Newspapers Say: Shut Up And Get Scanned And Groped

from the myth-of-security dept

Matt Welch has a nice post over at Reason, highlighting numerous editorials from some big time newspapers mocking people who are concerned about the TSA’s naked scans and/or groping procedures, beginning with the LA Times’ perfectly obnoxious shut up and be scanned. Most of the editorials take on the typical apologists’ line that “this is what we need to do to be secure.” This can be summarized by the claim in the Spokesman-Review, entitled “Discomfort a small price for security on airplanes.”

Note the implicit assumption: that being scanned or groped somehow makes the planes safer. The problem here is that no one has presented any evidence to back this up. Instead, TSA head John Pistole says “trust us.” Yet, when people ask for evidence, they’re told it’s a state secret. This country (last we checked) has a 4th Amendment against unreasonable search and seizure, which tends to have a high bar on what is a reasonable search. “Trust us” without any proof doesn’t cut it. No one is arguing that we should make planes less secure, as these editorials suggest. We’re arguing that security theater without evidence that it does anything valuable does not help anyone.

Similarly, random appeals that we should be scanned and groped for patriotic purposes, rings hollow as well. The Baltimore Sun mocks those who are protesting the procedures by calling those people “short-sighted” and arguing:

Whatever happened to the notion that we need to stick together to overcome extremists? U.S. soldiers are still dying for that cause in Iraq and Afghanistan on a regular basis. Under the circumstances, it seems a small sacrifice for the citizens back home to keep a stiff upper lip and voluntarily agree to measures that experts believe are needed — at least until better technology and security techniques are developed.

Similarly, the Springfield Republican claims that this is just the cost of war, like rationing food during World War II:

For nearly 10 years the U.S. and its allies have been fighting and dying in Afghanistan to defeat the terrorists. But Americans at home haven’t been asked to forego an ounce of sugar in this fight. Let’s consider these searches the 21st-century equivalent of a WWII rationing card.

Without even getting into the reasons why the US has soldiers fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s incredibly deceitful and disingenuous to claim that because we’re fighting a war, we should automatically give up on the basic 4th Amendment principles in the Constitution. Does this mean if we weren’t fighting over there we could keep our Constitution as is? And if it’s okay to obliterate the 4th Amendment without providing any evidence (beyond “trust us”) that it actually helps, why stop with the 4th Amendment? Why not toss out the First. Our soldiers are dying, so the government should ban free speech. After all, speaking up might encourage terrorism.

Blind subservience based on vague “trust us” claims, that don’t seem to have much basis in reality, is hardly a reason to give up basic freedoms.

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Comments on “Newspapers Say: Shut Up And Get Scanned And Groped”

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153 Comments
Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Idiot reporters

Yeah, getting groped is going to help our troops just like rationing food in WWII.

It is not patriotic to shut up and take it. It is our civic duty to tell these people to go fuck themselves. That is patriotic.

Who did the TSA threaten/pay to get these reporters to write this? Usually they’re all over scandals.

Kyle Voimakas says:

You really want to see heads explode?

Suggest that since there’s a war going on, the right to keep and bear arms should be repealed for the safety and security of the American people.

I’m pro-RKBA, by the way, so I would argue against that. It’s amazing how many people don’t respect the WHOLE Constitution. They only want the parts they like…

Kyle Voimakas says:

Re: Re: You really want to see heads explode?

How many companies actually support President Obama though? How many pushed for single payer? Support Cap and Trade? President Obama receives support from big business when he acts like a centrist or a right winger. The things they support him for are the same things the traditional conservatives support him for! (*cough* His laxness with Wall Street. *cough*)

Eugene (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 You really want to see heads explode?

Because the end goal of the program is to do away with their business altogether? Corporations can be short-sighted, but they’re not stupid. The minute they realized that the best solution would ultimately result in the government taking control of their precious profits, they began doing everything in their power to undermine it.

I’d say they’ve been doing pretty well so far.

Michael Kohne says:

And the newspapers wonder why their readership declines...

They have stupid online strategies, they want people to simply ignore other free sources of news, and they believe what the government tells them without investigation. And these guys want people to trust them to bring the real news? Duh, no wonder people are ignoring newspapers in droves – people can tell that the newspapers aren’t doing their job of holding a critical lens up our government!

big al says:

safer????

here come’s Aachmed,19 year old extremest… got himself a fine underpants bomb,ready to go…out to the airport, ticket in hand,ready for the promise land.
woops, what’s this … airport security…guess i’ll just go home…
nope..he’s ready to go…
just joins the biggest crowd and pulls the trigger…
now tell me how this makes my 87 year old grandmother ,who is being groped ,and the 300+ folks around Aachmed any safer????

