The Underwear Bomber Terror Scare Has Americans Clamoring For The New Airport Body Scanners That Show Screeners The Exposed Bodies Of Every Passenger

December 28, 2009
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New Airport Body Scanners That Show Screeners The Exposed Bodies Of Every PassengerThe Christmas Day terror scare has reignited the debate over new airport security scanners that show security officers a very graphic image of the exposed bodies of every single passenger passing through a security checkpoint.  These new scanners reveal everything.  Yes, we know what you are thinking.  Everything means everything.  So far they have only been installed in a handful of airports.  Now advocates are clamoring for them saying that they are absolutely vital to national security.  In fact, they say that these new "next generation" scanners would have detected the explosives sewn into the underwear of a Nigerian man who tried to blow up his flight over Detroit on Christmas Day.  However, critics of the new technology are skeptical and say that other less intrusive methods would be just as effective and are warning that by allowing the government to look at our naked bodies we are losing our basic human dignity.

Right now the scanners are being utilized at a handful of U.S. airports, including Salt Lake City and Los Angeles International.  The Transportation Security Administration previously announced that it planned to install 150 of the scanning machines for primary security screenings at airports across the United States, but the program has been slowed down due to privacy concerns.

So why the concerns?

Well it turns out that these new scanners reveal extremely detailed graphic images of the exposed bodies of airline passengers.  These scanners even reveal intimate medical details such as colostomy bags and mastectomy scars.

Who wants an airport security screener to see that?

But former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff told the New York Daily News that it is time to quit worrying about privacy concerns and that the installation of the scanners is needed as soon as possible.

"Privacy advocates and the ACLU have slowed or stopped the deployment of the machines with a barrage of objections," Chertoff told the New York Daily News in an email. "The bad guys have figured out this vulnerability. Isn't it time we deployed these machines?"

Several airline passengers interviewed by the Daily News seem to agree with Chertoff....

"I don't mind [the scanner] because it would be in place for safety," said Samantha Day, 44, who flew into Kennedy Airport from London.

"It's no more invasive than someone touching every part of your body" during existing patdown security procedures, added Marni Blitz of Robbinsville, N.J.

But the truth is that many privacy advocates would like to see these new scanners banned.  They say that these new airport scanners are so incredibly accurate that that they produce better quality images of your exposed body than a high quality magazine photograph would.

So if you would feel uncomfortable posing for Playboy, then you would really feel uncomfortable with the level of detail you would be exposing to one of these machines.

The reality is that these new scanners produce the closest thing that you can get to viewing a person's exposed body without actually seeing their skin.

Security officials in Australia where they have already installed similar scanners confess that these machines DO very clearly show the exposed bodies of passengers.

For example, Cheryl Johnson, the general manager of the Office of Transport Security in Australia, had the following to say about the intrusive nature of these scanners: "It will show the private parts of people, but what we've decided is that we're not going to blur those out, because it severely limits the detection capabilities."

Up until now, the TSA has insisted that there would be measures in place to prevent security workers from gawking at the exposed bodies of passengers all day long, but the reality is that there are no laws or regulations that limit how the TSA uses these body scanners - only policies that the TSA "chooses" to adopt.  Any policy that they "choose to adopt" can be quickly discarded later.

And now after this latest episode with "the underwear bomber", there can be little doubt that homeland security officials will insist on seeing what is inside all of our underwear.

Isn't that wonderful?

So get ready for the new reality of airline travel in 2010 - where you have to let security officials look at your entire exposed body just to get on a flight.

If this is the "new America", it certainly does not seem as much fun as it was before.

And it certainly leaves us with a whole lot less dignity.

New Airport Body Scanners That Show Screeners The Exposed Bodies Of Every Passenger

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  • Shannon

    I’m actually in favor of this. I would feel uncomfortable getting naked in front of a room full of people but when its done this way its out of sight out of mind for me. Just as long as I can’t see the image as I’m passing through the machine I’m good.

  • Bob F

    This country is filled with idiotic cowards.

    Privacy issues aside, this scanner CANNOT detect the PETN explosive that the underwear bomber had.

    I repeat, the PETN explosive CANNOT be detected by this machine.

    I saw a poll saying about 80% of Americans are in favor of these scanners. Do Americans no longer have critical thinking skills? Are we all idiots? WTF

    In order to require people to get a pat down or get seen naked required a Constitutional Amendment. The 4th Amendment is very clear, probably cause and a warrant are needed to search people. Airport procedures completely violate this Amendment.

    Whether one wants or does not want these procedures, the fact remains that the Constitution has a process for changing Constitutionally protected rights. Pat downs and body scanners at airports require a Constitutional Amendment, not a normal Congressional bill along with a nod and a wink from the SCOTUS.

  • Bob F

    Should have been:

    In order to require people to get a pat down or get seen naked requires a Constitutional Amendment. The 4th Amendment is very clear: probable cause and a warrant are needed to search people. Airport procedures completely violate this Amendment.

