Radiating, harassing and molesting flyers
by Jim Hightower
Hmmm. Here's a headline that us frequent fliers are not happy to see: "Pilots urged to avoid body scanning."
This refers to "Advance Imaging Technology," which our slap-happy security authorities and the scanner industry have foisted on us — all because a goofball wannabe terrorist attempted — and failed — to detonate his underwear on an airplane in 2009. "Aha," exclaimed the corporate- governmental boondoggle complex, "a new excuse to harass airline customers and soak taxpayers."
Thus, the feds are now buying and installing super-duper, super-invasive x-ray machines that peek right through our clothing to view our privates, on the assumption that we've all got bombs in our undies. But, wait — besides exposing our bodies to screeners, what are these radioactive machines doing to our bodies?
Not a thing, we're assured. Perfectly safe.
However, union leaders for the pilots of two airlines have researched the issue and now declare, "Pilots should NOT submit to AIT screening. Based on currently available medical information, (we've) determined that frequent exposure to (these) scanner devices may subject pilots to significant health risks." Another letter to thousands of pilots not only calls the scanners a potential health risk, but also a "needless privacy invasion."
Excuse me, but if pilots consider this multibillion-dollar system of body probes to be both risky and needless, why should millions of us passengers become the industry's flying guinea pigs? Yes, any traveler can avoid the scanners by requesting a physical pat-down instead. But the pilot unions warn against this alternative, too, referring to the pat downs as somewhere between demeaning and "sexual molestation."
If this is what they call security, who'll protect us from our "protectors?"
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