November 22, 2011
Dallas, Texas, USA
There are a lot of things to detest about traveling in, out, and through the United States. Coming in through customs can be one of the most demeaning experiences ever as the agents from the Department of Homeland Security tend to treat everyone like criminal terrorists.
Then there’s the TSA… standing there supervising the mass assembly line of fake security, crowned by the radiation-dousing body scanners.
The TSA currently uses two types of technology– millimeter wave scanner, and backscatter X-ray. Backscatter is the more insidious of the two as it emits ionizing radiation that is generally considered to be carcinogenic.
Not to worry, though, the TSA is armed with plenty of propaganda to make Americans feel good about their radiation baths. From the TSA website:
“Since imaging technology has been deployed at airports, more than 99 percent of passengers choose to be screened by this technology over alternative screening procedures. According to a new CBS poll, 4 out of 5 Americans support the use of advanced imaging technology at airports nationwide.”
So there you have it– since most Americans don’t care about the radiation from body scanners, neither should you! So GET BACK IN LINE!
Curiously, late last week the European Commission issued a new ruling suggesting that such x-ray technology is medically hazardous, and that “[i]n order not to risk jeopardising citizens’ health and safety, only security scanners which do not use X-ray technology [will be] added to the list of authorised methods for passenger screening at E.U. airports.”
Given the serial bailout and sovereign debt debacles on the continent, this may be the smartest thing to come out of Europe since Albert Einstein.
To clarify, travelers in the United Kingdom do not get this reprieve; the British Transport Secretary recently affirmed that ALL travelers in, out, and through the UK would be required to pass through body scanners. In other words, you soon won’t be able to ‘opt-out’ in the UK.
The US is definitely headed in this direction. And make no mistake, it has nothing to do with security and everything to do with control. Anytime the government takes away a bit of freedom and obliges the people to do something, it’s all to send a message: “We are in charge. You are not.”
Tens of millions of Americans are going to fly through US airports this week, each of whom will be subjected to these procedures. If these statistics are to be believed, most won’t care… and they’ll dutifully stand in line to remove their shoes and be doused with radiation.
If you’re in the minority who does care, my advice is to find another security line.
To give you an example, when I fly out of DFW airport, my international flight will be out of terminal D. The D terminal is equipped with body scanners. Instead, though, I’ll go through security in terminal A where there is at least one security checkpoint with no body scanner, and then I’ll take the tram to terminal D within the secure area.
And then I won’t come back for a really long time.