“Chertoff’s naked-screening and the sinister drumbeat of fear”

So, I’m in the compare and contrast type of mood today.  Two New Yorkers have weighed in on the ongoing TSA Gate Rape.  Over at the NYT, it’s Roger Cohen from London–New Yorker by job–on ‘The Real Threat to America’.  The quote in the title is the end line from his op-ed.    Over at the NYP, it’s the proverbial nitwit, Republican (NY) Representative Peter King and his title tells all.  That would be ‘Qaeda the enemy – not TSA screeners’.

Guess which man loves our country and our Constitution?  The Britwit or the Nitwit?

Cohen has a remarkable sense of humor.  He suggests that if we ever do get Osama bin Laden that we should “Rotate him in perpetuity through this security hell, “groin checks” and all”.  If ever there was an indication that terrorists have won,  it’s that we’ve now lasted longer than the USSR in the bedouin country of Afghanistan and we’re all considered terrorist wannabes now.  Yup my 87 year old, WW2 decorated Dad and your 2 year old grandchild are threats as we now know it.

What’s next?  Pat downs at every holiday event because some Somalian teenager fell for an FBI sting operation?  Will holiday tree lighting ceremonies see the next set of installations of  “Chertoff’s naked-screening” machines?  If so, let me go buy the stock.  I want a piece of THAT action so I can go buy my own plane and dust off the old pilot’s license.  ( I used to fly in corporate jets a lot in the 80s.  It bothered me that the pilot was the only one who knew how to land the plane.)

So, let’s visit the hysterical and paranoid King’s hyperbole.  You know, the kind that gets you reelected in a solid Republican District.

As a conservative, I find it disappointing that so many on the right taking issue with the TSA sound like left-wing liberals.

It reminds me of when then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani stepped up police activity in New York City. Liberals were against it and argued that stop-and-frisks violated people’s civil rights.

But conservatives knew that it was necessary to bring law and order to New York. We were right, and it saved lives.

I have enough faith in TSA chief John Pistole — as nonpartisan a person you can find in government — that he wouldn’t be doing it if he didn’t think it right.

For all we know we could find out six months from now these machines aren’t as good as we think they are and there’s another way to do it without the pat-downs.

But for now let’s at least assume that John Pistole and the TSA are well-intentioned and they are doing the right thing based on the information available to them right now.

Excuse me while I Godwin and think that maybe this is akin to the Germans thinking they should just give the S.S. a chance to do their jobs because the government knows best about ‘perceived threats’.  That very well could include your 60 year old butcher!  Yes?

Oh, and let me put this in perspective for you.   “Peter King is a Long Island GOP congressman and soon-to- be chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.”   Doesn’t that make you feel better about the future of this country?  That would be up to and including the viability of commercial airlines in the next few years. I just hope every stock plan I’ve been forced to invest in by the State of Louisiana doesn’t hold any airline stocks.  Next time, I’m going Greyhound or Mustang.

Cohen’s op-ed–in contrast to the abrasive King–talks about the undie bomber and the shoe bomber and demonstrates how one failed plot after another has led to “another blanket layer of T.S.A checks, including dubious gropes, to the daily humiliations of travelers”.  He’s right.  None of these things were functional and that doesn’t even appear to matter.  Which brings me back to the idea of buying stock in the new KBR and Halliburton government-fund-leaching corporations hawking security measures.  Exactly how much of this involves our safety instead of their profit motives and the political donations they can offer well-positioned pols like King?  Check this Cohen tidbit out.

There are now about 400 full-body scanners, set to grow to 1,000 next year. One of the people pushing them most energetically is Michael Chertoff, the former Secretary of Homeland Security.

He’s the co-founder and managing principal of the Chertoff Group, which provides security advice. One of its clients is California-based Rapiscan Systems, part of the OSI Systems corporation, that makes many of the “whole body” scanners being installed.

Chertoff has recently been busy rubbishing Martin Broughton, the wise British Airways chairman who said many security checks were redundant — calling him “ill-informed.” Early this year Chertoff called on Congress to “fund a large-scale deployment of next-generation systems.”

Rapiscan and its adviser the Chertoff Group will certainly profit from the deployment underway (some of the machines were bought with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). Americans as a whole will not.

Rapiscan: Say the name slowly. It conjures up a sinister science fiction. When a government has a right to invade the bodies of its citizens, security has trumped freedom.

