverly


    There can’t be many people who enjoy the new safety measures, but It sure beats blowing up in the middle of the Atlantic.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    TSA hasn’t caught a single terrorist since its inception and we’ve had numerous incidents where terrorists have gotten on planes. Whatever we’re doing isn’t working very well and as a frequent flier I think it’s bordering on being just as invasive (and illegal) as Bush era wiretapping.

    TSA and Napolitano would say that the ends justify the means but that’s exactly the argument Bush used when he tortured people and tapped our phones.

    The piece of this that worries me the most is that TSA now has the authority to impound and search personal computers (no doubt other electronics too (iPads, smartphones) without a warrant.

    I’m flying out of JFK next week and will go through the scanner but I’ll be darned if I’m letting any of those folks seize my MacBook Pro.

  • Zeno

    The most egregious aspect to this loss of freedom is the inability to reject it. If you decide you don’t want to get the X-ray or TSA Groping, then you are restrained subjected to a $10,000 fine and/or (2 year? )imprisonment.

    If someone doesn’t want to fly, under the imposed restrictions, then just let them leave. How far do we go with such totalitarian rules. I would guess that TSA will soon be entitled to gun down anyone running in a airport (regardless of age). How far?

    If possible I will never fly again.

    For every technology there is a way around it. There is nothing keeping the next suicide bomber from swallowing the explosive and then using his cell phone to set it off. What kind of searches will become standard for everyone after something like that?

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Zeno: I’m pretty sure the $10K fine and imprisonment will be debunked on this show. I’m not sure where that meme started but I doubt its true or if it is, it will change.

    There have been many hysterical folks posting in the past week (“don’t touch my junk” etc.) but the majority of frequent fliers like me go through the scanner and get where they’re going. I’ll go through a scanner at JFK next week and the entire process will probably go smoothly for me. However, if a TSA agent attempts to touch my junk where junk = personal electronics, I’ll make a stink.

    TSA seems like an incredibly blunt instrument to me, blunt in every sense of the word, I’m sorry to say.

  • William

    I remember years ago a Japanese leader said American tend to “want to use their muscle rather than their brains”. He was correct as the TSA administration is demonstrating on a daily basis.

  • Beverly

    An airline ticket is a contract. When we buy one, we relinquish certain rights . . . junk is up for grabs, if you set off an alarm.

    If no alarms go off, there will be no x-rays, no groping. 

  • cory

    Flying is voluntary. Your rights aren’t being violated if you CHOOSE to fly. What right is being violated when you are subject to security screening? Not being bothered isn’t a right.

    On the flipside, no amount of security hassles can prevent attacks from desperate individuals willing to lose their lives in the process of their attack.

    Darned if you do, darned if you don’t.

    Leftfield, Wisconsin

  • Zeno
  • Steve V

    How short is our memory. Right after 9/11 people would have submitted to any form of search to board a plane. Now, not so much. Imagine the bombing of an airliner that was the result of searches not being intensive enough to detect the explosives. Would we then be having this conversation? I don’t think so. We don’t learn from history, we ignore it.

    SteveV in Vermont

  • Zeno

    No right to leave terminal after declining TSA screening?: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i10702-k4054163-No_right_to_leave_terminal_after_declining_TSA_screening-Air_Travel.html

    “Apparently, passengers do not have the right to leave the security area if they decline the new security procedures according to a ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals:”

    “Requiring that a potential passenger be allowed to revoke consent to an ongoing airport security search makes little sense in a 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.”

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Beverly: Sorry but you’re wrong. Everyone must be scanned or patted down and run all of their junk through an xray machine BEFORE alarms go off. Of course, if scanning or xray finds something then more scrutiny may be warranted.

    Cory: Obviously, you don’t fly or haven’t since this stuff has gone into effect. For those of us who travel as part of jobs flying is essential and it’s gotten to be a real hassle over the years. I don’t mind the scanning, what I mind is the threat of seizure of my computer if a TSA agent decides that I fit a profile.

    Warren, Connecticut

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    SteveV: I disagree about short memories. I was on a plane on 9/11 (we never left the ground) and as soon as flying started again I was on planes twice a week. There are reasonable ways to do security and unreasonable ways and while I’ve never had issues with TSA before this, what they’re doing here is crossing a line.

    I think your memory is short: the underpants bomber was screened. The best intelligence that would have stopped him came from his father at an embassy and was ignored. Same with the 9/11 terrorists: many of them had expired visas and that should have stopped them as they entered the system in Portland, Main.

    If we had put as much energy into intelligence sharing as we seem to be in checkpoint scanning we might have stopped the underpants bomber.

  • http://bruceguindon.com bruce guindon

    after a deep pat down should I get a kiss or give a kiss

  • Zeno

    Bill of Rights – Amendment V
    No person shall … nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals: “Requiring that a potential passenger be allowed to revoke consent to an ongoing airport security search makes little sense in a 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.”

    Is there a problem here? The BOR is just some old tattered rag when put up against TSA?

  • michael from Quincy

    “Flying is voluntary. If you don’t care for the security measures you can always drive or take a boat. Life is suffering, so why should airport security be any different?”

    Tell that to the children,

    TSA strip searches an 7 year old,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSQTz1bccL4

    What’s funny is the ones who are often for this are from the Far right(excluding cory).

    I’m curious when they start doing cavity searches as the standard such folks will still be willing to give up more of there rights? or maybe there wife? or kids?

    Like zeno pointed out if you refuse to do either they “Won’t let you leave”

  • Beverly

    RICHARD,

    Oops!

    Last night, I heard an “expert” of some sort; he was the source of my (mis)information, but apparently, he didn’t know what he was talking about. Sorry.

    Soon, we’ll all know the facts.

  • Beverly

    BRUCE GUINDON,

    Maybe give him a good slap?

  • michael from Quincy

    “There can’t be many people who enjoy the new safety measures, but It sure beats blowing up in the middle of the Atlantic.”

    the funny thing is, that terrorist look for the biggest boom and will try to beat these scanners and if they do, stay tune for even more evasive measures. As well benefit of these machines have so far been very little to non. But an former Bush official who is marketing these scanners is making loot.

    Check the stock of the ones behind them

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Beverly: No problem, there’s a lot of stuff making the rounds that’s not true on all sides of this issue.

    Zeno et al: I stand corrected but I’m guessing that the fine will be dropped at some point. I certainly hope so.

    Michael: this issue seems to span political leanings. I’m not a libertarian and have always complied with TSA, cops, and most everyone who’s job it is to screen me in some way. The easiest way to get where you’re going is to smile, get scanned, and be on your way.

    In the many years that I’ve been flying with large amounts of electronic gear, photo gear, and other stuff that requires careful handling I’ve only had one problem and it wasn’t TSA, it was pre-9/11 during a time when scuds were being fired at Israel. Chicago/O’Hare was closed and I was stuck there overnight on my way home. Like many, I was wandering around the United terminal and two policemen with a dog came up to me, asked me some questions and then pulled me into a room and strip searched me. I think they were as bored as I was because there was nothing about me or my reply to their questioning that should have led to that.

    It was an anomaly and post 9/11 I’ve had no problem with TSA or checkpoints in the numerous countries I’ve flown to. Not a single problem. They treat my camera gear well even when swabbing it and even the grumpy ones can be disarmed with a smile and easy compliance.

    Search me all you want, but when you start up my computer and start searching my files, you’re going too far.

    Warren, Connecticut

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Michael: Actually, that’s not true, Al Qaeda’s plan is to take us down with many small “cuts.”

    I believe the saying is: bleed the beast.

    If they can cause us to create bottlenecks in our travel and lifestyles they’re succeeding.

    Warren, Connecticut

  • Tim, on Cape Cod

    These measures have not been able to prevent dangerous materials from getting through. There are just too many potential vulnerabilities to cover. They are only benefitting corporations with vested interests and greatly inconveniencing the public.

    If enough people simply decide not to fly, it will be interesting to see to what extent these drastic security measures will remain in effect. For most corporations, the botton line seems to be more the guiding principle than possible detrimental effects to the public.

  • Sam Kopper

    The TSA should absolutely set up two separate lines on Wednesday, one marked “Slow line for self conscious paranoid puritans” and the other marked “Faster line for those with intact self-esteme, mellow hippies, and those who always wanted to be art models.”

    This protest is inane. Why do I suspect that these very same people wil be the first to accuse the government of not doing its job when another airplane-based terrorist disaster happens?

  • Ellen Dibble in Northampton, MA

    Who will screen me and my fellow passengers when I get on a bus? If you think of Israel, the blowing up of buses is more common than the blowing up of airplanes, but apparently bus-travelers aren’t as valuable. That is, if Northwest Airlines suffers a mid-air attack, a huge tax-paying corporation takes a big hit. But if a local municipal bus service (or Greyhound) suffers the same, apparently this is not a concern (until after it happens).
    It used to be, pre-computer, that the most dangerous carry-on was a little radio or tape-recorder. I believe explosives are either carried within them or are triggered by them. This was circa 1985. I would buy a special travel-PC if I had to take one on a plane, nowadays.
    I’m pretty sure if Homeland Security didn’t feel they needed to do the full-body scans, they would’t do it. They would fire all the operators and the gropers and all and send them back to the unemployment ranks. I believe those are government jobs. No?

  • Chris B, Boston

    The “security” measures used at airports are little more than cosmetic. I hate to use the term, “feel-good” under the current circumstances but that’s the gist of it. If the TSA was actually serious they’d use profiling and PC be damned. I think they should, and for the record I’m a liberal.

  • NICK from Spencer, Massachusetts

    Nothing is going to be perfect in regards to security and it has to change to meet new attempts.

    I am not happy with all that we go through traveling – less so with the condition of aircraft, waiting, and getting there hours later than projected on the ticket – this is what we have to go through.

    I ask myself “How did we get here?” Obviously the answer is 9/11 and Islamic Terrorism. But then I ask myself “How did we get HERE with 9/11 and Islamic Terrorism??

    Until we can answer that last question, we are doomed to go through more attempts – some futile, some worthy – for ever and ever.

    Happy Journeys !

    Nick

    PS: Remember when Traveling was fun?

  • Nick from Spencer

    I ask myself “How did we get here?” Obviously the answer is 9/11 and Islamic Terrorism. But then I ask myself “How did we get HERE with 9/11 and Islamic Terrorism??

    Until we can answer that last question, we are doomed to go through more attempts – some futile, some worthy – for ever and ever.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    There is the piracy/organized-crime model of the War on Terror, but even in the Cold War, no one I knew thought the USSR wanted to try to govern America. They just wanted to posture, maybe blowing us all up by mistake along the way.
    I don’t think bin Laden wants Obama’s job. I don’t think Al Quaida wants to govern America. If the apposite model is their scorn for our way of life, I’d say Join the Party! There are millions upon millions of us who are sickened by our way of life. Join us; we need your support! You will only antagonize us by underwear bombings. It won’t help.

  • twenty-niner

    I’m amazed how easily people roll over and submit to this crap. It kind of explains Germany circa 1933.

    “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

    -Thomas Jefferson

  • JS from NY

    The scanners are not proven to be safe.

    from letter by concerned scientists
    snip/-
    The X-ray dose from these devices has often been compared in the media to the cosmic
    ray exposure inherent to airplane travel or that of a chest X-ray. However, this
    comparison is very misleading: both the air travel cosmic ray exposure and chest X-
    rays have much higher X-ray energies and the health consequences are appropriately
    understood in terms of the whole body volume dose. In contrast, these new airport
    scanners are largely depositing their energy into the skin and immediately adjacent
    tissue, and since this is such a small fraction of body weight/vol, possibly by one to two
    orders of magnitude, the real dose to the skin is now high.”-/snip
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/35498347/UCSF-letter-to-Holdren-concerning-health-risks-of-full-body-scanner-TSA-screenings-4-6-2010

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    twenty-niner, I think your comment about rolling over to submit applies to our accepting that our congressional representatives are bought and paid for by corporate interests. Who is your senator schmoozing with today? Who is your rep? Are they talking to one another trying to chart a path into a sustainable future? If so, why not make it easily available on the internet to all constituents?
    This business about scanning and searches goes way, way back. In the 1980s, when I worked in a library, there was a scanner/searcher who went through all purses and briefcases coming and going. Nowadays, when I do work at courthouses, there is ALWAYS a scanner, actually BOTH a scanner and a couple of police on hand to do the groping. Usually there is a metal bar built into the soles of my shoes that sets off the alarm.

  • Larry

    There can’t be many people who enjoy the new safety measures, but It sure beats blowing up in the middle of the Atlantic.
    Posted by Beverly

    The radiation machines can’t detect explosives in body cavities. So there goes your theory of how safe these machines make us.

    Follow the money.

    Former homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff’s consulting firm represents companies who make the scanners. He’s made millions pushing them.

    We are safe. War is peace. Rape is love.

  • cory

    Richard,

    You are right, I seldom fly. I’m a Tub-O and the whole thing is uncomfortable for me. I guess I’ll have to admit that I don’t have the answer to this one. I’m afraid to see what happens to us all after another successful large attack. BTW, I see no reason for confiscation of electronics, unless of course they are filed with C4!

    Michael,

    I have two little girls of my own, and that would be very difficult to endure. Again I must admit to not having the answers. What is the best method that balances safety with human dignity yet accounts for the power and influence of the 24 hr news cycle.

    Leftfield, Wisconsin

  • Larry

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/20/us/politics/20boehner.html?_r=1&ref=transportation_security_administration
    Representative John A. Boehner, the soon-to-be Republican speaker, pledged recently that he would fly commercial airlines back home to Ohio, passing up the military plane used by the current speaker, Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat. But that does not mean he will endure the hassles of ordinary passengers, including pat downs and other new security screenings.

    Facing Scrutiny, Officials Defend Airport Pat Downs
    As he left Washington on Friday, Mr. Boehner headed across the Potomac River to Ronald Reagan National Airport, which was bustling with afternoon travelers. There was no waiting for Mr. Boehner, who was escorted around the identification-checking agents, the metal detectors and the body scanners, and whisked directly to the gate.

    You need to be radiated or sexually assaulted but our dear leaders who make you be subjected to this by law, don’t.

  • twenty-niner

    “twenty-niner, I think your comment about rolling over to submit applies to our accepting that our congressional representatives are bought and paid for by corporate interests.”

    Are you referring to Michael Chertoff?

    From the Boston Globe earlier this year:

    Since the attempted bombing of a US airliner on Christmas Day, former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff has given dozens of media interviews touting the need for the federal government to buy more full-body scanners for airports.

    What he has made little mention of is that the Chertoff Group, his security consulting agency, includes a client that manufactures the machines.

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2010/01/02/group_slams_chertoff_on_scanner_promotion/

  • jeffe

    I see someone already posted the video of them strip searching a small boy. I’m posting it again as well.
    I’m not opposed to security but these people are trained well. It’s draconian and it’s over stepping the bounds of what is rational. Strip searching a child? Groping senior citizens? I wont fly unless I have to. Personally this needs to be scaled back, the very idea of them threatening people is outrageous. Missing your flight should be punishment enough.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skkCpnCm7iM

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Ben Franklin

  • Christopher in Jamaica Plain, MA

    I am currently writing my dissertation which focuses on the implementation of homeland security policy. In the process, I have been shocked to learn how much of security policy is aimed not at actual security but creating a sense of safety. If this is true: then airport patdowns are either (a) actually a legitimate policy tool for generating safety or (b) a policy tool that has failed to generate a sense of safety or (c) a complicated balance of both. Just saying.

  • twenty-niner

    “Again I must admit to not having the answers.”

    Cory, if you’re looking for answers, consider liberty.

  • JS from NY

    More from Scientist’s letter:

    “Moreover, there are a number of ‘red flags’ related to the hardware itself. Because this device can scan a human in a few seconds, the X-ray beam is very intense. Any glitch in power at any point in the hardware (or more importantly in software) that stops the device could cause an intense radiation dose to a single spot on the skin. Who will oversee problems with overall dose after repair or software problems? The TSA is already complaining about resolution limitations; who will keep the manufacturers and/or TSA from just raising the dose, an easy way to improve signal-to-noise and get higher resolution? Lastly, given the recent incident (on December 25th), how do we know whether the manufacturer or TSA, seeking higher resolution, will scan the groin area more slowly leading to a much higher total dose?”

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/35498347/UCSF-letter-to-Holdren-concerning-health-risks-of-full-body-scanner-TSA-screenings-4-6-2010

  • Ellen Dibble in Northampton, MA

    Police who see someone fleeing grabbing for a crotch will testify that the crotch is the preferred area for carrying contraband (drugs, mainly, but weapons if possible). So anyone grabbing a crotch is automatically prioritized for a chase. Of course if it is a 65-year-old woman like me, the grabbing has a totally different meaning, i.e., that people my age can have an excitable bladder.
    So.

  • jeffe

    The TSA has not done a damn thing to make us safer.
    Show me any evidence that this is working. It seems to me that to many of these officers are under trained, are abusive to the point were you have to wonder about their mental health, and this whole thing is nothing more than theater to make us think we are safer. Judging by the comments that support the TSA’s actions it seems to be working.

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Ben Franklin

  • JS from NY

    from The Airport Scanner Scam by James Ridgeway in Mother Jones:
    “…Which brings us to the money shot. The body scanner is sure to get a go-ahead because of the illustrious personages hawking them. Chief among them is former DHS secretary Michael Chertoff, who now heads the Chertoff Group, which represents one of the leading manufacturers of whole-body-imaging machines, Rapiscan Systems. For days after the attack, Chertoff made the rounds on the media promoting the scanners, calling the bombing attempt “a very vivid lesson in the value of that machinery”—all without disclosing his relationship to Rapiscan. ”

    http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/01/airport-scanner-scam

  • Ellen Dibble in Northampton, MA

    Jeffe, Ben Franklin, They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Ben Franklin

    But Awlaki et al have in mind disrupting not “a little temporary safety” but CLEARLY life, limb, and pursuit of happiness, all in one flash. That’s a LOT of PERMANENT safety.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    Let’s say someone has an explosive somewhere inside a body orifice, as in the case of the brother of whoever it is (a Yemeni in the news for terrorism), who blew himself up in an attempt to kill a Saudi potentate.
    So the scanner can’t see that, right?
    But what would set off that wedge of explosive? There must be not only a cell phone or switch somewhere that can reach it electronically. There must also be a wire somewhere in that perpetrator’s gut or reproductive tract. That wire, I assume, would show up on the monitor.

  • twenty-niner

    “Of course if it is a 65-year-old woman like me, the grabbing has a totally different meaning, i.e., that people my age can have an excitable bladder.
    So.”

    TSA pat-down leaves traveler covered in urine.

    http://www.cfnews13.com/article/news/2010/november/175586/TSA-search-leaves-man-flying-to-Orlando-soaked-in-his-own-urine

  • JS from NY

    “…Crises create a sense of urgency that frequently leads to hasty decisions where unintended consequences are not recognized. Examples include the failure of the CDC to recognize the risk of blood transfusions in the early stages of the AIDS epidemic, approval of drugs and devices by the FDA without sufficient review, and improper standards set by the EPA, to name a few. Similarly, there has not been sufficient review of the intermediate and long-term effects of radiation exposure associated with airport scanners. There is good reason to believe that these scanners will increase the risk of cancer to children and other vulnerable populations. We are unanimous in believing that the potential health consequences need to be rigorously studied before these scanners are adopted. Modifications that
    reduce radiation exposure need to be explored as soon as possible.”
    http://thehappyhospitalist.blogspot.com/2010/11/whole-body-tsa-body-scanner-health.html

    from… Letter of Concern [was] sent to Dr John P Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, on April 6, 2010 by medical doctors and professors at the University of California San Fransisco (John Sedat, PhD, Marc Shuman, MD, David Agard, PhD, Robert Stroud, PhD).

  • Sam Wilson

    I fly frequently, and I have no problems patting down or metal detectors (I’m not confident of the new X-Ray body revealing machines because of the radiation concern) if that makes even 1% more safer air travel.

