Attempts to drive TSA out of Texas further thwarted

Steve Watson
October 12, 2011

Just months after a concerted campaign to drive the TSA out of Texas airports fell short, the Department of Homeland Security has announced that one of the State’s busiest airports is to be fitted with radiation-firing full body scanners.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is among 29 airports that will get the TSA scanners before the end of the year, according to the federal agency.

The airport, through which almost ten million people travel per year, will receive a number of millimeter wave Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines, as part of the deployment of an additional 300 that were purchased by the government in September.

The smaller Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport will also be fitted with scanners, according to the TSA, which says it will make additional airport announcements as plans are finalized.

Houston, Dallas and San Antonio airports all already have the full body scanners in place.

“We remain committed to implementing technologies that strengthen passenger privacy while ensuring the highest level of security,” said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. “In addition to improving the passenger experience at the checkpoint, advanced imaging technology continues to give us the greatest opportunity to detect and deter evolving threats to aviation.”

Norman Horn, local activist and contributor to told Austin’s KXAN News “The TSA’s policy has not only been to violate individuals’ right to privacy with their ‘security’ screenings, but also to delude the public regarding their scanning equipment’s safety and effectiveness,”

“The TSA has repeatedly misrepresented third-party findings and suppressed information which brings the agency’s integrity into question.” Horn added.

Earlier in the year, a bill barring full-body scanners and full-body pat-downs was introduced in the Texas Legislature by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin. The bill attracted much support and gained momentum, but was shot down as the State Department threatened to implement a no fly zone over the entire state of Texas, should it pass.

Austin’s Airport Advisory Commission has also previously opposed the introduction of body scanners and urged the city council to do the same.

The effort to oust the TSA was resurrected through May and June as activists and concerned citizens descended on the State Capitol and implored elected representatives to resist the TSA takeover in airports.

After attempted arguments by the TSA suggesting that the legislation to outlaw full body pat downs and invasive searches was unconstitutional, the legislation became watered down and ultimately toothless.

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As we have documented, TSA grope downs and body scans are now being rolled out on highways, street corners, public buildings, at sports events, and even at local prom nights.

Scores of experts and scientists are on record warning that there is a significant radiation risk from body scanning machines.

Despite the fact that the federal government has resorted to thuggish intimidation tactics, this only marks the latest chapter in an epic states’ rights battle that has centered on the agenda of the TSA to become a literal occupying force in America, manning internal checkpoints that will litter the entire country.

The full list of airports to be newly fitted with body scanners is below:

Akron-Canton Regional (CAK)
Albany International (ALB)
Austin-Bergstrom International (AUS)
Baton Rouge Metropolitan (BTR)
Bishop International (FNT)
Casper/Natrona County International (CPR)
Chattanooga Metropolitan (CHA)
Daytona Beach International (DAB)
Durango-La Plata County (DRO)
Gainesville Regional (GNV)
Hilo International (ITO)
Kahului (OGG)
Killeen Fort Hood Regional (GRK)
Knoxville McGhee Tyson (TYS)
Lansing Capital City (LAN)
Manchester Boston Regional (MHT)
Meadows Field (BFL)
Norfolk International (ORF)
Pensacola Regional (PNS)
Peoria International (PIA)
Plattsburgh International (PBG)
Roberts Field-Redmond Municipal (RDM)
Rochester International (RST)
Rogue Valley International-Medford (MFR)
South Bend (SBN)
Stewart International (SWF)
Tallahassee Regional (TLH)
Wendover (ENV)
Youngstown-Warren Regional (YNG)


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

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