NOTE: THIS REPORT WAS FIRST WRITTEN IN EARLY 2010
Imagine this: It’s Christmas time and your mother from up north has invited you and the family to come and spend the Holiday season with her. She’s so excited about seeing the grandkids she’s even bought the airline tickets. Upon arriving at the airport, you see an unusually heavy amount of police cars, freighting in their backseats what appear to be normal, everyday people who, like you, are just trying their best to make their flight and visit their out-of-state family members.
“No big deal” you think to yourself as you shuffle into the security line, paying no attention to the complaints echoing off from the sea of tired travelers. Finally getting to the front of the screening process, you notice futuristic-looking machines, each containing an individual person. Adjacent to the phone-booth-looking machines you see two overweight security officers wearing TSA attire that are rigorously and thoroughly feeling all up and down the other travelers.
After a brief argument with the wife about who’s at fault for neglecting to investigate exactly what airports had the new body scanners, you decide to send your 16-year old daughter and 10 year old son through the machine while you and your wife receive the “advanced pat-down.”
“No one’s going to touch my kids” you assure yourself as you and your wife begin lining up. Suddenly, the atmosphere turns into something dreadful. A day that started off thinking about nothing more than your vacation is now one where your wife is being groped by a large woman with a tattoo on her arm that reads “I Love Beavers” while your daughter is raising and lowering her arms at the command of a group of men standing behind a monitor. They laugh and point and snicker while staring at the screen that shows off that push-up bra her mom bought her for her birthday.
And then your son goes in; in at which time the group of men shift their attention to another one of the screens. Except for one little man, who stays behind; he’s weird and creepy-looking and is sporting a strange grin on his face. You wanted to protest, but the larger man behind you had his hand going side to side along your testicles, and you were unable to find the words because you were frozen in fear, and trembling at the serpentine scenario unfolding before your eyes.
After it’s all finished, you’re given the clear to continue onto the plane. Being the man of the family though, you feel the irresistible urge to raise a complaint against these sick people. And before you know it, you’re in the backseat of a cop car, being told that you will probably be facing heavy fines with your name going onto a Federal Government terrorist watch list.
Is this only a nightmare? Or have you forgotten sitting in your High School English class reading George Orwell’s prophetic Nineteen-Eighty-Four, quietly thinking to yourself that Winston Smith’s totalitarian society – controlled with thought crime and camera screens on every street corner – was only some figment of an author’s imagination; that it could only happen in the literary world and most certainly not here in the Land of the Free.
Since the Naked Body Scanner issue has been covered by every newspaper, TV show, radio program, webzine and magazine in the World, you would surely know by now that – no – this is in fact the new American reality.
Just a mere few weeks after the controversial extravaganza went live on the media market, the abuse of these porno scanners began their inevitable documentation. In November alone, over 900 complaints against the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) have been filed with the ACLU. Amongst such disturbing examples: A man stricken with cancer who became so distraught he urinated on himself; a woman who was subjected to a full groin search after her feminine napkin produced a burly image on the screen; and a young big-breasted girl who says she was targeted out for “additional screening” by TSA Agents, rather obviously she says. “The TSA agent used her hand to feel under and between my breasts,” another woman said, “she then rammed her hand up into my crotch until it jammed into my pubic bone.”
The background for this evasive tyranny starts on December 25th of last year, when 23-year old Umar Farouk Adbulmatallab boarded Northwest Airlines on a flight headed from Amsterdam to Detroit. Umar’s intention was to ignite a plastic explosive device strapped to his underwear. In a change of events which turned out unfortunate for Umar, and oppositely for the Government, the fundamentalist asshole had his plot thwarted by vigilant passengers. Just days after the incident, our War and Empire-obsessed Congress awarded multi-million dollar deals for two of its Military contractors. One, Rapiscan, was given $173 million. The other, L-3 Communications – a favorite amongst the Complex’s accommodators, receiving $5.1 billion from the Pentagon in 2006 – had this time reached an agreement of $165 million.
Further solidifying the cozy relationship between our Elected Officials and the Multi-National Corporations that pull their strings (Journalist Nick Turse’s book The Complex is a must read on the subject) is the fact that L-3 Communications has doled out more political cash this election cycle than at any other time, the Center for Responsive Politics has found. $466,300 between Jan. and Oct. 2009 – a 26 percent increase above Company’s ’06 contributions. Of that, Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Miss), the chairman of the – gasp! – House Homeland Security Committee, received $8,000 from the L-3 Communications PAC.
