What’s The Fuss About Full Body Scanning Equipment In Airports?

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Conservatives hate it and the ACLU hates it.  And for the same reason: privacy invasions.  I'm talking about very modern scanning devices in airports which allow TSA authorities to see what you may be carrying under your clothes, without you having to actually remove your clothes.  Nobody seems to like these things, which is why Democrats and Republicans in Congress overwhelming voted against them.

But why?  Let's think about this.

First of all, from our perspective, it's just like walking through those little airport metal detectors we walk through now.  Big deal.

And the people who will get to see our "naked" bodies? 

Well, first of all, we won't be completely naked in the way we might imagine.  To those viewing us through these machines, we will look something like this (although, presumably, without the weapons).


Ooooooh.  How titillating.  (Not!) 

And by the way, the person looking at your image (it will be a woman for women passengers, and a man for male passengers) will be in another room so you won't even have to look them in the eye if you have body issues.  Nor, of course, will the images of you be flashed on some big public screen for everyone and God to see.  I mean, is this what people think will happen?

In truth, these poor TSA people will be looking at thousands of pounds of excess fat and flesh everyday — I hardly think we should worry about them getting all worked up, positively or negatively, about anyone's "naked" body.  If anything, those TSA security workers deserve our sympathy.

In fact, it takes a certain amount of arrogance to think that a TSA officer, who will view hundreds of vague naked images everyday, is going to give a damn (in a good way or a bad way) about the size or shape of your boobs or genitalia.  I mean, really.

Xray_specs And come to think of it, is the full body scanning equipment any less invasive than someone waving a wand at you, or patting you down, or a dog sniffing at your crotch?

So I hardly think this is a huge invasion.  And what do we get in return?  Well, the Christmas Day underwear terrorist would never have gotten on board.  That ought to tell you.

Seems to me like implementation of this equipment is a no-brainer.  But…. this is America, land of the prude.  We'd rather explode in a fireball of flesh and metal airplane parts than let someone have a glimpse at a gray computerized representation of our whatsits and yahoos.