It’s now becoming clear exactly how many tens of millions of dollars the TSA spent on body scanners that have missed airport security threats, outraged passengers and brought the agency under congressional scrutiny.

The $160 million bill includes $120 million for the body scanners now in place in hundreds of airports nationwide, according to newly disclosed figures obtained by POLITICO. The rest of the money went to the agency’s “naked” X-ray scanners, which it pulled from airports two years ago amid worries about health risks and the devices’ detailed images of travelers’ bodies.

A recent security audit found that TSA had failed to find fake explosives and weapons in 96 percent of covert tests. And members of Congress familiar with the classified details say the body scanners are to blame for much of the problem.

Johnson said that while bomb detection is obviously a complex undertaking, “these things weren’t even catching metal.”

“If you really want to keep using those, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t, at a minimum we should put a metal detector on the other side,” the Wisconsin Republican said in an interview. “Why not go through two? You’ve just gotta use common sense.”

– From the Politico article: Price for TSA’s Failed Body Scanners: $160 Million

I’ve been a vocal critic of the TSA’s naked body scanners since day one. Not only have I never gone through one of these devices due to my refusal to participate in self-inflicted intellectual genocide in the name of slave conditioning, but it was clear from very early on that they were nothing short of pure, ineffectual security theatre.

Specifically, in a post published earlier this year, TSA Agents Caught Gaming System so Male Screener Could Grope Attractive Passengers; No Criminal Charges Filed, I noted that:

As someone who has never gone through a naked body scanner, I am particularly sensitive to where they are positioned and where they are not. In Denver, they are basically everywhere, yet interestingly, in the terminal serving Frontier Airlines at La Guardia in NYC there are none. This seems incredible to me given how big of a terrorist target it is. Somehow New York City is able to screen passengers just fine without the naked body scanners, yet Denver can’t? How is that the case? It’s the case because the expensive new screeners are nothing more than security theatre. Security theater that pays very, very well for the device manufacturers.

While this was merely anecdotal evidence of their uselessness, we now have hard definitive proof that they do absolutely nothing.  That’s right, the government spent $160 million in taxpayer money for zero results. Oh, and to make matters worse, now that the TSA admits they are useless, rather than getting rid of them, their solution is to make travelers go through a metal detectors after going through the naked body scanners. You really can’t make this stuff up.

From Politico:

It’s now becoming clear exactly how many tens of millions of dollars the TSA spent on body scanners that have missed airport security threats, outraged passengers and brought the agency under congressional scrutiny.

The $160 million bill includes $120 million for the body scanners now in place in hundreds of airports nationwide, according to newly disclosed figures obtained by POLITICO. The rest of the money went to the agency’s “naked” X-ray scanners, which it pulled from airports two years ago amid worries about health risks and the devices’ detailed images of travelers’ bodies.

The cost breakdown, which the TSA recently turned over to some members of Congress, provides the latest look at the agency’s investment in body imaging technology since it decided to make the scanners the centerpiece of the checkpoint screening process. The price tag averages more than $150,000 per unit since the agency bought the first batch of 45 devices in 2008.

And for that money, lawmakers privy to classified reports say, the TSA has gotten a woeful failure rate. Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson has such low confidence in the scanners’ ability to catch explosives and weapons that he says the agency should make fliers walk through metal detectors after passing through the body imaging machines.

“If you really want to keep using those, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t, at a minimum we should put a metal detector on the other side,” the Wisconsin Republican said in an interview. “Why not go through two? You’ve just gotta use common sense.”

Excuse me? In what sort of dystopian, imbecilic clown-car world does it NOT make common sense to simply get rid of them entirely as opposed to an additional a visit through a metal detector?

A recent security audit found that TSA had failed to find fake explosives and weapons in 96 percent of covert tests. And members of Congress familiar with the classified details say the body scanners are to blame for much of the problem.

Johnson said that while bomb detection is obviously a complex undertaking, “these things weren’t even catching metal.”

OMG. Pure gold.

L-3 did not immediately comment on the criticisms.

Naturally, they already got PAID.

Another concern is how well the machines are maintained. A separate inspector general report from May said that “because TSA does not adequately oversee equipment maintenance, it cannot be assured that routine preventive maintenance is performed or that equipment is repaired and ready for operational use.”

Well then.


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