Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Publish My Body Scan, Make Me A Star!

Baroness Neville-Jones, the UK government's security chief, was stopped at Heathrow with an oversize aerosol can in her hand-baggage. When security officials upbraided her for trying to bring banned objects onto a plane, she reportedly railed at them:
The Baroness was ticked off by border staff, who did not recognise her. But she took offence when they told her how important security is.  The 71 year old Baroness, known for being haughty, ranted:
"Of course I know how important it is, I'm the Security Minister."
Ironically, the former head of the British Joint Intelligence Committee was on her way to discuss the war on terror with US Security Chiefs. Her outburst at Heathrow Airport came just two days before the ink cartridge containing explosives was found in Britain on a US-Bound cargo plane. A Whitehall source said:"No one could believe it when they heard about the rant. After all the border staff were only doing their job."

Flying today is not the most pleasant experience not to mention the lost hours attempting to move through security, but that is somehow fine. Just a few weeks ago, the TSA had me remove a tissue from my pocket and then handed me a tray so I could send it through for a security check. Wow, did I feel safer with that brilliant exercise. Do they actually believe that makes us safer?

Maybe it's clear to others, but I can't see how this process has been fair at all to travelers who actually have better things to do besides waiting in lines. Even worse, it's unproven and ineffective. It also leaves many feeling that the security procedures were more about maintaining a level of fear among the public (to keep them on board with the overreach) than actual security. What is especially frustrating is that neither political party seems to give a damn.

 Despite knowing for decades that terrorists could sneak bombs onto planes, the U.S. government failed to close obvious security gaps amid pressure from shipping companies fearful tighter controls would cost too much and delay deliveries.

Intelligence officials around the world narrowly thwarted an al-Qaida mail bomb plot last month, intercepting two explosive packages shipped from Yemen with UPS and FedEx.
Instead, we have to live with full nude body scans, invasive, dehumanizing groping searches. That's fine for an exhibitionist like me...Heck if they'd only ask, I'd personally autograph their file on my genitalia....but there's a point where it becomes a show, a performance that only masks the true ineptitude of their ability to think outside of the box. What more are you willing to give up for the facade of false security?

National Opt Out Day is scheduled for Nov.24. There is an organized protest to body scanning and invasive pat down searches being planned for that day....find out more HERE.

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