Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:13

Obama's Ad. Airport Searches Are Naked Shakedowns

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As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, the Obama administration is going overboard to ensure airline passenger safety. In a response to the infamous “Underwear Bomber,” intrusive and potentially harmful naked body scanners are being placed at airports throughout the country. While TSA officials claim that the scans are private and will not be released to the public, scanned body images saved by U.S. Marshals in Florida have already appeared on the Internet.

The scanners could also be emitting dangerous radiation and pose a particular health concern for people with HIV and other diseases as well as children. According to a scientific analysis from the University of California at San Francisco, “the potential health consequences need to be rigorously studied before these scanners are adopted. Modifications that reduce radiation exposure need to be explored as soon as possible,”

If people object to the naked body scans, they are being subjected to rigorous groping by TSA officials. There have been reports that TSA agents have pulled down the blouse of a female traveler and exposed her breasts. Another woman has complained that her breasts were squeezed and twisted by TSA officials. During a recent visit to the airport, radio talk show host Owen JJ Stone was inappropriately touched by a TSA agent, who pulled down his pants and touched his genitalia and backside. We can expect plenty of lawsuits as this entire security apparatus will be challenged in court.

In the meantime, it is time our country had a serious debate about what is happening at our airports. In the name of security, how much dignity and freedom are we willing to sacrifice? This new policy is offensive is many different areas, but primarily it is a violation of basic human dignity. It is an infringement of our precious freedoms as Americans that are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. According to U.S. Representative Ted Poe (R-TX), the body scanners are “…a violation of the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Poe believes that there “must be a better way to have security at airports than taking pornographic photographs of our citizens, including children.”

Of course there are much better ways of providing security, such as using trained bomb sniffing canines and rigorous profiling. Sadly, we are too captive to the disease of political correctness to make the right security moves, so we are making all airline passengers suffer. In Israel, security officials employ established profiling techniques to identity potential threats. As a result, there has never been a terrorist attack on an Israeli airliner. In this country, we were too worried about political correctness to take effective action and profile suspect passengers. So, elderly grandmothers, Catholic nuns, and even young children are subjected to rigorous groping by TSA security agents. Instead of profiling Muslims, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is considering granting special favors to women wearing burqas. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) believes that Muslim women should not be subjected to a full body pat-down and only should be touched around the head and neck. It is outrageous that this request is even being considered. If the full body scanners and groping is the new policy at airports, everyone should be subjected to the same humiliating treatment.

Along with the terrorists who are laughing at the freedoms we are sacrificing in the name of security, the big winners in this debacle are the manufacturers of the full body scanners, who are profiting handsomely from this new policy. Interestingly, the lobbyist for this manufacturer is none other than former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff. He is using his connections and influence to shape policy, as he has advocated the full body machines for several years. One of his firm’s clients is a manufacturer of the full body scanners. In Poe’s view, Chertoff is nothing more than a “political hack” that “made money hawking these full body scanners.” To say the least, Chertoff’s lobbying activities are troubling and should be investigated to see if any there have been any violations of the law.

How far will this go? While all of this scanning and stripping is going on, it will take longer to travel, leading to more frustration. If these invasive procedures continue, the airline industry will suffer. Americans are not comfortable with these new procedures and will opt to travel by car, train or bus. This will harm our overall economy at a time of national recession.

Ironically, there is no guarantee that these new procedures will prevent another attack. The new scanners do a poor job of identifying explosive gels and plastics, which is what the “Underwear Bomber” used. The machines will also not identify any bombs that are hidden in body cavities. Recently in Saudi Arabia, a terrorist placed a bomb in his rectum in an effort to destroy the Saudi royal family.

Eventually, TSA officials may determine that a naked strip search will be necessary. So, naked traveling might be the only answer to our dilemma. No worries about hidden bombs, our entire body will be exposed for our intrusive friends at the TSA.

While nudists may not mind the direction this is going, most Americans are outraged that their dignity is being so violated. It is time we insisted that the United States of America remain a free society and not become the type of police state which we have fought throughout our country’s existence.  

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at E-mail him at


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