RapE-a-Scan or Pillage-The-Treasury?  Or both?  Your call.

Just for good measure, Cohen adds the 4th amendment to the conversation.  Good place to start this discussion.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Lest we forget what a bunch of people thought their soldiers have died fighting for–I might add–let it not be the profits of any more of these blood sucking government sponsored corporations.  Chertoff should be run out of the country; tar and feathered, on the nearest rail.  I’d like to extend that courtesy to Pete King too.  But first, let’s make sure that both of them spend plenty of time in a crotch groping session with the TSA.  Then, let’s put their nudie scans on the internet where we all can see the demi-emperors with  no clothes.

31 Comments on ““Chertoff’s naked-screening and the sinister drumbeat of fear””

  1. Woman Voter says:

    Michael Chertoff, shouldn’t be making a $$PROFIT$$ out of classified information he gained while Home Land Security Chief. What is the difference between leaking to profit making corps and some supposed ‘alleged’ private leaking information due to his concern about wrong doing to internet journalists. Does Chertoff not have any decency and see it is morally wrong to take a job making money off his Government Knowledge and Government Connections!?!

  2. mablue2 says:

    The Head of the TSA has an announcement:

    TSA Head

  3. Teresa says:

    We have loads of dirty hands, for instance whoever decided that body scanners could be purchased with “stimulus” money.

    My question: Stimulate what?

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    Maybe it is not so bad after all: for some of us of a “certain age” those patdowns could serve as a walk down Memory Lane!

    • Woman Voter says:

      With stranger’s hands, NOOOO thank you! Scary Yuk Lane that will be!

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Just kidding. The whole thing is so intrusive that it needs to go. Fast. If we can invent iPods and cellphones that do 99 things there is no reason that a system cannot be designed to satisfy airline security concerns without having to submit to this.

  5. janicen says:

    Of all of the things I’ve read, so little is being said about radiation exposure. Radiation is cumulative. However “little” radiation is being shot through our bodies with these scanners is not the end of it. It’s more radiation in addition to the dental x-rays and medical scans and x-rays we are exposed to on a regular basis. And nobody is talking about the TSA employees who are standing around the machines all day long. The same machines that send dental assistants scurrying out of the room and hiding behind lead curtains are being used out in the open with no protection for the screeners.

    We went to a cooking class/demonstration at one of our favorite restaurants today, and we met some healthcare professionals who travel only occasionally who said they will and do opt for the pat-down over the scan because of the radiation factor. Why isn’t our fabulous investigative media looking into it and reporting it?

    • bostonboomer says:

      Skin cancer is a serious risk from the scanners, because they concentrate the radiation in the skin.


      Great post, Dak!

      • dakinikat says:

        Thx … I can’t believe any one is defending this, let alone the next head of a congressional committee that will deal with it!!! Then, look at all the money Chertoff is making!!! It’s obscene and it should be illegal!!!

    • bostonboomer says:

      There actually has been zero serious research on the effects of these machines. The government is using air travelers as guinea pigs–just like they are using people down in the Gulf states who are being exposed to ghastly cancer-causing chemicals in their air, water, and food.

      • dakinikat says:

        They don’t care. They only care about the corporations because those guys have the money to donate to elections! They have lobbyists! They provide ex-pols with jobs!!

  6. Ann says:

    Flyertalk, a great source of reality for the stupidty that is the TSA, reported that Soros sold his stock 2 weeks ago, and Chertoff sold off a lot of his stock about the same time.

    Things that make you go hmmmm.

  7. pdgrey says:

    That should have been “but” not “gut”, ha.

  8. Sima says:

    I’ve been spending my time lately on flyertalk reading the threads about these new TSA protocols. All I can say is, No WAY will I fly again until these are gone. I experimented and went to ‘buy’ a ticket online, to see if the airlines are giving warning that when you purchase the ticket, you are agreeing to being irradiated and manhandled. I didn’t want to put in my visa card number, so only got that far. But there was no mention of what you are supposedly agreeing to when you buy the ticket up until you enter your payment information. So, is there a lawsuit possible in that, too?

    • dakinikat says:

      I’m supposed to go to Denver at the beginning of January but I really don’t want to have to put up with this. I’m sure New Orleans is scanner free right now, but I imagine Denver’s up to speed.