In a November 15, 2010 USA Today editorial, Janet Napolitano attempts to quell the rising outrage over TSA naked body scans and aggressive pat downs by claiming the Advanced Imaging Technology scanners (AIT machines) “are safe, efficient, and protect passenger privacy” and the TSA pat downs are nothing new and so nothing to be upset about. We live in a free country so it remains permissible to point out the fact Janet Napolitano is wrong.
For instance, “Dr Michael Love, who runs an X-ray lab at the department of biophysics and biophysical chemistry at the Johns Hopkins school of medicine, told AFP two days ago, “statistically someone is going to get skin cancer from these X-rays.” Moreover, University of California at San Francisco professor of biochemistry and biophysics, John Sedat, says the machines have “mutagenic effects” and will increase the risk of cancer. Sedat even sent a letter to the White House science Czar John P. Holdren, detailing risks the AIT machines pose to children and the elderly. In part, the letter said that “it appears that real independent safety data do not exist… There has not been sufficient review of the intermediate and long-term effects of radiation exposure associated with airport scanners. There is good reason to believe that these scanners will increase the risk of cancer to children and other vulnerable populations.”
Either Janet Napolitano is knowingly telling a falsehood or she is misinformed. In any case she exhibits the typical elitist’s lack of concern for peons.
Napolitano also claims that “Pat-downs have long been one of the many security measures used by the U.S. and countries across the world to make air travel as secure as possible. They’re conducted by same-gender officers, and all passengers have the right to request private screening and have a traveling companion present during the screening process.” However, it seems most passengers are not properly informed of the opportunity for a “private screening” since the “pat downs” (which include a rigorous feeling of breasts and genitalia) are typically conducted in full view of other passengers. Many believe the “pat downs” are designed to humiliate the subject and discourage other passengers from foregoing the full body scans.
It appears the sleeping giant of public opinion has awakened. The American people are no longer satisfied with business as usual. It is time to dramatic alter the way public servants relate to their employer.