    Those who oppose scanning/patting down any kid/pregnant women/elderly, have forgotten an attempt by a terrorist to bomb an El Al flight.

    Those who want to refresh or learn about it, may choose to visit the following URL

    http://articles.latimes.com/1986-04-19/news/mn-508_1_london-police-arrest

    May be this time, would be a disabled person / kid / elderly or a heavily pregnant woman.

    Sam Wilson,
    Boston, MA

  • Larry

    Can the airline industry in America survive a 20% decrease in passenger traffic? 30%? 40%?

    How much less business before bankruptcies start popping out all over?

    Now why would the Federal government want that?

  • http://moultonlava.blogspot.com Barry Kort

    With apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson…

    In Sensorium

    With mighty wands and scans we watch,
    And trust begloved fondling paw.
    Our nature, dread in truth and law,
    With daring, peek upon your crotch.

    Location: Bedford MA, listening live on WBUR-FM

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    No one is mentioning the Arab garb of choice in many places, something like a burqa, the tent-wear. Also covering the face except for the eyes.
    So there are iris scans that we all get nowadays at ophthalmologists, that are supposedly more accurate than fingerprints, more sccurate than tooth x-rays, for identifying someone. But if ALL you have to go by are the eyes, you’d better have that iris scan.
    Oh, wait. Men can’t do body checks on Islamic women, especially those dressed like that….

  • http://ianscottberry.com ian

    Why do I have to still take off my shoes to go through the scanner?
    maybe they should sweeten the deal by allowing people to keep there shoes on if they choose to go through the body scan.

  • Mark

    The assertion that flying is voluntary is fatuous. It’s not all that voluntary for many people who have to fly a lot for a living, and who find the rules of the game changing yearly. Modern society has embraced the idea that families, companies and associations can be geographically separate because among other things of the ease and cheapness of long distance travel.

    Yes, you might die in a plane. Or in a car. Or waiting for a bus, or a train, or a ferry boat. A “terrorist” might try to blow up any of those things too, and if successful kill as many people or more than with an aircraft. But in none of those cases are travelers expected to allow themselves to be groped.

  • Liz Oppenheim

    I don’t understand what people think the TSAs are going to see in the body scans. We all have the same parts, and speaking as an overweight person myself, I hold no fantasy that my clothing disguises the fact that I carry too much weight. If you really don’t want to be scanned, feel free not to fly, but I really don’t want to be held up for hours because people are vain.

    Watertown, MA

  • Ed

    West Pawlet, VT
    The solution to the “Opt-Out” problem is to make a separate line for those people. Those who opt for the scanner will go through even faster, and the opt-outers will be only inconveniencing themselves.

  • Brett

    What about using explosive material sniffing dogs instead?

  • http://notyet Charles A. Bowsher

    Charles’s solution to TSA searches if you don’t want to go through the Xray scanner.

    WEAR A BATHING SUIT UNDER YOUR CLOTHES (women wear a bikini). While you are waiting in the security line, strip off your clothes, send them through the Xray machine with your carry-on. Carry a light robe if you are shy. There will be no need to probe, poke, or feel your “junk” or your person. Problem solved. Next question please.

    As offensive as it all seems, we do have a choice; striving towards 100% safety, or accept that we will have successful terrorists attacks. If you look at the number of flights daily in the U.S. the TSA is doing an amazing job of protecting us especially in light of the fact that Bush made them second class Federal employees with sub-standard benefits and classification when the TSA was created.

    I can’t believe the Beaver beat out Lady GaGa! My life has lost all its meaning!

  • Zeno

    Complete security could not be achieved even if everybody was naked ;)

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    “Researching the powers that the body scanners emmit it is 100 times lower than a human body emitts. So sitting in a crowded room has more effect” — from the net.
    I’m trying to identify a scanner that is made in Western Massachusetts that I thought was one of the new kind that are ultrasafe and, whoopee, made near where I live.
    I’ll keep looking.

  • Larry

    I don’t understand what people think the TSAs are going to see in the body scans. We all have the same parts, and speaking as an overweight person myself, I hold no fantasy that my clothing disguises the fact that I carry too much weight. If you really don’t want to be scanned, feel free not to fly, but I really don’t want to be held up for hours because people are vain.

    Watertown, MA
    Posted by Liz Oppenheim

    RADIATION! SKIN CANCER! DEATH!

    Read a medical book or two.

  • g

    I am not traveling until this is over!!!
    I was planning to go on vacation to Florida, and will not go now.
    I don’t want my junk touched!

  • Jim

    The guest is wrong about the new scanners detecting the underwear bomber. A March report from the GAO found that such scanners might not have detected the hidden explosive used by “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in his failed Christmas day attack on a Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit last year.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Here’s a plan: Conceal a copy of the U.S. Constitution in your pants, and insist on a patdown.

  • Cynthia Gilliatt

    Of course, all you need to do to avoid the heightened security is to start your trip – innocent or not – at a smaller airport than only has the metal detector. I fly seldom enough that the scan doesn’t bother me. But what about people with, as one of my friends has, two replacement knees?

  • Becky – Ithaca,NY

    Guilty until proven innocent?!?

    the fourth amendment is supposed to protect us against unwarranted search and seizure. did we forget about that?

    why do i have to be treated like a prisoner just because i want to fly home and see my family?

  • Larry

    The guest is wrong about the new scanners detecting the underwear bomber. A March report from the GAO found that such scanners might not have detected the hidden explosive used by “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in his failed Christmas day attack on a Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit last year.
    Posted by Jim

    Don’t worry. They will keep lying over and over until you believe it.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/24331/
    Lifted from:
    “How Terahertz Waves Tear Apart DNA
    A new model of the way the THz waves interact with DNA explains how the damage is done and why evidence has been so hard to gather

    kfc 10/30/2009
    54 Comments

    “Great things are expected of terahertz waves, the radiation that fills the slot in the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and the infrared. Terahertz waves pass through non-conducting materials such as clothes , paper, wood and brick and so cameras sensitive to them can peer inside envelopes, into living rooms and “frisk” people at distance.

    “The way terahertz waves are absorbed and emitted can also be used to determine the chemical composition of a material. And even though they don’t travel far inside the body, there is great hope that the waves can be used to spot tumours near the surface of the skin.

    “With all that potential, it’s no wonder that research on terahertz waves has exploded in the last ten years or so.

    “But what of the health effects of terahertz waves? At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss any notion that they can be damaging. Terahertz photons are not energetic enough to break chemical bonds or ionise atoms or molecules, the chief reasons why higher energy photons such as x-rays and UV rays are so bad for us. But could there be another mechanism at work?

    “The evidence that terahertz radiation damages biological systems is mixed. “Some studies reported significant genetic damage while others, although similar, showed none,” say Boian Alexandrov at the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and a few buddies. Now these guys think they know why.”

  • Paul Limberty

    I have a medical device implanted in my chest and can’t go through scanners( i’m 42). I’ve been getting the full body pat-down for years in full sight. The TSA guys have always been good and try hard not be invasive. Its no big deal.

  • WINSTON SMITH

    All of the liberals who think that government should be bigger should love invasive patdowns. Or are they only for big government (whether it is high taxes, etc.) as long as it doesn’t impact them?

  • Peter Ernst

    My wife and I fly a lot and we appreciate that security is helping to keep us safe. Prior to 9/11, security was a joke as evidenced by the ease with which these planes were hijacked. Since then, TSA staff have been quite polite and they have carried out their procedures – even the pat downs- professionally, with courtesy and apparently effectively. Most of us don’t mind exposing our bodies to health professionals, why not security professionals?

  • Kathryn

    This country’s view of security is so amazingly one dimensional and that is what has gotten us into this mess. Going to further extremes in one direction just means more extreme measures will be contrived by criminals. You can never catch up or cover all your bases this way.

    I’m all for Israelification of our airport security. Part of our problem is employing low skill workers (read: same power complex as DMV clerks) to work these “low level” security jobs. We teach them policies and procedures instead of intelligence and understanding of the job. This happens in all fields but this is a very important field to avoid that in (as we can see what has happened already).

    Technology can always be overriden, human nature is more difficult to hide.

  • http://notyet Charles A. Bowsher

    Ellen @ 9:09
    They are gov. EE’s but they are second tier without typical fed benefits and lower wages. Bush saw to that, I think it was done that way to make it easier to push the new program through since it was cheaper that way.

  • Larry

    Here’s a plan: Conceal a copy of the U.S. Constitution in your pants, and insist on a patdown.
    Posted by Greg Camp

    That will probably get you a one way trip to Guantanamo Bay. Remember, Bush said it is just a “god damned piece of paper.”

  • JD

    I will go in my bathing suit if I have to travel…LOL….. seriously this whole thing is stupid…..simply put: civilization is by definition a big soft target and the only way to protest it is by making friends and by making abhorrent behavior unpopular; in other words get professionals out there that can spot, via interview, possible bad guys.

  • Annie

    I’m indifferent, but I find laughable that the average American woman would be concerned about someone wanting to save naked images of her. Why would anyone want to see some fat lady naked? I feel bad for the TSA agents.

  • JS from NY

    Good survey of the issue with lots of links:

    Airport TSA Body Scanner Health Concerns

    “Unsafe X-Radiation Exposure to Workers and the Population

    Xray scanning at the airport poses a health threat to the population. X-radiation is a known carcinogen. Radiation from the the airport xray machines is unsafe because it is unshielded, unregulated and unmonitored.”

    http://open.salon.com/blog/jeffrey_dach_md/2010/11/22/airport_tsa_body_scanner_health_concerns

  • http://www.afarkas.com Andrew Farkas

    Out nation was founded on the idea of freedom. We have to accept that there are risks in life- our forefathers sacrificed their lives for our freedom, and now our government is giving our freedom away at the wink of our enemies.

  • Len Towers

    The $10,000 fine is useless in deterring terrorists from probing the airport security because these people want to kill themselves. Getting fined is the least of their concerns.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    http://thirdpartydaily.blogspot.com/2010/11/van-mounted-body-scanners-coming-soon.html
    From that site, posted 11/16/10 (still not the company I’m looking for, but in Massachusetts);
    “US law enforcement agencies are among the customers of a Massachusetts-based company that is selling full-body scanners to be mounted inside vans and used on streets, says a report from Forbes.

    “American Science & Engineering, based in Billerica, Mass., told Forbes blogger Andy Greenberg that it has sold more than 500 “Z Backscatter Vans,” mobile x-ray scanning units that can be used to detect bombs, contraband and smuggled people inside nearby cars.

    “The company says its largest customer by far is the US military, which has purchased the machines to search for car bombs and other threats in war zones. But AS&E’s vice president of marketing, Joe Reiss, said US law enforcement agencies have also bought the machines “to search for vehicle-based bombs in the US,” Greenberg reports.

    “AS&E has not revealed the names of its US law enforcement customers, or how many of the machines they bought. But Reiss describes the van-mounted scanning system as “the largest selling cargo and vehicle inspection system ever.”

    “News of the mobile scanners has alarmed civil libertarians who worry the technology could be used to violate people’s privacy without legal justification.”

  • John

    Can I just fly naked and avoid the potentially unsafe x-rays and groping?

  • http://notyet Charles A. Bowsher

    The ACLU guy needs to realize that flying on a plane is not a “Constitutional Right”.

  • roger m wiesmeyer

    Why not use bomb sniffing dogs instead of a pat down? They have the ability to sniff parts per billion, have none of the psychological/sexual baggage that people(flyers and psa agents) have and who hasn’t had their crotch sniffed by a dog? Plus no salary/ benefits/overtime/holiday pay etc.
    I guess we might have trouble with folks who are dog phobic…

  • john in danvers

    I don’t see that you have any guests on familiar with the math of the scanning situation, but you should.

    The basic issue is how often they catch real threats and how often they indicate false threats, and compare this to how often threats show up.

    Credible threats show up seemingly once a year, which is one incident per tens of millions of passengers.

    In order for scanners of any kind to be truly effective, they have to be wrong *much* less frequently than one out of tens of millions.

    The bottom line? This is an impossible endeavor.

    Of course, you can operate on a faith-based basis if you like.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    No, people in the United Kingdom have been accepting the loss of their natural rights for decades. The general European model is that the state is the definitive unit of society. Here in America, the individual is supposed to be what matters.

    Springdale, AR

  • Larry

    The $10,000 fine is useless in deterring terrorists from probing the airport security because these people want to kill themselves. Getting fined is the least of their concerns.
    Posted by Len Towers

    That’s right. Another point to realize this isn’t about terrorists at all.

    It’s about Soviet Union style control of the population.

  • Camille

    If we had some evidence that this was really working I might be more willing to subject myself to this type of scrutiny. As it is, I just feel like the terrorists are winning because they are causing us change our lives and in effect to terrorize ourselves.

    My husband and I had a discussion about these new procedures the other night and at the end we started planning out the best way to drive long distances with small children. We want to visit family in California but we don’t want to put our young children (3 and 5 years old) through this kind of a security screening.

    Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

  • http://wbur Peter

    Spend our money searching cargo! Stop this theater.
    Start profiling. Israel has fought terrorists for decates and they do not use invasive searches for each passenger. Result= no terror attacks on Israeli airplanes in years.

  • Ellen Dibble in Northampton, MA

    From IVN, Independent Voter Network, at http://www.caivn.org/article/2010/11/17/third-party-and-independent-activists-united-opposition-full-body-scanners-and-en
    “From the very beginning, opposition to the scanners made for strange political bedfellows: the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Rifle Association were early opponents of TSA plans to deploy the scanners throughout the country. The breadth of the opposition is even more apparent when one considers the positions of third party and Independent political activists. Independent, Green, Libertarian, Pirate Party and Constitution Party activists are united in their opposition to the TSA’s new security protocols.

    “Mary Starrett, the Communications Director of the conservative Constitution Party, published an early and robust diatribe against the scanners in late January. Pulling no punches, Starrett argued that:”

  • Peggy Medema

    I don’t buy the TSA’s claim that they aren’t saving the images. If they actually did find something, wouldn’t they save the image to use as evidence?

    Valentine, NE

  • Larry

    Hey airlines. You are the ones who are going to take the financial hit. Start downsizing now.

  • Ronald Maine

    I fly a great deal. I would not feel comfortable being on a plane with any passenger who refuses to undergo the security check. Soon we will have to deal with suicide bombers who have the bomb hidden inside their body

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    More from the IVN site: “In a Quinnipiac University poll from January 14th, 2010, 63% of respondents stated that the government’s anti-terror policies put too much emphasis on protecting civil liberties and not enough on ensuring national security, and a whopping 84% supported more widespread use of airport body scanners. The TSA obliged and, over the course of the year, installed and unveiled new full-body scanning machines at airports across the country in at least two different waves, one this spring and another in late October.”

    Starrett argued: “’X-rays zapping us at airports and government buildings across the country . . . are being touted as another small step toward a more secure America. In truth, they represent a giant leap toward slavery.’”

    “Starrett elaborated a series of arguments that are by now familiar to anyone who has been following the controversy. They are unconstitutional and violate the Fourth Amendment. They likely pose a significant health risk, and they represent an unreasonable breach of personal privacy.”

  • Nash null Basom

    Tom

    Re the TSA full-body scanners. The technology is wrong. The TSA does not need to see what we look like naked, it needs to see what is left when our bodies are removed from the image, in other words FOREIGN OBJECTS, the things we are carrying or have inside our bodies. Surely the inventors can design a flouroscope or other x-ray that will provide the info the TSA needs.

    Nash Basom
    Glove VT

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    We must compromise. We must compromise. How many times must we give up a little more of our rights in the name of security? The right in question is the right to privacy. It’s true that travel isn’t guaranteed in the Constitution, but U.S. law doesn’t ennumerate all rights. It covered only the ones that the Founders wanted to identify specifically. We have rights as human beings that go beyond what the government recognizes.

    Springdale, AR

  • Conrad Goetzinger

    Maybe we in America need to start looking to the rails again. If we are so fed up why don’t we start investing in high speed trains or other modes of long distance traveling. I am 100% against this pat down, but maybe this will be a wake up call to lol back to our railroads

  • JS from NY

    That caller Marti is pitifully ignorant of the safety concerns.

  • Jim

    Before you have an opinion, take time to look at the facts. Security expert Bruce Schneier breaks down what is going on, and the impact to true security.

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/11/tsa_backscatter.html

  • http://www.afarkas.com Andrew Farkas

    Offering the option to take a bus or a train is absurd. Once trains become as popular as flying, they will become targets, and we will be subject to the same invasive searches.

    Cambridge, MA

  • Sasha

    They can pat my junk if they must, but what about my sensitive, modest, adolescent daughter (and everyone else’s)? Even her pediatrician respects her wish not to have her breasts and genitals touched curing an exam.

  • Tom

    One of your guests stated the ‘the terrorists have caused these virtual strip searches’. That is simply false. The choice to conduct these invasive searches is the government’s. I will not trade my personal dignity and liberty for so-called safety.

  • Latrice

    If you don’t want to go thru the security measures- don’t fly. period. we need security measures for safety people. if you haave other solutions speak up otherwise this nonsense about not ‘touching’ your junk is adolescent and assinine. no one wants to touch your junk. what they do want to to make sure that we get from point a to b safely. groping? seriously. who do you think wants to spend their day patting down people. are people so misguided and just plain dumb in thinking that this is enjoyable to those doing this? they are patting you down to make sure your not going to KILL someone, that there are no EXPLOSIVES on your person. somehow that takes the fun out of it to me. don’t touch my junk? please. keep you and your junk at home.

  • tom w

    If the TSA felt this enhanced pat-down was so important to our safety, why didn’t they impose it earlier instead of waiting until October 2010. Why don’t they scan and/or pat-down everyone? Hand inspect or scan *every* piece of luggage? What about air-cargo?

  • kate

    I am curious what the procedures are for children? Or for that matter anyone who is unable to make informed decisions for themselves?
    Thanks

  • Dan Hampton, NH

    Please address the patently unfair and frankly dangerous exceptions for Muslim head gear from the enhanced patdowns.

    This is ridiculous. So heroin smugglers will swallow their “cargo” or put it in their anus, but a terrorist won’t?

    Can’t wait till we all get those searches.

  • Lenny-t

    On Sunday morning, John Pistole head of the TSA said that they were the last line of defense against terrorists. Seems to me that the passengers and crew are the ones who have been stopping terrorists; for example “underwear bomber,” the “shoe bomber.”

  • Jim

    Also, I thought this was an important aspect:

    A typical dental X-ray exposes the patient to about 2 millirems of radiation. According to one widely cited estimate, exposing each of 10,000 people to one rem (that is, 1,000 millirems) of radiation will likely lead to 8 excess cancer deaths. Using our assumption of linearity, that means that exposure to the 2 millirems of a typical dental X-ray would lead an individual to have an increased risk of dying from cancer of 16 hundred-thousandths of one percent. Given that very small risk, it is easy to see why most rational people would choose to undergo dental X-rays every few years to protect their teeth.

    More importantly for our purposes, assuming that the radiation in a backscatter X-ray is about a hundredth the dose of a dental X-ray, we find that a backscatter X-ray increases the odds of dying from cancer by about 16 ten millionths of one percent. That suggests that for every billion passengers screened with backscatter radiation, about 16 will die from cancer as a result.

    Given that there will be 600 million airplane passengers per year, that makes the machines deadlier than the terrorists.

  • John

    It’s not a matter of not wanting security, but being subjected to humiliating procedures for no added benefit. Israeli security experts have called the machines useless, and thats why Ben Gurion airport doesn’t have a single one of these machines. As others have pointed out, some of the people lobbying the most for these machines, such as Michael Chertoff, are also those with a massive financial stake.

    Also, these machines are incapable of penetrating the skin, but as we saw recently with dogs terrorists aren’t above sewing explosives inside body cavities. What will we do next, surgery on everyone who looks suspicious?

  • Beth

    Tom, please mention that Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of Homeland Security, is the first person to have championed the use of these scanners and his company currently represents the makers of the scanners.

