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Expert: TSA scans would let al-Qaida duplicate 9/11

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http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=229613

A terrorism expert says the invasive screening procedures demanded by the Obama-run Transportation Security Administration would do almost nothing to stop a determined terrorist

I would say this is almost "Department of Obvious Studies" material, but apparently, in today's intellectual climate, it is obvious things that have to be repeated most often.

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The TSA's main purpose is to reassure the average joe that something is being done.

I am glad from talking with people in the industry - at least in Europe - that airports and airlines are now adopting the security measures pioneered by El Al (which has never suffered a hijacking despite being quite easily THE most desirable airline to hijack) - extreme profiling, secretive stalking of suspects, background checks, with the suspect unaware of anything happening right up to the point where he walks through the aircraft's gate (at which point he is probably innocent).

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http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=229613
A terrorism expert says the invasive screening procedures demanded by the Obama-run Transportation Security Administration would do almost nothing to stop a determined terrorist

I would say this is almost "Department of Obvious Studies" material, but apparently, in today's intellectual climate, it is obvious things that have to be repeated most often.

The best comment I've seen with respect to this ridiculous "grope and stroke" nonsense, behavior best kept to the back rooms and darkened alleys of red-light districts, was from an Israeli: "In the U.S., you search for weapons; in Israel we search for terrorists."

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The TSA's main purpose is to reassure the average joe that something is being done.

If that were really their purpose, do you think they would pick the most invasive and humiliating method they could think of?

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Not quite.

You will probably receive a larger dose of ionizing radiation from your plane flight than from the xray scanner:

http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/risk.htm

Here is a table from that website, that puts these doses in context.

Doses from various sources

Limits for Exposures Exposure Range

Occupational Dose limit (US - NRC) 5,000 mrem/year

Occupational Exposure Limits for Minors 500 mrem/year

Occupational Exposure Limits for Fetus 500 mrem

Public dose limits due to licensed activities (NRC) 100 mrem/year

Occupational Limits (eye) 15,000 mrem/year

Occupational Limits (skin) 50,000 mrem/year

Occupational Limits (extremities) 50,000 mrem/year

Source of Exposure

Average Dose to US public from All sources 360 mrem/year

Average Dose to US Public From Natural Sources 300 mrem/year

Average Dose to US Public From Medical Sources 53 mrem/year

Average dose to US Public from Weapons Fallout < 1 mrem/year

Average Dose to US Public From Nuclear Power < 0.1 mrem/year

Coal Burning Power Plant 0.165 mrem/year

X-rays from TV set (1 inch) 0.500 mrem/hour

Airplane ride (39,000 ft.) 0.500 mrem/hour

Nuclear Power Plant (normal operation at plant boundary) 0.600 mrem/year

Natural gas in home 9 mrem/year

Average Natural Background 0.008 mR/hour 0.006-0.015 mR/hour

Average US Cosmic Radiation 27 mrem/year

Average US Terrestrial Radiation 28 mrem/year

Terrestrial background (Atlantic coast) 16 mrem/year

Terrestrial background (Rocky Mountains) 40 mrem/year

Cosmic Radiation (Sea level) 26 mrem/year

Cosmic Radiation (Denver) 50 mrem/year

Background Radiation Total (East, West, Central US) 46 mrem/year 35-75 mrem/year

Background Radiation Total (Colorado Plateau) 90 mrem/year 75-140 mrem/year

Background Radiation Total (Atlantic and Gulf in US) 23 mrem/year 15-35 mrem/year

Radionuclides in the body (i.e., potassium) 39 mrem/year

Building materials (concrete) 3 mrem/year

Drinking Water 5 mrem/year

Pocket watch (radium dial) 6 mrem/year

Eyeglasses (containing thorium) 6 - 11 mrem/year

Coast to coast Airplane roundtrip 5 mrem

Chest x-ray 8 mrem 5 - 20 mrem

Extemities x-ray 1 mrem

Dental x-ray 10 mrem

Head/neck x-ray 20 mrem

Cervical Spine x-ray 22 mrem

Lumbar spinal x-rays 130 mrem

Pelvis x-ray 44 mrem

Hip x-ray 83 mrem

Shoe Fitting Fluroscope (not in use now) 170 mrem

Upper GI series 245 mrem

Lower GI series 405 mrem

Diagnostic thyroid exam (to the thyroid)

Diagnostic thyroid exam (to the Whole Body)

CT (head and body) 1,100 mrem

Therapeutic thyroid treatment (dose to the thyroid) 10,000,000 mrad

Therapeutic thyroid treatment (dose to the whole body) 7,000 mrem 5,000-15,000 mrad