  • Jeremiah

    I’m certainly not okay with ANYBODY staring at my 9 year old niece’s naked body just because she wants to fly out with her parents to visit.
    I’m also not okay with ANYBODY viewing my wife, mother, grandparents, children, friends, enemies, or YOU.
    “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” -Benjamin Franklin

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  • Brian

    Call me old-fashioned but the idea of multiple random strangers being able to see my wife and children as good as naked creates a severe sense of violation. When I consider the fact that already existing detection devices reinforced with additional K-9 units would not only be just as effective, less intrusive, and cost millions of dollars less to implement I have to wonder what practical reasons remain to push this new technology. It seems to me like the underwear bomber story is being used as just another excuse, in a long line of excuses, to once again relieve scared Americans of their freedom, privacy, and dignity.

    Once upon a time there was a nation that was more afraid of losing their freedom than their lives; they were more scared of tyranny than terrorists; they did not hide behind their government every time calamity fell but united together as a people to overcome any establishment that dared to harm or oppress them. Whether or not this remains a fact or becomes a fairytale is up to us.

  • Christine

    So if these images can’t be saved in any way, how are they showing up to supplement articles such as this one? Whatever the intended policies for the images SOMEONE will find a way around those. My guess is that once these are fully in place, it won’t be six months till you can find out exactly what your favorite celebrity looks like naked.

  • Julia

    Seems like there would end up being a lot of perverts running these machines. For people who have been violated, ie. raped, this would cause major anxiety just to be able to go on an airplane? No, it’s wrong. It’s about controlling the masses – not safety. Breaking down our freedoms one by one and violating us – starting to sound like Nazi Germany.

  • http://anti-blog.info John

    Of course, who cares that they give you a blast of radiation equivalent to three standard x-rays?!
    http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/24331/

    It’s only a matter of time until airlines start introducing the ‘Frequent X-Rayer’ bonus programs!

  • Jessie

    I am absolutely horrified.
    If they allow this at all airports I will be outraged. OUTRAGED I tell you, this is ludicrous. UGH, if I have to go through one of those I’m at least covering my boobs!

  • http://gloriareeder.worldventures.biz gloria reeder

    Since when have we become a nation of sheep, following along to our slaughter? Every time we say yes to these “laws, and law makers” we are blindly giving up our rights as humans. Yes, Natzi Germany is not that far away. Take heed people. Do a little research into what is REALLY going on here and start taking responsibility for your selves and your own well being. Inside and out.
    ALL IS NOT WHAT IT APPEARS TO BE.
    And we are being tricked and manipulated into loosing our selves little by little. Soon it will be too late.

  • Steve S

    As part of the gargantuan fraud being peddled by the corporate media in service of the government’s agenda to subject everyone to degrading naked body scans in airports, apologists for the devices claimed that people’s genitals would be blurred out to save embarrassment.

    This has now proven to be a fraudulent con designed to keep people in the dark about the fact that the body scanners DO produce crisp images of your naked body and they DO allow TSA thugs to see intricate details of your genitals.

    A report from October 2008, when the naked body scanners were first being introduced at Melbourne Airport in Australia, detailed how the X-ray backscatter devices don’t work properly unless the genitals of people going through them are visible.

    “It will show the private parts of people, but what we’ve decided is that we’re not going to blur those out, because it severely limits the detection capabilities,” said Office of Transport Security manager Cheryl Johnson.

    “It is possible to see genitals and breasts while they’re going through the machine,” she admitted.

    In addition, London Guardian journalist Helen Carter writes today that the scanners produce an image which make “genitals eerily visible,” after she attended a trial run at Manchester Airport earlier this week.

    The aggressive campaign on behalf of governments and the media to sell the public on invasive body scanners has been accompanied by the reassurance that the devices do not show details of genitals, an obvious attempt to counter the fact that the machines do represent a virtual strip search as well as violating laws against child pornography.

    Images accompanying articles about the scanners, as well as TV news reports, blurred out sensitive areas, creating the impression that this is also what officials in airports saw, misleading the public into thinking that their private parts would not be on public display.

    Since it’s already been admitted by security officials, as well as personally witnessed recently by newspaper reporters, that the scanners do indeed provide detailed pictures of people’s sexual organs, are Americans going to accept thugs in uniforms staring at their genitals, or are people finally going to say enough is enough and start boycotting the airlines as well as conducting mass protests in resistance to this complete abomination against basic human dignity?

  • ironvic

    I haven’t flown since 2001 and I don’t plan to, ever. What happened to this nation of rugged individuals, each one contributing to the common good? It’s lost. It stinks like a sheep pen in here. probably smelled the same on the train to Auschwitz…

  • chris

    So how does having a full body scanner in EVERY airport in the US prevent a NIGERIAN man from boarding a PLANE IN NIGERIA then flying to Amsterdam then into the US?

    IT DOESN’T

    ARE THEY GONNA PUT BODY SCANNERS IN EVERY AIRPORT WITH ANYONE FLYING INTO THE US????

    These things are a worthless waste of money.

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