    For those of you who believe that traveling on an airplane is optional, that is not true. I travel several times a month and not one of those trips is optional. Many people travel for work, including the thousands of flight attendants and pilots. We shouldn’t have to expose ourselves to radiation and being seen naked by a stranger or being rubbed by a stranger in public. It’s outrageous.

    Winchester, VA

  • joe

    I once heard an NPR interview with an Israeli about 10 years ago and the person said the difference between our countries is that they check your bags on the way in a store in Israel and in America they check it on the way out. We care about the wrong things.

    Here are my two issues: 1) The people who are doing the pat down are incompetent. How much training have they had in ‘agressive pat downs’? and 2) How quick we are to let private enterprise to come up with a safety solution only to find out later that there should have been more R&D on the safety.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    We’re at war. This is exactly the message that the Party used in “1984″ to justify totalitarianism. We are in this war to defend our liberty. That’s what we were told in the beginning. Now we’re sacrificing our liberty to maintain the war.

    Springdale, AR

  • Valerie Hebert

    Personally, I have hated flying for ages, now, and this will give me an excuse to not get on a plane. I think everyone who objects should do the American thing- boycott the airlines until flying is no longer and indignity. Hit the corporations in the pocketbook where it will actually hurt them.

  • Marisa Coutts

    On the subject of profiling…

    What is the typical profile of a TSA employee?

    Who on earth derives job satisfaction from, and goes home content at the end of each day, after patting down — enhanced (!) or not — numerous people for hours & hours?!

    Brookline, Mass.

  • A Listener

    What about Israel? I read somewhere that they are quite smart about body searches / scans. They do selective searches and most people are not patted/scanned. They also have a very good safety record in the midst of an environment that is quite hostile. Why can’t we model our aviation security after Israel?

  • Mike

    We’ve entered the realm of a bad sci-fi movie.

  • Larry

    Oh it clear to us.

    Create a boogieman and take away our freedoms and waste our money and control where we go.

    It’s very clear to us.

    If you’re so concerned about our safety, use dogs.

  • Dave

    I have listened to the comments of the angry flyer last week that started all this fuss. He said “it would be (a sexual assault) if you weren’t the government”. I think all this controversy is anti-government tea-party nonsense that is so trendy these days. If you want to fly, you have to follow the rules. Period.

  • Richard

    Last week the TSA released a statement saying that they had “discovered” and seized products, articles and substance etc. The short list that was released did not have one item of terrorism. In other words what was seized may have been illegal but was not a weapon of terrorism. We have opened another “police check point” that should be in violation of our constitution. This door was opened when we allow any type of search at our borders. At our borders we have lost all “rights.” We are following a slippery slope to stop, frisk and search at any time and any place.

    Why are some people allowed to purchase a pass or paper that in essence says,” I am not a threat” so they can bypass security measures?

  • Ed

    If a terrorist wanted to kill a lot of people and disrupt travel for weeks, wouldn’t they just bomb the line of people waiting in the TSA line?

    The TSA hasn’t made us safer. Finally, people have reached their tipping point and are pushing back against the pointless procedures. Hooray!

    Boston, MA

  • Kira

    Re: Alternative forms of transportation. The US does not have an extensive train system. I cannot take a train from Point A to Point B, most of the time. Also, relying on technology instead of training people to recognize suspicious behavior means that there will always be ways to trick the technology.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    Conrad, do you recall the multiple train attacks/bombings in Spain a few years ago? Or the multiple attacks on London’s subways a few years ago?
    If we take to the rails, then there will have to be scanners at every railway station. And people will try to jump on roofs, etc.
    I don’t think the buses are well screened vis-a-vis travelers, either. But then we bus-riders are not a big money-maker for the US economy (tax-base).

  • Tony Guy

    I believe the effort and concern to eliminate all possible threats from airline passengers is over blown and myopic. There remains access to secured areas of the airport and aircraft from all the workers, subcontractors, and delivered products which arrive daily in secured areas of the concourse. I suspect not all the employees, vendors, caterers, and products receive the same scrutiny at airports.

    Only when terrorists change their focus to shopping malls, trains, ferries, or places of public accommodation will the overbearing and excessive efforts to remove all possible risks regarding airline flight gain proper perspective – TSA HAS GONE BEYOND WHAT IS REASONABLE OR PRACTICAL IN A FREE SOCIETY.

    Once terrorists board trains, busses, or places of public assembly, TSA / Congress will accept that the attention to aircraft / flight has been a diversion and created a flse sense of security.

  • David White

    I am ambivalent about the new security points. If we don’t want the security that is offered we need to exempt the airlines’ responsibility for safety and put up with more risk. I am willing to do that.

    My complaint is that it feels like we are throwing money at high tech solutions that don’t reasonably improve our security. This applies to other efforts to address national security. It is not sustainable.

    Thanks,
    David White

  • Jennifer

    While we’re all waiting for “them” to refine body scanning and pat-downs – is there a particular type of clothing passengers can wear to ensure their scans are clear and that they won’t have to also endure the invasive pat-down?

  • Erica Brown

    I’ve had the pat down three times in the past month because I’m wearing a leg brace due to a knee injury. I didn’t find it to be very intrusive, but it didn’t make me feel any safer flying. They use the back of their hands in “intimate areas”, which I doubt have tactile sensitivity to detect much. Interestingly, the thoroughness varied greatly among the three examiners, so I wonder about the training they receive.

  • catherin

    What about people who have been sexually abused? 1 out of 4 women have been sexually abused. We have no choice, we have to subject to either invasive method: be exposed by the machine knowing we’re being viewed by men or molested physically by a TSA employee.

    Flying isn’t optional for some of us, I have to fly for my job. I logged on 73k miles. Every I fly I am going to have to relive the trauma.

    The terrorists have won, they’re now successfully conquered and manipulated the American psyche so much so that people have become paranoid.

    What about our rights? We now have fewer rights than criminals. I am a former federal law enforcement office, to do a thorough pat down I HAD to have probable cause. If I didn’t I could be charged with invading someone’s civil rights.

    Air Travelers are also now suspects.

  • Gloria

    TSA SHOULD BE PRIVITIZED!! IN PRIVATE BUSINESS Government employees do not have that fear.

  • Kitty

    Why is it that airlines almost exclusivly are the focus of such intrusive security? Why aren’t we going through full body scanners or extreme pat downs to go into a sporting facility, a shopping mall, movie theater, concert,church, school, etc. All places where a terrorist event could potentially kill hundreds of people. We could continue on the path of becoming a police state – in the name of public safety – or we could actually look at the statical reality of becoming a victim of terrorism. More people die each year of – fill in the blank, almost anything. When do we learn that terrorism is actually ot the horrific (and rare) event but the terror that we live in because of the fear of an event.

  • Andrew

    The problem I have is that the response to security is way out of line with the threat level and/or recent incidents. How does the threat level compare against being killed on the way to the airport? Against drunk drivers? Against medical mistakes? Why do people think that attaining zero risk in flying should be goal when nobody is suggesting that is reasonable with anything else?

    Furthermore, the other major problem is that the TSA hires goons that are power hungry and just plain rude. It might be different if there was some level of decorum to the process but there isn’t.

  • Kitty

    Texan in Montreal, QC

  • yar

    Nobody is talking about the cost of these procedures, or who is paying for their use. The machines cost 30 million? The personnel to run them cost as well. Who is paying for it? Is it the flying public or is it the taxpayer? I doubt you will see a sign on the scanner saying it is brought to you by the stimulus act! What is the cost benefit of these procedures? I would think a enhanced ID system would be better than enhanced screening in cost benefit returns.

  • Push back on November 24!

    Ideas for opt-out day, for males:

    1) Wear a kilt with no underwear
    2) Be sweaty; smell bad
    3) Get aroused and moan when you’re touched

  • J B

    TSA is a dream job for pedophiles and perverts.

    The TSA said at first scans would not be saved, but they are being saved.

    9/11 was an inside job.

    World Trade Center 7 was a controlled demolition.

    Montreal, Canada

  • elenor reuter

    Personally I would rather take off my clothes and let them look all they want.I am an 80 yr old female.

  • L.J.Steele

    To paraphrase Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner — “I am not a criminal. I am a free person. I will not be scanned, groped, irradiated, profiled, or intimidated. My life is my own.”

    TSA has not made the case that the risks, which are real and serious, but very, very small, are worth the indiginity, inconvenience, and cost (both in time and money) to travellers and taxpayers. One is at much greater risk of death on the way to the airport than from a terrorist attack on any specific flight.

    I may be willing to undergo the scan.

    I am not willing to allow my child to be irradiated or groped by TSA. (She was already once thru a more basic pat down on a trip to grandma’s in Florida a couple years back, allegedly because her name is similar to someone on a list. I can’t imagine that a then-baby is a terrorist risk, nor is her teddy bear, or her baby booties.)

    And I am willing to fly with her on a flight with pre-liquid ban security. The risk of terrorism on any flight is miniscule. Alert flight crews and passengers stopped the underwear and shoe bombers — we need more of those folks, not more scans.

    Enough is enough. (Heck, enough was enough before the liquid bans.)

  • Dave in Boston

    Everything TSA is doing in the name of safety is reactionary, including these body scanners. Now that TSA clamped down on bringing weapons and dangerous substances on board the planes, the terrorists will move onto the next weakest point. The number of vulnerabilities is as numerous as your imagination, and they are not limited to airplanes.

    Instead of patching the dam every time it springs a leak, look for the root cause of the problem. Otherwise, everything the government does is just for show.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    What will happen is that people will avoid airplanes and drive. Driving is more dangerous than flying. More people will die on the roads.

    The effect of this attempt to make air travel safer? More deaths.

    Springdale, AR

  • ren knopf

    When did flying to Detroit become probable cause? Nowhere on my ticket is my signature required to acknowledge that I have surrendered my constitutional rights. I had a precursor to aggressive pat-down this summer and it altered my thinking. I was wearing a brace for a bad knee. The upshot was to have an agent decide his magic wand told him he needed to put his fingers in my pants. Who decided our rights can be tossed out? The responses that suggest “if you don’t like it, don’t fly/take a boat/etc” are just plain dumb. Sorry but there’s no polite way to respond to that train of thought. And boy, do I wish we had decent trains.
    Ren Knopf
    Framingham. MA

  • Angela

    Hello Tom,

    I have no problem with the pat-down as long as the TSA agent is professional and non-abusive. I will always refuse the back-scatter X-ray, since the actual dose is unknown to the traveler and I wish not to further increase my risk to melanomas. I will not submit to acquisition of body images. I work in a research laboratory and medical center, so I am at a slightly higher risk for some cancers, and I am adamant about protecting my privacy. Furthermore, I am not convinced that use of this device will be an effective anti-terror tool, considering the most recent tactic used cargo as a means to transport material. We need to think 2 steps ahead, instead of being completely reactionary.

    Cheers,
    -A. Boutte, Ph.D. (Nashville)

  • A Listener

    What happens when suicide bombers start to ingest explosives or implant explosives in the manner that drug traffickers do? The scanners won’t pick up that. And are we going to start x-raying everyone?

  • Dan, Hampton NH

    “I am not willing to allow my child to be irradiated or groped by TSA.”

    Exactly.

    But of course Muslim head gear is an exception to pat downs.

  • catherin

    The guest just sad the men weren’t oggling the women being searched–only in a distant room.

    In the photo above on this page there are TWO agents watching the passenger. Check out the male TSA agent in the photo. What is his roll?

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    The police who screen the jury pools (and others) are indeed very polite, yet I know otherwise unflappable individuals who go great lengths to get ushered in the staff door rather than confront the zapper-gate and the team of police at the front door. I consider them greeters, and take a moment to chat if they have a moment. If I have set off the alarm, I talk to them about my earrings, my belt, my hair barrettes, try to figure out what’s going on. In other words, it’s a cooperative effort to make sure no tiny knives get in the building. I don’t know if chemicals and bombs are much of a concern, though we are beginning to have incidents of that type.

  • http://www.infowars.com/young-boy-strip-searched-by-tsa/ Young Boy Strip Searched By TSA
  • C.J.

    Exercise and right eating only take you so far. Some of us older folks would give our eye-teeth to get oooogled by the folks at the airport!

  • Dave

    We need to address the issue of why terrorists want to attack us and not be so reactionary in our approach to security.

  • Rob

    My objections to the process and technology are based ENTIRELY on my lack of faith in the _people_ doing the screening: the TSA employees I’ve interacted with have been as interested and engaged in their work as the lady at the RMV who hands me my license plate. They’re distracted, distractable, bored, and generally thoughtless. I didn’t trust the “security theater” before, but I tolerated it because the intrusiveness was below my irritation threshold; now people I don’t trust are groping me because I forgot to pull the pocket change out of one of my pockets. Heck with that !

  • Marilyn

    Why isn’t our government getting the newest, best retinal scanners. I’d rather be registered and scanned each time than radiation and physical pat downs.

  • Chris B, Boston

    “Security Theater”. Exactly what I meant when I previously called it “cosmetic” and “feel good”.

  • Ellen Dibble in Northampton, MA

    The day will come: “That’s my heart pacer, that’s my IUD, that’s the Fiber One I ate early this morning. And that’s the cherry stone I swallowed by mistake.”

  • Ruth

    Americans, collectively, need to buck up and take a moment out of their selfish, self-absorbed lives to do something for their country. Intelligence only cannot be the answer. We are in 2 wars and facing unknown amount of threats to our country and our persons. Can’t we just give an iota of support for keeping our country safe. The only people who truly give to this country are the ones who serve in its armed services and the rest of us just sail along on their backs. The last thing we need is more money tossed at our military budget, a huge budget item already. We each need to accept this in support of our country’s ideals. It is a small thing to ask compared to the sacrifice our service members give on a daily basis. Ruth, Pelham, NH

  • odd.ball

    Okay as a person who sometimes enjoys pornography, I can tell you I have seen the samples on Drudgereport of the scans that appear naked. They are not very stimulating.

    There are better places to get pictures of attractive people for no cost all over the internet.

  • Elise

    I’m a very short (4′ 10″) late twenty-something female who flies a handful of times a year, usually with another short twenty-something female and every time I fly – for the past 5 years of so- a code gets written on my ticket -and usually my traveling partner’s as well- and when we go through security, they pull us aside and give us a thorough body/bag search.

    Two years ago, some bad weather at LaGuardia ended up in a cancelled flight- on our initial trip thru security, we were searched. 24 hours later, when our re-scheduled flight was finally up on the boards again, we left the restaurant section and went back thru security- having never left the airport- and was searched AGAIN, by the same people, and came up as positive with some nasty chemical in my bag.

    They called security over and searched me more intensely, and when I explained – somewhat angrily- that whatever trace there was in my bag probably came from the airport itself, I was then hauled off for still FURTHER questioning, almost missing my flight.

    I never understand why, unless we fit some profile- I am blond/blue eyed, she is a redhead.

  • Marilyn

    Why isn’t our government getting the newest, best retinal scanners. I’d rather be registered and scanned each time than radiation and physical pat downs.
    Boston, MA

  • Jeff G

    To the airlines: I’ve canceled plans to fly due to the ridiculous security theater at airports. To anyone else who’s done the same, I urge you to call your airline and let them know they lost your business and why. I did.

    Western MA

  • Home of the Brave?

    Swallow heroin condoms, swallow explosive bags with remote detonation.

    How stupid do you think the terrorists are?

    The question is how stupid are we sheep?

    Strike back with overwhelming force against terrorist havens after each incident. Someday, long in the future, the collateral damage will convince the populace to no longer harbor terrorists.

    Getting fingered by the millions is a sick victory by the terrorists against the sheep.

  • Mike Davies

    Omaha, NE. I think that we are way down the wrong road. We have heard much about the UK approach which uses patdowns but also had trained inspectors, not a boondoggle on scanners, and was brought in to fight IRA and other terrorists. Or the Isreali system which uses trained people. The fact is we don’t train people well, we don’t put competent people in charge, and the TSA people are not very competent to begin with.

  • confused

    I do not understand: why do the Police need just cause to search us but TSA can assume we are guilty and search us?

  • Linde (“Linda”)Lexington,KY

    …I fly once or twice a year, once to Europe.
    I’ll be blunt: the flying public needs an “attitude adjustment”, and the TSA folks need to do a better job at communicating: for example – they should remind each traveler to also remove all objects from their pockets.

    “Security Theater”? I prefer to be patted down, remove shoes, take off belt, etc… over a possible disaster.
    Let’s quit acting like spoiled brats – and get “with the program”!

  • http://wkar.msu.edu J. woods

    People really need to get a grip. The folks that are upset about scans and pat downs need to ask themselves which they would prefer: getting scanned or possibly getting blown up. I’ll take the scan, thank you.

  • joe

    @Dave in Boston: How true you are! It’s the same with Immigration, Healthcare, and Politics. This country does nothing for prevention. Only reaction after the fact. Objectively, maybe this is how we (American institutions) are trained to act because it’s so habitual? I’d love to see the TSA actually ban something BEFORE it does any harm and then say they told us so!

  • LKS

    your caller assumed that the person who patted him down missed the headphones in his pocket. don’t assume, the headphones of course would show up in a scan and the pat down would be to make sure they were not attached to anything else.

  • Larry

    Why isn’t our government getting the newest, best retinal scanners. I’d rather be registered and scanned each time than radiation and physical pat downs.
    Boston, MA
    Posted by Marilyn

    Don’t worry it’s the next thing. That’s what they want all along.

  • Paolo Caruso

    I hear Tom Ashcroft talking over, talking around, obfuscating, as he is quite adept. Blah blah blah.
    GET TO THE POINT. This is about US FOREIGN POLICY.

    Israel is the major point of dispute and their treatment of the Palestinians, and their meddling in the Middle East, that is the source of terrorism. Isn’t it strange that this technology and the profit centers of these machines come from Israel, of which Michael Chertoff, the intelligence/security czar, is financially connected to the companies that supply these machines.

    Solve the US foreign policy in the Middle East , and give Americans back their privacy and dignity.

  • Hilton

    Let’s take a step back.

    We’re trying to prevent murder. A murderer requires means, motive and opportunity. The means are cheap and readily available worldwide. Opportunities are endless – plug one hole and another opens up. Make flying safe and they’ll attack something else. We’re an open society. That leaves motive.

    We can’t scare the jihadists because they are willing to die. What do they want? Us out of the Middle East. Let’s give them that. Let’s increase our car mileage standards, bring back the railroads, weatherize our houses, and get out of their deserts. It wouldn’t be as hard or as expensive as fighting two wars, and it would make our lives and our economy better.

  • David

    Before any measures are taken to guard us against a threat, we need to quantify how likely that threat is to occur. Does it make sense to implement these procedures if the probability of perishing in a plane by the hand of a terrorist is much lower than being struck dead by lightening? War on mother nature?

  • Alexandra McNamee

    HI, We returned from Istanbul via Amsterdam to Boston last Thursday. In Istanbul, everyone goes through a security line, shoes and belts off as you enter the terminal. Then after several passport checks, the passenger is interviewed as to any electronics you have and whether they were repaired there. You go through the regular scanner at the gate,and I, wearing an underwired bra, go through patdown. In Amsterdam, the plane was met by passport control, 8 officers, and they escorted a man off the plane and down the escalator. Thank goodness for security. Amsterdam questioned us also individually about luggage and electronics and I was body-scanned and had a chest pat-down too. Each time with a quick apology.
    Both airport security agents expressed surprise that passengers are not also individually questioned at the gate in the U.S., besides the scanners and the pat-down.
    Security is very obvious and they carry semi-automatics everywhere in those countries. They do it because they know that a suicide bomber wants to control when and where they die, and security procedures are there to thwart those plans.
    Alix in Taunton, MA

  • Gary

    Grab my junk and I’ll break your damn arm.

  • http://www.infowars.com wake up people

    Go on Youtube or Google Video and look up “Loose Change”.

    9/11 was an inside job.