Earliest Onset of Radiation Sickness 75,000 mrad

Onset of hematopoietic syndrome 300,000 mrad 100,000 to 800,000 mrad

Onset of gastrointestinal syndrome 1,000,000 mrad 500,000 to 1,200,000 mrad

Onset of cerebrovacular syndrome 10,000,000 mrad >5,000,000 mrad

Thershold for cataracts (dose to the eye) 200,000 mrad

Expected 50% death without medical attention 400,000 mrad 300,000 to 500,000 mrem

Doubling dose for genetic effects 100,000 mrad

Doubling dose for cancer 500,000 mrad (8% per Sv, natural level at 20%)

Dose for increase cancer risk of 1 in a 1,000 1,250 mrem (8% per Sv)

Consideration of theraputic abortion threshold (dose in utero) 10,000 mrem

SL1 Reactor Accident highest dose to survivor 27,000 mrem

Three Mile Island (dose at plant duration of the accident) 80 mrem

If the scanners are the "millimeter-wave" type then there will no risk, as those wavelengths of photons can't hurt you (all they would do is heat you like a microwave oven if their strength was preposterously amplified).

The public reactions to these scanners have been a cross-section for analyzing how poorly the public analyzes problems.

We are told that the full-body scanners "violate our rights", as if there is a right to dictate the terms of security when voluntarily getting on a plane you don't own in an airport you don't own either, or as if there is a "right to plane travel" in the Constitution. We are told that they are dangerous, when you have a better chance of getting cancer from plane flights and projection-type TV's than from these scanners.

Stop worrying about what the "science experts" at "UK Daily Mail". The extent of their journalistic expertise appears to be judging which film stars look the worst in bikinis at the beach.

What we should be worrying about is how our security is being neutered by "political correctness", resulting in the TSA treating every passenger as a potential terrorist, when we know that all the Islamic Terrorists are young, male, and Arab.

Here are more science references also if you are interested:

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase.../radexp.html#c1

http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/hprisk.htm

http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Factsheet...sh/radlife.html

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For further context, the full-body scanners relying on "Backscatter X-rays" are reported to give a dose of a fraction of 1 mrem, which is less than what the plane flight will give you.

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...The public reactions to these scanners have been a cross-section for analyzing how poorly the public analyzes problems.

Your statment from above reminds me of many converstaion with my clients and people in general when discussing ideas. My clients will often state something like; "I do not get it, your ideas work, but they are so crazy." I would reply with a response like; "crazy means a detachment from reality, and, is that what you mean?" They would usually respond with; "no they are just so different from what the rest of society holds." And my response to that was, "I am not attempting to primarily disagree with society, I primarily go in the direction of the facts of reality and if there is a disagreement it is not my concern." As a matter of fact, in almost every field that I have studied I found that what most people think and what is correct are almost always opposites.

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We are told that the full-body scanners "violate our rights", as if there is a right to dictate the terms of security when voluntarily getting on a plane you don't own in an airport you don't own either, or as if there is a "right to plane travel" in the Constitution.

The airlines and airports ought to dictate the terms of their security, not the government, so in effect, the scanners do violate our rights, even though an individual person could not demand some specific imagined type of security in place of another. And, people most certainly do have a right to plane travel, which derives from the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, whether our legal system currently recognizes it or not.

One could argue that an airline and/or airport ought to be legally obliged to have some baseline level of effective security, as a terrorist can use a plane as a weapon against others who have not chosen to ride on it, but the TSA makes a mockery of security and cannot be argued to qualify under such an obligation when the question being debated is how to implement security. Nobody is arguing for no security at all.

Also, I suspect the growing outrage over the TSA is largely over the privacy concerns involved in operating the scanning machines, and the retaliatory and punitive "pat-downs" to those who "opt out" more than the alleged health risks of the scanners.

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We

The airlines and airports ought to dictate the terms of their security, not the government, so in effect, the scanners do violate our rights, even though an individual person could not demand some specific imagined type of security in place of another. And, people most certainly do have a right to plane travel, which derives from the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, whether our legal system currently recognizes it or not.

"a right to plane travel" was used in the context of citizens traveling on commercial air-liners. There is no right to travel by means of someone else's property.

Citizens who critique the body-scanners on the ground of "rights" are invoking the same statist-premise that Leftists use when arguing for government control of Insurance companies or "free" health-care, the premise that a citizen has a "right" to a commodity they don't own, and that citizens should be allowed to control those who voluntarily offer them services.

One could argue that an airline and/or airport ought to be legally obliged to have some baseline level of effective security, as a terrorist can use a plane as a weapon against others who have not chosen to ride on it, but the TSA makes a mockery of security and cannot be argued to qualify under such an obligation when the question being debated is how to implement security. Nobody is arguing for no security at all.

Also, I suspect the growing outrage over the TSA is largely over the privacy concerns involved in operating the scanning machines, and the retaliatory and punitive "pat-downs" to those who "opt out" more than the alleged health risks of the scanners.