V says:

Soliders dying...

The last time I checked, soldiers were there to protect the Constitution and Freedom against enemies foreign and domestic.

If they are not dying to protect the Constitution and Freedom, then they are dying for the wrong reasons.

And if we can’t protect our freedoms, including the rights granted to us in the Constitution, then nothing the soldiers have done, are doing or will do make a bit of difference…. because we have already lost.

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. “
-Benjamin Franklin

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Soliders dying...

Profit, not liberty, apparently motivates our military commanders.

Heh, how many enlisted do you think would have signed up if it were not for the pay and benefits? It’s funny that they call then “volunteers” when most only sign up for what they can get out of it for themselves.

Free Capitalist (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Soliders dying...

Heh, how many enlisted do you think would have signed up if it were not for the pay and benefits? It’s funny that they call then “volunteers” when most only sign up for what they can get out of it for themselves.

The “volunteer” part is for voluntarily signing your rights away and putting your fate in the hands of Uncle Sam. If you don’t like it, feel free to petition your congressman to bring back conscription (the draft).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Soliders dying...

The “volunteer” part is for voluntarily signing your rights away and putting your fate in the hands of Uncle Sam.

Oh, I see, kind of like how I “voluntarily” give up my right to do other things when I go to work every day. Hey, I’m a “volunteer” too and just didn’t know it! I guess we’re mostly all “”volunteers” then. I feel so much better about myself now knowing that I’m spending all that time “volunteering”. What a wonderful person I am!

If you don’t like it, feel free to petition your congressman to bring back conscription (the draft).

If I don’t like what “it”? How about this: if you don’t like “it”, I suggest you petition your Congressman to bring back slavery instead of wage-earning “volunteers”.

Gatewood Green (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Soliders dying...

It seems like you feel legally compelled to work. Actually you are volunteering. Within the US, we are all volunteers to our jobs in that we are free to walk off the job at (almost*) any time.

*Due to legal safety constraints, some people can’t just walk off at any time, but must wait until relieved (end of shift) to avoid lawsuit and possible prosecution for negligence. Although if they are not concerned about the safety of others and/or possible prosecution…

Some people are unable to see it that way as they think that without that specific paycheck (or amount of pay) they cannot live. This is not entirely true. You could choose to give up some or even a lot of luxury for another job that may pay less or even to become a hermit or homeless and live off the land and/or handouts.

Having served in the military I did waive (voluntarily, I was not forced to enlist) certain rights during my time in service. And as stated above it was less about patriotism, and more about the job, pay, benefits, training and opportunity the military provided to a kid fresh out of high school who had (by ignorant choice) squandered his chance to go to college for free and who chose NOT to become a gas station attendant. Actually I wanted to attend the academy, but I squandered that away along with ‘regular’ college.

The military is one job you cannot just walk off of even at the end of a shift. You will perform or you will pay the penalty (up to the possibility of execution in very rare but possible circumstances). Along with other rights you give up during your time of service (eg gov’t employment).

And quite frankly given the current state of the economy, there is no need for conscription because the military is flush with *volunteers* who like the steady paycheck, training, great benefits and opportunity as opposed to sitting around the house unemployed or pumping gas for minimum wage at the local corner store.

Right now the military is so flush with recruits that you must have a high school diploma and be fairly darn physically fit and pass certain basic academic tests or they will not take you. They can afford to be choosy.

And for the record *I* don’t need you to work for my life to be fine so your slavery suggestion does not serve my needs or desires. So what’s left to petition? I will continue to voluntarily work for my paycheck and you can slave away for yours if it so suits your fancy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Soliders dying...

It seems like you feel legally compelled to work.

Umm, he didn’t say that at all. Actually, what he said was that he was a volunteer.

Actually you are volunteering.

Umm, yes. That’s what he said. Did you read the comment you’re replying to at all?

Within the US, we are all volunteers to our jobs in that we are free to walk off the job at (almost*) any time.

Well, actually, some people are under contract for a certain period of time. Kind of like people in the military, no?

You could choose to give up some or even a lot of luxury for another job that may pay less or even to become a hermit or homeless and live off the land and/or handouts.

It’s always funny when someone suggests that poor people could just “live off the land”, as if most of them are owners of enough land to live off. Someone needs a reality check.

And for the record *I* don’t need you to work for my life to be fine so your slavery suggestion does not serve my needs or desires.