  • j.d. smith

    “Security theater”, for sure. The whole thing is simply theater to obfuscate an intransigent truth, which is; You cannot protect yourself against ANYONE willing to trade their own life for yours…deal with it.

  • Brannon, of Sumner, IA

    I don’t understand why there is so much reference to humiliation. Is it always humiliating for someone to touch us? Regarding the woman said that she felt like she had been subject to a gynecological exam, does a doctor’s examination humiliate her as well? I am concerned that there may be a powerful undercurrent of social stratification at play here. Perhaps we are humiliated when “those people” touch us, because those people are below us, and surely they are enjoying touching us. It would be great to hear from leading sociologists and psychologists on this issue.

    Brannon, Sumner Iowa

  • Larry

    It’s not OK to profile but it is OK to sexually assault? What???????????

  • Paolo Caruso

    Supposedly, the underwear bomber, is the impetus to this intensive airport scanning. The underwear bombers father is connected to US intelligence. A well dressed man escorted the underwear bomber onto the plane without a passport. This connection stinks of a scam.to high heavens.

  • jim thompson, fort mill,sc

    Tom:

    Perhaps there are some better ways, but going back to the pre TSA system is not the answer. Before the TSA, the rules as well as organization, airline hired their own security people-almost always contracted out employees of security companies. Almost all of these folks earned between 15 and 25 cents above the minimum wage. You really don’t get too much dedication at that wage rate-nothing against the workers, but at that rate there really isn’t much to be invested in.

    I think these folks are mostly whiners. Get with the program so I can fly in safety. Otherwise get on the bus. I say charge them with federal law. It’s not like you have a right to get on a plane-nor impede my right to fly in a safe and timely manner.

  • Stuart

    I have a pacemaker for 3 years, so I have been subjected to TSA patdowns for this whole time, and I travel about 35% for my job. My experience is all over the map regarding the professionalism with which these pat downs are conducted. Some TSA employees are very professional and business-like while others are invasive to the point of being creepy. By this, I mean that it’s clear that they are savoring their petty authority and getting their jollies. The pat downs in these less professional situations seem to last longer than they should. There should be more uniform and stringent training for those performing the pat downs. There is no excuse for a lack of professionalism and detachment and respect under these conditions.

  • Canada

    Tom, why don’t you ask if the attempted terrorists attacks were real or staged?

  • Thomas Jefferson

    “I do not understand: why do the Police need just cause to search us but TSA can assume we are guilty and search us?”
    Posted by confused

    Oh please, we gave up that constitutional stuff a long time ago! What are you a Tea Bagger?!

  • Scott Campbell

    The discussion of patdowns and body scans is useful in highlighting the latest of our liberties which we are being asked to surrender in the name of security.

    However, I really believe that these issues are secondary to solving the problem of rooting out the causes of jihadism in the first place. Why is no one discussing ways of getting out of the business of supporting states that use torture as a means of governing? Examples include Turkey, Indonesia, Egypt, Russia, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan. All of these countries are places we support, and from which significant numbers of jihadist fighters are continually recruited.

    Here is what Human Rights Watch had to say about this:

    “According to Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org), the use of torture was documented in the following countries in 2004 and 2005: China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Malaysia, Morocco, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, Turkey, Uganda, and Uzbekistan.” (cited on infoplease.com — http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0933878.html)

  • http://www.afarkas.com Andrew Farkas

    This has nothing to do with politics- don’t make the mistake of comparing anger over the revocation of our freedoms to the temper tantrums of the Teabagger party.

    Cambridge, MA

  • Larry

    Use dogs. Stop with using the TSA creeps.

  • Dan

    Caller nailed it. We are morons.

  • wendy

    I am not sure how these invasive procedures actually keeps anyone safe. Until all packages are “patted down” and screened, terrorists will find a way to blow something up if they want. What happens when the bomb is swallowed or placed in cavities that aren’t checked yet? Where does it stop? From Buffalo, NY

  • http://WBUR.org George Peo

    Theater is fine if the terrorists believe it. A lot of security is theater.
    Do what it takes to keep is save.

  • Tammie Gardner

    The people who say “don’t touch my junk” are the same ones who say, with regards to profiling & stop ‘n search, “if you’ve done nothing wrong you’ve nothing to hide.” Why can’t they eat their own medicine? omg – could they be hypocrites?

  • ThresherK

    “Conservative commentators have really run with this”.

    I haven’t read anything about this, so let’s just assume that this is something which is now Beltway Narrative.

    Tom, the less Charles Krauthammer you read, the more you know. George Will I think has a lick of sense, but all the other right-wingers spouting off on this are over-reacting to this because there is a black Democrat in the White House. The same thing done three short years ago would have people like Krauthammer praising the manly, get-toughness of George W. Bush.

    A quick look at what these newly-minted “civil libertarians” (sic) were saying in the runup to the invasion of Iraq will reveal all.

  • dave

    People insist on being able to jump on a plane and fly across the country to go to a meeting and fly back that afternoon, for a few hundred bucks.

    And then the Airlines are constantly going bankrupt and the service is terrible…

    People should fly less, and pay more when they do. A more formal environment would make security easier. But we mass consume air travel and turn it into mcdonalds, complete with hazards.

    Incidentally, you can be a vegetarian, convert your house to solar and bike to work, but a couple of flights on a plane puts your carbon footprint at thousands of times the global per capita.

  • Melanie, Shaftsbury, Vermont

    If I were a terrorist, I would be putting all my resources into recruiting an elderly woman willing to stuff explosives inside herself. Even if she didn’t succeed, she would make today’s pat-downs look like child’s play. Getting all of us so crazy with fear we’re willing to sacrifice our dignity and freedom is the goal of terrorists. Where does this end?

  • Brandstad

    El AL Airlines has proven that profiling is the best defense to terrorists. Why don’t we look at the most successful anti terror attempts and model our security system after it?

  • Les from Vermont

    I would like to hear some talk about “blow back” and how the wars we are in effect that.

  • Laurie, Boston

    Americans regularly give up privacy in the name of safety. I don’t particularly like putting my feet up in stirrups during a visit to the gynecologist. However, I also don’t want to get cervical cancer. Does the ‘don’t touch my junk’ crowd go to the doctor?

  • Jason

    Profiling will work! People associated with modern airline terrorists have a visual characteristic that is common. Come on. Search people who look like people who have tried to blow up planes. If a white Timothy McVeigh looking guy tries to blow up a plane then change the profile!!

    TN

  • Les from Vermont

    What about bombs sniffing dogs?

  • Rex Brodie

    We have waged perpetual wars that have primarily impacted the working class poor in this country and now the rest of the American public is being inconvenienced by Full-body scans. Tell it to the families of the 4,429 dead American soldiers. Here’s an idea…Let’s bring back the draft so the burden of the wars we wage are shared by EVERY AMERICAN. How pathetic.

  • Beverly

    The size of government makes no difference, if it’s effective government. That should be the goal.

  • Eric M. Jones

    A few years ago I traveled a lot and flew in lounging pants, cotton sweater and leather sandals. This, I figured would ease my entry. But surprise– I got pulled aside repeatedly for hand scanning! Apparently there is a lower limit to the magnetic scanners. They expect to see something and when they get no induction, the scanner is perturbed. This calls for human interventions.

    It is simple to put high-explosives inside someone. So the current body scans are ridiculous. If they cat-scan people, You can always hit the plane with an RPG.

    My point is that the TSA is doing this only to induce terror and get Republicans elected.

    Terrorist theater for the benefit of our coming police state.

  • shan

    yet another disgusting turn… making a boy taking his shirt off? seriously?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSQTz1bccL4

    also, is no one mentioning they do not change their gloves in between every search?

  • Karin Zalkind

    Coming from Israel, where most would agree airport security is one of the tightest in the world. I had never encountered the same stubborn TSA procedures. I don’t mind getting the “pat down” I do mind the “mindless” way security screening is done. Traveling with 2 small children I’m dumbfound whenever I need to explain that 24 hour travel time does require enough food (as airline are cutting back on everything), or folding the stroller with no assistance.Terror has won when we all are exposed this kind of scrutiny and delays…
    Thank you,
    Karin, Newton, MA

  • Dr. Safety

    We need surgical examination of infant baby cavities to be truly safe. Slow, but worth it.

  • C.J.

    How about getting out of Afghanistan? That and a Palestinian State. Those might be effective measures against terrorism.

  • Jim Slattery

    The comment about TSA efforts being mere theater, may be a mistaken criticism. Theater might well discouraged would-be terrorists if done well.
    Jim Slattery, Newton Lower Falls Mass.

  • C Park Finner

    What about the precedent? How about bus stations? Railroad stations? The entrance to the mall jewelry store? “We wouldn’t do that” is an argument that” doesn’t meant that the next administration or the next business owner would not do it.

  • http://www.surveyonthespot.com/start/tsa Geoff Palmer

    Our company, SURVEY ON THE SPOT, developed a survey available to air travelers to rate airport security screening by completing a survey. SURVEY ON THE SPOT enables smartphone users to answer a TSA questionnaire quickly and easily immediately after passing through the security checkpoint to rate screening procedures and gauge consumer confidence in the security of air travel. The survey can be taken by going to http://www.surveyonthespot.com/start/tsa from any smartphone or the web.

    We have been sending the survey submissions to the TSA since the beginning of the year. It was not until last Friday that they responded to the feedback. On Friday we received a call form the TSA’s Office of Civil Rights and Liberties.

    What is most interesting is the change in the past few weeks regarding traveler’s responses.

    Until the past few weeks, 43% of the respondents said they were “not at all confident” or “not very confident” to the question “Rate your confidence in the TSA’s avility to keep air travel secure.” In the past two weeks this soared to 91%.

    Until the past two weeks, 23% of the respondents said the “strongly disagreed” or “disagreed” to the question “Should body-scan technology be used in passenger screening?” In the past two weeks this rose to 90%.

    The text comments people are entering are fascinating, describing their recent experience. The words that come up most often are “stop”, “groping”, “invasive” in regard the enhanced pat-downs.

  • Paul

    You are also subject to full body search at Ben-Gurion.

  • http://onpointboston Kevin S

    I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this but the standard everyone points to is the underwear bomber who flew out of LONDON and how the patdown and or scan makes us safer. Now isn’t London one of those places that already was using patdowns and scanners and he STILL slipped by that method??? Also, since the 911 horror has happened, has anything occurred on domestic flights that our screening methods have prevented? All the terror incidents since 2001 have originated on international flights. Lets concentrate on safety and screening on THOSE flights and step it down a notch internally to what we had pre november 2010!

  • Peter

    These scans are RIDICULOUS and nothing more than fear mongering and a profit center for scanner manufactures (and a health hazard to boot)!

    I am a freight forwarder by profession and spend my entire work day shipping high-end merchandise around the world via air cargo. What is not being discussed, and what the airline industry don’t want the general public to know is that people like myself each ship thousands of pieces a year on passenger airplanes. My crates go in the cargo holds UNOPENED and UN-INSPECTED of the same passenger planes that you are being humiliated, groped and radiated while boarded. Of the many hundreds of shipments I send every year, only about once to twice a year do I get a request that a crate be opened and inspected. Otherwise, all of my creates are shipped un-inspected!

    I never open those crates when I pick them up from my clients. My clients could put a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g in those crates. So, while an absurd circus is going on with loading passengers (FOR SHOW!) almost nothing is done to check all those additional crates being loaded with passenger’s luggage.

    The TSA and entire flight industry is aware of this issue/ dark secret. Where there is a chance for some company to make money manufacturing body scanners, they haven’t figured out how to profit from the security gap in the cargo hold so… the issue is simply ignored. It doesn’t exist. Yet..

    Do all you want checking people’s underwear, sneakers and shaving cream but it won’t do a damn bit of good considering that there’s a bunch of crates sitting with the luggage that wasn’t inspected at all. Then there’s the issue of things like printer cartridges – are we going to ban those too? What’s next?

    I predict that not too far from now we’ll be sending all of our luggage a day ahead then changing into paper hospital gowns at the airport and being strapped into seats, “for our own protection”.

  • Doug

    Put your finger up my butt, but please don’t profile me!

  • Larry

    So we all give up our rights and freedoms so that some keep theirs?

    That makes no sense.

  • Les from Vermont

    How about profiling based no body langauge? I think someone about to blow up a plane is going to be pretty nervous.

  • Pat Murphy

    “Theater is fine if the terrorists believe it. A lot of security is theater.
    Do what it takes to keep is save.”

    George Peo,

    The thing about security theater is that it makes you think someone is doing something, but it doesn’t actually work. The current theater is aimed at you and me, not terrorists, to distract us from how ineffective the TSA actually is.

    After all, couldn’t someone just blow up the line of people waiting to get through security? That would cause chaos. What would we do then, have another security checkpoint? Wouldn’t someone just bomb the first one again?

  • Marc J Scott

    The question does really seem to be is this eye wash to make Americans feel safe on planes and keep us flying or is this an attempt ro make us safe? If so, what happened to security a few weeks ago when bombs almost got on to planes as cargo? It wasan’t security that picked up on that one, it was an inside tip.

  • Arun

    Airport security should not be seen in a vacuum, separate from American policies towards the rest of the world. Why is America living in fear, what caused it, what continues to cause it? What can we do to change it?

  • Adrian

    Tom, whenever I stand in a line moving slowly through airport security I have time to watch the Transportation Security Administration employees faithfully carrying out their instruction from their masters in Washington; instructions that require them to pad down and touching the “junk” of some little old lady in a wheelchair, but not the wild-eyed guy named Omar whose own father ratted him out as a terrorist to the US embassy in Nigeria.
    Whenever I watch these TSA antics, I am forcefully reminded that my security is in the hands of complete and dangerous PC idiots. At present these TSA instruction emanate from the 3rd Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, but her predecessors where equally morally and intellectually impaired.

  • dave

    People insist on being able to jump on a plane and fly across the country to go to a meeting and fly back that afternoon, for a few hundred bucks.

    And then the Airlines are constantly going bankrupt and the service is terrible…

    People should fly less, and pay more when they do. A more formal environment would make security easier. But we mass consume air travel and turn it into mcdonalds, complete with hazards.

    The money they spend on machines, they should be paying people better, and hiring more and training them well so that security is not obviously stupid while you’re going through it.

    Incidentally, you can be a vegetarian, convert your house to solar and bike to work, but a couple of flights on a plane puts your carbon footprint at thousands of times the global per capita.

  • g

    my question is, are the kids subject to scans and body pats? Like an infant or a toddler?

    Are there guidelines on what is permitted and what is not posted by TSA that we can read in regards to this?

  • Larry

    I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this but the standard everyone points to is the underwear bomber who flew out of LONDON and how the patdown and or scan makes us safer. Now isn’t London one of those places that already was using patdowns and scanners and he STILL slipped by that method??? Also, since the 911 horror has happened, has anything occurred on domestic flights that our screening methods have prevented? All the terror incidents since 2001 have originated on international flights. Lets concentrate on safety and screening on THOSE flights and step it down a notch internally to what we had pre november 2010!
    Posted by Kevin S

    People don’t listen to facts. They accept the lies told to us as truths and so well it’s for our own good.

  • Ruth

    Americans, collectively, need to buck up and take a moment out of their selfish, self-absorbed lives to do something for their country. Intelligence only cannot be the answer. We are in 2 wars and facing unknown amount of threats to our country and our persons. We need to give support to keeping our country safe. The only people who truly give to this country are the ones who serve in its armed services and the rest of us just sail along on their backs. The last thing we need is more money tossed at our military budget, a huge budget item already. We each need to accept this in support of our country’s ideals. It is a small thing to ask compared to the sacrifice our service members give on a daily basis. Ruth, Pelham, NH

  • SA from Somerville, MA

    I fly for work on a regular basis. I cannot believe we need to even have this discussion in the face of terrorists threats. I am for full body scanners. Yes it’s not fun but as long as the screening is done in a professional manner without racial discrimination I am all for it for the alternative is unimaginable.

  • Don’t Grope Me

    To the caller who feigned pleasure when groped by the TSA goon, you rock!!

  • Kyle

    can we use dogs at all? We are pretty good at finding guns with metal detectors. the only other thing to look for is explosives right? Can’t dogs sniff out most explosives?

  • Thomas Jefferson

    If another attack happens, which can with or without the current farce, the President, whoever it is, will be fired. So get ready for this to go on forever, more and more.

  • Lee Wright

    From Lee in Marlborough, Mass.

    While the TSA claims that the newest procedures are absolutely necessary to catch a very, very, very small chance that someone has gotten through all of the other measures and is about to board the plane with a bomb or dangerous weapon.

    The result today is that 100% of commercial airline passengers are being forced to choose between a visual strip search, sexual assault, or not flying commercially.

    This is not a choice that people in a free country should be forced to make.

    These new procedures are the end of the line. First the Federal government takes over passenger screening. Then it’s belts and shoes. And later 3 ounce bottles. And now this. Oh, and printer cartridges.

    The TSA may make recommendations, but it’s ultimately the job of all of us to decide whether we should employ Federal government workers to implement those recommendations.

    Instead of the ridiculous procedures in place today, let’s direct our government to develop and implement other procedures and techniques that do not abuse passengers.

  • Larry

    How about profiling based no body langauge? I think someone about to blow up a plane is going to be pretty nervous.
    Posted by Les from Vermont

    Why? They could be drugged. Shuffling through.

    Use dogs.

  • Robert

    There are other alternatives. Trained sniffer dogs are the most effective way to detect explosives. The military uses them. Better than the xray scanners that are a cancer risk. And, dogs are non-invasive.
    Michael Chertoff has been the leading promoter-sales pitch man for All-body Scanners. As a consultant he is making a fortune via the revolving door of government/lobbyists.

    It seems the purpose of the new “regime” is not security, but behavioral conditioning and intimidation to create a compliant population.

  • http://wburboston Susan Ryan

    I have a 14 year old daughter who has worn a pacemaker for a heart condition since she was four. She is unable to pass through a metal detector because of the pacemaker, so she has always had to have the regular pat down, which was humiliating enough. Now she will have the choice of either going through virtual strip search, with the added risk of being irradiated, or being sexually assaulted. And if there is no body scanner available, then she will have to submit to the assault. What happens when the next terrorist sticks the bomb inside a body cavity — will she have to submit to a full body cavity check? A mom in Massachusetts

  • Ed

    “I am all for it for the alternative is unimaginable.”

    To SA from Somerville, do you think that the TSA checkpoints make you safer? Do you get nervous standing in line with all the unscreened people, since any one of them could blow themselves (and you!) up? Why would someone go to all the trouble of getting a bomb on a plane, instead of just attacking the TSA line, or a mall, or a movie theater, and facing no screening?

    Boston, MA

  • Ann, Barrington, RI

    “Airport security should not be seen in a vacuum, separate from American policies towards the rest of the world. Why is America living in fear, what caused it, what continues to cause it? What can we do to change it?” by Arun, 10:54 (11/22)

    Arun! THANK YOU!

  • Pancake in McAdenville, NC

    This new regimen illustrates what the people in charge believe. By screening every child, elderly, disabled and otherwise typical person they illustrate that the general public is the enemy of government and big business and cannot be trusted by authorities. Most of us are the “them” to their “they.” A secondary reality is that these controlling and demeaning procedures enhance symbolic power and make vast amounts of money for contractors and consultants. The whole thing is indicative of the great socio-economic divide between the “haves” and the “have-nots.”

    I am a poor dependent in a wealthy family network. I never fly commercial. We go to general aviation facilities and board chartered and private planes, travel at our own schedule and convenience. It is only when we go out of country that we face any screening at all, and that for customs. The majority of Americans do not fly, at least not regularly. Fewer than a fifth have valid passports. Most people are too poor even to hop down to the Caribbean. Mostly it is the servants of the wealthy who fly, and if you were rich you’d want them checked and intimidated whenever possible.

  • Jim kearney

    Israel has had excellent results with whatever system they’ve employed. How does it work? What are the costs (compared to ours if you include TSA et al)? How far in advance of your flight do you need to arrive at the airport?

