Expensive TSA Nudie Scanners Find A New Home: Prisons
from the can-i-get-a-refund? dept
It’s been quite a while since we’ve had much news about the TSA’s nudie scanners, other than the admission by one TSA employee that they, you know, don’t work to do anything other than show people being naked. Yes, the federal government’s oddly belated overreaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which they don’t think will be attempted again, required a massive influx of taxpayer cash to pay for all this uselessness. That would be your money, my money, all of our money going into a program that didn’t work, wasn’t needed, and violated our rights. But a story of this kind of futility and waste needs a nice little bow put on it for an ending. The federal government never seems to fail us in this kind of request.
Where are those nudie scanners now that they’re being transitioned out of airports? Why, they’re in prisons of course, because piling them up on the federal curb would make them look stupid.
So far, 154 of the machines have been transferred to prisons in states including Iowa, Virginia and Louisiana. It’s a good fit because privacy concerns raised by airport passengers do not apply in many cases to prisoners, according to TSA.
“TSA and the vendor are working with other government agencies interested in receiving the units for their security mission needs and for use in a different environment,” TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein said.
Well, hey, that’s great. The forty-million dollars of doesn’t-work the TSA had in place are being transferred to not work in other federal institutions. And, because nobody worth their political salt is going to bother to stick up for prisoners, there’s much less push back there. Nevermind that these devices still don’t do the job they claim to do. Nevermind that forty-million bucks were wasted. Prisons! That’s the answer, because this is America, damn it, and if there’s one thing we know, it’s how to bolster our already staggering jail-economy.
Members of Congress had also raised issues about the safety of the machines and their scanning technology, asking the National Academy of Sciences to explore whether people are exposed to unsafe levels of radiation during the process.
Doesn’t matter, because the prisoners are all evil and whatnot and safety is no longer a concern. Meanwhile, this transfer of uselessness should be exhibit A at any hearing in which someone in national security insists they need something expensive in order to keep people safe. It’s time for some accountability, please.