March 8, 2012
By Paul Joseph Watson
“The TSA’s response to Jon Corbett’s video is laughable. The scanners do not work.” –KTRN
The Transportation Security Administration has tacitly admitted that the critical flaws brought to light in a viral You Tube video yesterday which exposed how airport body scanners could easily be beaten are accurate, rendering the entire $1 billion dollar program virtually worthless.
Engineer Jon Corbett of the popular blog TSA Out of Our Pants! posted a video yesterday that demonstrates how the TSA’s radiation firing body scanners can easily be bypassed. The clip has already received over 700,000 views.
The video shows Corbett carrying a metal case through the scanner, away from his body in his side pocket. Corbett explains that because metallic objects appear as black on the image the scanners produce, the machines do not pick up such objects if they are obscured by the background, which is also black.
The video went viral and despite You Tube slapping an age-restricted censor on the clip, the story was picked up by dozens of major news outlets, forcing the TSA to respond.
On the TSA’s official blog, the agency attempts to discredit Corbett by describing him as “some guy” who launched a “crude attempt to allegedly show how to circumvent TSA screening procedures.”
However, nowhere in the response does the TSA actually address or attempt to disprove Corbett’s demonstration that the body scanner can be easily fooled.
In labeling Corbett’s successful effort to evade the body scanner as “crude,” the TSA has inadvertently admitted that its $1 billion dollar body scanner system can be defeated by “crude” methods.
Body scanners are “one layer of our 20 layers of security,” the blog states, before adding, “our nation’s aviation system is much safer now with the deployment of 600 imaging technology units at 140 airports.”
February 7, 2012
By Paul Joseph Watson
“We’ll see if this really flies, but it looks like good news. Obama would probably veto this though.” –KTRN
The Senate has passed legislation that includes a provision allowing airports to replace TSA screeners with private security, opening the door for the widely loathed federal agency to be marginalized from aviation security altogether.
The bill was primarily concerned with how the Federal Aviation Authority would be funded for the next four years, but also included measures that would force the TSA to reconsider applications from airports to replace TSA workers with their own privately hired screeners.
“Security companies would have an easier time winning contracts to operate airport checkpoints,” reports Businessweek.
Following a massive nationwide backlash against the TSA’s invasive groping policies and its use of radiation-firing naked body scanners, linked by many prestigious health bodies to cancer, an increasing number of airports attempted to take responsibility for their own screening procedures by replacing TSA workers with privately hired personnel.
However, in January 2011, when the number of airports attempting to opt-out of the TSA had risen to 16, TSA head John Pistole put a freeze on the process, refusing to consider new applications from airports.
The newly approved legislation “would require the TSA to reconsider applications for private screeners that it had rejected.”
Should airports choose to replace TSA screeners with their own private security, it would not only mean the screeners were better trained and more responsible for their actions, alleviating the problems of thefts and abuse by TSA workers, but it would also create tens of thousands of much needed jobs for the private sector.
“Some airport executives have argued that contract security personnel are more courteous than government workers,” reports CNN. “It was felt that a private contractor would provide friendlier customer service to the traveling public,” the head of a Roswell, New Mexico, airport wrote to Congress.”
February 6, 2012
By Paul Joseph Watson
“Don’t hold your breath on this one. It’s been a long time since the Senate did anything right.” –KTRN
Following House approval of the measure on Friday, the Senate is set to vote today on legislation that would allow U.S. airports to replace TSA workers with screeners from private companies, a move that could spell the beginning of the end for the highly unpopular federal agency’s role in airport security.
“The U.S. agency must allow airports to switch to private companies for screeners unless it can show the move wouldn’t be cost-effective and would be detrimental to security, according to the legislation, which if passed will go to President Barack Obama for his signature,” reports Businessweek.
“They’ve been trying to force the door open for several years,” Jeff Price, a Denver-based consultant who has written a textbook on aviation security, said of U.S. lawmakers. “It reverses the burden of proof. It is definitely trying to checkmate the TSA.”
At the height of the anti-TSA drive in late 2010, which coincided with a national full body scanner opt out day, a growing number of airports such as Orlando Sanford International began to exercise their right to replace TSA workers with private screeners.
The TSA soon put a stop to this in January 2011 by freezing the number of airports that could use private screeners, a figure that had climbed to 16. Orlando Sanford is one of the airports whose vetoed application to remove TSA screeners will have to be reconsidered under the new legislation.