Yes, these are valid concerns, and the scanners will more than likely be a tremendous waste of time and money.

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Carlos, you are certainly right about the scanners posing no significant risk. The gentleman cited by the article seems to agree with you, he just adds that the negligible amount of risk involved is about the same as the risk of becoming the victim of a terrorist attack.

And of course there are two more things that need to be said: 1, the scanners are not an effective means of preventing terrorist attacks; 2, a rational use of US military power would very quickly and effectively put an end to the terrorist threat.

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Also, I suspect the growing outrage over the TSA is largely over the privacy concerns involved in operating the scanning machines, and the retaliatory and punitive "pat-downs" to those who "opt out" more than the alleged health risks of the scanners.
Exactly, and then some. It is the recognition that The Federal gov't has given these security guards the right to grope anyone they want, on the off-chance that one might have something down there other than the family jewels. Since they steadfastly (at least publicly) refuse to profile, this becomes a random procedure and plays into the suspicion that these low-level people in an otherwise routine and tedious job will select their grope-candidates not for their danger to other individuals, but for the entertainment value of the TSA employee(s). And, since these people have been deputized as law enforcement, with no particular qualification for handling sensitive issues (pardon the pun), there, at least for now, is no legal recourse for what might validly be considered assault.

The suspicion is that any given TSA guard's goals might not be what Janet Napolitano says they are.

I've had my own recent experience at LAX and I can attest to the punitive nature of some of the treatment I received. I was scanned, not groped, but the behavior of the guards was noticeably confrontational, pugnacious, rather than respectful. It was as if we were all pulled over and dumped out of a weaving party limo. I travel a lot and the attitude they are projecting is very different than that of just a week or two ago. They got a bad attitude transplant along with the new equipment. I would have expected the opposite approach when acclimatizing travelers to the new procedures. I blame Napolitano and the Obama administration culture that sees the American public as the enemy, rather than the Islamists. The tone travels top-down.

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Citizens who critique the body-scanners on the ground of "rights" are invoking the same statist-premise that Leftists use when arguing for government control of Insurance companies or "free" health-care, the premise that a citizen has a "right" to a commodity they don't own, and that citizens should be allowed to control those who voluntarily offer them services.

Some may be, but many in this debate are speaking of rights in terms of freedom from government intervention.

Separately, another issue which has been a constant in all this is that when passing through security, particularly if one is held for extra screening, one is out of physical contact, and often even visual contact, with one's belongings, leaving one wide open to theft. To make it worse, the fact that one is passing through a metal detector thwarts the usual tactic of keeping one's valuables in one's pockets!

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Separately, another issue which has been a constant in all this is that when passing through security, particularly if one is held for extra screening, one is out of physical contact, and often even visual contact, with one's belongings, leaving one wide open to theft. To make it worse, the fact that one is passing through a metal detector thwarts the usual tactic of keeping one's valuables in one's pockets!

Yes, which is why I no longer take my laptop on plane flights.

I'm really getting tired of flying...

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Carlos, you are certainly right about the scanners posing no significant risk. The gentleman cited by the article seems to agree with you, he just adds that the negligible amount of risk involved is about the same as the risk of becoming the victim of a terrorist attack.

And of course there are two more things that need to be said: 1, the scanners are not an effective means of preventing terrorist attacks; 2, a rational use of US military power would very quickly and effectively put an end to the terrorist threat.

I am in full agreement. If we really wanted to end this irrational situation, then go and kill the people that are a "terriorist threat." I do not think that will happen under Obama as he seems to be more worried about whether or not he is in agreement with members of other societies and the UN.

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http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=229613
A terrorism expert says the invasive screening procedures demanded by the Obama-run Transportation Security Administration would do almost nothing to stop a determined terrorist

But it does have an effect on American society consistent with Obama's vision for America. It moves the line of what is socially acceptable in the relationship: government vs. the individual.

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But it does have an effect on American society consistent with Obama's vision for America. It moves the line of what is socially acceptable in the relationship: government vs. the individual.

Yes, and that is the REAL purpose behind it all.

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Citizens who critique the body-scanners on the ground of "rights" are invoking the same statist-premise that Leftists use when arguing for government control of Insurance companies or "free" health-care, the premise that a citizen has a "right" to a commodity they don't own, and that citizens should be allowed to control those who voluntarily offer them services.

How about criticizing the body scanners and groping on Constitutional grounds? The TSA is a governmental agency and the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution says:

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 Warrants shall not be issued, 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.

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Citizens who critique the body-scanners on the ground of "rights" are invoking the same statist-premise that Leftists use when arguing for government control of Insurance companies or "free" health-care, the premise that a citizen has a "right" to a commodity they don't own, and that citizens should be allowed to control those who voluntarily offer them services.

