Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Security Transportation United States News

Helena Airport Manager Blocks TSA From Taking Full-Body Scanner 221

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-without-my-scanner dept.
OverTheGeicoE writes "TSA recently announced that it would remove all of Rapiscan's X-ray body scanners from airports by June. As part of this effort, it is trying to move a millimeter-wave body scanner from the Helena, Montana airport to replace an X-ray unit at a busier airport. Strangely enough, they have encountered resistance from the Helena's Airport Manager, Ron Mercer. Last Thursday, workers came to remove the machine, but were prevented from doing so by airport officials. Why? Perhaps Mercer agrees with Cindi Martin, airport director at Montana's Glacier Park International Airport airport, who called the scheduled removal of her airport's scanner 'a great disservice to the flying public' in part because it 'removed the need for the enhanced pat-down.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Helena Airport Manager Blocks TSA From Taking Full-Body Scanner

Comments Filter:
  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Monday February 25, 2013 @04:49PM (#43007601)

    I'm thinking Ron may have been doing most unprofessional things at the scanner monitor. Perhaps ween him off the free peep show slowly.

    • by ron_ivi (607351)
      Perhaps the airports should just sell the videos from those machines to subsidize air travel.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @04:57PM (#43007683)

      I think its not quite impossible that he doesn't actually do something wrong.

      If they keep telling you that for safety, you should have such a scanner at your airport, and then want to take it away from you, I don't think you would be happy.

      It likely didn't prove itself in either direction, aka, it didn't show to stop terrorism a lot (since really, there isn't much terrorism), but nor did it show much really negative side effects, so if it was said to be a good thing, why suddenly stop believing in it. Certainly after you likely approved to good thing yourself, wouldn't want to acknowledge its a bad thing now, eh.

      • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:05PM (#43007793) Homepage

        He says the scanner provides an excuse for them to do "enhanced patdowns".

        I don't know what sort of people enjoy giving enhanced patdowns to other people, but know I don't want them in my airports.

        • by cayenne8 (626475) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:12PM (#43007899) Homepage Journal
          Actually, when I go to fly, I do make sure to arrive in plenty of time ahead of flight....and when going through TSA if they don't wave me through the metal detector and instead make me go to the scanner, I refuse and politely ask for the pat down rather than be exposed to the 'radiation'.

          The TSA agents have consistently told me there is no xray or radiation in these, but I smile and ask for the pat down.

          It isn't any big deal so far...but I wish more people would do this as a slight form of protest. If enough people were backing up the lines for pat downs, they might have to rethink using the damned things.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Your comment doesn't make mucht sense. They would rethink using the machines because nobody is using them? Removing them only makes the pad down line longer.

            • by jittles (1613415) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:58PM (#43008503)

              Your comment doesn't make mucht sense. They would rethink using the machines because nobody is using them? Removing them only makes the pad down line longer.

              Incorrect for several reasons. They only do random pat downs when there is no body scanner. They only require the enhanced pat down when someone opts out of doing the body scanner. I've also personally seen them open the metal detectors and let 30-40 people through the metal detector instead of the scanner after I opted out of the scanner and the staff did not know what to do with me. They had me stand in the way of the scanner, which caused such a backup that everyone behind me didn't have to bother with the scanner or the pat down.

          • by Joce640k (829181)

            It isn't any big deal so far...but I wish more people would do this as a slight form of protest. If enough people were backing up the lines for pat downs, they might have to rethink using the damned things.

            It's a government. They'll just spend more money.

          • by wgoodman (1109297)

            I do the same thing. Last time I flew through Glacier International was in early January. They still had the scanner, but I opted for the pat down. I'd rather make them have to touch more balls so they prefer the old method as opposed to just security theater and punishment for opting out.

          • by X0563511 (793323)

            I do the same. I (truthfully) tell them I work with radio a lot, and try to minimize my non-occupational exposure.

