Chaffetz gearing up for another blow

Discussion in 'Travel Security' started by CelticWhisper, Jun 2, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Just read that Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Justin Amash (R-MI) are proposing amendments 394 and 395 to H.R. 2017 to cut funding for both the acquisition of new nude-o-scopes as well as the maintenance and continued operation of the current ones.

    Please, contact your representatives and urge them to vote in favor of these amendments.
     
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  2. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I am someone who doesn't mind these machines, and think they provide some degree of additional security that the regular magnetometers don't. I'm not seeking to get in a debate, but i would be keen to understand what is promoting the dislike of these machines by at least some people on this board and ft. Maybe I'm missing something and should change my view, or maybe I value the advantages more than I view the costs of the potential disadvantages. I'm posting this here versus ft because I'm hoping for a civil explanation of views, not people attacking me for saying I don't mind the machines.

    Do people dislike the nudeoscopes because they
    A) don't like people seeing semi-detailed views of their privates
    B) think the machines cause bodily damage after some degree of exposure
    C) think the tsa/mfgrs have been msleading about storing images (indeed it sounds like there were some stored images, despite assurances to the contrary)
    D) slow down the security queue
    E) something else

    If you are a disliker, could you share your views as to why? Thanks!
     
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  3. EDIT: This actually came off sounding a touch heated. Please don't think I'm angry with you - I'm not.

    For my part, it's all of the above coupled with the fact that the BKSX machines are supplied by a company with ties to the former Homeland Security secretary, the fact that the "enhanced" patdown seems, by all accounts, to have deliberately been made as invasive as it is in order to convince people to use the machines instead, and the fact that the machines amount to a warrantless, 4th-amendment-violating virtual strip-search. No amount of safety, no number of lives saved, is worth the sacrifice of our Constitutional rights. Security may save lives; principles of liberty make those lives worth living, and thus saving, in the first place.
     
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  4. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Thanks for the post and the preamble. Helpful to hear your point of view. Clearly there are strong views on this, and I'm trying to hear all the reasons why, so I really appreciate it.

    Any others out there who would care to comment?
     
  5. I am in total agreement with the OP's points and would further add that we have no idea of the long-term damage backscatter might do to the human body. (For that matter, we don't know if there will be any long-term damage by MMW either.) The fact that the TSA won't allow screeners who are positioned at these machines to wear dosimeters is, IMHO, very telling. Don't know how old you are but perhaps you are old enough to recall the fluoroscopes used in shoe stores to fit shoes. They were advertised as "safe" but:

    http://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/shoefittingfluor/shoe.htm

    There is no reason on earth that anyone be required to be seen virtually naked or to have to under go a law-enforcement type search of their body to get on an airplane.

    Edited to add: Other objections of mine are that untrained individuals are operating these machines and that the machines are not subject to inspection by the individual states, only by the federal government.
     
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  6. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Cutting the funding for the new machines is smart. But cutting the maintenance budget for existing ones is brilliant.

    Of course monies would simply be re-allocated, but it gives indirect insight as to whether the machines are really working properly.
     
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  7. DesertRose
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    DesertRose Silver Member

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    F) All of the above. For B, I know that the XRay machines have a tiny probability of causing cancer, but that tiny probability averaged over screening billions of people will result in additional cancer cases.
    G) The machines are ineffective. TSA admits they don't know if the machines could detect the underwear bomber if he tried it today.
    H) The machines are not cost-effective. We are spending millions of tax dollars on machines that are violating our privacy, causing cancer, and don't even do what they are supposed to do. There are gaping security holes that could be patched for less money (e.g. screening cargo).

    Oh, and the threat of airplane terror "in a post 9/11 world" is no higher than it was in the 1980s. The whole 'terror threat' thing is ridiculous. Even with no security whatsoever, (think pre-metal detectors on planes) your chances of dying while driving to the airport are much higher than your chances of dying on a commercial airline from any cause, including accidents or terror.