The TSA is another tentacle of Homeland Security – itself a part of a larger, world-wide Complex. One of its original designers, Congressman John Mica (R-FL) has called it a “bloated, ineffective bureaucracy with over 66,000 employees.” With an annual cost that started with $0.7 billion in 2001 – ballooning to $6.9 billion in 2010 – Mica could be right seeing as they couldn’t even prevent Umar from boarding an airplane, despite the suspicious and unanswered fact that he had no passport, no identification and was already listed on a terrorist watch list.
Ah, but we needn’t fear now. There won’t be any more Umar’s or Osama’s; no more scary Arabs out to kill us; or multivocal terrorists out to destroy our Freedoms. Instead, the threat comes from Federal thugs who are so brazen they now tell you that you are under their control. The list of such ambiguous apprehensions wrought upon us by the Government to instill fear is so petty and illegitimate compared to the real and frightening tyranny they now take advantage of in wake of such beguilement.
Take for example the growing concern raised by a number of doctors and scientists who warn that such radiation exposure could result in adverse health effects. A group of such learned individuals from the University of California at San Francisco sent a letter to Obama’s science and technology advisor John Holden in April. To wit, the letter disclosed some concerns you’d usually have when being pushed through a machine that generates radiation waves.
Close contact, they say, could present an increase in cancer – especially in the case of elderly persons – as well as mutilated sperm cells, and of course, the dangers poised to children still in their mother’s womb. They emphatically added that such machines have not been verified as safe by independent research. Don’t worry though: the Government never – ever! – fucks anything up. As a test of sorts, the next time you’re put into a Body Scanner ask the TSA Agent behind the lead wall why he’s standing behind it in the first place.
Paul Craig Roberts, creator of Reaganomics-turned maverick Empire-hunting essayist has also made things a lot clearer in regard to the “terrorist” aspect with one of his recent articles. “If Americans were more thoughtful and less gullible, they might wonder why all the emphasis on transportation when there are so many soft targets.” Craig continues: “Shopping centers, for example. If there were enough terrorists in America to justify the existence of Homeland Security, bombs would be going off round the clock in shopping malls in every state. The effect would be far more terrifying than blowing up an airliner.”
Indeed, as might have been foretold, John Pistole, the FBI agent-turned Administrator of the TSA – and all-around scumbag – has said that the time is nearing where we need to protect trains and subways. How long will it be before that trip downtown for groceries turns into an all-day event, filled with Body Scanners and armed goons on every bus station and train station from Pasadena to Manhattan?
Since there only 60 or so airports in the Country currently using the Scanners (only about 2 percent) one can only presuppose what this scheme is all about: Incremental implementation of complete Government control over our society. Pistole has repeatedly said that the screening process will not change anytime soon. In that case, it should only be expected to get worse.
And what have all these draconian mandates brought for Pistole and HomeLand Security Chief Janet Napolitano? Aside from the endless amount of scathing criticism – a lawsuit filed from the Harvard Law Students. They say, correctly I think, that the Scanners and policies of the agencies involved are in contempt for violating the Fourth Amendment; prohibiting unreasonable search and seizure.
Actually, the worst of it isn’t even known. Not yet. A letter sent to Representative Thompson specifically stated that the machines had the capability to retain and export images. Apparently, this happens quite often at the facilities where they train new employees. Naturally, the letter stipulated that it was for “testing and evaluation only.” Unfortunately, the human factor tells us something entirely different: That the corrupt, minimum wage-earning Federal Agents – at least a couple of which have had serious sexual offenses on their records – are more than able and willing to commit insidious acts upon the rest of us. While it may or may not become an epidemic, the question must be asked: Why should we trust them in the first place? And ultimately: How long before underground websites start propping up dealing in smuggled “Scanner-Porn”?
What then, is the difference between some TSA Agent who gropes, fondles and peers at men, woman and children, and this guy named “Python” who I knew in prison, who was doing five years upstate in a California prison for feeling up his female patients when they were under anesthesia? The answer: One waves a big bright Flag, deals in billion dollar bills, and has the backing of the U.S. Federal Government. The other is just a weirdo, without a badge, who happened to get caught doing something which would have otherwise been seen as illegal, let alone immoral.