No swimming before a flight

18 Aug

The full-body airport scanners are nearly up and running at MSP Airport, according to the City Pages’ excellent Blotter blog.

I am conflicted about this news. On the one hand, I find measures like this to be pretty embarrassingly short-sighted; as in, instead of working to capture all the terrorists, can we try to focus on why they want to terrorize us in the first place? At least start there? I may be doing my best Polyanna impression right now, but if you have a leak in your ceiling, you can either try to find the best plug or try to stop what’s causing it. I’d rather we focus our efforts on the latter. Maybe we already are. Just doesn’t seem like it.

On the other hand, this gives me reason to post an old tweet by Rob Delaney, in my opinion the best joke writer on the planet:

True that. I’m guessing that a glance at the line for the scanners will show a lot of guys inconspicuously “shaking some spare change” in their pockets. Counting me.

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One Response to “No swimming before a flight”

  1. Wimpie August 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    This is a strip-search, period. It makes no difference that the technology allows it to be done on an industrial scale, it’s a violation of privacy that ultimately has, at best, no effect on safety. At worst, it exposes frequent fliers to elevated doses of x-ray radiation which may cause more deaths by cancer than the terrorists could ever kill with an airplane.

    Body-cavities are not revealed, thus making this simply an exercise in power-mongering voyeurism.

    You MUST opt-out of these intrusive searches, and maybe be wanded/patted by a same-sex guard. I Opt’ed Out a few months ago, which gave me the opportunity to officially express my displeasure – the smurf wrote down the reason for my opting-out for their official records (it’s a strip-search, I said). I suggest more people do this.

    Don’t forget that there is no real way to validate what level of scanning is being done by the TSA. Example images on placards at the airport only show what the government want normal people and potential terrorists to see. If terrorists knew exactly how much scanning was occurring, they could adapt likewise.

    Therefore, it is implausible to expect the TSA to be honest about how high the scanning level is set. In effect, the TSA will feed the general public propaganda to stop the enemy from being more diligent in their stealth.

    Nice, eh – considering this was the state of the art 4 years ago:

    http://rupture.co.uk/Terminal%204.html
    (You may have to cut and paste the above link)

    The TSA acceptance polls quoted date to January, before anybody had any idea about the invasiveness of these machines. Latest poll on NY Times shows 75% AGAINST!

    Just remember to say “I OPT-OUT”

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