Nor do we need suggestions to bring back the draft.

I will continue to voluntarily work for my paycheck and you can slave away for yours if it so suits your fancy.

Again, you need to actually read the comment. He clearly stated that he’s a volunteer.

Steve R. (profile) says:

Re: Soliders dying...

@ V, you missed upholding the ideals of your namesake: V for Vendetta. The Wikipedia entry writes: “The film had been seen by many political groups as an allegory of oppression by government.” Which leads me to the conspiracy hypotheses that the editors generating these editorials received some sort of “encouragement” from an undisclosed entity. Its a sad statement on American society when newspaper editors, who are normally liberal, would roll over concerning the protection essential liberties and regurgitate the “party line” at the behest of some undisclosed entity.

Anonymous Coward says:

It always comes back to the soldiers dying overseas, trying to guilt us into compliance. Screw that, signing up for the army is voluntary, you have risks and advantages. Please somebody feel bad for the poor programmers who don’t get enough exercise and have carpal tunnel too!. Also, this is a war that not everybody wanted to step into, it’s not like they asked the people to vote on that. It’s not fair that our soldiers are dying for a way that is not theirs.

Anonymous Coward says:

A camera in every room in everyones house would make us all more secure

Hell, getting rid of the constitution all together would make us more secure.

Americans are spoiled, we want our freedoms but we dont want to pay the price, the price of freedom is risk…it always has been, from day one, someone is free enough to shoot you with a gun, but we like our gun rights.

ppartekim (profile) says:

Re: TSA: You're Guilty until proven Innocent

I read an article in the SJ Merc where one person stated “I mean, they make you feel like a criminal for a minute, but I’d rather do that than someone touching me”.

That’s scary when it OK for an innocent person should feel like a criminal. Seems that due process is thrown out at the airport where one is GUILTY until proven innocent.

Might as well make that the national motto since that is how the TSA, RIAA and MPA behave toward us and the Government seems to be going along with it (as long as the “officals” get to skip them).

weneedhelp (profile) says:

I have to stop reading TechDirt

The assault against Civil Liberties since 911 has been astounding.

Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage, assassination. This is the war of the future.

I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.

The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force.

Lemmings.

It saddens me to see what we are letting happen to our once great Republic.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Exactly!

“And if it’s okay to obliterate the 4th Amendment without providing any evidence (beyond “trust us”) that it actually helps, why stop with the 4th Amendment?”

Mike, I know I’m the resident conspiracy theorist around these parts, but if you don’t believe that’s EXACTLY where this is all going, then I think you’ve got your head in the sand. It’s called a feature creep and it’s been used to deteriorate freedom into tyranny throughout history….

RandomGuy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Exactly!

I’d be happy to.

The plane in question is a DC-10. Reference photos [1][2] clearly show what the video describes as “nozzles” are actually flap track fairings.

Here is some information on the design and purpose of flap track fairings.

Here’s a video of a perfectly innocuous Airbus A380 contrail, also shot from the cockpit of another plane. Note the similarities.

Anonymous Coward says:

How about if I come over and take naked pictures of you? Don’t like that idea? How about I let a stranger grope you and your children? This article proves that the LA Times, like most of the media, is nothing but a government butt-puppet. As a TRUE patriot who cares about preserving our Contstitutional rights, including the right to NOT BE unreasonably searched, it is my right, NAY, MY DUTY to protest these procedures and the people who support it. Grope me and you’ll pull away a broken hand. If you really want to make America “safer”, remove the government. It’s their policies that place us and our way of life in danger.

interval (profile) says:

Re: This is funny

Good vid. It occurred to me while watching it that as the Fed. grows and grows in size in an effort to regulate more and more of our lives its simply getting more and more incompetent, not with the stuff the constitution mandates but with the extra weight we’ve been tacking on its back over the years. And it seems to have a myopic scope on the extremely small details and completely ineffective at putting together a big picture.

Michial Thompson (user link) says:

TSA Crap

For years I have wondered what the tipping point was on this entire Airport Security crap. In the beginning it was just delays at the security gates and extra power to search my stuff. Then it become that I couldn’t carry on the normal essentials of travel like deoderant and toothpaste in economical sizes. Then I have to risk bacterial infections like athlets foot because I have to take off my shoes…

None of this made a damn bit of difference to the moron that flies a couple times a year because the impact on them was minimal. Who care if that one family vacation a year required them to tolerate this, it was only once a year.