          • by Virtucon (127420)

            I do the same thing but I make sure I'm nice and sweaty before doing so. I also push back when waiting that they have me stand over by the Bag XRay Machines. NFW am I standing next to those Radiation Hazards. Flying is bad enough exposure and frankly I still haven't seen an independent study on the safety of these machines by the people screened or by the people using them. http://www.infowars.com/cancer-surges-in-body-scanner-operators-tsa-launches-cover-up/ [infowars.com] The privacy matters are also there as well,

          • by houghi (78078) on Monday February 25, 2013 @06:18PM (#43008709)

            The scanners are not the problem. The patdowns are not the problem. The fact that these things are there is the problem.
            Bullshit things like this airport logic [joyreactor.com] are the problem.
            The fact that almost nobody complains is the problem.
            Another nice read [scientificamerican.com] from scientificamerican.com

            The security theater and everything that comes with it is the real problem.

            • by rsborg (111459) on Monday February 25, 2013 @07:24PM (#43009499) Homepage

              The scanners are not the problem. The patdowns are not the problem. The fact that these things are there is the problem.
              Bullshit things like this airport logic [joyreactor.com] are the problem.
              The fact that almost nobody complains is the problem.
              Another nice read [scientificamerican.com] from scientificamerican.com

              The security theater and everything that comes with it is the real problem.

              Security theatre isn't the problem, it's a symptom of the military-industrial-complex (now branching out into pervasive monitoring and other totalitarian activities). The problem is the idea that we're constantly at war (with other countries, illegal aliens, drugs, sexuality). I'm not a pure libertarian, but this is the most fundamental agreement I have with libertarians: that sacrificing freedom for the appearance of security is a sure sign you're going to lose all your freedoms... one by one.

              TSA and DHS are the latest symptoms of decades-long degradation of war-oriented policy.

          • by peragrin (659227) on Monday February 25, 2013 @06:23PM (#43008763)

            I just stopped flying.

            Why kill your self or debase your self on technology and procedures that are so randomly enforced, that it doesn't do any good anyways.

            They could replace the scanners with a motion detector and a timer, you walk in 5 seconds later it lights up green and you walk through. Every 40 people have it light up red for "enhanced pat downs"

            You could build install it for $5,000 and provide just as much security.

          • I do the same when I go to America for work, not that I've been to America recently, avoid the place like the plague thanks to your TSA and revised visa bullshit (how many terrorists from New Zealand have attacked America again?!).
            When I go to the UK I always go via Asia now as well, far more pleasant experience than via America and it's airports.
            Anyway, rant over

          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:43PM (#43010207)

            For what it's worth, I do pretty much the same thing. I'm not trying to slow down the line (and I suggest you not either, since that actually qualifies as illegal now, if the TSA signage is to be believed). Rather, I just want to make it clear that this is a stupid requirement for air travel.

            Once in Chicago I was waved through the metal detectors when I got to the end and said, "oh, no. I'm not going through that." Unfortunately, my home airport is Austin-Bergstrom International, which seems to be both terribly consistent and consistently terrible. First, they remind me that this is not an X-Ray scanner. (Don't care). Next, they yell opt-out down the chain five times as if this is completely unheard of, and try to figure out where to tell me to stand. I stand there for about 15 minutes before someone comes along to pull me back.

            (This is when you usually see the other mostly-overlooked points of incompetence: the woman in the wheelchair who is asked if she can get up and walk "just 10 feet" through the scanner. The 12 year old girl who walks through, is scanned, and this is sent back through the line as the supervisor reminds the agent in front of the gate that "12 and under includes 12; she doesn't go through". Well, not a second time at least. She also didn't have to take off her shoes, but no one mentioned that. By the time they determine that the handicapped vet's prosthetic arm is not a grievous threat to air safety -- which only took about 5 minutes -- they managed to pull me back past the scanners.)

