Monday, March 11, 2013

To Tell The Truth

Quietly.  That’s how it began late last September.  Sneaky, stealthy, silent. Don’t attract attention. Keep it on the low down. You’ve got to admit—they’re good at deception.  Of course, they’ve had a lot of practice.
This January the truth came out—against their will.  But they were ready.
ü  Initiate Plan B.
ü  Take the credit for being proactive.
ü  Admit the failure.
ü  Cut your losses.
Spin the story and reassure the public—it’s all about efficiency, not power or money or even safety.  Remember - emphasize efficiency.
76 of 250 nude body scanners began disappearing from airports last fall with no explanation. Until January. “All of the controversial backscatter x-ray body scanners will be removed from TSA checkpoints by June,” the TSA boasted, declaring that this decision was not due to safety concerns, but to speed up checkpoints at busier airports.
I can only hope they broke their own arm while they patted themselves on the back.

See, Congress told the TSA to address privacy concerns or ditch their Rapiscan x-ray machines by last June. (1) Rapiscan couldn’t meet that deadline to change software in the “pornoscanners” from naked images to cartoonish outlines. (2) Now, $45 million dollars worth of peeping toms will be shuttled off to warehouses until they can be set up in other government agencies. (3)
Now that makes sense.  Let the punishment fit the crime. Hopefully one of them will sit permanently  in the doorway to John Pistole’s office.
I've done my part to make America beautiful. After assuming the position in a virtual strip search machine at Sky Harbor Airport last week, I went looking for the promised deadline to remove every single backscatter machine from U.S. airports. We're slipping a little as a world leader, you know. We're one of the last countries still using a dangerous technology outlawed in the UK two years ago.  So here's the good news. They have to pull all Rapiscan machines by June 1 of this year. (4)
Don’t high five your little fig leaves yet.
What they’re not telling us on the TSA’s propaganda site is they’ve already signed a $245 million dollar contract with three companies for more body image scanners. One of those providers is American Science & Engineering, which uses the same backscatter technology as Rapiscan, but has updated software for the required generic body outlines. (5)
“In other words, while passengers may not have their privacy violated anymore, they still will have their health endangered.” (6)
But that doesn’t matter, right?  You can't have everything. And after all, the most important thing to the TSA is efficiency.
Yep. Efficient, quiet deception.



  1. I read this last night but didn't comment because, well, my comment would have included some less than ladylike language. I so despise the TSA and I'd read about them removing the rapiscan machines. But as you pointed out, there was no mention of the planned replacement. Jerks.

    1. Yeah. I had a hard time even finding the deadline for Rapiscan removal, and then was stunned to discover that it hardly even matters. But the media rejoiced in January, didn't they?