BUT FINALLY the TSA gets to the tipping point that affected grandma in a way that was not tollerable…

Pretty sad really, at every step of the way it was mostly the business travelers that were affected by these so-called safety laws… BUT it was NEVER the business travelers that were calling for the skies to be safer… 99% of the crying come from those that rarely ever set foot on a plane, all they wanted was to grandstand and bully people around.

Hell for this simple fact alone I am all for the groping, hell I think that anyone that has flown less than 1 time in the past 3 months should be REQUIRED to be groped and not allowed to go through the scanners. The only people that should be allowed to bypass the groping via the scanners should be the ones that have demonstrated that they have flown recently without disrupting flights.

Maybe just once impacting the morons crying for safety will result in those of us that need to travel frequently not being harrassed.

Paul StPierre says:

Were not sacrificing anything?

I can’t help but think that all of this fighting around the world is playing a major role in our current economic situation. I may not be sacrificing my sugar but I lost my job. Our debt is out of control. The TSA is a waste of resources. Exactly how many terrorist threats have been thwarted because of the TSA? Oh, they can say? It’s another secret.

AlexanderSMD (profile) says:

Proof?

To the auther of this article. What proof do you need? Maybe a failed security where plane is hijacked? Or how about a suicide bomber detonating a bomb mid-flight? Security is better to err on the side of more caution. Nothing is perfect. You may feel that your right is violated, but, really, don’t you want to feel more safe?, than die by a terrorist attack because some people think it inconvenient them or it violate them? Like I stated before in a response to a similar article, if 9/11 just happened yesterday, people won’t be complaining like they do now. People’s memory is short, and they forget that it take the loss of some right to make security more effective. Ask any British citizen who live during the height of IRA bombings.

interval (profile) says:

Re: Proof?

“Nothing is perfect. You may feel that your right is violated, but, really, don’t you want to feel more safe?, than die by a terrorist attack because some people think it inconvenient them or it violate them?”

Problem is; we don’t feel more safe. All this effort and money spent for all this airport security crap and its resulted in YOU feeling safe. Sorry, not good enough. At least for me and a few million others.

AlexanderSMD (profile) says:

Re: Re: Proof?

I’m sorry you feel that way. I know that the systems are not perfect. And any system can be fooled if someone is determined enough. But by putting more layers to security, it makes it more difficult to beat the systems. More complex scheme is needed to be devised. And as all scientists know, the more complex the plan/scheme, the more chance it is going to fail. The full body scan does not produced sharp enough resolution. It’s not like, the scanner will produce naked picture of you. Only some blurry image. With the full body scan, there is no chance someone might board the plane with a bomb strap to his/her waist. As for pat down, That is for a) people who show inconclusive scanned result, or b) people who refused to be scan for whatever reason. TSA needs better PR to advertise the facts. It’s sad when people are not fully informed then panic and fear the unknown.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Proof?

TSA does not need to invest more into PR, they need to invest in a better process, and more qualified people. The TSA should model itself after the Israeli Security System in airports, which is considered the best in the world. Head Israeli experts, including the former head & former chief security officer of the Israel Airport Authority and a 30-year veteran in airport security and defense technology, thinks these machines are a waste of money.

Also, we need to face the downstream facts that in America, if you want to touch people as a living, you need years of training and to get something called a “Medical Doctor” or at minimum a “Nursing” degree. This training also puts people at ease by ensuring that such MDs and Nurses have the best interest of the person at heart.

By empowering agents with the ability to inspect a body without this training is asking for societal change resulting from what can be perceived as acceptable for people in power; especially in young kids. If something like this continues, we threaten to raise a generation of kids who believe search and seizure to be acceptable and usurp parental control.

As a sidenote, I expect after the New Year to see an increase of incidents of kids who decide to emulate TSA security procedures on the school playground.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Proof?

Really?

Israelis didn’t have a 9/11 their airports are one of the most secure in the world because they are a target of daily threats and they don’t use those machines, are they more capable then Americans?

On scanners, the backscattering one produce images that are crystal clear you may be confusing the images with the T-Ray version, more the images are stored despite claims to the contrary, further at least one German physicists proved on live TV you can fool the machine and board a plane with all you need to take it down, this followed by the statement of a security specialist from Israel that said the same thing(those machines don’t work and are a waste of money and time).

Now explain how that helps.

Richard Kulawiec says:

Re: Re: Re: Proof?

It’s clear that you lack a solid grounding basic principles o security. Let me help you in the attempt to master some of the rudiments.

But by putting more layers to security, it makes it more difficult to beat the systems.

