Sat, 13 Nov 2010 22:12:40 +0000
Wednesday, November 24th, is National Opt-Out Day.
Q: Opt out of what?
A: Opt out of those Full-Body Scanners (FBS or Advanced Imaging Technology machines), which were introduced in the wake of last Christmas Day’s failed attempt by “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to blow up a passenger plane en route to Detroit.
As of the end of October, 2010, about 300 of the FB Scanners were operational in 62 airports across America. 450 more should be in place by the end of the year.
The government says the scanners will help ensure better airline security by projecting low-level X-ray beams at the passenger’s body to produce an image. Any nonmetal objects hidden on the passenger’s body that wouldn’t be detected by the old-style scanners are easily spotted.
Here are some Full Body Scanner images. Yikes!!!!
On October 21, 2010, at the unveiling of the scanners at New York’s JFK International Airport, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano hailed the machines as an important breakthrough for airport security and the fight against terrorism. As Christina Boyle of NYDN reports, Napolitano said, “These machines represent an important way to stay ahead of the ever-evolving threat that faces the aviation industry.” She also tried to ease any fears that airport staff would use them to leer at passengers by saying, “Those who read the images are not actually physically at the gate, so they cannot associate an image with an individual person at all. And the machines are set so that no image is retained.”
Then something curious happened. When it came to testing the scanners — which produce chalky, naked X-ray images of passengers — Napolitano declined to be scanned but turned the floor over to some brave volunteers! That is because Napolitano knows full well how empty her assurance of privacy was.
The fact of the matter is report after report says passengers’ privacy concerns are regularly breached.
A news article on Gadling on Sept. 28, 2010, says airport personnel are using the scanned images as porn: “The Nigerian newspaper This Day has reported that security officials at Lagos airport are getting their jollies by watching female passengers go through a full-body scanner.”
It’s not just Nigeria. Kurt Nimmo of PrisonPlanet writes on November 12, 2010:
Since the introduction of airport scanners, there have been countless complaints regarding privacy issues. Earlier this year, a TSA employee in Miami was arrested after he physically assaulted a co-worker who had joked about the size of his penis.
In March, a TSA worker who conducted so-called patdowns was charged with multiple child sex crimes targeting an underage girl. “The bust outraged privacy and passenger advocates who say it justifies their fears about Logan International Airport’s full-body scanner,” the Boston Herald reported.
And if a New York Daily News poll is any indication, Americans don’t believe that these invasive Full Body Scanners actually improve airport security. Here are the poll results at 8:10 pm, Oct. 22, west coast time:
Do you approve of the introduction of body scanners at the nation’s airports?
- Yes! They will improve security. 19%
- No! They’re an invasion of privacy! 76%
- I’m not sure. 5%
The government tells us the Full Body Scanners are “optional.” But if we choose not to be scanned, we are subject to a full-hands-on pat-down body search, including our private parts. When strangers touch our children’s private parts, we call it sex abuse. But Americans have become such sheep that we docilely allow government
employees strangers do it — all in the name of “anti-terrorism.”
The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg was told by a TSA agent that pat downs are made increasingly invasive not for any genuine security reason, but to make the experience so uncomfortable for the traveler that they would prefer to use the body scanner, despite the fact that scientists at Columbia University and the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety, along with other scientific bodies, have all warned that the devices increase the risk of developing cancer.
Writing for WorldNetDaily on November 11, 2010, Bob Unruh recounts some horror stories of pat-down searches:
A passenger named Barbara wrote to WND: “Coming directly from a 2-week hospital stay, arriving in a wheelchair, unable to walk or stand, and just less than 2 hours out of the hospital, I was met by the ‘security’ folks who seemed angered that I couldn’t walk through their scan. Instead, in front of everyone, I was groped like a rapist might attack a victim. The probing certainly did not help alleviate the intense pain I had when I arrived at the airport. Shameful and inconsiderate behavior, totally inexcusable! I am an 84-year-old white female, 4’10”, 110 lbs. and don’t look like a terrorist or a terrorist’s companion !!!!!! What happened to common sense???”
Another passenger, David, told WND he traveled to attend a sister’s funeral in Los Angeles and found the security procedures at LAX “like a racist homosexual grope fest.” “This screener made me turn all my pockets inside out, patted me down four times, being particularly attentive to my crotch and butt. I asked him if he just wanted me to strip down naked and he said go ahead. My wife then approached a nearby sheriff, who brought these violations of my privacy, and person, to a halt,” said the passenger, who described himself as a “middle class white guy.”
Margaret, who endured a “pat-down” in Chicago, wrote, “This entire thing is bull—-; assault and battery by a goon, or naked pictures. That’s now the choice? What has happened to this country?”
Full Body Scanners may be “optional” in the United States, for now. But in some other parts of the world, the scanners are mandatory. As an example, BBC News reports on March 3, 2010 that “Two women were stopped from boarding a plane at Manchester Airport after refusing to undergo a full body scan.” Nor is the optional policy consistent within the Untied States, as ExpressJet Airlines pilot Michael Roberts discovered. On Oct. 20, Roberts refused to undergo the new body-scanning security equipment and walked out of the airport. He may lose his job.