  • David McCann

    I have an idea to satisfy everyone. Separate the flights to 2 types, maximum security and maximum privacy. I will get on the maximum security flights. Some may wish to get on maximum privacy flights.
    We could then gather data on which are safer and make a data based decision on how much screening to employ.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    Retinal scanners won’t tell who is carrying dangerous explosives, only verify who the heck the person actually is. So once he or she blows himself up on board, we’ll know ex post facto what the true identity was.
    I truly see this exercise as an opportunity for overtime besides for the postal service and UPS and FedEx and shopkeepers around the holidays. That or an actual modern version of FDR’s WPA, Work Projects Administration. This is a “shovel-ready” project.
    But I’m hoping my retirement funds know enough to buy plenty of stock in rubber/latex gloves.

  • Jessica

    Just a point – the threat we are talking about – blowing up an aircraft – is an extremely difficult, if not impossible feat to accomplish with items one can carry on his/her person. The amount of explosives that the Shoe Bomber and the Christmas Day Bomber were able to carry on their persons (80 grams of PETN) could not have destroyed an aircraft even if they were used perfectly. At worst, it causes a fire (which was extinguished in the case of the Christmas Day Bomber), or makes a hole in the hull of the aircraft – which could possibly lead to depressurization – but not catastrophic loss of a aircraft and all aboard.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8548021.stm

    Yes, it’s scary, and some people would be harmed or possibly killed, but it is not massive scale of death and destruction that one imagines in the bombing of a plane.

    Cambridge, MA

  • One step forward, two….

    OF COURSE THE WHOLE SHOW IGNORED THE BODY CAVITY BOMB REALITY THAT MAKES THIS WHOLE DEBATE AND EFFORT A STUPID WASTE OF MONEY AND US ALL DUMB SHEEP.

  • Rene

    Here’s an idea – Stop worrying so much, everyone. The terrorists’ real aim is to terrorize us. They haven’t successfully hit us for nine years; that dope last year who blew his own genitals off certainly doesn’t count. So why are we all so frightened that we will accept any amount of wasted time and public indignity?

    Focus time and money on intelligence gathering and collaboration among the different intelligence agencies. That’s the only thing that will really make us safer.

  • http://shulmandesign.net Alan Shulman

    A great many issues have been raised in this discussion. Are the machines safe? Seems quite possible they aren’t. Is this the best way to provide airport security? Quite possibly it isn’t. Is Israel’s airport security model a better one? Seems like it might be; they’ve certainly had to deal with terrorists on a more regular basis. Are people’s rights and privacy being infringed upon? Certainly that appears to be one of the trade-offs we are being asked to make. I’m willing to bet there are better solutions than the ones currently being employed. Searches range from personal inconvenience to personal privacy insult so this is not a small matter.

    But I would ask the traveling public and the public in general to consider the much greater assault on personal liberty being perpetrated by banks as they rush foreclosures, many of which were probably fraudulent to begin with, by agri-business that wants to “impose” genetically engineered food on us without labeling it as such, by investment giants who are still too big to fail and who persist in criminal financial activities, by enormous energy companies who create dead zones in our oceans: These are perhaps not as obvious as what greets us at the airport. The airport security issue is one that immediately confronts the traveler. However, if one-tenth of the outrage being directed at TSA were applied to any of these other issues, I think the effect on our overall quality of life and safety would be considerably greater.

  • David McCann

    Buffalo, New York
    I have an idea to satisfy everyone. Separate the flights to 2 types, maximum security and maximum privacy. I will get on the maximum security flights. Some may wish to get on maximum privacy flights.
    We could then gather data on which are safer and make a data based decision on how much screening to employ.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    It’s pretty easy to predict that any terrorist with a head still attached will start plotting attacks on Times Square, rather than an in-flight airplane. Or maybe trains and buses. Or any mall, preferably several malls close together, to cause local emergency teams to be stretched really thin — or, actually, wiped out after the first attack.

  • Check babies not Muslims

    AND OF COURSE THE EXCEPTION FOR MUSLIM HEAD GEAR TO PAT DOWN was also not discussed. Are you kidding me?

  • Jon

    How about we create a new airline where screening and patdowns are not required. Those wishing to travel without embarassment can book a flight on this airline and can board without any type of screening. The 80% of Americans who understand the risks of flying will avoid this airline, the 15% who think dignity is above safety can use the new airline (along with anyone wishing to bring a bomb on board – who will obviously flock to the new airline). We will then no longer have to listen to the griping of those who think that screening is invasive and not effective.

    I suspect pilot and air steward salaries for this new airline will make this idea cost prohibitive.

    Jon, Franklin MA.

  • Carrie

    To the people who think profiling is a good idea: it is a great idea until your loved one is the target. I have watched my husband in a security line be the only one whose passport and tickets are thumbed through by two agents before he even takes his shoes off to go through the metal detector. He remains philosophical about it, saying they are just doing their jobs. I feel so angry that I want to scream.

  • John

    It looks like conservatives’ body phobia is trumping their usual security paranoia. The same people who tend to say if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear from the police are now screaming about people touching their “junk.”

  • Debbie Ford

    Has the TSA seriously considered the non-invasive screening interview system that Isaac Yeffet, former Israel security chief for El Al airlines, spoke about on MSNBC last week as the first step to identifying potential threats?

    If not why not & if so, is this a future possibility?

    I do not wish to go through this invasive “search” just to get my 92 year old mother onto an airplane for her travel to FL. She has to fly non-stop because we have already experienced one flight where we were insured by the airline (with wheelchair assist) that they would get her onto her connecting flight, only to experience her baggage arrival without her. Fortunately she was okay but with memory issues, they had to send her to our airport via a two hour cab ride.

    Concerned Caregiver

  • Lisa Bean

    When I hear all of this controversy about airport security I think of the soldiers in Afghanistan who are under real threats every minute – they deserve this attention not our collective selfish and self absorbed public who live in relative safety here in the USA. We seem to be a nation of spoiled whiners – and please stop calling a pat down “grouping” and using terms like invasive and degrading it just feeds the fire and is in my opinion ridiculous. By the way I fly frequently and am thankful for the PRIVILEGE.

  • L.A.

    Hey?!! Is quite a bit of this all about men being afraid that their bodies might act without their consent when they are patted down by another male? In effect, is there some homophobia in this controversy??

    I do understand mothers being nervous for their pubescent and early adolescent children. I remember even a doctor’s visit when I was in the eighth grade sent a “humiliated” chill thruout my whole body, even tho his touch was appropriate, and my mom was in the room. But, I had never been touched before with my clothes off, and I did feel humiliated in a way that led me, in my generation, to a mind-body split. What I’m saying is: kids are different in their sensibilities than adults; too few adults take this into account.

    That said, what to do?

  • Jim in Omaha

    To those who would make this a contest between “liberal” and “conservative” approaches, wouldn’t a “conservative” approach to the increased danger of a terrorist attack on an airplane be to use our military to invade some unrelated country?

    And I wonder what the Fox News coverage would have been if the Obama administration had canceled plans to implement these measures. How about:

    OBAMA DECISION CLEARS PATH FOR
    MUSLIMS TO ATTACK AIRPLANES!!!

    The military-security-industrial complex was fully unleashed after 9-11 and the childish fear it generated, and these current invasive measures are the direct and inevitable result of that.

  • jeffe

    Israel has had excellent results with whatever system they’ve employed. How does it work? What are the costs (compared to ours if you include TSA et al)? How far in advance of your flight do you need to arrive at the airport?
    Posted by Jim kearney,

    Israel is a small country with a small airport. They have highly trained screening officers who ask questions and look for responses. If you act like you are hiding something, you are then taken out of line and searched. You could not do this at JFK or Chicago’s O’Hare airports, they are to big.

  • Rob

    I personally am inclined to opt for a full body scan over a pat-down that includes groin and buttocks groping. However, the body scanning equipment needs to be well tested and radiation safety assured. Based on the information I have been able to research thus far, I do not feel sufficient testing has been done with the current backscatter x-ray or millimeter wave based scanners that the TSA is using.

    Of course this puts other arguments aside, such as the scanners possibly not detecting all the items we expect them to, or that the likelihood of being on a plane blown up by terrorists is so low that it doesn’t justify the overall cost/effort of body scanning.

  • Beverly

    Profiling? Terrorists are much too smart for that now. What about that Canadian, who didn’t fit the profile at all?

    There are all sorts of deranged Americans, working alone, with a grudge. If they were intent on blowing up a plane, they wouldn’t be caught unless they resembled former terrorists.

    Al Qaeda is specifically recruiting people who don’t fit the profile.

  • Ed

    To David from Buffalo, I like you idea! I would happily fly on the high-privacy airline.

    Boston, MA

  • Jonathan

    ROB: Millimeter wave/ terahertz scanners use non-ionizing long wavelength EM radiation, thus there is no possibility of causing the DNA mutations that lead to cancerous cells. But you are correct that the Xray devices should be and probably already are scrutinized.

  • ThresherK

    It can’t be said enough: Michael Chertoff is an unqualified crook who doesn’t care about terrorizing Americans. He is the embodiment of giving away the disease to sell the cure.

  • Peter

    I have an idea for enhanced security. How about if TSA just strips and shackles everyone as they enter the airport. Their clothing and luggage would be scanned and put into the plane’s cargo hold. This would cut down on the need for individual scannings and pat downs.

    Then, everyone can be led in and chained so that they cannot move about too much. If they put in stalls to chain people, they could fit more passengers per plane.
    On arrival, the people could be led out of the plane, unchained, and re-united with their clothes and luggage.

  • http://notyet Charles A. Bowsher

    Eleanor @ 10:34 When are you flying next and from where? I like your spirit honey.

  • http://www.bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson, Talent, OR

    I haven’t listened to the program yet, but I fear it will prove to be an hour of kvetching from prudes about bored security personnel getting a computer-simulated view of your oh-so-precious naked bodies, or about almost-certainly-unaroused security personnel patting down your oh-so-inviolate persons … grow up, America! The real issue is living in fear. Fear of the present but statistically tiny danger of terrorism, fear of your “privacy” being invaded (to me, privacy of body has much less meaning than privacy of thought) … there are so many ways that those powers who do not love us can take advantage of our fear.

    From the Simpsons last night:
    DICK CHENEY: Did the terrorists attack the United States today?
    SMITHERS: No, sir.
    DICK CHENEY: Aww.

  • http://bruceguindon.com bruce guindon

    I’m not sure I’m going to slap a person that close to my testicles

  • http://shulmandesign.net Alan Shulman

    Peter:

    Sounds vaguely familiar…are there haircuts involved? Showers?

  • Jim in Omaha

    Commenters here point to Israel as the way to perform airport security, but I understand that everyone there is subjected to detailed questioning about who they are, why they’re there, where they’re going, who they’re with, who they intend to visit, etc. Any unusual answers or behavior then results in a level of personal intrusion far exceeding anything at a US airport. Would people find such a time consuming (better be at least 3 hours early, apparently) and labor intensive (expensive training) measures preferable?

  • Zeno

    I would fly high privacy airlines as well. It would be the last place a bomber would want to be. Very few passengers would be aboard the flight, but all of the passengers would be the Courageous FIGHT group, from the fight or flight example. The cowardly FLIGHT is where the bomber would want to be.

  • Beverly

    ROBERT (10:58),

    You really have quite an imagination.

    Using dogs seems to make sense though, much better that the current system. They would also speed things up a lot.

  • Robert

    I’ve been protesting the overuse (abuse) of security measures for years – in my own way, largely by myself. It’s good to finally see a viable protest against it,even if it is a backlash against Obama’s inneffectiveness.
    The use of technology such as scanners is not only an intrusion on our liberties and privacies, but they are unnecessary, inneffective themselves, costly to purchase replace and maintain and possibly unsafe. The “promise” that only qualified personnel will view scanners or that private areas will be blurred is empty, because the TSA is largely unnacountable to the public and policies can and do change on a daily basis.
    Patdowns are similarly inneffective and intrusive and are not an option.
    The enhancement of security has not made us safer now than before 2001.
    Now that the TSA (US goverment) scrutinizes every single person who passes through the airport gate, have they actually found more explosives and weapons than they did before? I don’t know that answer because the TSA won’t talk about it. My guess is no.
    Have they confiscated more items that could be used as a weapon – like water bottles and nail clippers? Probably. I guess that makes somebody feel safer.

    The best solution to keep us safer on airplanes is to solve the problem at the root. Find out why there might be individuals or groups who are desperate enough to consider trying to use explosives. For example we could reexamine our foreign policy and perhaps reevaluate which countries we ally ourselves with.
    In the meantime, common sense is all that is necessary at check points, and that does not involve intrusive patdowns, scanners or interviews.

  • Beverly

    BRUCE GUINDON,

    Your point is well taken.

  • Zeno

    I liked the example of the (where is the security line) that was posted above. If the bomber sets off his bomb right at the point of passing through security, then will there be another line before that line, and then what? If you purchase a ticket TSA comes to your home and searches there?

    Yes indeed, where is the security line.

    It should be noted that North Korea will have no terrorist bombings this year, or next year, or the year after that. Draw your own conclusions as to the quest in the search for perfect security.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    More likely, as has happened so far, fellow passengers are the ones to sleuth-out dangerous fellow travelers. We know what questions to ask, or when to stand back and let things reveal themselves. I mean, the officials could certainly find out more by certain quick inquiries than pat-down (if the terrorist is expecting a pat-down), but some people are terrifically good at pretending to be what they are not, and some who conduct interviews are inept. So probably what works in Israel doesn’t work here. Say one pat-down person is trained to screen for Mexican gang members; she’s good with Mexican Spanish and has lived with the kinds of people and situations that would let her key-in right away to any clues that might send up enough warnings for closer screening. But this screener, let’s say, instead has a Russian-speaking arms dealer coming through her gate. The body language isn’t what she knows. The language sure isn’t what she knows. The whole “business” isn’t anything she’s familiar with. Maybe Hillary Clinton should conduct all the interviews. You know?
    I suspect that even the most basic interview questions being asked by a pat-down person would be greeted by howls of protest. Not only to be touched but to be interrogated at the same time?
    In the 1980s, in Europe, Berlin especially, I remember being taken into a tiny room and interrogated. It was not a big deal. I didn’t feel threatened. I knew there were real threats. Had I left my bag unattended? Yes. (I had forgotten something four flights up; it was 5:00 AM, dawn, and nobody was in the courtyard, and the bag was heavy so I left it by the door. So I ran upstairs for whatever it was.
    “Was it the same as when you left it?”
    “Yes.”
    “Nothing added or subtracted?”
    “It looked the same; see, jam-packed, you can barely get the zipper open.”
    “Well, I’m really supposed to unpack it if you left it alone.”
    “Okay.”
    “Oh, skip it. Go along.”

  • Trond

    People should de-sexualize this. A full body scanner or a pat down is not sexual. Honestly, most people are fat and ugly. Most of us would not want to see others naked – screeners should be given hazard pay. Plus, during pat downs, trust me, they don’t want to touch your “junk.” Once again, 99.9% of us don’t want to see or touch your “junk.” We as a society however, do want to know if you had a bomb taped to your body that will result in us falling 30,000+ feet to our deaths.

    Put things in perspective and stop being paranoid about your body. Its nothing special. Only in the US would people get paranoid about this… then go home, draw the curtains and watch pornography. Hypocrisy.

  • Chantal

    Hello – they are suicide bombers! If they want to blow up a plane I’m sure they’ll come up with a bomb that can be swallowed or inserted elsewhere (like the drug mules) and that won’t be picked up by scanners or invasive pat downs. I’m not convinced these measures will stop them.

  • Tom

    Until now I have been a adamant supporter of President Obama. Regrettably, I no longer will be. He is now guilty of violating his oath of office to “defend and protect the Constitution of the United States” – a violation of the Fourth Amendment. I hold him responsible because by simple executive order he could stop this outrage. This is not an issue of what the majority thinks is or is not tolerable. This is an issue of our Constitutional rights and protections against unreasonable search. It is unreasonable to subject people to strip searches (virtual or otherwise – tantamount to sexual assault) with no basis for suspicion of criminality. Such behavior would not be allowed if perpetrated by police on the street, at bus stops or train stations. It is not right that it should be perpetrated at airports. And make no mistake, the likelihood that a plane will be blown up if these methods are not used is paltry in comparison to the likelihood that these “security” methods will be abused. Be aware too that someone is getting rich from these security measures. The security industry will continue to push for more measures to feed its profits. The pressures towards more “security”, more subjugation of the citizenry, are driving us towards an authoritarian state. Apparently, our fears are successfully enslaving us – fears of terrorism magnified by those who would use those fears for their own ends.

  • Heather

    I am concerned about people with developmental disabilities. I have a son with Austism who is a young adult. He is high functioning, so he would be able to handle going through the scanners, but what about disabled people who can’t understand what they must do? If a scan is not possible, or if they get a fuzzy reading from the scanner,how will people with developmental disabilities be handled? I cant find info on this anywhere! Since he is an adult male, I have been told I cannot be present if a patdown is required. People with developmental disabilities often become adjitated and angry when touched or when situations involve the unexpected. How will TSA handle it if a person has developmental disabilities gets really upset? Also, I live in a part of Alaska where flying is our only viable way out. Flying is not always a choice. Finally, what happens if a child gets a fuzzy reading, or a rape victim? I’m talking about people who have already volunteered for the scanner..
    Heather in Juneau Alaska

  • Mike (Hartford CT)

    Get over yourself. We have become a nation of whiners and look to blame everything on everyone and share no responsibility. Airport security isn’t perfect but it does provide some level of protection. We are a nation of laws and order that our military defends with their lives. If you don’t agree with a law seek to change it but don’t break it; and if you decide to break it be a big boy/girl and be prepared to suffer the consequence. The biggest problem with flying isn’t the TSA it is with the airlines that overbook, fly late, pack people like sardines and provide no creature comforts. Finally, I’m amazed at how such a trivial issue can gain so much attention so quickly because of the media.

  • michael from Quincy

    • “Michael: Actually, that’s not true, Al Qaeda’s plan is to take us down with many small “cuts.”
    I believe the saying is: bleed the beast.
    If they can cause us to create bottlenecks in our travel and lifestyles they’re succeeding.”

    Richard if what you say is true, than it is far easier to attack say an stadium, grocery store, local police stations, assuming the effect would be multiply.
    my point is what better way to make Americans cut themselves is to crash a plane after getting passed the body scanner and body putdowns.
    A terrorist could spend a few thousand dollars in materials and the reaction is the U.S. spending millions if not billions in return. This math does not add up and will eventually bankrupt us and/or our civil liberties.
    And my question is how it makes sense for Americans to cut themselves to stop terrorist from cutting them first? Isn’t the mantra that government can’t do anything right? Why keep you junk in the government’s hands? That same government that failed us i the first place and brought us the patriot act. And what do you think will happen if another terrorist gets by all that? Do you think the TSA and government will take responsibility? Fat chance, or more shills saying if you only give up more of you’re rights and spend vast amounts of money you can feel safe?

    I do agree this is an bi-parstian debate and take the Libertarian view atm and even right wing radio is having trouble getting it’s followers behind them on this.

  • Bob Letcher

    The First Law of Ecology—”everything is connected to something”—apparently doesn’t apply to Americans… too inconvenient.

  • Linda Swallow

    I had 2 pat downs and have been through the new body scanner twice in the past 3 weeks. As someone who requires secondary screening because of a knee replacement, I am very much in favor of the whole body scan. It saves me from going through secondary screening and the wait that it involves, while worrying about the security of my items on the belt, which in most airports the TSA rep will not bring into the room with you. The two pat downs I received were done professionally, and were similar to ones I have had in Europe up to 6 years ago. Yes, one is touched all the way up the legs to the crotch–described as “until I meet resistance.” Breasts were not touched, but gone around with the back of the hand, not the palms. The check inside the pants waistband was the most intrusive as far as I’m concerned. One concerning thing about the whole body scan is that it requires 4 people to operate one machine, which seems rather excessive.