            At this point I usually wait another 15 minutes. My wife has a lot lower tolerance for bullshit than I do. She used to opt out, but got sick of it. (Too bad. A simultaneous male/female opt out may as well be shutting down the airport. They have nowhere for two people to stand, and not personnel to do the job. For some reason, that is never their fault.) Anyway, by this time she's gone through the scanner, gotten her carry-on, and started to guard my carry-on that's just sitting in the bin where anybody can take it. The white woman milling about the secured area with no apparent reason to be there, rifling through apparently other people's bin doesn't raise an eyebrow. I just stick to my cattle chute -- the two-foot wide pair of rails with a gate, which is oddly only deep enough for one person at a time -- and watch the clock tick by.

            After half an hour or so total, a blue shirt comes over to finally collect my things. I then get to decide whether I want to let the agent get half-way through the enhanced pat-down before I remind him I'm entitled to a private room, or if I get to remind him before he starts so he can sigh and say, "I was getting to that if you'd give me a minute." Sure you were, pal. Five more minutes pass while they try to find a second agent with time to kill to act as witness. Of course, the pat-own itself takes all of two minutes. They don't want to be doing it anymore than I want to suffer through it. That makes me feels a little better about it. Not confident in the process mind you, just glad that a small part of my annoyance is reflected and magnified. I'm also still waiting for the first time this makes me so late that I miss a flight to see how it goes over.

            The sad part is I could probably do the trusted flier program -- Uncle Sam has my prints already -- if I traveled enough to justify the expense. The really sad part is that there is almost no chance of anyone using planes in an attack again, not because TSA is competent, but because it's been done. I'd worry more about someone poisoning Tylenol again than I would about them hijacking a jetliner.

          • by hedwards (940851)

            Which is great if you don't mind having a stranger physically touching you without cause. Getting on an airplane isn't probable cause to conduct such an invasive search. The more people that put up with that crap, the longer it's going to take.

            I've flown on planes in other countries and the Koreans, Chinese and Canadians don't feel the need to engage in such obvious sexual abuse of travelers. But, they still manage to get things confiscated as need be.

            When people are capable of bringing 12" foam cutting bla

        • by jmrieger (2695923) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:12PM (#43007901)
          Think you misread the statement. They liked the machine because having it installed meant that TSA officers *didn't* have to do the enhanced pat-downs.
          • by yurtinus (1590157)
            How *dare* they try to take away my enhanced pat downs! They are the highlight of my trip whenever I fly :(
        • by dcollins (135727) on Monday February 25, 2013 @06:34PM (#43008903) Homepage

          "He says the scanner provides an excuse for them to do 'enhanced patdowns'."

          I'm not going to blast you like some other commenters did, because it's the summary that's bungled, and does in fact literally say what you thought here. But nonetheless, here's what the manager actually said in TFA: "People had become comfortable with the scanner. It certainly did speed the process and removed the need for the enhanced pat-down.”

          • by hedwards (940851)

            Except that it's only true if the goal is security theater. Those devices had well publicized problems where they would miss items placed in its blind spots. Meaning that, you got very little additional security, if any, and people got to be humiliated anyways.

            Keep in mind that the Israelis don't use the technology and neither do the Brits as far as I know. The only reason for the machines at all is that the company that makes them is well connected.

        • by Firehed (942385)

          Please re-read the summary. It says that having the scanner removes the need for enhanced pat-downs. i.e. if they take it away, it will increase the number of pat-downs required.

        • by DRJlaw (946416)

          He says the scanner provides an excuse for them to do "enhanced patdowns".

          I don't know what sort of people enjoy giving enhanced patdowns to other people, but know I don't want them in my airports.

          That is exactly the impression that I got from the summary, but TFA is not nearly so Orwellian. The summary uses "it," but doesn't accurately convey that "it" refers to the scanner, not the removal of the scanner. The article says:

          "People had become comfortable with the scanner. It certainly did speed the proces

        • This shit gets modded up? RTFA people, it quotes the guy as saying the exact opposite.