Joseph Fasciani forwarded me this e-mail written by an American who refuses to submit to the scanners, choosing instead to be pat down. Here is his observation of other Americans:
…as I was having my crotch swept by the back of the hand of this TSA agent, I was observing other air travellers subjecting themselves to the naked body scanners. They were told to walk into the body scanner staging area and then hold their arms in the air in a pose as if they were under arrest. They were told to freeze in this position for several seconds (perhaps 10 seconds) during which they were being blasted with ionizing radiation that we all know contributes to cancer.
The TSA, of course, will tell you that these machines can’t possibly contribute to cancer. But they said the same thing about mammograms, and we now know that mammograms are so harmful to women’s health that they actually harm ten women for everyone one woman they help. So I’m not exactly taking the U.S. government at its word that naked body scanner radiation is “harmless.”
As these air travellers were being scanned, their naked body images were appearing on a screen somewhere, of course. Some TSA agent was examining the naked body shape and contours of all these people, and even though we were told by the TSA that the image viewing machines cannot store images, we have since learned that the machines actually do have the capability to store those images. In addition, rogue TSA employees could simply use their cell phones to take snapshots of what they see on the screen. There are no doubt rules against such behavior, but it’s bound to happen sooner or later.
…Very few people opt out of the naked body scanners. The most fascinating part about this entire process was…that I was the only one opting out. Although I must have watched at least a hundred people go through this particular security checkpoint, there wasn’t a single other person who opted out of the naked body scan. They all just lined up like cattle to have their bodies scanned with ionizing radiation.
To me, that’s just fascinating. That when people are given a choice to opt out of being irradiated, they will choose to just go along with the naked body scan rather than risk standing out by requesting to opt out.
You see, I’m not convinced that the TSA’s naked body scanners enhance air travel security at all. Previous security tests conducted by the FAA show quite clearly that the greatest threat to airplane safety isn’t from the passengers but from ground crews, where bombs and other materials can be quite easily smuggled onto planes.
But even though naked body scanners may not enhance air travel security, they do accomplish something far more intriguing: The successful completion of an experiment in human behavior. If you were to pose the question “Will people line up like cattle to be electronically undressed in front of government security officers?” The answer is now unequivocally YES!
Most people, it turns out, will simply do whatever they’re told by government authorities, even if it means giving up their privacy or their freedoms. Almost anything can be sold to the public under the guise of “fighting terrorism” these days, including subjecting your body to what is essentially a low-radiation CT scan at the airport! …And virtually no one protests. That’s the really amazing part about this.
…It’s odd that people trust the government when the government doesn’t trust them at all. If the government treats you like a criminal, a terrorist…doesn’t that only prove they don’t honour you as a sovereign individual? And that sends a powerful message confirming that the U.S. government has forgotten it is supposed to serve the People, not rule over them.
Just wait and watch how this gets even worse. Today, you can opt out of the TSA’s naked body scanners, but after a year or two — once the sheeple get comfortable with giving up all their freedoms — these scans will become mandatory. That’s the day I give up air travel for good.
Don’t be sheep! On Wednesday, November 24, 2010, join the NATIONAL OPT-OUT DAY!
It’s the day ordinary citizens stand up for their rights, stand up for liberty, and protest the federal government’s desire to virtually strip us naked or submit to an “enhanced pat down” that touches people’s breasts and genitals. The goal of National Opt Out Day is to send a message to our lawmakers that we demand change. We have a right to privacy and buying a plane ticket should not mean that we’re guilty until proven innocent. This day is needed because many people do not understand what they consent to when choosing to fly.
Here are the details:
Who?: You, your family and friends traveling by air on Wednesday, November 24, 2010.
What?: National Opt-Out Day. You have the right to opt-out of the naked body scanner machines (AIT, or Advance Imaging Technology, as the government calls it). All you have to do is say “I opt out” when they tell you to go through one of the machines. You will then be given an “enhanced” pat down. Remember everyday is opt-out day, that is, you can opt out any time you fly.
Where?: At an airport near you!
When?: Wednesday, November 24, 2010. We want families to sit around the dinner table, eating turkey, talking about their experience – what constitutes an unreasonable search, how forceful of a pat down will we allow, especially of children, and how much privacy are we will to give up? We hope the experience then propels people to write their Member of Congress and the airlines to demand change.
Why?: The government should not have the ability to virtually strip search anyone it wants. The problem is compounded in that if you do not want to go through the naked body scanner, the government has made the alternative perhaps worse! In an effort to try and make everyone comply with the scanners, the government has instituted “enhanced” pat downs. There are reports from travelers across the country about how the TSA now touches the genitals and private areas of men, women and children in a much more aggressive manner. We do not believe the government has a right to see you naked or aggressively feel you up just because you bought an airline ticket.
How?: By saying “I opt out” when told to go through the bodying imaging machines and submitting to a pat down. Also, be sure to have your pat down by TSA in full public – do not go to the back room when asked. Every citizen must see for themselves how the government treats law-abiding citizens.
Follow National Opt-Out Day on twitter: http://twitter.com/nationaloptout
For more information on these machines and to read stories of what happens when you use the naked body scanners or opt out, please visit:
To file an incident report, use the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s site: http://epic.org/bodyscanner/incident_report/
H/t beloved fellows Joseph, May, & Tina.