Defense-in-depth only works if the layers are individually effective AND complement each other. Adding more useless layers does nothing. And adding layers that don’t mesh together results in a net decrease in security. So it’s not as simple as “just add more layers”. They have to be the right layers, individually crafted and then fitted together carefully. Clearly that’s not what we have here: we have an improvised hodge-podge.

More complex scheme is needed to be devised.

No, not really. Any terrorist worth the label could kill more people than 9/11 and shut down all air travel in the US for a month with a budget of less than half a million. It’s not that difficult. But why should they bother, just now? We’re busy crippling ourselves. “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake” — Napoleon

And as all scientists know, the more complex the plan/scheme, the more chance it is going to fail.

Well, now THAT you have right, although clearly not in the sense you intended. The best security schemes are simple. Simplicity has the desirable property of making it easier to evaluate their effectiveness, whereas complexity has the undesirable property of making evaluation a “best-guess” effort.

It’s not like, the scanner will produce naked picture of you.

This sentence is missing the word “yet”. It should be blindingly obvious to everyone that the scanner manufacturers are not going to be content with just selling these scanners to every airport. Nope. They’ll come out with New Improved ones in a year or two and then mount a lobbying effort to convince airports that they need them. This lobbying effort will be backed by ex-DHS shills just like the current one and it’ll work.

With the full body scan, there is no chance someone might board the plane with a bomb strap to his/her waist.

You’ve seen too many movies. Why would anyone bother trying that? Much easier to smuggle the ingredients on 3 ounces at a time right in front of security.

I recommend that you go buy ALL of Schneier’s books and read them, as a remedial introduction to the topic of security. Then try thinking like a terrorist instead of just recycling the BS from the TSA’s professional spokesliars.

Steve R. (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Proof?

Let me add that a “passive point defense” is ultimately unworkable. The focus now is on airports, but there are alternative targets, bus stations, and rail stations. Well then put “security” on those. Again there are ever more alternatives, water treatment plants, power plants. Throw in some more “security”. Wait we can’t afford that and there won’t even be enough “security” people available. We will never ever have enough security. The correct solution would be hunting the terrorists down. War is a dirty business. Time to stop worrying about the “rights” of the terrorists.

Nunya says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Proof?

It’s idiots like you Anonymous that make us the target of other countries and so called underpriveleged minorities and why we can’t service our own people. One day you will graduate and then you will start to scream when you find out 55% goes to the government programs you voted in and you watch your welfare neighbors have the things you can’t afford. Until then, enjoy your stupidity and judgement zone.

interval (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Proof?

“I’m sorry you feel that way. I know that the systems are not perfect. And any system can be fooled if someone is determined enough. But by putting more layers to security, it makes it more difficult to beat the systems.”

I assume by “layers” you mean these naked scanners?

You say this even though you know that Michael Chertoff, our man in the whitehouse in-charge of all this TSA stuff has investor interest in the company that makes the Rapiscan machines, yes? And you should know this because I’ve mentioned it before and posted links to the stories about it, right?

And this makes you feel safe? Or ripped off (again) by our own leaders.

Planespotter (profile) says:

Re: Proof?

I lived through the height of the IRA bombings and had a family friend killed at Deal all because he enjoyed playing a trumpet… Security here is pretty much a joke, nothing remotely like what’s going on in the US. It’s the stiff upper lip mentality that grips the nation you see… thats why people were crawling out the wreckage of the underground and then all sitting down drinking tea.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Proof?

“What proof do you need? Maybe a failed security where plane is hijacked? Or how about a suicide bomber detonating a bomb mid-flight?”

Yes, goofball, that’s what we’re asking for: death, destruction and mayhem. Well, that, or maybe a peek at some of the dangerous things these procedures have supposedly kept off of planes, or the name of some dangerous person supposedly detained. But yeah, we want death and destruction….

“Security is better to err on the side of more caution.”

To bring that to its logical conclusion, close the airports….

“You may feel that your right is violated, but, really, don’t you want to feel more safe?”

Nope, not at the exclusion of my rights.

“than die by a terrorist attack because some people think it inconvenient them or it violate them?”

Here’s the thing, Sparky. My family is FILLED with veterans, a select few of which gave their lives under the notion that they were doing so to protect my rights and freedoms and way of American life. So, if I were to give up those freedoms, blindly listen to authority and not oppose it through any legal means available, then I would be doing a disservice to the service of the soldiers in my family, and all the rest that served as well.

Here’s the question: why do you not consider the deaths of American soldiers important enough to stick up for the rights they helped protect?