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/01/nate_silver_on.html for a decent summary, and
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation_accidents_and_incidents to refresh your memory on the history of "terror incidents" on airplanes.
     
  8. DesertRose
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    DesertRose Silver Member

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    As long as they retire broken machines instead of using them for CT Scan Theatre. :eek:
     
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  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Shouldn't be that hard to figure out. Put a replica of the underwear bomb on the head of the TSA, make him walk through the scanner and publish the photo as proof of how effective the scanners are (assuming they are).
     
  10. DesertRose
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    DesertRose Silver Member

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    A lot of things should be easy for the TSA to prove, and yet they refuse to do it. <shrug>

    X-ray machines should be able to detect knives and guns, yet TSA misses them all the time, according to the GAO.
     
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  11. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    They can't do that because then a more advanced underwear bomber would exploit the weaknesses revealed in the released image to circumvent existing security measures. Or that would be the justification, at least.
     
  12. FetePerfection
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    FetePerfection Silver Member

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    Cost benefit over risk, unbridled powers of DHS & stripping of forth amendment rights are the reasons I will not voluntarily walk through a NoS. The one and only time I did, I felt like a traitor.
     
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  13. Didn't pass, and my own rep voted against it. Just sent her this letter:

    "Rep. Schakowsky,

    I'm very disappointed to hear that you voted against the anti-body-scanner-funding amendment to HR2017.

    The TSA is an out-of-control organization that must be reined in sooner rather than later, and if depriving them of funding is the most effective way to curb their abuses of Americans' Constitutional rights then we must take steps to cut their funding ASAP.

    I have long been a staunch Democratic voter but at this point I have a moral obligation to cast my vote for only those candidates least tolerant of TSA's antics at our airports. Rep. Schakowsky, please reconsider your stance regarding TSA funding in the future. A vote to supply funds to TSA is a vote against the Constitutional rights of every American man, woman, and child who passes through an airport.

    Sincerely,
    (CelticWhisper)"
     
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  14. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    I disagree. They do nothing to add to security; in fact they decrease security.

    They do not see through folds of skin or inside body cavities, areas which smugglers have utilized for decades (centuries?). Therefore all they do is inconvenience honest people without impacting the terrorists one iota. Any real, trained, dedicated terrorist will have an easier time passing through a nudo-o-scope than they would passing through a mangnetometer.

    We are spending hundreds of millions of dollars (and lining the pockets of the likes of Chertoff) on a fraud.
     
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  15. bonnerbl
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    bonnerbl Gold Member

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    B) the machines are not safe
    C) the TSA isn't forthcoming on any issue let alone this one
    D) it definitely slows down the security queue
    E) the machine are ineffective.
     
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  16. Critic
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    A) YES - a strip-search shouldn't be required as a condition of travel. In general, one should not have to surrender their civil liberties as a condition of travel.
    B) YES - these machines (especially the backscatter x-rays) have not been properly tested for prolonged exposure, and TSA is not being forthcoming about radiation levels per exposure.
    C) YES - we know for a fact that TSA has lied about the AIT units not being able to store images.
    D) YES - the current implementation (with the 'operator' in the remote room) requires a significant delay before a pax with no anomalies can be cleared.
    E) YES - the AIT units deployed by TSA are ineffective at detecting explosives (among other things). These units were rushed into heavy deployment following the 12/25/09 BVD bomber, and yet it's been documented that these same units would not have detected the device used in that attempted attack. In general, they're not much more effective at primary screening than WTMD.

    AIT, like most of TSA's efforts, are more 'security theater' than actual security.
     
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  17. mrsmortis
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    mrsmortis Silver Member

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    That and the fact that they are delibrately blocking scientific research by reputable institutions on the medical saftey of the devices. Why should I trust the one report that has been published and they paid for any more that the research published decades ago by the tobacco industry to prove that smoking wasn't a health risk.
     
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