Well the TSA and Janet Napolitano are hanging tough….guess the protest on November 24th National Opt Out day and threats from citizens not flying anymore will have to continue to stop this nonsense.
“Mr. Michael Chertoff should not be allowed to abuse the trust the public has placed in him as a former public servant to privately gain from the sale of full-body scanners under the pretense that the scanners would have detected this particular type of explosive”
Kate Hanni, FlyersRights
In February, the Figh Council of North America, a group of Islamic scholars, issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, that full-body scanners violate Islamic law.
CAIR said Muslims who object to full-body scans for religious reasons should know their rights if they are required to undergo a pat-down, including asking for the procedure to be done in a private place. In addition, CAIR offered a “special recommendation” for Muslim women who wear a hijab, telling them they should tell the TSA officer that they may be searched only around the head and neck.
The body scanners would not even have stopped underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from boarding Flight 253 on Christmas Day.
Also check out our latest article on this:
Janet Napolitano tells pilot, tourism representatives scans and patdowns will continue
In a hastily-called emergency meeting at the White House today, DHS director Janet Napolitano told representatives from the most powerful pilot’s union as well as the travel & tourism lobbies that despite the backlash of concerns about airport security, TSA’s use of invasive body scanners and humiliating patdowns, including the groping of passenger’s breasts and genitals, would continue. The frustrated executives were anything but satisfied by her statements.
The ramped up security measures have set off what Geoff Freeman, Executive Vice President says are hundreds of calls from travelers threatening not to fly. A whole range of interconnected tourism industries are concerned about the detrimental effect of security on business and travel. The airlines estimate that they’ve lost $9.4 billion in revenue due to “avoided” travel. Further, a 2008 survey found that 41 million potential fliers stayed home due to concerns about a “broken” or badly impaired system.
“You can’t talk on the one hand about creating jobs in this country and getting this economy back on track and on the other hand discourage millions of Americans from flying, which is the gateway to commerce,” Freeman railed.
However, Napolitano made clear that TSA’s operations would not only continue but expand as new technology is rolled out. “Trusted Traveler” programs have been scheduled for implementation, and would utilize biometric data such as retinal scanning for identification.
Travel-related industries are particularly concerned that the onset of a ‘travel revolt’ and a flurry of news coverage about groping and molestation occurrences at check points have come right before the holidays, the heaviest travel season of the year. Citizen groups have advocated either not flying or refusing to go through the body scanners. A “National Opt Out Day” protest has been coordinated on Nov. 24, the day before Thanksgiving, traditionally the busiest single day for air travel of the entire year.
John Prater, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, objected to the unnecessary scrutiny of airline pilots and flight attendants, who, unlike TSA’s own employees, have already undergone background checks and who have been cleared to enter the cockpit. Pilots have already been trusted to operate the most dangerous potential “weapon” aboard any aircraft– the plane itself. What contraband could they could possibly conceal on their person that would be of greater concern?
“Pilots are not the terrorist threat,” Prater commented. “Seeing scarce security resources being used on pilots makes absolutely no sense.”
Also challenging security policy, Capt. Mike Cleary, president of the U.S. Airline Pilots Association, wrote a letter this week advising pilots not to subject themselves to body scanners (i.e. Advanced Imaging Technology) due to health concerns about the radiation as well as concerns about the intrusiveness and behavior of TSA agents.
In truth, the security measures have not been put in place to curb terrorism—major media outlets have reported on the fact that in TSA’s nine year history, it has failed to stop even one terrorist.
Instead, the economic and privacy costs of security are shifted directly into the private security complex. Michael Chertoff authorized contracts for the body scanners and other security technology during his reign as head of Homeland Security, only to benefit directly from multi-billion dollar contracts as an industry representative and lobbyist for the body scanners after leaving the Bush Administration.