  • Peter from Berlin

    Umm…Have we all forgotten Amendment IV of our constitution?! The right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…

    I have never been arrested, I’ve never even thought about doing anything nasty on board an airplane or anywhere else for that matter. Why am I being treat as if I have.

    And please, don’t give me the old 9/11 argument. I was in NYC then. I saw it happen. I also grew up in London part of my childhood with the IRA bombings in full swing. The world didn’t change, just American’s perception did.

    And who are the people doing the pat downs? Have they had a full background check? How safe is it for my 6 year old daughter to be patted down by a complete stranger? Just because they have a uniform on doesn’t mean that they are trustworthy.

    And the scanners? Safe, huh? So, why are there scientists saying they are not safe?

    Sorry, but I’ll believe a scientist well before I believe the TSA. And there’s the rub. The administration meant to make us safe has mismanaged itself to the point that people don’t trust it at all.

  • michael from Quincy

    Richard,

    When the government created the P.Act it was said it would not effect the freedoms or rights of it’s U.S. citizens, until it was found that any recording (non-video) is considered a federal offense and can get you jail time. While they can watch you, you cannot do the same and even if there breaking the law themselves.

    One such example how supposly keeping us safe is actually limiting our rights

    http://reason.com/archives/2010/06/21/another-marlyander-arrested-fo
    The city of Annapolis, Maryland recently received a Homeland Security grant for 20 new surveillance cameras in the downtown area. The city of Baltimore already has nearly 500. According to the watchdog site PhotoEnforced, the state of Maryland has at least 375 red light cameras and 80 speed cameras. Your government is watching you, Marylanders. But don’t think for a second that it’s going to tolerate you watching back.

  • michael from Quincy

    Shaw’s arrest comes amid continuing national debate over the arrest and prosecution of Anthony Graber, who was arrested in April for posting a video of a traffic stop to YouTube. Graber was pulled over on his motorcycle by Maryland State Trooper Joseph David Ulher, who drew his gun during the stop. Graber was wearing a camera on his helmet. Days later, police raided the home of Graber’s parents. Graber was arrested, booked, and jailed. He has been charged with violating Maryland’s wiretapping statute, a felony that carries up to five years in prison. He has also been charged with “Possession of an Interception Device,” that device being his otherwise perfectly legal video camera

  • michael from Quincy

    In yet another video taken at the Preakness Stakes and posted to YouTube last May, a Maryland state trooper tells a video operator recording an arrest, “Do me a favor and turn that off. It’s illegal to record anybody’s voice or anything else in the state of Maryland.”

    This seems to be the position of most of the law enforcement community in Maryland. It also happens to be wrong.

    There are constitutional arguments to be made in favor of an inherent right to record on-duty police. Shaw was trying to document harassment, which falls under the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. In Graber’s case, there’s a strong due process argument. If your rights have been violated by a police officer, it’s often your word against the cop’s. Video or audio documentation of the encounter is probably your only hope of proving your case. There are also basic policy arguments in favor of securing such a right. We tend to behave better when we know we’re being watched, an argument policy makers often employ when justifying the use of government surveillance cameras in public spaces.

    Btw Ma. has a even tougher stance on such as well,
    These are all good arguments to challenge the laws in states like Illinois and Massachusetts, where courts and policymakers have made it illegal to record anyone in public without their permission. Both states have explicitly renounced the expectation of privacy provisions present in other wiretapping laws. The laws in both states are ridiculously sweeping, and there may soon be federal challenges to both.

  • Jim in Omaha

    I sure wish all of you who so fervidly oppose these measures on the grounds that they are not effective would use some of that energy protesting the much-more damaging, way-more expensive, and no-less ineffective, use of our military in Afghanistan and Iraq. But I guess there just aren’t any good youtube videos to get you blood boiling.

  • Sam Wilson

    “If they want to blow up a plane I’m sure they’ll come up with a bomb that can be swallowed or inserted elsewhere (like the drug mules) and that won’t be picked up by scanners or invasive pat downs. I’m not convinced these measures will stop them.”

  • Sam Wilson

    Please ignore the previous post (@ 2:54 PM, it was an enter pressed bit too early)

    “If they want to blow up a plane I’m sure they’ll come up with a bomb that can be swallowed or inserted elsewhere (like the drug mules) and that won’t be picked up by scanners or invasive pat downs. I’m not convinced these measures will stop them.”

    So far I have never heard of any case where a suicide Bomber “swallowed” a bomb and was able to detonate it successfully.

    Secondly, if you have 2 batteries and wires tied to your body regardless of the cavity or location, it WILL SHOW up during the X-Ray/Metal detector.

    Sam Wilson,
    Boston, MA

  • John Brock

    How bout standard issued flight pajamas for passengers, we’d all be more comfortable and none of us could hide bombs. 1st class can have silk pajamas if they like.

  • Flowen

    Wow! 278 posts and counting. Hot button issue?…and no usual politically partisan split. Opinions are all over the political map. The sheep are sure skittish when they don’t let us forget there is such a thing as a wolf…every day in every way. It is quite profitable, no doubt.

    What I don’t see is the recognition that this is blatant government subsidy of airlines and commercial flying. The GOP (Group of Psychopaths) seems quite good with this, after all, it not only sucks up vast quantities of taxpayer money in the TSA operation, but is a boon-doggle windfall for the manufacturer’s of more fancy televisions with buttons…surprise surprise. And Chertoff has business relationship with these manufacturer’s?

    C’mon people, Get Real! It is not only unreal political/security theatre, a lousy show we all pay dearly for, fliers or not. Just to have our human dignity and freedom shredded under our noses and in our pants! It’s just softening the sheep up for who knows what’s next? More breakdown of freedom and personality, charged off and paid for by us! Like it was the Jews fault for the holocaust!

    Deficit reduction?…I guess it doesn’t fit in this agenda!

    Let the airlines shoulder this cost! Factor it in to every ticket! It is bogus to charge the tax-payer. Let TSA monitor reasonable private efforts! After all, the FAA doesn’t maintain the aircraft and pilots currency…they monitor for compliance!

    Let the airlines decide what is safe or not, and let them factor it into their cost of business! Hey conservatives!…you call this individual freedom! You’re nothing but a bunch of dis-honest socialists….pushing towards communism. Sick, sick socialistic psychopaths calling the shots. You’re good though…you’ve got people so confused they think it actually adds ANY measure of security while you destroy Americans’ freedoms under our noses and in our pants!

    Let the airlines find out in the free market what works, and give Americans some choice for a change. Instead, government decides how they will spend OUR TAX MONEY FOR WHO’S GOING TO GIVE THE CORPORATE/POLS THE BEST YOU KNOW WHAT while they have their hands down our pants! Oh, I forgot, the free market doesn’t include the US population.

    C’mon sheep!…how much more will you tolerate? The Group of Psychopaths is determined to find out.

    Plan for continuing and accelerating break-down. Our children will never know how great the USA was….has-been.

  • Beverly

    ELLEN DIBBLE (10:40),

    Your comments may be a portent of things to come; even so, as I read, I couldn’t help but think what a great “New Yorker” cover it would make. The title could be “The Day Will Come…”.

    Or, it could be inside, as a cartoon, with that description of your “innards” beneath it.

  • Brett

    “People with developmental disabilities often become adjitated and angry when touched or when situations involve the unexpected. How will TSA handle it if a person has developmental disabilities gets really upset?”

    AND

    “Finally, what happens if a child gets a fuzzy reading, or a rape victim? I’m talking about people who have already volunteered for the scanner..” –Heather

    Heather, these are interesting points. I don’t see TSA workers as having any skills, training, etc. in how to handle these situations. I’ve seen many people with developmental disabilities who have extreme sensitivity to being touched (many have to be sedated when going to the doctor or dentist). I guess sedating a child/adult with certain types of delays/disabilities is one possible solution for the parent/care giver, yet I know this does not always work; and, how do airlines handle transporting people who are sedated to the point of being semi-conscious?

    It sounds as though your son is able to handle the situation and that he is his own guardian; but, as you say in another way, what about those who actually need a care giver to be with them at all times and need the “patdown”? What about someone who is not his/her own guardian? I know a lot of people in this predicament.

    I’ve seen police officers mistake people with cerebral palsy for drug addicts intoxicated in public, and they have considerably more training than a TSA worker. What about people who actually can not stand still, who twitch and flail (CP, effects from medications in people with Parkinson’s, etc.).

  • Brett

    I wonder if a magic wand could be waved (magic wand, as in never would this be possible) and people could band together to boycott flying for a month…I bet the airlines would come up really fast with what they would say is a better alternative…As I said in my comment this morning, a reasonable solution that would seem to work more effectively would be the use of our canine friends trained in sniffing explosive materials. I didn’t hear the program this morning (although the topic can not be avoided if one catches any news medium this week); was this (using trained dogs) discussed on the show?

  • Zeno

    I am saddened by the number of supporters of illegal search and seizure we have in just this blog. How will this country ever achieve anything with so many sheeple willing to give ALL away for the promise of perfect security.

    Give me liberty or give me death! Its not just meaningless words… and to give your freedom away is to spit on the grave of every individual that gave their lives for it.

    I’m disgusted. I would rather die free, than live as a slave. We should live our lives with honor and bravery and protect our freedoms, if not for ourselves…then for the sacrifice of those who came before us.

  • Ben Millstein

    It’s a question of priority. Is this the best use of resources for the challenge at hand? No. It is embarrassingly reactive. We need a strategy that does not change with each fresh attack. There is an unlimited variety of possible terrorist plots. Our strategy should be to reduce the recruitment tools available to them.

  • Brett

    Ben, I agree, and you’ve covered a lot of territory in a very succinct comment: we are being reactive (when we need to be proactive); our strategies seem to change after each possible attack is reported; and, we are not looking at antecedents as much as we should be with respect to why people become terrorists in the first place.

  • Susan Kelly

    Boston, MA

    I don’t believe that any of the TSA’a reactionary security measures has made us safer. As long as their ridiculous, ineffectual demands were only minor inconveniences, I was willing to go along. But both the scanner and the body-searches are so demeaning that I will do everything I can to avoid air travel in the future.

    TSA screeners are minimum-wage, uneducated workers who rely on heavy-handed tactics to assure the Congress that they’re keeping us safe.

    We have been dealing with security issues since 2001. However, we have a friend who has been dealing with security since the 1970s. Israel! What measures does Israel take to ensure passenger safety? No scans, no shoe-removal, no tiny bottles. Their security staff, who are college-educated and fully-trained, simply interview every passenger. EVERY passenger. Where are you going and why, where did you come from, where is your luggage, where was your passport issued? They look for inconsistencies in every passenger’s story. They look for nervous behavior. Israel has people acting as questionable passengers to check the screeners. If a screener misses the fake passenger he is fired on the spot. So far, they’re batting 100%. We, however, have missed real terrorists, who were, fortunately, brought down by other passengers.

    The TSA system needs to be completely redefined. We need security agents who are top-shelf applying logical measures to assess every passenger who flies on an airplane. Instead, we have the lowest level of employees using sledge-hammer methods to look for terrorist tactics that have already happened. Do you seriously believe there will be an army of shoe-bombers this season? No, the real terrorists are busy inventing new ways to kill us. The worst terrorists we’re likely to see are the minimum-wagers wearing TSA uniforms.

  • Zeno

    Flowen at 3:46 PM

    Thanks, I was so focused on the other aspects of this I hadn’t really given any thought to who should be paying for it. I agree, the government should not be involved, except to regulate operations.

    It is the responsibility of the Airline industry to do what is necessary to run their business without government subsidized security.

  • david

    Khrushchev said America will be taken down without them firing a shot. The terrorists have learned and they are winning!! Terrorism is defined as the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious. Their objective is to disrupt and create fear in a population.
    They blew up the towers and then they started using our own system against us. They knew Americans have no stomach for severe punishments, so they used that idea to their advantage.
    Start with some Muslim dressed men on an airline that gets so-called harassed. Immediately they scream they are being profiled.
    Enter the term Politically Correct. American will bend over backwards not to HURT the feelings of Muslims.
    So, inorder not to profile anyone, especially Muslims, we harassed our own citizens with pat down searches at airports to prove we are fair.
    A problem has arisen, Napolitano considering allowing Muslim women to pat themselves down at Airports! …
    http://www.greeleygazette.com/press/?p=6687
    Do you see how they are using our system against us???
    The kudzu effect: slowing without much notice it continues its progress to take over and when it does it destroys the natives and is near impossible to get rid of!!
    Wake up America!!
    And!!!! Once again George Soros’ name appears in this situation. What does he have to do with airport screening machines?????

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    I have to assume this TSA flare-up is a distraction reflecting some overarching design. Since last week the network news has been useless. I do NOT need to see CBS, NBC, and ABC all leading with Americans complaining about scanners, then officials talking about scanners. If you want “lite” news, shows me more photos of English royalty.
    It is interesting to think the government shouldn’t be paying for the scanners or screeners. The government will certainly be blamed if we suffer a terrorist attack.
    Maybe the media is tired of trying to explain the Gordian knot that is the lame-duck legislature and its challenges. They flat gave up. They figure we can bellyache about our liberties and rights not to have our shadows flashed up on a screened-off screen at an airport; that’ll keep us busy till next week, sheep that we are.
    But what is REALLY happening?

  • Beverly

    JIM IN OMAHA (11:16 a.m.),

    Yes, you’re absolutely right. That has always been their position.
    This is a war against “terra”,  so there are no more boundries; anything is legal. It’s okay to break the law, by torturing countless people who haven’t even been proven guilty of a crime. 

    “Wiretapping is great!  (The more invasive of our privacy, the better.) Please come in, & install cameras in our bedrooms & bathrooms.  Are there any more of our rights that you’d like to trample? If there’s a chance it might help, please kick us as hard as you can, as many times as you want to.  We can’t let the terrorists win.” That has always been their attitude.

    The reason for the 180 is because Bush  is lo longer in charge .

    Even though President Obama told the TSA, months ago, to be less invasive, CONservatives are trying to make everyone believe that HE is the one they should take out their anger & frustration on!

    They’ll probably succeed. 

    Suddenly, Conservatives are defending our rights! What next?

  • Ed

    To Ellen Dibble:

    “I have to assume this TSA flare-up is a distraction reflecting some overarching design.”

    Perhaps, but the design is security theater designed to mask the slow erosion of our basic dignities, principles, and rights. I’m thrilled that some people are finally saying “enough!” to the pointless theatrics we’ve seen at airports and elsewhere. Where was the outrage when the patriot acts got passed, I don’t know, but I’ll take what I can get!

    The issue of grope-downs and porn scanners may seem small, but I hope it’s the proverbial straw on the camel’s back. Think back to 2000, and consider all the ineffectual dances we have to do when we travel. It’s really a huge leap form then to now, and it’s resulted in no real increase in safety, it’s just conditioned us to uncritically accept any new authoritarian measure.

    I’ll take real outrage over real creeping authoritarianism over royal news, NYC mosques, pop star foibles, or any of the other “lite” news we usually get. This is the real stuff!

    Ed, Boston, MA

  • Beverly

    ZENO,

    The more I’m finding out about this, the more I’m inclined to agree with you, & the others.

    Are you from New Hampshire, by any chance? (The motto.)

  • Marsha

    It’s obvious to me that these measures–pat-downs and body scanning–won’t prevent a terrorist action. So what’s the point?

  • Beverly

    “Invasive”, (above comments), was meant to be “intrusive”.

    With the limited amount of time & space, (only 1 inch, on iPhone), available to me, it’s very difficult to get things right on this blog. Sorry, everyone.

  • Beverly

    TOM,

    How do you figure that?

    Many weeks ago, President Obama asked TSA to make security checks less intrusive, & he continues to do so.

    Looks like you’ll have to find another fall guy.

  • david

    Only in America!!!!! Who has become the enemy???
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSQTz1bccL4&feature=player_embedded
    Here is an explanation for airport pat downs.
    http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7766475/

  • twenty-niner

    “Many weeks ago, President Obama asked TSA to make security checks less intrusive, & he continues to do so.

    Looks like you’ll have to find another fall guy.”

    It doesn’t matter what duplicity comes streaming sideways out of his mouth. This is his administration and his TSA, of which he is ultimately responsible.

    This comment highlights the problem with sycophants on both the right and the left, the prime enablers of a democracy in decline; A country now saddled with with gratuitous and unnecessary wars, banker bailouts without conditions, and a growing police state rife with no-fly lists, terahertz scanners, and Stasi-style pat downs on little children and old women.

    And to all the craven cowards on this board who willingly and gladly submit to master at the first sign of a turban, honey bees kill more people than terrorists every year.

  • Mike Naeve

    It is time for the US to face up to the fact that terrorists from foreign countries want to bring this country down. This is, in fact, war. In large part, the US knows where these terrorists come from. So far, the terrorists have defeated the US and most other western civilizations.

    For the most part, these terrorists are tiny elements of their countries of origin; that said, they are not unknown in those countries of origin–e.g. Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, etc. Thus far, the US has been meeting these terrorists on their grounds, and that is not the way to counter them.

    The US should take the battle to the terrorists on their own grounds; if the people in the middle east decline to identify these criminals, then we should be bringing the pain home to them. Bring on the explosives and give the arabs the choice–tell us who they are or we will turn your miserable little hovels into glass.

  • Chris

    I am in a wheelchair, which apparently permanently subjects me to ‘enhanced pat-downs’.

    I am also an American Citizen. I was born within a day’s horse ride of the site of the original Tea Party.

    My understanding was that the Fourth Amendment to our Constitution protects us against “unreasonable searches and seizures [...] but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    Why doesn’t this apply? Is there an unspoken amendent to this text, “Unless we don’t feel like extending you these rights”?

    Miami, FL

  • Will

    Why are scanners not used as a first pass that only alerts security personnel of possible risk areas? I’ve passed through similar scanners in Amsterdam multiple times before. There, the security officer is presented with a cartoon image that the passenger also sees (they watch the same monitor together). If an area of the body is marked, only that part is subject to a pat down.

  • Nick

    Vanity.

    No one has the right to touch my genitals except my doctor or a female lover.

    But, having been patted-down by British airport security personnel for years, I’m not too bothered.
    IF a physical search means less likelihood of an airborne explosion, then I’m all for it.

    Aside: I was taken aside by security @ LHR in 1989 to check to see if I was a drug mule because I was young, slim, + long-haired. I laughed but cooperated, knowing the truth: I never had a criminal record; never used narcotics.

  • Beverly

    SAM WILSON,

    After having one too many messages sent by accident, I began tying the comments before filling in the name & address. That way, it won’t go through until you’re ready to send it.

    It works for me; maybe this method will also work for you.

  • hr
  • Amy

    I usually enjoy listening to Tom and find him an objective host—however, I was very disappointed to listen to this show. He came off as very dismissive of people’s objections to the scanning—and completely dismissed, with one comment, the serious health risks of subjecting millions of people to radiation.

    These machines and their risks have not been thoroughly tested. Comparing simply the amount of radiation to a couple minutes of flying (where it is more evenly dispersed throughout your body) and not taking into account the intensity or amount focuses on one area of the body is not enough information for me.

    The privacy issue is not as much an issue for me as it is my health. I am so angry to hear the government and media telling me to just be a good citizen and not to question their amount of research.

    Until they can show me the tests that prove that this amount of concentrated radiation in the areas that it will be applied to my body is safe—and that these machines aren’t going to have any error and possibly apply too much radiation (!)—there is no way that I will choose potential cancer over possible “safety.”

  • twenty-niner

    “Many weeks ago, President Obama asked TSA to make security checks less intrusive, & he continues to do so.

    Looks like you’ll have to find another fall guy.”

    White House defends body scanners and pat-downs

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-pn-tsa-screening-20101122,0,1142982.story

  • Nick

    When I was last in the UK, the only travellers who complained re. the extra security measures/time involved, were American.