          Having said that, I got an "enhanced patdown" recently at Moscow Airport. For the first time in my life, (I am male,and have been travelling by air regularly for 20 years), I enjoyed airport security.

          Maybe because patdown was administered by a very alluring blonde lady.

          Ditch the scanners and bring on the hot chicks; watch all the jaundiced business travellers PAY to go through "enhanced" security :)

        • by suutar (1860506)
          actually, reading the article, having the scanner means they don't have to do patdowns on every single flyer.
          • by suutar (1860506)
            I misspoke. "Every single" was never mentioned. But the article does express that they'd rather have the scanner than have to do more patdowns.
        • by amorsen (7485)

          He says exactly the opposite, TFS is just wrong as usual.

          It is the SCANNER which supposedly removes the need for enhanced pat-downs, so supposedly everyone would have to go through those without the scanner. Good luck with that.

      • but nor did it show much really negative side effects,

        Cancer [slashdot.org], miscarriages [prisonplanet.com], naked pictures [gizmodo.com], violation of federal and international laws regarding child pornography [wsj.com], hiring [prisonplanet.com] of actual pedophiles, rapists, and murderers to run the machines...

        Yeah. No really negative side effects here. Move along, Citizen.

    • by Drakonblayde (871676) on Monday February 25, 2013 @06:29PM (#43008829)

      Wrong scanner. This is the milimeter wave scanner that they're not wanting to be removed. The porn scanners are the ones being permanently removed, and they're pulling the milimeter wave scanners out of the smaller airports to replace the porn scanners they're yanking from the bigger airports.

    • by swschrad (312009) on Monday February 25, 2013 @06:33PM (#43008891) Homepage Journal

      the millimeter wave (aka microwave, aka popcorn button) scanner in Helena is newer equipment that does not provide the peepshow images, folks. as such, TSA must deem it too nice to have in Helena. maybe they should do their grope act in New York and Phoenix and other large, visible places instead of out in the hinterlands. show their nonsense act for what it is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:00PM (#43007737)

    The scanner "removed the need for the enhanced pat-down".

    Anyone remember the times before the scanners? There were no enhanced pat-downs, those came with the security theater of scanners. It was just a metal detector and a pat-down was only when the metal detector beeped.

    It seems we're at the point now where we don't question any more whether or not a security measure is useful (haven't seen any proof yet that the pat-down or the scanner are beneficial at all), but the debate is now only about which pointless "security" measure is the preferred method of wasting time and money.

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:10PM (#43007877) Homepage

      (haven't seen any proof yet that the pat-down or the scanner are beneficial at all), but the debate is now only about which pointless "security" measure is the preferred method of wasting time and money.

      Clue: Bad stuff can fit up people's asses. It's how people smuggle drugs through airport security, it's how cellphones get into prisons (complete with chargers!), etc.

      Anybody who's really determined can get a bomb on a 'plane using this method and nothing the TSA does will prevent it. I know it, you know it, Al Qaeda knows it, even the TSA knows it.

      • Dude, if you think that enough (non-nuclear) explosives to bring down a passenger jet will fit up your asshole, then you fail chemistry forever. Same for in your shoes, for that matter.
        • by hawguy (1600213)

          Dude, if you think that enough (non-nuclear) explosives to bring down a passenger jet will fit up your asshole, then you fail chemistry forever. Same for in your shoes, for that matter.

          Even if it can't take down a jet, a big gaping hole in the side of the plane is probably enough to meet the terrorists objectives.

          I've seen enough internet porn to know that a cylinder 2" in diameter x 8" long could be hidden away, with training, a much larger cylinder could be hidden away. But even 2"x8" is 25 in^3, or 411 cm^3

          At 1.63g/cm^3 density, that's 670g of explosive, or about one and a half pounds.