More private security companies are expected to start up if the legislation passes, providing the additional benefit of adding tens of thousands of private sector jobs to the economy.
“You’ll see companies make themselves known,” said Price. “They’ll make sure every airport operator knows the rules have changed.”
The TSA’s involvement in airport security has become highly unpopular over the last two years, with the federal agency mired in one controversy after another, from its agents constantly caught stealing from travelers, to its mistreatment of children and the elderly, to its habitual lies about the safety of naked body scanners.
January 31, 2012
By Steve Watson
“What other presidential candidate is speaking out about the TSA? It makes you wonder why people are voting for anyone other than Ron Paul.” –KTRN
GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul slammed the TSA during a CNN interview Sunday night, refusing to back down a week after the incident involving the detainment of Senator Rand Paul by the federal agency in Nashville.
Speaking with Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union”, Paul dubbed the TSA a “bureaucratic monster” that “totally voids the concept of the fourth amendment.”
“They trap us into it,” Paul told Crowley. “There’s no way you can travel if you don’t do it. So I’ve said, you know, when you look at some of these pictures of probing groin areas and breast areas and all this, and old women having to take their clothes off, if we as a people are so complacent that we can look at that and say, oh, that’s OK, they’re making us safe.”
“It doesn’t make us safe. It undermines our liberties and there’s a much better way of giving us security at the airports than accepting the bureaucrats and the politicians in Washington. That is totally unacceptable from my viewpoint.” Paul said.
Last week the Congressman raised a quarter of a million dollars in an impromptu ‘End the TSA’ money bomb, following the incident where his son Rand Paul refused to be subjected to a full body pat down after a glitch set off a body scanner at Nashville airport.
The Congressman was adamant that under his presidency transportation security would be very different.
Janury 27, 2012
By Catalina Camia
“Just one more example why Ron Paul is the only choice for president.” –KTRN
Ron Paul has exceeded his fundraising goal, collecting more than $261,000 as of this morning. The theme of the online fundraiser was aimed at ending the Transportation Security Administration.
Our original post begins here:
Ron Paul appears headed toward reaching his latest fundraising goal: $250,000 to help end the Transportation Security Administration.
The GOP presidential candidate began a “money bomb” shortly after his son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, got stopped at the Nashville airport on Monday after setting off an alarm on a body-scanning machine. The younger Paul declined a pat-down search by the TSA but was allowed to board a later flight.
As of 11 a.m. ET today, Ron Paul had raised more than $226,000 toward his goal to “end the TSA now,” as he says on his campaign website.
Both Pauls are frequent critics of the TSA. After the Rand Paul incident, Ron Paul decried a “police state” in the country that “gropes and grabs our children.”
January 23, 2012
By Kurt Nimmo
Ron Paul’s Facebook page reports that his son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, is being held by authorities at the airport in Nashville.
“My son Rand is currently being detained by the TSA at the Nashville Airport. I’ll share more details as the situation unfolds,” Ron Paul posted this morning on his Facebook page.
Paul has called for an investigation of the Department of Homeland Security. The Transportation Security Administration is part of the Department of Homeland Security.
In June of 2011, in response to the apprehension of two suspected terrorists in his hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky, Rand Paul insisted on an investigation into what procedures and safeguards broke down, allowing the men into the United States.
According to WLWT New 5 in Cincinnati, Ohio, CNN has reported that Paul was detained after refusing to allow a patdown after a body scanner went off.
January 20, 2012
By Steve Watson
“HAHA Sorry, TSA worker. It seems your employer (the government) doesn’t care about your health and safety after all. Oh, by the way, thanks for asking my grandma to take out her colostomy bag – it was serious threat to the passengers on board the plane. Keep up the great work.” –KTRN
Despite numerous reports this week suggesting that the TSA is to buy equipment to test employees for radiation exposure, the agency itself says it has no intention of doing so.
The LA Times reported that the agency was planning to equip its security officers with individual radiation dosimeters, to test the levels of radiation they were being exposed to from backscatter x-ray body scanners.
“After years of rebuffing health concerns over airport scanners, the Transportation Security Administration plans to conduct new tests on the potential radiation exposure from the machines at more than 100 airports nationwide,” the report read.
Details of the tests were reportedly leaked via a request sent to government vendors to provide wearable dosimeters.
However, a post from the TSA’s official blog says that the Times report “missed the mark”
“Why the confusion you might ask? TSA routinely puts out Requests for Information (RFI) that are basically market research, asking industry to tell us what else is out there.” the blog post noted.