“Like I stated before in a response to a similar article, if 9/11 just happened yesterday, people won’t be complaining like they do now.”

Well, SOME people complained even right after 9/11, but that’s besides the point. Decisions made out of fear are bad decisions. It’s interesting you want us to proceed in the same manner as directly after one of the most horrific things the American public has ever had to collectively endure. Why would you want to do that? Seems kinda dumb….

“People’s memory is short, and they forget that it take the loss of some right to make security more effective.”

No, it damn well does NOT. You can have effective security w/o taking away constitutional rights. What you CAN’T do is sell million dollar scanning equipment that is so useless that I’m surprised it wasn’t made by Dell….

teka (profile) says:

Re: Proof?

really?

you are going to trot out those arguments, again?

“it take the lose of some right to make security more effective”

This is a terrifying and monstrously foolish statement.

People wouldn’t be complaining is 9/11 had been yesterday? of course not. When people are scared and shocked they might agree to anything. Thankfully we have few documents.. Constitutions, Bill of Rights, etc, that are supposed to be above and beyond such knee-jerk corruption

And now we have government agencies and agents, claiming that questioning them is unpatriotic, no matter what they do to shred those foundations of our country. Violating their oaths in the name of power and worse, through gross incompetence.

it gets said, but it seems you do not listen.

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
or in another way

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”

you are eagerly letting someone strip away your rights, by law and by custom, because they are claiming it is in your interest.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Proof?

A thousand bombers don’t intimidate me, if I’m to die I want to die with my dignity not being sexually assault in the name of my country for which I would give my life.

I would die for America any day of the week, but I’m not dying for the TSA or “more security” that takes away the identity of the country I love.

If I wanted to live in China I would have moved there.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Proof?

People’s memory is short, and they forget that it take the loss of some right to make security more effective.

Even if that were true (which I think it’s not), what we’re seeing now is based on the converse: taking away people’s rights will make security more effective. This is an obvious sham to anyone who stops to think about it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Proof?

People’s memory is short, and they forget that it take the loss of some right to make security more effective. Ask any British citizen who live during the height of IRA bombings.– quote from the board’s resident idiot

Having been all over the world in recent years, I can honestly say America is a joke compared to other countries. Those of you buying the whole need to give up rights to be safe really deserve to be slaves. I’ve often wondered how whole tribes in Africa got taken as slaves, now I think I have an understanding.

Planespotter (profile) says:

Gotta love ’em…. can someone remind these editorial numbskulls that NOT EVERYONE IS SCANNED and that NEARLY EVERYONE ELSE gets to walk through a megnetron and then board the damn plane…. also as pointed out already the nice little terrorist has already made it to the US by this point so may as well blow up the airport, underground rail, bus depot, train station, FBI building etc WHERE THEY DON’T USE SCANNERS or enhanced pat downs either.

Shvegas (profile) says:

Logic problem

I have never heard anybody claiming that going through a metal detector to get on a plane is contrary to the constitution so why are body scanners? Is x-ray scanning of your suitcases put on a plane contrary to the constitution. What is the difference between looking through your suitcase and looking through your clothes?
BTW @Big Al – If Achmed walks into a screening line with an underwear bomb he would be lucky to kill 20 people. The people around him shield those standing further away. If he takes down a plane by blowing a hole in the side of the plane 300 to 400 people could easily be killed.

Eugene (profile) says:

Re: Logic problem

Actually, there have been incidents in history where giant holes have been blown into commercial planes. In the worst case, you kill two or so rows a seats and one or two flight attendants. Everyone else survives because of the oxygen tanks and the fact that giant holes don’t affect the pilot’s ability to land. So bombing the security line would actually be more effective.

Neat, huh?!

Freak says:

Re: Re: Re: Logic problem

A huge hole in the plane, from an engineering perspective, is nothing.

Absolutely no worry to land the plane; If the pilot is concentrated on flying, he might not even notice.

It doesn’t really effect the passengers either. The de-pressurization means they need oxygen masks in order to still get enough oxygen, but that’s it.

Anything you’re thinking of is probably a fake dramatization thought up by hollywood, but if you have any real examples, I’d be obliged if you could link.

