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November 24 – Online activists have expressed a desire for all those travelling into and around the US over thanksgiving to opt out of the full body scan, and instead insist on the much-ridiculed pat down. The Administrator of TSA, John Pistole, has called the move “irresponsible.”
It is estimated that over 24 million people will pass through US airports during the Thanksgiving period. Pistole claims that these machines are useful, despite general opinion that they are not, particularly when used to detect PETN, which was smuggled on board a plane last Christmas. To clarify, these scanners do not detect PETN. In fact, a pat down would probably be more useful.
TSA has been all over the web in the last few weeks in light of their frisking style, with one man famously yelling “touch my junk and I’ll have you arrested” when he was receiving his intrusive pat down. TSA claim they have had minimal complaints since launching their new scanners, which are being called “porno scanners” as it gives a naked scan of the passenger.
It is not mentioned if TSA include the head butting of a member of staff by a woman who took exception to having her laptop searched, as a complaint.
Janet Napolitano of Homeland Security says that she regrets the planned “opt out day” as it detracts from the whole point of the introduction of the new security measures, in her eyes people should be willing to play their part in security and be scanned to ensure that no one can smuggle bombs on board. “What we’re all about is shared responsibility,” Napolitano claimed.
As far as I can see, the problem is not the machines, or the fondling as such, it is the obvious snowballing that is happening. I have said it before, and will say again that in the not too distant future you will be expected to drop your pants and bend over in the name of national security.
It is safe to assume that this topic will be a talking point around many tables in the US this year as they gorge themselves on turkey and trimmings. I myself will be celebrating my first Thanksgiving at a bar in Rome, it is a Scottish bar, but there are many Americans living, studying, and travelling in Rome. Therefore, I will be in The Highlander Pub on Vicolo Di San Biagio, Roma. If you are in Rome and fancy a good party, food and football, then come on down.
Not only will it be my first Thanksgiving, but also I literally just found out what the holiday is all about. I wonder if the passengers on the Mayflower got a pat down?
Opt-out day will probably cause major jams at the airports, but if you would rather have some angry and tired member of the same sex rumble about your “junk” rather than letting your government store a photo of your naked self, then by all means take part. You lose either way. That is the point I guess.
Henry Hunter – WorldNewsVine Rome