Lew Rockwell Blog
Jan 21, 2013
Media in all its guises – mainstream, alternative, print and broadcast – has been agog the last few days over the TSA’s retiring some of its porno-scanners from airports. Indeed, you might assume from all the hype that the TSA itself is disappearing; hard to believe the press can spare that much space and energy from its war on the Second Amendment and its ecstasy over the inauguration.
In reality, the TSA is merely dislodging one type of gizmo that peers through your clothing while leaving another that does so in place. (And even then, it threatens to “reintroduce” its vacationing Peeping Toms someday.)
Known as “backscatter X-rays,” the machines slated for exile rely on radiation to produce naked images of passengers, not only stripping victims but dosing them with carcinogenic beams, too. Naturally, the profoundly deceitful TSA has long insisted backscatter’s images weren’t naked at all, despite graphic evidence to the contrary. Nor was the radiation harmful. Right. And O-bomb-ya is a man of peace trying to protect the children when he steals our guns.
The other contraption, the “millimeter-wave scanner,” will continue to haunt checkpoints, though now it’s fitted with “privacy software.” Said software cloaks your nudity with a generic outline of a human form while highlighting those suspicious Kleenex and coins in your pockets.
The shuffling of these utterly offensive gadgets allows Leviathan’s lovers in the press to bleat that the TSA has “end[ed] what critics called ‘virtual strip searches’” and that “those airport scanners with their all-too revealing body images will soon be going away.” Even folks who ought to know better, like the Electronic Privacy Information Center, called backscatter X-ray’s demise “big news. … It removes the concern that people are being viewed naked by the TSA screener.”
Well, only if you trust the TSA. Millimeter-wave scanners also photograph travelers naked; software transforms those pictures into gingerbread men. But software can fail, whether from a glitch or sabotage – if it’s installed at all. And despite the TSA and the media’s claims, millimeter-waves are as inimical to our flesh, if not more so, than X-rays; the technology is new enough that no one understands its precise effects on us, but evidence indicates it “unzips” DNA.
Most tragic of all, the TSA’s unconstitutional, mass, warrantless searches will only accelerate now that everyone agrees it no longer jeopardizes our modesty and health.
Meanwhile, what’s prompted an agency impervious to the public’s outrage and Constitutional requirements to toss its hated porno-scanners? Congress. Yep, the wusses finally strapped on one tiny, shrivelled cojone and ordered the TSA to install “privacy software” by June of 2013. The manufacturer of the millimeter-wave machines came up with said software; his competitor at the backscatter factory didn’t.
Now, if Congress can tweak the TSA’s voyeurism, why can’t it abolish the agency entirely?
Remember that question when another of the agency’s scandals grabs headlines and various congresscriminals excoriate their bureaucratic colleagues. Our Rulers are contemptible hypocrites and liars who, far from opposing the TSA, aid and abet it.