(And actually, the more holes there are, the easier it is to keep the plane aloft; it increases lift without significantly increasing drag. Even where it would seem negative, the loss in mass exactly or more than cancels that out . You can actually make a paper airplane made of holes to demonstrate the basic concept for yourself; make a small loop and a larger loop from, say, drinking straws, and connect them with a straw at the bottom. It performs better than most paper airplanes despite its larger mass)

Freak says:

Re: Logic problem

With metal detectors, they only detect whether there is any metal on you.
They’re kinda pointless, but not many people will argue against wasting money, and besides, they stop the bad terrorists from being effective. Like your front door lock is easily unlocked with a bump key, but will stop most thieves. It causes only a little inconvenience. Worst comes to worst, they confiscate a belt buckle or something and still let you fly.

Body scanners . . . well, it’s like taking a naked picture of you. And if you refuse that, people feel up your junk.
And it still does nothing to help security.
I wonder why it’s so much more a concern for people?

Anonymous Coward says:

What's old is new again- Similarities between Healthcare & TSA debates

This appears to be the same type of critical analysis by newspapers that ran with the industry talking points in the healthcare debate. They don’t want to have the debate on it’s Constitutionality.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xlpcDnr7eM

“…[Sicko] did not have the impact that it might have had it not been for the smear campaign and the efforts to discredit both Moore and the content of the movie.” — Wendell Potter, former Cigna PR Executive turned industry whistle-blower.

RussK (profile) says:

Backscattered but still had a pat-down

I went through the backscatter machine a few weeks ago (had to give up EVERYTHING in my possion including my passport to go through the dang thing). Then I still had to go through the pat down since I was “too tall”. Now I am not quite 6′ so how do people who are taller go through? This may have been an excuse since the TSA guy had it in for me since I actually asked a question (“what do I do with my passport?”) and didn’t just blindly know what to do. And I am a Gold Elite flyer (last time I checked i have 39 flight segments this year).

I see a big problem not only with the radiation and “enhanced” techniques but with the loss of control of my ID. Since when is it OK to not at least carry a borading pass and passport on your person at all times? Does a piece of paper cause a image problem on these machines?

jsl4980 (profile) says:

We need to protect the politicians

If airports and airplanes are so important that everyone needs to be scanned, then I think our politicians should be protected in the same way.

I vote for a new law that requires these nude scanners and enhanced pat downs at all federal buildings in Washington DC. Every congressman, senator, aide, lobbyist, and visitor should be scanned and groped to protect our wonderful representatives.

Anonymous Coward says:

I weep for the future of your country. Land of the free and home of the brave? More like land of the oppressed and home of the meek.

Many Americans look to the constitution to give them protection from oppressive government. Yet give them an oppressive government and they fold under the weight of lies and misinformation.

Why are these security measures needed now, 9 years after 9/11? Why weren’t these invasive security measures implemented after the 1985 TWA 847 hijacking, the 1986 Pan Am 73 hijacking or even after the 1988 explosion on Pan Am 103?

These security measures are designed to scare people and get them used to invasive security check points. Give these measures a year or two to settle in and they will be expanded to all forms of transport. The way is now paved to allow for security check points on all street corners.

Stand up for your constitutional rights before it is too late. Say something now before you are gagged for good. The suppression manual says that limiting travel is the first step towards a subservient populace.

Paul (profile) says:

So this makes us safer?

The theory is that our security at Airport is making us safer.

Is there ANY way we can test this?

Well, first of all, the assumption is that there exists a threat from someone. Obviously, we are safer if bombings are being prevented. So compare the U.S. to any place in the world where bombings ARE being attempted, and you will find that security check points DO stop the bombings, but at the cost of becoming bombing targets themselves!

Search for “Suicide Bombing security checkpoint” and look at the *hundreds* of bombings, killing hundreds upon hundreds of people. Where security checkpoints are *really* needed, security checkpoints themselves become targets themselves. I cannot find anywhere in the world where bombings are actively attempted where security checkpoints are not themselves targets of bombings.

Have we had any bombings at Airport security check points? No we have not. We have not had the bombings because there are few if any attempts to bomb airplanes in the U.S. currently. And the TSA knows this to be true. If it were not true, then surely they would take into account the threat to security check points themselves, and do things harden the check points themselves against bombings.

How would this be done? To be honest, there are many obvious ways to address the risk of bombings where people have not yet gone through any security layer. The most obvious is to keep the density of people as low as possible outside of the security checkpoint. Making people stand in dense groups by winding the line against themselves will maximize casualties in the event of a bombing.

In as much as even the simplest preventive measures have been taken to avoid casualties at security checkpoints, one can only assume one of several possibilities are true:

1) The TSA knows there is little legitimate threat of bombing within the USA, or

2) The main decisions being made about security and how security will be performed at checkpoints is driven by considerations other than the actual risks to the airlines and their customers (i.e. corporate interests selling security services, or political goals and considerations), or

3) The people running the TSA do not have a clue and institute procedures randomly in response to unusual, public, and largely unsuccessful events while ignoring the every day experience of people actually dealing with terrorists.

