"Show Us Your Body, or We'll Feel You Up."

You know how when the weather starts to warm, the gym is buzzing with people toning to achieve that perfect beach body? Starting this summer, abs of steel will be in season anytime you fly.

Yesterday, Slate's William Saletan wrote about the TSA's new policy towards body scanner —a.k.a. "naked"—machines. Saletan points out that two years ago, the naked machines were offered as an alternative to physical pat-down searches to passengers who set off the metal detectors or were flagged for a secondary screening. Naked machines were considered less invasive than the grope-and-grab.

Well, the alternative will soon become the norm this summer, when the strip-search machines will replace the metal detectors in several U.S. airports. That's right: this summer, you will no longer have a choice of whether to enter the naked machine or not. As Saletan puts it, the choice is "Show us your body, or we'll feel you up."

We've written about these machines before, but all you really need to do is look at this picture to see what a "millimeter wave" machine shows airport security. Mortified yet? USA Today found that most flyers had no idea how graphic the naked machines' images are, even before they stepped inside and subjected themselves to these virtual strip-searches.

One of the points that Saletan makes is that what was formerly voluntary is now mandatory. We hate to say “I told you so,” but this is the classic way that invasive technologies reach us: the authorities make them as palatable as possible to get the public to swallow them (they'll say it's "voluntary," or "applied only in certain cases," and tell you it's chock-full of privacy protections). Then once they’re accepted, they become more and more intrusive in all the ways the ACLU always warns against.

As for the TSA's tough talk about heightened security, let's be clear: strip-search machines have yet to prove that they actually thwart terrorist acts. An internal Department of Homeland Security report and secondary independent reports actually found that the TSA still cannot identify a large majority of explosives and weapons that testers have sought to bring through security.

We all have a certain expectation of privacy, even at the airport. But does airport security really need to see the stuff we keep under wraps with our clothes like the colostomy bag, the love handles and the beer belly?

We'll see you at the gym, America.

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gershon sharoni

grettings from belize,land of the fugitives.
10 years ago ,on august of 1999,i fled israel,into belize.from big brother, shin beth,they terrorized me,because i claim a refugee status in canada,in 1988.
my claim was dismissed by the immigration and refugee board,in vancover,on 1995,departure order issued to me,i kissed good by to $26000 job,went back to israel,to be confronted by shin beth.
big brother became a reality,
the goverment that marched me to the batlle field-purged me out.
i was followed,by locals,to the sea shore,to the market place.
became a traitor by israeli standart.
it explain to you,what i am doing in belize,in 2009.
on december of 1999,i started to work on a banana farm,300km,south of belize city.
month later,another israeli arrived.
telling me he knows me from israel.
2 years later,on december 2002,i reported him to the belgian police,serious crime squad,in brussels.
he became a chief suspect,in the slaying
of a canadian arms dealer,gerald bull.
who was gun down,in 1990,in brussels.
that according to the belgian daily-la derniere huere,dated jan,2,2003.
i do not read french,i read it later,on the internet,the mercury,south africa.
middle east on line,uk.caledonian record
vt,
ministry of fear-mossad-rans amok after me,from belize city,to orange walk towm,to san jose village.paying the local police,to do ugly trix.
stalking,is unknown in belize,crime is high,but people fight with machette,or pistoleta.
local follow me to the corner store,bus station and at work.
belize,becomes a jail,without bar.
leaving belize-impossible.
the israeli embassy in san salvadore,
captured my passport,a year after la derniere hurere,said,the belgian police received info from belize,regard the unsolved murder,of gerald bull.
is israel is a democracy,by american standart?
adios.
gershon sharoni.friday 8/04/2009
san jose village.
belize rd.
belize. e mail;gershonsharoni@rocketmail.com

Julie

I don't think the image is very revealing. Certainly someone shouldn't be getting their jollies off this kind of picture.

It would be better if TSA focused on not harrassing their employees and training on how to find real threats, instead of technology that may not prove to be very useful.

