CBS News: UCSF biophysics Professor Robert Stroud analyzed data on the backscatter body scanners. The manufacturer claims they are safe. But Stroud said low intensity radiation concentrates in the skin – where it’s most damaging and that eyes could also be sensitive to any kind of radiation.
Stroud and three other UCSF colleagues wrote to the White House, which responded: “We are confident that full body X-ray security products and practices do not pose a significant risk to the public health.” But the scientists at UCSF are not convinced. A Fed recent study carried out by researchers at Johns Hopkins University “is heavily redacted…there are no names …and vital information is missing,” said Stroud. “Never in this document for example is the X-ray current for the actual machine listed.” He also said another problem was the way the test was conducted. “The scientists from Johns Hopkins were not presented with a machine to investigate in their labs, rather they were invited to witness experiments carried out by the manufacturers in their own lab.”
Fasten your seat belts, examine the facts and ask the right questions.
1. Who is enriched by these scanners? Two small companies with extensive ties to the US Government are making out like bandits. Rapidscan is owned by OSI Systems and L-3 Communications, a small New York based defense company.
2. Who are the players? Here’s what we know so far – just the tip of the iceberg. Rape O Scan hired ex-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, a Bush appointee, whose Chertoff Group “just happens to consult” with the Hawthorne, California-based OSI Systems Inc. L3 hired lobbyist Linda Daschle, a former Federal Aviation Administration official and wife of Tom Daschle, the former Senate Democratic Leader. Billionaire George Soros owned public stock shares in the scanner company (allegedly dumped them last week). We know that Soros visited the White House at least 4 times last year. President Obama invited Rape O Scan’s CEO to accompany him to India. Why is the President of the United States promoting sales of these scanners? ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS. Well-placed Republicans and Democrats apparently share the same invasive scanner bed. There are no coincidences here.
3. Which came first, the terrorist or the egg? According to USA Today, L-3 Communications spent $4.3 million on lobbying during the first nine months of the year, nearly double the $2.1 million it spent in 2005. Rapiscan Systems spent $271,500 on lobbying efforts this year, up from the $80,000 it spent five years ago. Both companies targeted Congressional bills restricting the use of these scanners, including a bill proposed by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) that would have limited the airport scanners to backup use only. The bill passed the House last year but never made it out of the Senate.
4. Who is paying for the instant pro-scanner surveys and positive media spin? Could it be L3 – or Rape O Scan? How about the TSA? Or the AFL/CIO! On November 22, we were told that 70 percent of the American public favors both the scanners and invasive security measures. Who produced this study? How was it carried out? No citations. Address unknown. Two days later, the Washington Post – with obvious insider links to the US Government – informed us that over 64 percent of ALL AMERICANS support the scanners. Idiotic commentators repeat these numbers like they were manna from heaven. And the public BELIEVES what they hear!!!? People who wouldn’t give drug commercials the time of day are now being drugged and duped on a massive scale.
“The current Regime just gave the TSA to right unionize, and the AFL/CIO takes out a full page add supporting unconstitutional searches by the TSA. Coincidence? Just think how a strike by the TSA could cripple this economy and who the Unions are bargaining with. We The People pay the salaries and benefits of the TSA employees and it will cost us dearly.” – comment from a former Vietnam Vet. Notably, President Obama strongly supported unionization of the TSA!
5. Who created the BIG LIE about airport security? Behavioral profiling, Israeli-style, was touted and praised in the wake of 911. There was consensus among security gurus that Israel’s behavioral profiling is the most effective approach. Yet, both the Bush and Obama Administrations refused to employ this successful strategy on a wide-reaching scale. Stupid excuses repeated by ignorant commentators include: The country is too big; there are too many travelers; it’s not nice to profile. The Defense Department recently announced that dog sniffers are the best defense against airline terrorists. Instead of using dogs at airports, our rights are going to the dogs, while big money players are getting filthy rich at our expense. They had nearly a decade to improve intelligence measures. Sexual harassment is the best they could do?
“The Israelis know everything about a passenger before they get on the plane. If they have time to touch our groin, they have time to ask us a few simple questions,” said Shawn Hannity. Meanwhile, those with wealth and power – including the scanner investors – fly in private planes from private terminals.
A former Israeli ground stewardess wrote to me: “There were just so many things taken for granted that are still being used today including how the guys from the Mossad used to check in as passengers to test the security checkers. Today El Al has its own check in facilities at every airport in Europe and the USA – people prefer flying it. Each airline is a terminal unto itself and doesn’t have to agree to the TSA checks if it can do better on its own.”
6. Why haven’t we heard more details about the underwear bomber? Why were his father’s warnings persistently ignored? What if he was unknowingly (or knowingly) set-up to fail? How convenient that ONE failed terrorist act in nearly a decade has netted L-3, Rape O Scan and their invisible backers such fantastic rewards. Michael Moore, where are you? Who wrote this perfect script?
7. What’s next? As I stated before in a previous show and post, the mice are us. We’re the grand experiment. But little did I know how terrifying that experiment might be. What happens to the brain of a TSA worker when day after day, hour after hour he/she is patting down crotches, groins and breasts? The worker eventually becomes desensitized – a robot – fully capable of taking this degradation to another level – if ordered to do so. The TSA also becomes a perfect job for deviant wannabees. Do you really think they won’t apply or be accepted? And with union support, few will ever be fired. Our tax dollars may well be creating a training school for state rape without the date.
8. Was the current outcry underestimated? Not if it was a test. The overriding goal: To determine how much humiliation we would take.
9. The head of the TSA, a former FBI official John Pistole, talks to the media like someone appointed him God. “We will do this. We won’t do that.” What does he know about his job security that we don’t know? Who put him in the job? What is his relationship to/with L3 or Rapidscan and/or their investors/lobbyists/fellow-insiders.
10. Traveling to Atlanta, I asked for a personal check, versus the scanner. I was told, “We have no one available to check you right now and no idea when a personal check will be available. You could miss you plane.”
Critical Update – Protests Against Rapiscan Succeed!
Unpopular Full-Body Scanners to Be Removed From Airports By RON NIXON, New York Times, January 19, 2013.
After years of complaints by passengers and members of Congress, the Transportation Security Administration said Friday that it would begin removing the controversial full-body scanners that produce revealing images of airline travelers beginning this summer.
The agency said it canceled a contract, originally worth $40 million, with the maker of the scanners, Rapiscan, after the company failed to meet a Congressional deadline for new software that would protect passengers’ privacy. Since going into widespread use nearly three years ago, the scanners have been criticized by passengers for being too invasive and are the subject of lawsuits from privacy groups. The T.S.A. said that 174 of the machines are currently being used at airport checkpoints around the country. Another 76 are housed at a storage facility in Texas.
Rapiscan will be required to pay for removing the scanners…The removal of the Rapiscan scanners does not mean that all full-body scanners will be removed from airport security checkpoints. A second type of full-body scanner does not produce revealing images. Instead, it makes an avatar-like projection on security screens.
The T.S.A. said those machines, which should be in airports by June, will allow quicker scans than those using X-rays.