How about criticizing the body scanners and groping on Constitutional grounds? The TSA is a governmental agency and the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution says:

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 Warrants shall not be issued, 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.

None of the arguments I've seen have been that sophisticated or precise in specifying why it is bad. Everything I had seen was vague complaints of "rights" or "privacy", without grasping the principle that there is no right to dictate the security of an airport you don't own. If it were the private airport security teams instituting these draconian security procedures instead of government goons you would still be hearing the same shrieking of "rights" being violated, with no regard to what "rights" even mean in this context, and in the same way that people shriek their rights are being violated when an insurance company refuses to cover a medical service.

All of this distracts from what is the real problem, which is the self-defeating, "politically correct" approach to airport security.

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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 Warrants shall not be issued, 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.

But we are freely entering an airport, fully aware that these inane, draconian security policies are being enforced by mindless, indifferent goon squads. This does not equate to searching someone's house or car without a search warrant, or being detained indefinitely by the police without trial or a lawyer.

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None of the arguments I've seen have been that sophisticated or precise in specifying why it is bad. Everything I had seen was vague complaints of "rights" or "privacy", without grasping the principle that there is no right to dictate the security of an airport you don't own. If it were the private airport security teams instituting these draconian security procedures instead of government goons you would still be hearing the same shrieking of "rights" being violated, with no regard to what "rights" even mean in this context, and in the same way that people shriek their rights are being violated when an insurance company refuses to cover a medical service.

Why do you attribute to people the most unfavorable explanation? Rather than the straightforward one that the TSA imposing a nationwide mandatory security theater and mockery of security violates rights? People know that the government is imposing these security procedures. I have seen the fourth amendment explanation elsewhere from non-Objectivist sources.

Airports which opt to use private security right now are bound by the same TSA procedures so it is the TSA violating rights just the same. (I believe hardly any airports have chosen to do this.)

If the federal government were not involved in security whatsoever, it is unthinkable that the free market would deliver these procedures, so it is completely unfair to attribute to people that they would complain about something on a faulty basis that is completely different than the thing they are actually complaining about and which would not occur in any case.

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But we are freely entering an airport, fully aware that these inane, draconian security policies are being enforced by mindless, indifferent goon squads. This does not equate to searching someone's house or car without a search warrant, or being detained indefinitely by the police without trial or a lawyer.

That does not affect the analysis. That is like the government saying that because you "freely" choose to drive a car on the streets, that they have permission to search your car without the restrictions of the fourth amendment.

The government imposes this restriction by fiat on all (or nearly all, based on whatever criteria) airports, so flyers do not have a free choice.

The magnitude and severity of the intrusion in airports is quite a bit less than, for example, government searching any car at will, but the principle is the same.

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But we are freely entering an airport, fully aware that these inane, draconian security policies are being enforced by mindless, indifferent goon squads. This does not equate to searching someone's house or car without a search warrant, or being detained indefinitely by the police without trial or a lawyer.

That does not affect the analysis. That is like the government saying that because you "freely" choose to drive a car on the streets, that they have permission to search your car without the restrictions of the fourth amendment.

The government imposes this restriction by fiat on all (or nearly all, based on whatever criteria) airports, so flyers do not have a free choice.

The magnitude and severity of the intrusion in airports is quite a bit less than, for example, government searching any car at will, but the principle is the same.

Your are correct, they do not automatically get the permission to search your car. But because at this point in time they do have ownership of the roads they have the right to set the rules/standards such as wearing a seat-belt.

A moral government would not have laws (use their force) that did not protect one's rights and they would instead use their power against those that have made threats or intend on using force against their citizens. Instead we have an immoral mixed government that seems intent on controlling the good and letting the evil slip through.

Julius Caesar was not a great political leader, but he did understand power, military power, and how it should be used against one's enemies. For example, when Julius Caesar sent Roman emissaries into Gallic territories for diplomatic reasons they were killed by the Gauls. Julius Caesar did not wait around (such as Carter did) he quickly sent his troops into Gaul and killed every male within that Gallic territory where the Roman emmissaries were killed. Julius Caesar's troops then collected all the women and children that remained and sold them into slavery. After this huge show of Rome's power and moral stand no more emmissaries were killed during Julius Caesar's reign.

Now, judge what I described above against what we have been doing, for the most part, since Korea and it should be no wonder why the terrorist are taking such bold actions.

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All of this distracts from what is the real problem, which is the self-defeating, "politically correct" approach to airport security.

The real problem is the government violating rights. If airport security were totally handled by private concerns like the airlines themselves rather than by governmental agencies or according to government edicts, it would be much more reasonable and pleasant for their customers and much more effective with regard to real security.

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