Allyn

The sad thing is that people go along with this, it's the "price to fly" and it's better than making a scene and so on. It doesn't matter to them that their privacy is being invaded because they don't know the person doing it, behind closed doors. So those of us who do have an objection become suspect, troublemakers, people who need to be watched because we clearly have something to hide, and so on. How do you maintain your privacy in such an atmosphere? How do you stand up for yourself without being made to look confrontational and combative?

lokywoky

Allyn, your questions are spot on. If you object in any way to the strip searches or this 'naked' scan, you are threatened with arrest, or with revocation of your ticket or with even more intrusive searches of your person and your baggage.

My personal thing is to avoid flying anymore. I am a Navy vet - and was used to being treated well by the airlines. Not any more. And all their technology doesn't work.

My ex son-in-law came back to the States after a tour in Iraq where he was involved in bomb and weapons disposal. He decided to fly out of a small airport in his home state back to visit his mother in a very large state halfway across the country. He overslept the morning of his flight, and grabbed a knapsack and ran to the car thinking it was the one he had packed the night before for the trip (It was one of 3 identical ones he had).

Arriving at the airport, he informed the TSA guys that he would probably show positive for explosives due to his recent posting. The TSA guy told him to shut up and just let them do their work. They swabbed his boots and put it in the machine, then reported that he was fine. The TSA guy put his boots up on a counter that was at pretty much eye-level. My SIL picked a small piece of debris off his boot laces and handed it to the TSA guy telling him that it was actually C-4 explosive and that he needed to get his machine recalibrated. The TSA guy threatened to call the sheriff and told him either get on the plane or there was going to be trouble.

Think that's bad? It gets worse. When he arrived at his destination, he up-ended his knapsack (his method of unpacking) and out tumbled...yes, you guessed it...a loaded pistol. His knapsack was supposedly 'hand-searched' since that airport's x-ray things were 'broken/inoperative'.

So. He got on the plane with a loaded gun and explosive residue all over his boots.

Yup. The TSA has really made us safe.

strange

Ah yes, I remember 'voluntary' searches at the airport... Yeah some 'voluntary'.

tom s.

America's bullyboy foreign policy, which started with the Spanish-American War (who remembers Somoza, and Marines in Central America?), has finally collided with our civil liberties. Our civil liberties are the loser.

Terry

I'd like to know if the ACLU plans to do anything about this besides blog about it. I'd give donation dollars to support a challenge to this b.s. Germany has outlawed this technology on the grounds that it is violative of human dignity. Why can't we do the same? To get from point A to point B many of us *must* fly, at which point we become subject to these nonsensical transgressions by our transportation gestapo. Isn't this where the ACLU steps in??

anon comment

Two quotes:

"Any people who will give up an essential liberty for some temporary safety deserve neither, and will lose both." --Ben Franklin

"When even one American -- who has done nothing wrong -- is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril." -- Harry S. Truman

May God help us...

Pixel8Ted

what Julie said. Why is this mortifying? It doesn't look human, it's about as graphic as an x-ray...

If it doesn't work well, as in the last 'graph, well that's another issue

Terror War or G...

Well, if any of you people out there actually believe that 19 arab hijackers were able to defeat the entire North American Air Defense System for almost 2 hours without being interception, I really feel sorry for you. Furthermore, if you think that any of this; "rub your tummy, hop on one leg and pat the top of your head" for me bullshit at the airport is making you safer there, you're going to be pleased to know that there never was a TERRORIST THREAT in these aircraft, and all the smoke blown up your asses about the necessity for this, is solely to ratchet the paranoia and fear up, so you'll be very afraid.

None of these measures they impose at the airport, besides the walk thru and baggage scan, make any sense, and truly, per the F.B.I. and N.T.S.B. fiction about the flights hijacked those days, all of the cockpits were commandeer'd in THREE MINUTES, and the aircraft's autopilots, which 'disengage' when the yoke or rudders are touched, never disengaged as those pilots fought for their lives for those 3 minute battles that day.

I hope you all do the research:
http://www.pilotsfor911truth.org and
http://www.patriotsquestion911.com

see what most of us know. Sept. 11, 2001, was an INSIDE JOB!

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