i just read this story about a radio host who opted out of the body scanner and then wanted to ask some questions about the full body pat down ( here) and was cuffed/had her ticket ripped up/and escorted out of the airport by a dozen cops.
there's a lot of speculation about whether or not it's been exaggerated but i don't think that's really that important-- i think the situation raises a lot of questions, valid questions, about the new procedures.
mainly, are the new procedures really that effective and if they aren't(which many people argue), then what is the point of forcing people to either be naked on a screen or have their boobs and balls twisted.
jeff goldberg, a journalist, has been very outspoken about the ineffectiveness of the new TSA regulations and especially of the body scanners. instead of actually being a barrier to people bringing restricted items on board, goldberg argues that the regulations basically just make it look like they're doing something. a gross abuse all for nothing.
he's not just writing about it, golberg has tested security at airports over the years
he writes of TSA regulations in 2008:
"I have for some time now been testing, in modest ways, their effectiveness. Because the TSA’s security regimen seems to be mainly thing-based...I focused my efforts on bringing bad things through security in many different airports, primarily my home airport, Washington’s Reagan National, the one situated approximately 17 feet from the Pentagon, but also in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Chicago, and at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport."
in one instance at chicago o'hare international airport, he managed to get through security wearing a "beerbelly": "a neoprene sling that holds a polyurethane bladder and drinking tube. "
the beerbelly can hold up to 80 oz of fluid and is worn under clothes--so you can sneak booze into football games or whatever. goldberg poured two cans of bud light into his beer belly before he went through security and it went undetected even in secondary screening. he was, however, relieved of his eight oz bottle of water.
goldberg has gone through security wearing or carrying blatantly pro-osama bin laden t shirts and "knick knacks" without even raising an eyebrow.
the best part of what goldber has done though, and what raises the biggest question about actual airport security, is that he has managed to get through all of these security checkpoints with FAKE BOARDING PASSES.
security expert bruce schneier created (and uses) the fake boarding passes for the express purpose of proving that the TSA regulations are a waste of tax dollars and do nothing to increase airport security.
schneier himself is on the famed No-Fly list but he makes himself fake boarding passes in his own name because the list is checked only at the point of purchase, not at security.
not only were they waved through security but schneier was carrying a 120z bottle labelled "saline solution." anyone who was on a flight in 2008 or since then probably thinks that getting liquids on a flight is impossible--i've had a clear bottle with literally less than an inch of shampoo in it thrown out because it wasn't in a container that would ONLY hold 100ml. bottles of water, breast milk, contact solution, lotion, all of these things usually get tossed in the trash.
but if you had the bottle labelled "saline solution", then you would have been fine in the states because medical supplies don't come in the prescribed "under 3 oz" size. the security didn't even check schneier's bottle.
getting through security with all of their items intact, without getting arrested, and with fake boarding passes proved the uselessness of "the ID triangle."
the ID triangle is a process meant to establish three times that you are who you say you are. you buy your ticket, you pass through airport security, and you board your flight. at all of these contact points you are identified and have to prove your identity.
sure, you're not going to get on an actual flight with a fake boarding pass, but schneier and goldberg prove that getting through security was pretty easy.
they also point out that the most dangerous place to be (and the most vulnerable spot in the entire airport) is the long, often snaking pre-security line. somebody detonating a bomb in this pre-security area on a very busy day could cause major damage and kill countless people.
but that wasn't happening every day, despite the lack of real security at airports and how does nudity and invasive pat downs resolve issues like the fake boarding pass issue or the fact that once someone intent on doing damage arrives at the airport its basically too late?
is it to reinforce the idea in americans brains that they are not safe and so should accept any and all security "precautions"? that they should trust the state blindly to protect them, despite evidence that they are no safer? while airport patrons are being groped and x-rayed, airport employees aren't. while women and men are having their junk be exposed to a maybe pervert who will perhaps masturbate to the image in the bathroom on his lunch break, security is doing nothing to prevent restricted items and people from getting on flights. it just doesn't make sense.
in his most recent article about airport security he has a discussion while going through screening with a TSA agent. goldberg refuses the nudity scanner and the TSA agent laughs at him, telling him that he won't like the pat down. the TSA agent also said noone would opt out of the nudity scanner once they'd been through the humiliating pat down. the TSA agent called over to a colleague "tell him what you call the back-scatter [nudity scanner], and the colleague responds "the dick measuring device."
so the cost of security that isn't real security is having people mock your naked body or prod your privates? and how likely is it that you'll be selected "randomly" for screening if you're a hot girl and the agents are dirty perv men? how often are dudes high fiving each other after patting down or scanning a particularly hot lady?
maybe nudity scanners and body pat downs will find items like "underwear bombs", but they don't address issues of identity and they don't increase security.
goldberg pulls off the most telling and shocking of his experiments in st. paul minneapolis-- getting through security without ID.
"I decided to make myself as nervous as possible. I would try to pass through security with no ID, a fake boarding pass, and an Osama bin Laden T-shirt under my coat. I splashed water on my face to mimic sweat, put on a coat (it was a summer day), hid my driver’s license, and approached security with a bogus boarding pass"
i read this and thought that there was no way he was getting through without proper I.D.
"I told the document checker at security that I had lost my identification but was hoping I would still be able to make my flight. He said I’d have to speak to a supervisor. The supervisor arrived; he looked smart, unfortunately. I was starting to get genuinely nervous, which I hoped would generate incriminating micro-expressions. “I can’t find my driver’s license,” I said. I showed him my fake boarding pass. “I need to get to Washington quickly,” I added. He asked me if I had any other identification. I showed him a credit card with my name on it, a library card, and a health-insurance card."
goldberg got through security with a credit card, a library card, a health insurance card, and a FAKE boarding pass.
and how does a TSA agent measuring your dick or looking at your naked boobs detect a fake boarding pass or an identity theft. how does it protect people in lineups like these, that are completely unprotected??