          I think that much high explosive could easily punch a hole through the thin skin of a plane. Or blow

        • Because no one could ever dream of an attack on an airplane where 4 or 5 people were acting in concert, right?
          • by jxander (2605655)

            You're overthinking it.

            Why would you require multiple people working in concert? Sure you're limited to 3oz bottles, but there's no limit on how many 3oz bottles you can bring. One person with 4 or 5 bottles, or hell, 15 bottles ... but a single 4oz bottle, now we've got a problem.

      • by OzPeter (195038) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:32PM (#43008153)

        Anybody who's really determined can get a bomb on a 'plane using this method and nothing the TSA does will prevent it. I know it, you know it, Al Qaeda knows it, even the TSA knows it.

        Anyone who is really interested in disrupting air travel won't even try to smuggle a bomb on a plane. All you need to do is set off a bomb (*) in the middle of the security theatre at a major airport (or for fun synchronized at 2 or 3 airports) and that will scare the US public shitless.

        * Or you could even do what the IRA did in 1994 when they fired mortars at Heathrow airport.

      • by Virtucon (127420)

        Or the SNUKE! in the SNIZZ! [wikipedia.org]

      • by xenobyte (446878)

        Anybody who's really determined can get a bomb on a 'plane using this method and nothing the TSA does will prevent it. I know it, you know it, Al Qaeda knows it, even the TSA knows it.

        A much bigger threat than passengers are airport employees. It was quite the scandal when it turned out that three security employees at Londons Heathrow Airport were illegal aliens with fake documents. Two of these were from Afghanistan by the way, They had full clearance and could roam the entire airport and board planes if they liked. Just think of all the harm they could have done.

        Oh, and airport infrastructure as well. A random check at an airport whose name I don't remember right now prompted by an an

    • by MadCow42 (243108)

      "The time before the scanners" was last week for me. Flying back from Israel, there are no scanners, and no pat downs. But, even though they're one of the most at-risk for terrorist attacks, the have put in place actual security instead of the theater that passes for security here. They profile. They do background checks. They do risk assessment.

      I refuse to use the scanners in the USA, partially due to the unproven safety levels (albeit likely much better with the "newer" ones instead of the backscatte

  • I am unqualified to suggest how the Montana version of the enhanced pat-down might be likely to go, but the Backpage girls want to charge a bit extra...
    • by wgoodman (1109297)

      The last one I had at Glacier International was very brief. He was clearly more uncomfortable about it than I was.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by jxander (2605655)
        Did you moan a bit? I've found that giving a few subtle hints that I'm enjoying the enhanced pat down ends the whole thing very very quickly.
  • by jest3r (458429) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:01PM (#43007765)

    It's certainly a huge waste of taxpayer dollars and makes you wonder why airport fees are so high when these agencies seem to be committing to the wrong technology over and over.

    The TSA has to remove the Rapiscan machines because they couldn't patch the software to remove customer-specific imagery? Why use them in the first place?

    I wonder how much money was flushed down the drain on those babies ... I wonder how long the new machines will last before they get replaced ... and now small airports are back to full body cavity searches which is why these machines existed in the first place ...

    • by characterZer0 (138196) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:04PM (#43007783)

      Money was not flushed down the drain. Money was directed to campaign contributors, friends, family, and other connected members of the political class by way of contracts for unnecessary equipment.

  • I'm sorry, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:03PM (#43007777)

    because it 'removed the need for the enhanced pat-down.

    Or you could just, you know, let people pass through the metal detectors.
    You know, how all airports used to do, and smaller ones STILL do?

    • by mythosaz (572040) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:07PM (#43007825)

      That absurd. It's almost like you're saying that anyone wishing to bypass advanced screening equipment can just go to a regional airport and then catch a flight to a large airport and TA-TAH! be behind security.