    American travellers tend to express entitlement + exemption to security measures @ airports.

    I wholly agree that there is little need to physically pat-down children or elderly travellers; but all headgear (caps, hats, scarfs, turbens) must be removed.

  • Flowen

    Thanks Zeno

    Anytime any of us can add any clarity it is worth our time!

    As a nation, we are plainly losing the “war on terror.” Think of the $Trillions and lives we have lost and spent in 9 years in reaction to 19 suicide warriors, some box cutters, some flying lessons and 19 one-way tickets! Not to mention the fear, insecurity, and terror they have instilled in our population. And, our industrial complexes: military, financial, media go out of their way to stoke that fear. Why?

    Aside from the mid-East terrorists, the biggest winners are those Corporate terrorists. Just like the healthcare/financial industrial complexes: the more we poor Americans spend on FALSE promises of security and health, the richer they get. All the while handing the terrorists victory on a gold platter. They are the same scoundrels who wrap themselves in the flag of patriotism: the Group Of Psychopaths (GOP leaders) enabling and legalizing CORPORATE CRIMINAL behavior!

    We are frankly not much match for the terrorists who destroy our buildings with our own airplanes and fuel. In contrast, the Japanese at Pearl Harbor were amateurs. These terrorists are masters of the ancient martial arts: adept at using our power against us. All we have is the most power in the world. In the hands of psychopaths it is worse than useless. Our national reactions play right into the hands of terrorists. I only hope it is due to ignorance and incompetence and not design.

    Prepare yourself for continued and accelerating breakdown on every level. Good luck to the 98%! We’ll need it!

  • Izwe Lethu

    I wonder how many people would protest airport security personnel performing a body scan or enhanced “pat-down” on someone who fit our stereotype of a terrorist? Personally, I do not like the idea of being subjected to the scan or the search; however, being honest, I would want someone I thought was “suspicious” subjected to these and more, even if my suspicions were based on nothing more reliable than my sterotypical view of what a terrorist looks like. So, if we do not want to subject everyone to the same enhanced search, how do we really decide whom to subject?

  • http://cyberfumes.blogspot.com Dave Eger

    What if the underwear bomber was brainwashed by the CIA to do what he did?

    That question bothers me a lot more than “what if a second underwear bomber would strike”.

    We are missing the point. It is the ideologies and the secrecy that is dividing us to the point where we want to fight each other. If we focused a fraction of the attention we put into security and military into education and diplomacy, we might actually be winning the war on terror rather than losing ourselves to it.

  • http://notyet Charles A. Bowsher

    I repeat “Charles’s TSA Solution”-
    -If you want to avoid the scanners dress in a swimsuit under your clothes. While you are standing in line for security, strip off your clothes down to swim suit and proceed to pat down area. With everything but your privates and breasts exposed the pat down will only need to be a “look down”. You may want to bring a light weight robe so you don’t catch cold. Enjoy a laugh with your fellow passengers who are now jealous of your creativity and humor.

  • Jen M

    I recently flew from Boston, MA to Portland, OR. I brought my knitting on the flight. Not only would a circular knitting needle make an easy weapon (strangling, garotting, stabbing), I didn’t realize I also had very sharp fabric scissors. Yup, sharp scissors with 4 INCH BLADES!

    How did I discover I had these? I landed in Portland and began unpacking my carry-on luggage – and found these much-deadlier-than-nail-clipper implements. TSA at Boston/Logan didn’t bat an eye, it seems.

    The truth is, you can make a weapon out of SO many things you bring on a plane. A credit card, broken in half, makes for a very sharp edge for neck-slashing. A necktie is a noose, you could sharpen the edge of a bra underwire…so the pat-downs are yet more bread and circus, if bags are so easily slipped through with dangerous scissors (and toothpaste).

    I’m not sure what the solution is other than armed and VISIBLE federalis on flights.

  • Joseph Zakszewski

    In 1983, I was in Orly International Airport in Paris when Armenian terrorists detonated an explosive. Fortunately, I was not injured, but several people were killed, and 70+ were injured, many horribly burned. After witnessing this carnage, I am more than happy to submit to scans or searches in order to make my flights safer.

  • Currin Cooper

    What about dogs?

    Dogs can be trained to sniff explosives. Dogs can be used to augment traditional lines of defense, like x-rays and pat downs, and can not be accused of profiling.

    Well-trained dogs roaming airports would make me pause, if I was a terrorist.

    Currin

  • Flowen

    Zeno and others

    Off-topic.

    Last night I tried to view this week’s edition of The McLaughlin Group, but they are slow in posting it to their website.

    But I see they have blogs for viewer comments. However, it is populated mostly by rabid Neocons discussing ethnic foods, their rights to be selfish, and the usual stuff.

    Sometime soon I’m going over to see if I can kick some Neocon butt: practice a little Confusion and Division. It might be fun if any of you are interested to join in. A little Rumble in the Jungle.

    http://www.mclaughlin.com/

    The few Republican/Conservatives we have around here may not be able to defend the Group Of Psychopaths (GOP leaders), but they are thoughtful and civil. Not the same over there, and they are thick as fish in a barrel. It is a Neocon pirate haven.

    Poor Eleanor Clift holds down the Democratic position admirably. I give her a lot of credit, being the lone regular voice. She usually squares off with Monica Crowley, who is quite the looker, until she makes that god-awful noise whenever her lips move.

    It could be fun…although I will use a nom de guerre. I’ll keep you informed after I test the waters.

  • Richard Johnston

    Anybody who has observed bureaucracies can tell you these guys aren’t concerned as much with saving Americans’ lives as they are about protecting their jobs. Instead of thinking creatively and intelligently they are layering on ham-handed overkill so eventually they will be able to say “We did everything we could and they still got through,” even though they are not carrying out basic analysis and screening. They have finally gone over the top and managed to accomplish what President Obama has not: unifying liberals, conservatives and radicals of all stripes.

  • Susanne Scullin

    I don’t think this is a question of security it is a question of training and management . Again we have folks in Washington who want to make sure they look good , without paying for it . TSA has a blank check to do what ever they want with no oversight at all . I don’t know what training , background checks or any thing else that is required , I do know an awful lot of this is subcontracted out to who ?
    Do you think you might do better if people knew there was oversight , and knew where to complain , instead of which any questions at all are treated as proof of guilt
    I think that 99% of those who are flying have a really deep interest in keeping things that blow up off planes but there not being asked to help instead we all are guilty because we are getting on a plane ( which we have paid a lot to do )

  • Renoir Gaither

    Don’t want to “get with the program,” as one poster stated? Try passenger rail travel. Try personal automobiles. Try bus travel. One thing: All of the above are cheaper than air travel, no x-rays, and not bodily-intrusive. Let business travelers accept the risks (radiation, terrorism, crashes, pat downs, strip searches, etc.); that’s what salary compensation is about. There’s a whole economy behind the security industry, think computer anti-hacking companies. Money is poured into these security industries. Could the U.S. divert money into high-speed rail? Sure. The terror concern would continue, even with high-speed rail (think, Spain). But for millions of people, it would be potentially more economical, eco-friendly, and well, less intrusive.

  • Zander Dorje

    Has anyone discussed this issue with respect to the 4th Ammendment? It seems to me like a violation of constitutional search and seizure protection.

  • Charlotte Martin

    Is it humiliating when your doctor sticks his fingers here and there? He has to if we want to stay healthy. We agree he is a professional. Isn’t this the same thing?

  • http://n/a Amber

    What about children? My cousin has a pacemaker, will she need to undergo an invasive pat down?

  • Erik

    Why don’t we just ban Tea Party members from flying? :-)

  • twenty-niner

    “Is it humiliating when your doctor sticks his fingers here and there? He has to if we want to stay healthy. We agree he is a professional. Isn’t this the same thing?”

    You’re comparing some $10.00-an-hour TSA high-school drop out to a licensed MD?

    We are doomed…

  • aldona

    I just flew several times in the last two months with a brand new hip. I went through the body scanner and had a pat down. I preferred the scanner because it was much faster. The pat down took a long time, because she used the wand first and found ALL the metal on my body. The underwires and hooks of my bra, the buttons and zippers on my jeans, the keys I had forgotten in my pocket, the knee brace I did not even know had metal in it. The woman checking me was very respectful, but the process is, of necessity, SLOW. And any nervousness makes them slower and more suspicious.

  • Kelly

    The body scanners and enhanced pat downs are examples of brute-force security: search everybody, equally.

    Intelligent security discriminates based on behavior and other factors. El Al airline knows this and does it better than anybody. It’s harder to implement, because your security personnel need training and intelligence. But it’s better than invasive, ineffective procedures that humiliate paying travelers.

    Long Island, New York.

  • Eva

    What about when terrorists start placing bombs in their body orifices?
    On top of the privacy concerns, i feel the policy is ineffective because there is no boundary to what a terrorist could do to his/her body. They could have surgery implanted bombs, for example. This approach is a waste of time!

  • Potter

    Osama Bin Laden and his followers must be having a good laugh and giving themselves high-fives.

    I would like to see that people will stop flying( not just one opt-out day) until this outrageousness changes. it will be good for the environment as well.

  • Dee Gutierrez

    I would like to know just how many potential terrorist attacks the TSA has prevented. One would think that a TSA screener who stopped another ‘underwear bomber’ from getting through security would be big news.

  • Mark

    All this hype about “naked pictures of passengers” is a bit much. When they posted the pictures of TSA employees exemplifying what is revealed, the figures look less like a human and more like claymation figures with human features. I see no real threat in having these images taken as there is no way to identify you in public and TSA is taking pretty good measures to make sure the employees that see the scan picture aren’t the same that could take an actual picture of the person. If you are still worried about 2 employees poking fun at your body on their lunch break, that happens in lunch rooms around the country daily and if they never meet you or put these comments in the public venue, there is no real harm done. We need to stop being so touchy about our physical selves.

    I do feel bad for those with disabilities that are subject to the patdowns.

  • http://Wenatchee,WA Dee Gutierrez

    And I also hear that TSA employees DO NOT have to go through any scanners or pat downs when they report to work?

  • George

    Could TSA issue long-term security waivers to people who have travelled by air for decades and would never be involved in terrorism?

  • BOB T.

    my neighbor works for TSA and his is a mindless thug as are most of the brutes they hire. so it’s okay for a complete stranger to manhandle and grope you? maybe, but would you want your mother or wife or sister to have a stranger put their hands in their underwear? all in the name of security, they claim. it’s for our safety, they tell us. and they claim that there haven’t been any incidents since the security has been increased.
    after we say “yes” to this, then what?

  • Blarg

    To Mark:

    The recently leaked batch of photos are not from the latest generation of machines, which produce much more detailed images, where, for example, the details of people’s genitalia is clearly visible.

    Sample images here:

    http://dontscan.us/scans.html

    Search thesmokinggun for the mug shot of the TSA employee who got in a fight with his coworkers after they made fun of his small penis that was clearly visible in the scanner image. Oops.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Zeno: “It is the responsibility of the Airline industry to do what is necessary to run their business without government subsidized security.”

    This is wrongheaded. The Federal Government/FAA runs almost all major commercial airports. They have to be involved not only in passenger screening but in passport control when folks come into and leave the country.

    I’m not defending the job they do (or don’t do), just that it’s their job. Ideally, if they do their job right its better for us because their will be standards throughout the system.

    Had the government been doing its job, many of the 9/11 hijackers would not have gotten on the planes; many of their visas had expired and should have prevented them from flying. The FBI should have seen a pattern in all of those guys taking flight training. Actually, a few agents did but it never went anywhere. Again, government ineptitude.

    Had the government been doing its job, the State Department would have heard that the underpants bomber’s father had warned a US embassy about his son.

    So, obviously, the government doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do very well. Screening at airports seems like a very blunt and ineffective tool when real behind the scenes intelligence is the only thing that has ever prevented a terrorist attack.

    I’ll be going through a scanner at JFK next week and I have no problem with it. My concern isn’t like the many hysterical folks who think they’re being violated, my concern is that it’s not doing any good and terrorists watch the news just like we do and plan accordingly.

    9/11: no more sharp objects
    Shoe bomber – now shoes must come off and be scanned
    Liquid bomb – no more water or shampoo on flights
    Underwear bomber – full body scans and pat downs

    Somehow the pattern doesn’t make us look very smart.

    What’s next?

    Warren, Connecticut

  • Richard in Newton, MA

    Let’s not forget that it was TSA who confiscated and eventually destroyed a concert grand Steinway because they thought it smelled funny and suspected that the shellac was in fact some bomb-producing chemical. The owner of the piano was maestro Krystian Zimerman who is universally regarded within high cultural circles as one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. He had traveled to the US with his piano to give a series of concerts at Carnegie Hall.

    Look, each time I fly, I see lines of people of all ages, genders, color, etc. etc. who are mostly well-behaved, patient, understanding of the post-9/11 environment and fully cooperative. We’ve relinquished our rights as both consumers and citizens and have thus far been happy to do so. But failure to connect the dots, insufficient intelligence gathering and lack of common sense in the analysis of available, collected data – all conditions that plague us prior to 9/11 – have not been corrected by the Feds, its agencies and the industry. In good faith, we’ve entrusted you all. Now do your jobs better rather than acting like morons or tolerating those who act like imbeciles. The public has every right to be fed up and to rebel.

  • guest

    The video in this link is worth watching.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/dont-touch-my-junk

  • twenty-niner

    “If you are still worried about 2 employees poking fun at your body on their lunch break, that happens in lunch rooms around the country daily and if they never meet you or put these comments in the public venue, there is no real harm done.”

    Is that right Mark? Is that what happens in your lunch room? You guys sound like some real cut ups. Do have any other advice on how to submit to the state? because I’m not handling it very well. Maybe if imagine my spine being removed and I’m a large jelly fish. What’s your technique?

  • Brett

    I guess at some point there’ll be a terrorist with some plastique explosive device inserted up his bum who attempts to blow up an airliner…he’ll be dubbed “the rectal suppository bomber” or something and then we’ll be subjected to body cavity searches at airports…and the scanners–and by comparison to anal probes, the pat downs–will be just a dim and distant memory…on Holiday get togethers, grandpa can tell all of the children about the golden days when people simply took their shoes off and walked through metal detectors before getting on planes…it’ll be the future equivalent of “when I was your age, we walked a mile to school, in the snow, without shoes on…”

    I wonder how long it will take the porno industry to put together a movie in which there is a TSA tete-a-tete scenario with a sexy ingenue over potential contraband she may or may not be transporting? ….boom shucka boom bow…

    I kinda hope the next terrorist uses some sort of explosive device applied to his skin that has the effect of a fake tan and is detonated by a pinky ring…he’ll be dubbed the “Jersey Shore Bomber” and the world will be rid of that show once and for all!!!

  • Brett

    “They [the terrorists/Muslims] knew Americans have no stomach for severe punishments, so they used that idea to their advantage.
    Start with some Muslim dressed men on an airline that gets so-called harassed. Immediately they scream they are being profiled.
    Enter the term Politically Correct.” -david

    Oh, david, you silly goose, can we distill it down a little farther, please? Maybe into a mathematical equation or something? Why not just connect the dots for people: American Liberal Elite political correctness+screaming swarthy men in Muslim dress [turbans and robes with sabers in a sash]=terrorism ;-)

  • http://tombstone001.blogspot.com MOHAMMED N. RAZAVI, DALEVILLE, AL

    Ed, on November 22nd, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    It is all coming, just as we have metal detectors now in schools, and court houses and foot ball games, one will be strip searched everywhere one goes. That is how we control people (undesirables of course) and their movement. Part of the New World Order is the control of people, and exclude the unnecessary ones. As the unemployment increases and high unemployment becomes more permanent, people will start to migrate to towns and cities, increasing the over crowding and burden on resources. Thus the migrations of peoples must be limited. The plan is working as it should. Of course the war on terror has been mainly about jobs, if it were for security we would not have the borders to the north and the south still wide open. Secondly if we can presume to be able to stop the terrorists, then we can not stop the drug smuggling and the money transfers across the wide open borders.

  • Zeno

    Parting thought- If the TSA is the response to the treat of terrorists, then when will the TSA go away?

    Answer never. All procedures put in place will remain because like Bin Laden there will always be some bad guy out there that will require the most extreme measures to be sustained, and the ever specious arguments of safety will be applied to ease the discomfort with the police state.

    All government bureaucracies become politically entrenched and never go away, they just change the name every now and then the TSA will eventually be the ?? – Lets see…. The American Freedom Agency? Yes that’s the opposite of what it it is.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Flowen and Zeno: Sorry but I don’t see it as a government conspiracy. One reason the federal government should be involved in providing security at airports is that they own much of the infrastructure. Airlines don’t own airports, cities, states, and the federal government do. Airlines lease gates at airports and pay for remodeling terminals but the rest of the infrastructure is owned and run by other entities.

    The FAA, which runs most busy towers is a federal agency.

    While I won’t defend the job the government has done in running airports and catching terrorists I don’t think it would be any better if it were farmed out to, say Xe Services LLC or some other private security firm.

    Again, the government is bogged down, doesn’t communicate well within its ranks and has lots of room for improvement, but they have a state department and embassies and are connected all over the world.

    If they’d get their act together and better use their connections I think they’re in the best place to both gather behind the scenes intelligence and do screening at airports.

    I don’t support the ways they’re currently doing these things, those ways should change, but I do support paying taxes to have them do it.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Here’s Bruce Schneier on current methods: “A waste of money and time.” I agree.

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2010/11/22/do-body-scanners-make-us-safer/a-waste-of-money-and-time

  • Zeno

    “Flowen and Zeno: Sorry but I don’t see it as a government conspiracy.” – Who said anything about a conspiracy?

    That is a false conclusion meant to obfuscate what I wrote. I stated that the limit of the governments involvement would be regulatory. Not excluded, and not total. The government should do what it does best, and the corporations should do take responsibility both financially and legally to operate their corporations at a cost that does not require government subsidies of such operations.

    As you stated the government is running the airport operations FAA, and the corporations are handling passengers and cargo. Does the government now have to handle cargo and passengers as well? By action, It would seem to be their new frontier.

    If the government is going to run the whole thing then nationalize it, and then feed the profits back to the general fund.

  • anonymous

    Americans need to learn to pick their battles. Quite frankly, I don’t understand the outcry about pat-downs. TSA officials should be respected just as regular police officers, or doctors; in that they are professionals in their field of work. I’m sure they don’t want to touch you any more than you wanted to be touched by some random person. People assume that there is some predatory or sexual aspect to pat-downs.. but I bet that TSA people hate doing it. In fact, it probably hurts their sex lives. Think about it, would you want to pat-down the “average” american? Probably not. The genital region is so overly taboo in this country; which makes it an excellent area to conceal non-metal weapons / explosives. You can’t blame security for acknowledging this.

    Help airline security do its job. Wear appropriate clothing for traveling that won’t set off metal detectors, comply with policy, and stop acting so entitled to royal treatment. When we fly, we are all numbers, not individuals. We are all viewed as security threats until we prove ourselves not to be.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    1. Brett and others, dogs cost $400 an hour. I heard this last week on a report by a New Yorker about bedbugs, and the dog was trained at the Harvard of dog institutes somewhere in Florida. You would think dogs wouldn’t need retirement benefits and vacation pay, but apparently they get way above minimum wage. Don’t expect a super sniffer at every bus stop between here and Anchorage. One dog is the equivalent of what, 40 gropers (pat-downers)?

    2. Janet Napolitano was on the Charlie Rose show last night for the second half hour. She thinks risks are elevated, and to some extent bases this on the timing of the Christmas bomber, but other knowledge she has. She was saying that Americans are being “used” by the terrorists, so in other words look for the unexpected. Don’t profile.
    She says there needs to be concentrated study on what causes individuals to radicalize to the extent they go overseas for months of training and then return to gratuitously (in my view) blow up fellow citizens.
    I believe she spoke to the need to expedite the development of sensors that will pick up implanted explosive/toxic substances.
    She certainly did not forget to mention what I’ve been complaining about (that planes get all the attention). What about buses (think London)? Metros (think London)? Trains (think Spain)? Malls? Police stations (think Iraq). Apparently she wants people to be alert in general.
    She didn’t talk about dogs. At $400 an hour, who can blame her. There probably aren’t actually enough dogs and handlers to make a real dent, even if there were fountains of gold to pay for them.

