Daily Archives: January 6, 2010

The Airport Scanner Scam

Mother Jones  has an investigative report on the use of full body scanners and who would profit from its use.  You will be suprised to see who the front-runner for these scanners could be.  

Yet, it doesn’t seem that the powers that be who handle these things are concerned about a simple but deadly detail, radiation.  Of course there are many reasons pro and con regarding the use of full body scanners.  However, no where in the discussion have I heard anyone raising that concern.   The MJ article focuses on who profits from the machines that will probably put in place at many airports in the country.  This would be in addition to the nineteen or so busiest airports in the country who already use some form of body scanner equipment.

Mother Jones:

Scan, baby, scan. That’s the mantra among politicians at all levels in the wake of the thwarted terrorist attack aboard a Detroit-bound passenger jet. According to conventional wisdom, the would-be “underwear bomber” could have been stopped by airport security if he’d been put through a full-body scanner, which would have revealed the cache of explosives attached to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s groin. 

Within days or even hours of the bombing attempt, everyone was talking about so-called whole-body imaging as the magic bullet that could stop this type of attack. In announcing hearings by the Senate Homeland Security committee, Joe Lieberman approached the use of scanners as a foregone conclusion, saying one of the “big, urgent questions that we are holding this hearing to answer” was “Why isn’t whole-body-scanning technology that can detect explosives in wider use?” Former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff told the Washington Post, “You’ve got to find some way of detecting things in parts of the body that aren’t easy to get at. It’s either pat downs or imaging, or otherwise hoping that bad guys haven’t figured it out, and I guess bad guys have figured it out.”

Joe Lieberman Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee,  has concluded that this technology will be used as soon as possible.  Michael Chertoff  former Director of Homeland Security also speaks out in favor of full body scanners.   Mother Jones continues:

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. According to the Washington Post.

The Washington Examiner last week ran down an entire list of all the former Washington politicians and staff members who are now part of what it calls the “full-body scanner lobby.

These articles are worth reading.  It should come as no suprise to anyone that even in the midst of national security issues, it’s still politics as usual in Washington DC.

Additional reading: Are planned airport scanners just a scam?

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