“In this case, TSA put out an RFI to gather information on available tools to continue to monitor our technologies. This is simply designed to ask industry what new technology might be available.”
The blog then repeated the claim that the body scanning machines have been tested and approved.
“Truth is, we continuously test all of the technology we use and post the results to our website for all to see,” said a Jan. 17 post by Blogger Bob Burns on the agency’s web site.
“Based on all of our previous testing, as well as monitoring from independent sources, we’re confident that all of our equipment meets national safety standards, and is safe for all passengers and our workforce,” said Burns.
January 17, 2012
By Paul Joseph Watson
“You don’t have to go through the body scanners. You can opt out. Yes, you’ll be felt up. But who knows, it might be enjoyable.” –KTRN
Following reports of cancer clusters at Boston-Logan Airport, the TSA is set to test its naked body scanner operators for radiation exposure, but still refuses to test the actual machines that thousands of Americans are forced to pass through each day.
“After years of rebuffing health concerns over airport scanners, the Transportation Security Administration plans to conduct new tests on the potential radiation exposure from the machines at more than 100 airports nationwide,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
Details of the tests were not announced publicly by the federal agency, they were leaked as a result of a request sent to government vendors to provide wearable dosimeters that provide measurements of individual radiation exposure.
The tests follow apparent efforts by the TSA to cover-up a “cluster” of cancer cases amongst scanner operators at Boston-Logan airport. According to FOIA documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, when Union representatives in Boston discovered a “cancer cluster” amongst TSA workers linked with radiation from the body scanners, the TSA sought to downplay the matter and refused to issue employees with dosimeters to measure levels of exposure.
The documents indicated how, “A large number of workers have been falling victim to cancer, strokes and heart disease.”
Numerous studies conducted by prestigious universities and health authorities, including Johns Hopkins, Columbia University, the University of California, and the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety, have warned that the devices will lead to an increase in cancers.
January 16, 2012
By Jonathan Benson
“Thank you for making us safe, TSA … and thanks for stealing our stuff too. Imagine how many cases go unreported?” –KTRN
Any normal person found guilty of stealing $40,000 from, say, a bank or an employer, would likely be sentenced to at least five years of prison. But when you work for the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), you can expect to be given special legal treatment and sent on your way.
The Associated Press reports that two former TSA screeners, 44-year-old Coumar Persad and 31-year-old Davon Webb, both of which worked at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, have pleaded guilty to grand larceny, obstructing governmental administration, and official misconduct, for stealing nearly $40,000 from an airport traveler’s luggage. But rather than receive a normal prison sentence for such crimes, the two were sentenced to just six months in prison with five years of probation.
Reports indicate that Persad, who was an X-ray luggage screener at the time, had spotted the wad of cash in a suitcase while monitoring the X-ray screen. He reportedly then contacted Webb, who worked in another baggage area, to watch for the bag and mark it with special tape. Persad later intercepted the bag in another baggage handling area, and proceeded to open it up and take the cash.
All in all, the two thieves snagged $39,980, which was later retrieved by police from the men’s homes. But based on typical sentencing guidelines, the punishment the two men received for their crimes is inadequate, and indicative of the lax manner in which TSA agents who violate the law are treated within the justice system.
January 11, 2012
By Jonathan Benson
No matter how many times the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) claims the machines are safe and pose no threat to travelers or personnel, naked body scanners that emit ionizing radiation are, indeed, a very serious health threat. And Dr. Edward Dauer, head of radiology at Florida Medical Center, agrees, having recently come forward to explain that naked body scanners can cause cancer, particularly in those over age 65 and in women who are said to be genetically prone to developing breast cancer.
“I think it’s potentially a real danger to the public,” Dr. Dauer is quoted as saying by the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Contrary to popular belief, even the so-called “small doses” of radiation emitted from the machines are toxic, and represent “additional exposure” that could lead to the onset of cancer.
The TSA continues to insist that the ionizing radiation emitted from its backscatter X-ray naked body scanner is minimal, and that individuals are exposed to far more background radiation every single day just living their normal lives. But the agency has not provided any solid proof to back this claim, and many experts say that the radiation emitted is concentrated on the skin in a much more harmful way.
In fact, a group of scientists from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), has publicly countered the TSA’s claim that naked body scanners are no more dangerous than background radiation. The group says this claim is highly “misleading” because background radiation on airplanes, for instance, is absorbed by the whole body, whereas during a naked body scan, it is focused directly on the skin and its underlying tissues.