      • I'm shocked that people haven't exploited the lax security standards in other countries more. A few years ago, I was flying with a coworker from Mexico City to Detroit. My coworker walked through the metal detector and was not stopped, questioned, or examined in any way. Why is that significant you ask? Because he has a prosthetic leg. I mean, he walked through the metal detector with several guns worth of metal, and the Mexican security didn't even flinch. I'm not sure if they're always so lax, but I
        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @06:19PM (#43008719)

          I'm shocked that people haven't exploited the lax security standards in other countries more. A few years ago, I was flying with a coworker from Mexico City to Detroit. My coworker walked through the metal detector and was not stopped, questioned, or examined in any way. Why is that significant you ask? Because he has a prosthetic leg. I mean, he walked through the metal detector with several guns worth of metal, and the Mexican security didn't even flinch. I'm not sure if they're always so lax, but I can bear witness to this. I know that you get scanned by the TSA once you land in the USA (if you are going on a connecting flight), but what would have stopped someone from hijacking the flight over the USA and doing something bad?

          Fundamentally it's a matter of no one is actually trying to take over/blow up airplanes. That's the main thing that people on the more security side of the argument don't seem to understand.

          It doesn't really matter how crappy your security is when no one is trying to penetrate your security.

          • by jxander (2605655) on Monday February 25, 2013 @07:00PM (#43009263)

            Bingo. Give the AC a cookie.

            The events of 9/11, which ostensibly created the need for these enhanced pat downs and radiation machines, cannot possibly happen again. It took *literally* an hour from the time the first place crashed, for word to spread and the 3rd plane's occupants fought back. In the following days, pilot doors were locked and reinforced, and a new mindset spread amongst airline passengers and pilots. A commercial airliner will not be hijacked again. Everyone knows that, including anyone wishing us harm. They know it and will adjust their targets accordingly.

            Meanwhile, I'm stuck getting groped and irradiated while we search for some hypothetical boogeyman who has long since moved on.

    • by stew77 (412272)

      Or you could just, you know, let people pass through the metal detectors.

      You know, how all airports used to do, and smaller ones STILL do?

      Smaller ones? Heathrow does the simple metal detector routine and they let you keep your shoes on. Not a small airport by my definition.

      Yes, Heathrow in London/UK - the paranoid place with omnipresent CCTV that outlawed carrying a swiss army knife in public and where it's illegal to sell razor blades to minors.

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        uh, what?

        heathrow has gone full TSA. Last time I went through, I got stopped from the dreaded contact solution . I was told I could take the same solution and put it into a smaller bottle, but that large bottle? has to go.

    • How do metal detectors work against drugs & explosives?
  • by tverbeek (457094) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:06PM (#43007815) Homepage
    People love their security theater. In response to employees watching too much scary stuff on 24-hour cable news about shootings, my employer recently instituted some unnecessary and ineffective "security" measures. They seem to be based on the mushy logic that greater security results in inconvenience, so any new inconvenience probably increases security, and the staff seem to find it comforting to have to jump through extra hoops to get from one part of the office to another.
  • Bad editing (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:07PM (#43007829)

    Read the article, he doesn't want to remove it because they don't need to do enhanced patdowns while they have the machine. If they remove the machine, they will have to do the pat downs again.

    • by wgoodman (1109297)

      Enhanced pat downs came *after* the scanners. Why would going back to just metal detectors require enhanced pat downs?

    • Read the article, he doesn't want to remove it because they don't need to do enhanced patdowns while they have the machine. If they remove the machine, they will have to do the pat downs again.

      He must not have gotten the memo.

      At the SFO international airport, when too many people object to the scanning, they just do the "enhanced" pat downs for the first couple of people who objected, and then they just let the rest of the folks who object go through the metal detector unmolested (assuming the metal detector doesn't beep). In other words, when they don't have the extra man power to do all the enhanced pat downs, they just remove the little barrier they have in front of the metal detectors, and t

      • by spasm (79260)

        That's funny, I went through SFO on Saturday and did my usual 'can I get an opt out please' and got the enhanced pat down. Along with a repeat from another person when their new ("we think it's oversensitive") explosives-detector machine decided I was carrying bombs. They were, admittedly, more familiar with the process than some I've seen (one guy in Portland literally burst into a sweat when asking me if there were any parts of my body that were injured or otherwise sensitive to pain - think I might hav

  • by BenJeremy (181303) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:11PM (#43007883)

    "'removes the need for the enhanced pat-down?"