Honestly, I believe the truth is some mix of all three.

Paul Hobbs (profile) says:

What if...

One thing I remember from the period shortly after 9/11 is that anyone who questioned what the Bush administration did or said was branded unpatriotic, which seemed to become some kind of euphemism for “terrorist sympathiser”. “It’s like d?j? vu all over again”.

“Note the implicit assumption: that being scanned or groped somehow makes the planes safer. The problem here is that no one has presented any evidence to back this up. Instead, TSA head John Pistole says “trust us.” Yet, when people ask for evidence, they’re told it’s a state secret.”

I know very little about airport security, but I dare say that the Israelis know a lot – more than most. And when the former head of security at Ben Gurion Airport (Rafi Ron) suggests that scanners and pat downs are not very effective, perhaps someone should listen.

A few years ago a comedy team here in Australia did an excellent job of poking a massive hole in the security measures for the APEC conference (which was being attended by George W. Bush). It seems to me that one way to destroy the TSA’s credibility (or at least call it into question), is to stage a very public demonstration of how ineffective these types of screening procedures are. I imagine one could get in a lot of trouble, but it would sure make Mr Pistole’s statement of “trust us” ring a little hollow.

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

Its just plain stupid

This whole security thing is a sham. It’s already been said by the TSA that they are only backscanning a tiny fraction of the people passing through airports and they say that fraction is chosen randomly.

How am I more secure by using that method? Should police randomly arrest 2% of the population and ask if they are planning to murder someone and hope someone confesses?

Since 9/11, I would like to say just the Bush administration, but now its the Obama administration ( big change ), has been using “National Security” as the catch all for “I know I shouldn’t do this but if I tell you why then you will know it’s illegal”.

Personally Im sick of all the national security that involves things like banning online gambling and telling the telcos to give the NSA access to everything. Im sick of the hearing the word lobbying, which means bribery. If copyright infringement is “theft” then its about time the RIAA and MPAA stop “bribing” congress. (sorry about the separate rant but it had to be said somewhere).

kman says:

im not submitting to this fascism, it wasnt US citizens that allowed 9/11 to happen, it was the us govt that granted work visas to those terrorists, its ok to scan innocent americans but not ok to ask illegals for paperwork? all i kno is im not flying and i will be damned if some1 GROPES and VIOLATES my wife or my kids without me raising hell itself. live free or die!!

Jade says:

An editorial in one of the Australian newspapers last week made the point that being a TSA officer would be a sexual predator’s fantasy. They either get to grope people of all ages and both sexes, or seem them practically naked, with their consent. It’s utter digusting what they do, and am astounded that so many people are ok with it. How would they feel if as a condition of entry to the supermarket they needed to be groped or go through one of the naked scanners?

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Feeling of safety

I do not know if it is just my impression, but it seems the latest developments have made people feel less safe when going to the airport. Which is sort of the opposite of the desired result of the security theater.

Or if you want to be really tinfoil about it, maybe that’s exactly what they’re going for. Frightened people demand more protection, which of course requires more money. And gives more power to those already in power.

I would tend toward the “incompetent beauracracy given vague mandate and billions of dollars” explanation myself, though.

Jake (profile) says:

Why does this all feel so 1984? And I don’t mean the year. We have a never ending war over there, and privacy and personal liberties don’t seem to exist in the hearts and minds of the populace. I keep reading that experts? What experts? I hear politicians, talking heads, and Republicrats chanting experts experts experts. But I don’t hear any experts saying all this is necessary. The one expert I keep reading, that no one seems to ask, is Bruce Schenier and he doesn’t seem all this is needed.

Between 1985 through 1989 I remember some of the worst bombings happening all over the place. And the Republican’s party hero, Ronald Reagan, never thought that we should have this much “protection” that only serves to terrify the public and make the government remove our basic rights, as granted by our on constitution. And no privacy isn’t one of them but the fourth amendment states unlawful search and seizure.

If the Republican hero wasn’t willing to turn America into a totalitarian state (and I can’t believe I even wrote that) over a bombings that killed Americans and Europeans alike. He actually called for some calm and reason. Then why is every Republican since 2000 doing the exact opposite.

Ok, I just think that is weird. Do public schools even teach the book 1984 anymore? I have to go and sterilize my hands after writing that about Ronald Reagan.

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