  • Realist?

    Makes one wonder if we should dump all the politically correct posturing and beat into submission the people who are harassing us.

    What stopped previous World Wars of aggression? Massive bombing and even nuclear bombs.

    We are being defeated by the thousand cuts, and as long as we continue to be the politically correct cowards we are, not even able to cut budgets, let alone kill enemies, we are doomed.

    We are drifting into a cesspool of terror and police state. We can either go deeper and deeper into it, or make the sacrifices to root out the enemy. The choice is becoming clearer each day, and at some point I think Americans will choose the latter. Start stocking up and planting you Victory gardens. Don’t plan on much international travel. Help your neighbors, but dark, but necessary times are coming.

  • Flowen

    Richard & Zeno

    Wow! First time one of my posts was taken down…cause of what I said?…or how I said it?….here again cause I think it is important….without the end jab.

    Important because, whether you want entrepreneurs to contribute to the solution of security problems (and I’m not talking Xe, or Blackwater; that’s a whole ‘nother subject that scares the hell out of me); or if you want the government’s infinite wisdom applied to the problem, the Status Quo, IT SHOULD NOT BE PAID OUT OF GENERAL GOVERNMENT REVENUE, ie our taxes. It should be borne 100% from airline’s revenue.

    And again, I ask for JUST ONE GOOD REASON.

    Just why should the government provide security?….just because that’s the way it is? Privatize the profits and socialize the costs?

    Name one reason why it makes sense?…or as you point out…what makes them good at it?

    I can name lots of reasons why they shouldn’t; CAN YOU NAME EVEN ONE GOOD REASON WHY THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD PROVIDE SECURITY FOR THE AIRLINES?…aside from the fact that they do? I can think of only one reason why they, the airlines, the airplane manufacturers, and the financial industry would WANT TO (can u spell FREE MONEY?), but NOT ONE GOOD REASON.

    The main reason I see for the government to spend everyone’s tax money providing security is to keep the costs of air travel artificially cheap and volume high, which is socialism, veering towards communism. Chavez does a lot of that in Venezuela. Or is that a free market in your mind?

    Or is it their unfailing ability and infinite wisdom in picking winners with our tax money?

    WE THE PEOPLE seem confused; but the GOP seems to be getting their cake and eating it too.

    • Bob Trent

      The airlines do pay for airport/airway security. It’s called “landing fees” and “taxes.”
      The airlines are not the cause of the security threats. The government provides general policing services as private police are limited to the premises of their employers.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Flowen: “CAN YOU NAME EVEN ONE GOOD REASON WHY THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD PROVIDE SECURITY FOR THE AIRLINES?”

    In an ideal world where the government is working well, because they have the infrastructure and connections to track people who’s visas are expired or who’s fathers warn an embassy.

    I’m not claiming they do this well now, but I think they have the capacity to improve and do it well.

    That’s my take as one who flies a lot and I’ve been flying a lot for well over twenty years.

    Again, I don’t support what TSA is doing; money should be put into better intelligence gathering and sharing among government organizations.

    • Bob Trent

      Because the government runs the airports. Someone has to be the “highway patrol” of the airways. The states are not considered adequate for the purpose.
      Airports are the air travel equivalents of roads, along with the airways.

  • Thomas Jefferson

    “In an ideal world where the government is working well, because they have the infrastructure and connections to track people who’s visas are expired or who’s fathers warn an embassy.

    I’m not claiming they do this well now, but I think they have the capacity to improve and do it well.”

    Faith in the “ideal world” provided by a central power is the Road to Serfdom. Can you provide example of otherwise?

  • david

    There are people and organization that would love to see America fall, that has been proven. Nations do not fall because of the obvious, it is usually the subtle and long term persistence of the enemy and by the denial of their intentions by the victim.
    Oklahoma: a situation where Sharia law to supersede federal or state law is in question.

    A foolish person and their freedom is soon departed.

  • Flowen

    Richard

    All that you say is true: the government could and should be better.

    But you fall short of providing that reason for why the Status Quo, the socialist model we don’t recognize, makes any sense, and is not wholly hypocritical, especially to the Republican ideals. And how we think of ourselves as American.

    Intelligence gathering, done well or poorly, is important, and should be a government function. It is not inconsistent with the airlines paying their own costs, security in this case, rather than receiving tax payer subsidy for their operations.

    The benefit is cheap seat tickets; the cost is a rigid system that doesn’t work well, higher and higher taxes, a march toward a genuine police state, central government planning, suppression of innovative solutions that emerge from a true free market, a worsening environment, airlines being unresponsive to their customers, propping up Big Big Business: airlines, aircraft manufacturers, financial industry, energy industry, etc.

    This is socialism masquerading as “free enterprise,” becoming communism; is this what you want?

    I too have substantial experience with aviation.

  • joshua

    This program is complete nonsense–disniformtion–lies!

    First of all–you cant take a boat or train overseas unless you own a yaght and very few cruises go wehere oyu need to go and not in a timely mannner. They hop around coasts and islands. You have to take a plan. I would love to take a boat but there is no industry for it.

    Secondly, if there was a large population taking boats or trains the fascist lying treacherous government would use these terror-tactics as well.

    Thirdly–I cant count how many times the quests on this program–the scripted propagnadists lied lied lied lied lied about travel abroad. i have tracelled extensively. In Europe they do not do this they do not pat you down and grope you and check your shoes and put you in death-stroking machines. They do almost nothing–they wsve you through after a traditional metal detector. They ask you a few questions. Its simple, efficient, and practicle. NO strip search, no groping, no terror-tactics such as in the police state of America. For these total jerks to say so is a complete and total fabrication–propaganda! It absolutely has not been in place for fifteen years! What rubbish! The things people will believe! Only in America do you recieve such paranoia and insanity! Talk to any traveller and they will tell you traveling in American airports, in customs is an aboslute nightmare-the people re consumed with whiney angst, the security is cruel and mean and inasane and absolutely ridiculous. Everyone I know says this. Everyone i know says the security is more frightening than so-called terrorists (probaly funded by the CIA and BUsh crime family).

    Even in China–a so-call totalitarian regime (in many ways) but even in China going through security is an absolute breeze, no worries, no delays, efficient, wave me through no touching no evil machines. NO hostility. NO ill-manners. No cruelty, No insane ignorance and savage behavior as you see in American security and police forces.

    Its scary how American are so embedded in a culture of conformity to the dysfunctional, insane, lying status qou. The system no longer works. And Americans will die to protect an inherently dysfunctional, corrupt, deceptive, harmful if not evil system. The status qou cannot be questioned, and anyone who tries is oppressed, imprisoned, killed, blacklisted, ostracized, alienated, disparaged, admonished… That is not a free democrtic state. But liars will say anything. A culture of loonies. At On pOint you have a culture of treacherous propaganda. I’ve noticed its getting much worse lately.

  • Flowen

    Richard

    Off-topic

    Just checked out your web-site. Do you think Apple is under-valued @ $300+/share?

  • michael from Quincy

    Will the media take the same experts to task if/when a terrorist gets passed the body scanner? Better yet with the heads of the TSA or any government department be held responsible? Or we they invite the same people on saying more drastic measures need to be made? More tax payer dollars? And ask Americans to give up more of there rights? What about applying this to subways? Trains station? Even grocery stores ?Malls?. I can bet the same arguments we are hearing would be made for the others to (sic) protect our safety.

    Manufacture polls and support are flooding the MSM news outlets, misreporting on the actually levels of radiation by the TSA.

    Remember while you’re recording a TSA agent it better have a video on it or you can face 5 years in jail, and if in Ma. (you know the liberal state) you can still face jail time.

    What happens in 10 years when someone can link cancer to the body scanners? Will these security companies be forced to pay or the Government?

    The government did not take responsibility for its intelligence failures in past what think they will now? But the government has forced Americans to give up little by little of there rights for such failures by our government.

    Does anyone else see a problem with this? The jump from Airports to Trains, Schools, Businesses, and any public place is a terrorist attack away

    My question to all the supports is at what point to do you say enough? 1 trillion dollars a year cost? How about cuts in SS,Medicaid, to support it? Prison style searches? How about Body scanners in subways?You willing to borrow from your grandchildren to feel safe now? How about Body scanners schools? . And even if all the terrorist were somehow killed do you honesty think the government would give up such power?

  • michael from Quincy

    “Or will they invite the same people on saying more drastic measures are need?” (Similar to what there doing with the financial world asking the same people who failed us before for the answers).

  • http://futuresentry.com John Ribbler

    Here’s the opinion of Stephen Whitten who is the expert on Interactive Security Technology: “Techno-physiology can stop terrorists NOW!” http://ow.ly/3eo4I

    Steve is located in Harrisonburg, VA. I am in Atlanta, GA.

  • michael from Quincy

    “My question to all the supporters is at what point do you say enough”

    “The government did not take responsibility for its intelligence failures in the past so what makes you think they will now?”

    “But the government has forced Americans to give up little by little there rights for such failures made by our government”

    A democracy is tested at it’s worst of times and sadly the U.S. democracy is failing to uphold such democratic values it claims to export to the world…

    • Bob Trent

      Yeah, yeah. That “self-determination” BS was formally rejected in 1861. But various federals occasionally recite it. Sounds good, I suppose.
      Self determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference.
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-determination

  • Dave

    Are Air Travelers Criminal Suspects?
    By Ron Paul

    http://www.campaignforliberty.com/article.php?view=1211

  • Dave
  • david

    The people building the mosgue in New York are seeking $5 million in federal grants to build it. How you ask??? By using our system against us. A Majority disapprove of location, yet! they are going to force this place on NYC and make us help pay for it. How they do this, add a “so-called community center” to the building. Hello folks, a way to get federal dollars.

    • Bob Trent

      Who’ll get the blame when it gets bombed?

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Flowen: I do think Apple has more headroom yet even though I find the market for its stock (not its products) fickle. I know their products and I have a sense of where they’re going and there will be a constant stream of new stuff out in the next year.

    I just bought and set up an AppleTV. It’s one of the single coolest pieces of electronics i’ve seen in years and is a sleeper product. A few more hits in that direction (AirPlay is just blooming now) and they’ll have a real foot in the door to the living room. This is worth at least 50 or more points of stock price as it takes hold.

    Apple gifted Jobs a jet so he doesn’t have to go through TSA’s “handlers” and have his liver man handled, and while I’m on the (off) topic, what’s great about Jobs is that he works only for commission (stock price). Apple does well, he does well. Apple in the toilet, he gets his $1 salary. I sure wish Congress worked that way.

    Sigh.

  • michael from Quincy

    lol,

    I agree with dave and ron paul

    “Are Air Travelers Criminal Suspects?
    By Ron Paul

    http://www.campaignforliberty.com/article.php?view=1211

  • Bumstead

    @david

    I heard the threat of Sharia law in Oklahoma was so great that the Sooners women’s basketball team was being asked to wear warmup burkas.

    That’s OUTRAGEOUS.

  • Flowen

    Thanks Richard!

    As much as it bothers me to see how quickly people turn over their iPods from an environmental POV, Steve Jobs has a place in my heart near John Lennon. Wosniak is pretty cool too.

    Starting on Macs back in ~’90 (Si & Ci), I fell into PCs as they became cheaply available (@ 0$) as hand-me-downs; then had a great used 3 yr old ’98 Dell Latitude laptop I used for another 6 years to 2007, but since went new with a Toshiba, then a Dell, neither of which gave me anything approaching reliability or troublefree service AT ALL. They sucked, even with pro IT help. Totally unstable. Spent most of my time dicking with the machine!

    So I’m back with a MacBookPro this year and no longer get the shakes when I reach for the computer. Nice to be home. & I’m not the only one; their market share goes up.

    Thanks for the insight!

  • Larz

    Besides the fact that most of 9/11 commissioners admitted that the 9/11 commission was a fraud and a joke, we need a new investigation of 9/11 to say the least ..

    That said however, it is my understanding that TSA agents are poorly trained minimum wage workers and not certified law enforcement. Illegal aliens can rent planes with absolutely no security check, private planes have no checks and anyone can cross the border and enter into the USA pretty easily ..

    These searches are violations of our constitutional rights as is the patriot act, they are immoral, indecent, dehumanizing, and there is inadequate prevention against abuses by unprofessional TSA agents.

  • joshua

    This program is complete nonsense–disinformation–lies!

    First of all–you cant take a boat or train overseas unless you own a yacht and very few cruises go where you need to go and not in a timely manner. They hop around coasts and islands. You have to take a plane. I would love to take a boat but there is no industry for it.

    Secondly, if there was a large population taking boats or trains the fascist lying treacherous government would use these terror-tactics as well.

    Thirdly–I cant count how many times the quests on this program–the scripted propagandists lied lied lied lied lied about travel abroad. i have traveled extensively. In Europe they do not do this they do not pat you down and grope you and check your shoes and put you in death-stroking machines. They do almost nothing–they wave you through after a traditional metal detector. They ask you a few questions. It’s simple, efficient, and practical. NO strip search, no groping, no terror-tactics such as in the police state of America. For these total jerks to say so is a complete and total fabrication–propaganda! It absolutely has not been in place for fifteen years! What rubbish! The things people will believe! Only in America do you receive such paranoia and insanity! Talk to any traveler and they will tell you traveling in American airports, in customs is an absolute nightmare-the people are consumed with whiny angst, the security is cruel and mean and insane and absolutely ridiculous. Everyone I know says this. Everyone i know says the security is more frightening than so-called terrorists (probably funded by the CIA and Bush crime family).

    Even in China–a so-call totalitarian regime (in many ways) but even in China going through security is an absolute breeze, no worries, no delays, efficient, wave me through no touching no evil machines. NO hostility. NO ill-manners. No cruelty, No insane ignorance and savage behavior as you see in American security and police forces.

    Its scary how American are so embedded in a culture of bullying conformity to the dysfunctional, insane, lying status quo. The system no longer works. And Americans will die to protect an inherently dysfunctional, corrupt, deceptive, harmful if not evil system. The traitorous status quo cannot be questioned, and anyone who tries is oppressed, imprisoned, killed, blacklisted, ostracized, alienated, disparaged, admonished… That is not a free democratic state. But liars will say anything. A culture of loonies. At On point you have a culture of treacherous propaganda. I’ve noticed its getting much worse lately.

    • Bob Trent

      “In Europe they do … almost nothing–they wave you through after a traditional metal
      detector. They ask you a few questions.”

      Got it. It’s the reactions to the questions that tip them to whether anyone should be thoroughly searched. But that requires trained, skilled and dedicated people, not Wackenhut rejects.

  • Larz

    once you allow the TSA to touch your private parts, have pictures of your naked body, and radiate you, there is nothing that they won’t try to justify for them to do to you in the name of security.

    Your doctor needs your consent to do things to you, but if the government can order you to submit to whatever they say, then you have no rights ..

    Who elected Janet Napolitano anyway ? The USA is a government by the people for the people, not a TSA chief deciding what is your best interest and telling you what you must do ..

    money spent investigating 9/11: 12 million dollars

    money spent investigating Bill Clinton over Monica Lewinsky and related: 100 million dollars

  • brendan

    I was flying home Christmas 2001. I walked into the airport behind an very attractive young woman. The soldiers at the entrance followed and kept their eye on her through check in and into security. Low and behold she got flagged and searched by a TSA official and a soldier while other soldiers stood around, smiled, and whispered. My point is that the people who do these screens don’t really take security seriously and take advantage of their power. The more power we give them the more they will take advantage.

  • Larz

    watch this video from last year:
    “Underwear Bomber’s Father Met With CIA Prior To Bombing Attempt”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UguilDrFNUE

    So the CIA was told the guy was a threat by his father and despite that he gets on the plane, Obama then says the intelligence community needs to do better and we end up with grandmothers and kiddies being groped and molested and elderly people’s medical devices poked at and pulled out ..

  • Matt

    This broadcast was laughable yet extremely irritating…from the skewed polls that Tom quotes to the cowardly callers begging the government to save them from terrorists that the government creates.

    Expect more “terror plots” in the near future to try to get everyone back in line (no pun intended). It worked for George W. Bush, it’ll work for Barry Soetoro…except, Mr. President, tell your Pentagon people to try not staging the terror attack so close to the midterm elections. It becomes too obvious.

  • Larz

    I saw Napalotano on cable TV mention something about security for trains and buses, and what comes after that ? Naked body checkpoints on roads and shopping malls ? People had better wake up and stop living in denial or selling out by not reporting the real news ..

    I did find this:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-07-16-tsa16_ST_N.htm

    In his first interview since taking over the TSA, former FBI deputy director John Pistole told USA TODAY that some terrorists consider subway and rail cars an easier target than heavily secured planes. “Given the list of threats on subways and rails over the last six years going on seven years, we know that some terrorist groups see rail and subways as being more vulnerable because there’s not the type of screening that you find in aviation,” he said. “From my perspective, that is an equally important threat area.”

  • Larz

    it’s sickening how many holes there are in the govt propaganda and American’s can’t see it.

    Look at this CBS news story on Anwar al Awlaki, who is linked to the under wear bomber and fort hood shooter. He was a guest at the pentagon after 9/11. They claim he was part of an outreach program if you believe that is the sort of thing that goes on at the pentagon ..

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/10/21/national/main6978200.shtml
    Anwar al-Awlaki – the radical spiritual leader linked to several 9/11 attackers, the Fort Hood shooting, and the attempted Christmas Day bombing of an airliner – was a guest at the Pentagon in the months after 9/11, a Pentagon official confirmed to CBS News.

    Awlaki was invited as “…part of an informal outreach program” in which officials sought contact “…with leading members of the Muslim community,” the official said. At that time, Awlaki was widely viewed as a “moderate” imam at a mosque in Northern Virginia.

  • Gary Kennelly

    I have a better more full proof solution. Everyone strips to the nude in the security line, endures a full body cavity search, and then is given a hospital gown to wear during the flight.

    • Bob Trent

      Hey, let the US Marshals handle (oops!) airport security. Strip, present all orifices for inspection, don one-piece jumpsuit, waist chain, black-box and ankle chain everyone.

  • http://notyet Charles A. Bowsher

    What percentage of 100% safe are you willing to give up to be less inconvenienced at the airport?

  • Freddie

    I say since flying is voluntary and is not violating your rights because you chose to fly, they did not ask you to or demand you to. I say all the ones that do not want the body scanner nor the pat down should be put on a seperate flight with all the other nuts who do not want it and let all the others who want it and want to be safe be put on a seperate one. And also let an the pilot be a pilot that also object to it. Because some of us want to be safe. It is bad enough flying let alone flying with people that have not had a proper search. Who cares about their junk or anything other parts of their body when it comes to flying safely. Get real people…

    • Uratool

      Next youll be bending over and coughing for your “flight safety.” Yeah, you’re one of “those people.”

    • Bob Trent

      Yeah, since leaving your home is voluntary and is not violating your rights because you chose to go to the store, they did not ask you to or demand you to.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 16, 2014
A woman walks past a CVS store window in Foxborough, Mass., Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. The nation’s major drugstore chains are opening more in-store clinics in response to the massive U.S. health care overhaul, which is expected to add about 25 million newly insured people who will need medical care and prescriptions, as well as offering more services as a way to boost revenue in the face of competition from stores like Safeway and Wal-Mart. (AP)

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Humorist and longtime Fortune columnist Stanley Bing says, “forget the MBA.” He’s got the low-down on what you really need to master in business.

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In this file photo, author and journalist Matt Taibbi speaks to a crowd of Occupy Wall Street protestors after a march on the offices of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, in New York. There was a heavy police presence around the 42nd Street area as the demonstration began Wednesday morning outside. (AP)

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