    Telling the TSA to get the fuck out of your airport and re-installing private security with more common sense than your average peanut shell.

    The only reason TSA is pervasive is because it is a government handout, replacing the measures they had in place before 9/11. IIRC, there is absolutely nothing preventing airports from replacing TSA with their own security.

    • by PhxBlue (562201) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:26PM (#43008083) Homepage Journal

      The only reason TSA is pervasive is because it is a government handout, replacing the measures they had in place before 9/11.

      It's risk management. In short, no one wants to be the director of the next Logan International Airport -- the takeoff location for two of the four planes involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

      That doesn't excuse the BS security theater, but it gives the folks in charge an out in the event their airport is the next Logan.

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        It's risk management. In short, no one wants to be the director of the next Logan International Airport -- the takeoff location for two of the four planes involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

        The real kicker: There was no failure of security at Logan. The security people at Logan had no indication that the terrorists were bad news, and the box-cutters the terrorists had were at the time allowed on board.

        • by PhxBlue (562201)

          There may not have been a failure of security on Sept. 11, but there were numerous security failures leading up to that point, as detailed in an October 2001 New York Times article [nytimes.com]:

          In 1999, a 17-year-old boy dressed as a Hasid climbed over a fence, walked to a runway and boarded a plane bound for London. That same year, an investigation by The Boston Globe found 136 security violations at Logan in the preceding two years. Last week The Globe reported that in the last decade, Logan had one of the worst such records among the nation's major airports, especially when it came to tests in which federal agents tried to get fake bombs or guns past security. It was not clear from the federal data that the newspaper analyzed whether all airports were tested with equal frequency, or if Logan was scrutinized more rigorously than others.

          I have little doubt security was one of the factors behind the hijackers' choice of Logan International, along with the availability of trans-national flights that would guarantee a full load of fuel.

    • by Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:39PM (#43008257)

      "'removes the need for the enhanced pat-down?"

      Telling the TSA to get the fuck out of your airport and re-installing private security with more common sense than your average peanut shell.

      The only reason TSA is pervasive is because it is a government handout, replacing the measures they had in place before 9/11. IIRC, there is absolutely nothing preventing airports from replacing TSA with their own security.

      When Texas threatened to make "invasive screening" a misdemeanor [forbes.com] the TSA threatened to shut down all traffic out of Texas airports. I have no doubt that if an airport tried to expel the TSA and install private security that they'd do the same to that airport.

    • by Virtucon (127420) on Monday February 25, 2013 @07:33PM (#43009585)

      Wait, while I agree that the TSA is bad, have you seen the jackbooted idiots who man the Statue of Liberty checkpoints? These military dressed morons go way beyond what the TSA do and they are armed to the teeth. This is beyond the airport style screening you have to go throw to get to the islands. It truly is a lesson in freedom when to go see the symbol of freedom in this country treats everyone going to the island like a suspected terrorist.

      http://www.yelp.com/biz/statue-of-liberty-national-monument-new-york [yelp.com]

      Not my review:

      To board the ferry you must pass through "airport-style" security screening, although removal of shoes is not required. This privately-contracted security screening is not so bad either. It's when you want to enter the museum, or climb the stairs to the crown, that it gets very very bad. Once on the island, further screening prior to entry is handled by The Nazis of Liberty Island, federal employees highly trained in sulkiness, sullenness, antagonism, and hostility, an embarrassment to any Americans proud of freedom or of their national heritage, and a bizarre insult to all visitors, who (as I noted) have ALREADY PASSED SECURITY just to get there.

