Remember some time back when the Transportation
Sexual Assaulters Security Administration (TSA) promised to have an independent safety study performed on the x-ray body scanners? Neither does the TSA:
Earlier this month, a ProPublica/PBS NewsHour investigation found that the TSA had glossed over research that the X-ray scanners could lead to a small number of cancer cases. The scanners emit low levels of ionizing radiation, which has been shown to damage DNA. In addition, several safety reviewers who initially advised the government on the scanners said they had concerns about the machines being used, as they are today, on millions of airline passengers.
But at a Senate hearing of a different committee last week, Pistole said he had since received a draft report on the machines by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, or IG, that might render the independent study unnecessary.
In other words the government has put their foot down and x-ray scanners are staying regardless of the fact that they may cause cancer. Is there a conflict of interest in having the government perform the review of its own machines? Most certainly. Does the government give two shits about your health? Not at all. Therefore the first question is irrelevant in their eyes.
I contacted a representative of the TSA about this issue and he replied by saying, “HA HA HA HA HA HA! Shut up slave and get in the scanner.” Now that I think about it the man may not have been with the TSA, but he was a registered sex offender which is basically the same thing.
The bottom line is this: the government wants you used to the idea of constant warrantless surveillance. These scanners give them that by ensuring everybody who flies is searched without reason. Even now the TSA is performing warrantless searches in other venues such as truck weigh stations without so much as probably cause. If you think that is the final extent of the TSA’s power you are sorely mistaken, they will continue to expand their influence and I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually see interstate checkpoints staffed by TSA agents. A populace under constant surveillance is much easier to control than one able to go about their business that remains unknown the the government.
No question exists in my mind about whether or not these scanners are going or staying. Were research presented by a well-known and respected institute that proved, with no uncertainty, that these scanners cause cancer we will still not be rid of them. Shortly after such research was released the government would likely release their own counter-research that said the chances of getting cancer from one of these machines is lower than the chances of somebody getting onto a plan with a weapon without the scanners and therefore, for the greater good, these scanners must remain.
As I said before we’re not traveling down the road to fascism, we’ve already reached our destination.