  • Misleading Headline (Score:5, Informative)

    by pdbogen (596723) <<su.unrec> <ta> <todhsals-negobdp>> on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:17PM (#43007957) Homepage

    Wow. Misleading headline is horribly misleading. Quote from one of TFAs:

    “We’re really disappointed that the TSA is removing them from our airport,” Martin said. “It is a great disservice to the flying public.
    “People had become comfortable with the scanner. It certainly did speed the process and removed the need for the enhanced pat-down.”

    i.e., it's not the "removal of the scanner" that "removed the nead for the enhanced pat-down," as the headline deceptively implies. Rather, the scanner itself removed the need. However, as a seasoned frequent flier, I'm quite acquainted with the fact that security checkpoints that do not have body scanners are not subject to an "enhanced pat-down," as Martin implies in the article.

  • So... how many confirmed terrorist attacks have these scanners actually stopped, that previous procedures wouldn't have? How about drugs smuggling?

    • >>How about drugs smuggling?

      It depends. Do you mean the flying public, or the TSA smuggling drugs? Because I know TSA employees has been busted smuggling drugs.
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      So... how many confirmed terrorist attacks have these scanners actually stopped

      That's easy: Zero. We don't even have to compare them to the previous procedures - they haven't caught one yet.

    • So... how many confirmed terrorist attacks have these scanners actually stopped, that previous procedures wouldn't have?

      Zero. Neither the previous procedures nor these machines have ever caught a single terrorist. Literally no one that the TSA has ever detained has been charged with terrorism, much less convicted. Meanwhile there have been essentially no terrorist attacks anywhere else on US soil for the last decade, so it isn't like the threat ot the TSA's scanners have been enough to convince the terrorists to go elsewhere. There just aren't any in the first place.

      How about drugs smuggling?

      Way too many. Drug smuggling does not constitute an im

  • DEFUND THE TSA (Score:5, Informative)

    by pecosdave (536896) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:23PM (#43008043) Homepage Journal

    The Iron Triangle [wikipedia.org] must be broken.

    I can think of no government agency more deserving of being defunded, though many others should follow.

    • by zr (19885)

      Total killed or kidnapped by terrorism worldwide varies around 40-70 thousand per year. Worldwide.

      Annual TSA budget is $8bn.

      The number of deaths from traffic accidents is around 30 thousand annually in US alone.

      I propose that fedexing half of TSA budget's worth of clean bottled water around the world would save many more lives than TSA could ever hope to.

  • ... to look at during those long Montana winter nights.

  • by horza (87255) on Monday February 25, 2013 @11:11PM (#43011071) Homepage

    I boycotted going to the states for the past decade, but finally succumbed to peer pressure and flew a couple of times to Vegas. The first time I went via NY and didn't encounter the naked scanners. The second time I went they had them both in France and the USA! Each time I politely asked not to go through, and they were very nice about it. They pulled me aside and told me they would find somebody to examine me and my luggage separately. Each time it didn't take long. Each TSA agent I came across stated they would only be touching my penis and testacles with the back of their hand. Honestly I found them actually very polite and honest people doing a shitty job. Sure if I was an American and believed it was a free democratic country I would have been pretty mad, but being a European already warned it was pretty much a Nazi state I was mentally prepared. Not really too bothered about a guy "touching my junk" as I knew that was a prerequisite of visiting America. There was no pressure to push me through the naked scanners though.

    I really feel for you guys :-(. If you can end this ritual humiliation, it will be both good for yourselves and your international image.

    Bon chances mes amis,

    Phillip.

  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @07:20AM (#43012825)

    When Americans have been persuaded to allow their adolescent children to be groped by some mouth-breather who barely scraped through Grade 10 and latched onto his minimum-wage airport job for the "fringe benefits", I guess there's only one conclusion. We can safely assume that, yes, bin Laden got exactly what he wanted as well as what he deserved.

UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things. -- Doug Gwyn

Working...