Vail Daily letter: Security scam, I’m sure |

Vail Daily letter: Security scam, I’m sure

Dave Kraft
Vail, CO, Colorado

The nonchalance with which the Vail Daily covered the installation of naked body scanners at Eagle County Regional Airport really stopped me dead in my tracks. I paraphrase the article here: “95 percent of people will go through the scanners.”

So the 5 percent that won’t be subjected to a bold and aggressive violation of Fourth Amendment rights are subject to an even far more blatant flogging of their inalienable rights? Think again if you believe going through the naked body scanners will save you from being felt up by strangers in plain view of the public.

The TSA tricked me at Denver International Airport into going through the naked body scanner when an agent told me, “This is what you have to do to fly today,” indicating there was absolutely no choice.

I had never heard of the devices or understood what they were used for at that point. Before I knew what hit me, I was standing inside the scanner with my hands raised as if under arrest. I was shocked to see a naked picture of myself on TV.

So after they see a naked picture of me, that’s not good enough? The agent proceeded to frisk me anyway and then played a game of Simon Says. The agent said, “Ask me if it’s OK to go.” I said, “Come again?” He repeated, “Ask me if it’s OK to go.” I said, “Is it OK to go?” He said, “No,” and frisked me again, finding nothing. I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, and I wondered what the whole thing was about.

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I soon discovered this new level of assault on privacy was being justified by the “Underwear Bomber” incident. But the order was placed by Homeland Security for the scanners long before the “Underwear Bomber” incident at $180,000 each. I find that really intriguing.

What did the witnesses aboard the plane say about the event? The most well-documented and credible account is that from Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Haskell, of Michigan, both attorneys. It’s easy to find Mr. Haskell’s eyewitness account by searching Youtube or Google. Here is one hyperlink to his account:

If I could summarize it, Haskell describes how a drugged out and disheveled looking young black man attempted to board his flight without a passport.

The ticket agent in Frankfort, Germany, rightfully said there was no way he could travel without a valid passport. There was a well dressed Asian Indian man who accompanied the young man who tried to persuade the agent to allow the man to board anyway. When the agent said there was no way without a passport, Haskell thought that was the end of it.

The Haskells were shocked to later see the same disheveled, drugged-out man on their flight, minus the well-dressed Asian Indian.

Later, this same man tried to ignite a bomb in his underwear and was stopped by the passengers. Was there ever any real danger? Turns out the type of explosive he had could not be detonated by the burning fuse he had.

The whole incident was staged to scare the hell out of people and into accepting even more severe violations of their constitutional rights than the tyrannical Patriot Act. The body scanner purchase made millions of dollars for the cronies of Michael Chertoff, head of Homeland Security, who later resigned and went to work for the very company that made the body scanners. No conflict of interest there.

The TSA is nothing more than security theater if they don’t subject the plane cleaning crews to the same scrutiny as passengers every single time they board a plane.

Security is only as strong as its weakest link, just like engineering a cable for a construction crane. It does not matter if you have brand new cables if the hook at the end is old, fatigued and about to break.

Were any competing bids taken by Homeland Security for their microwave experiment on the traveling public? Ask yourself that next time you submit to the TSA body scanners. They will tell you it’s as harmless as a dental X-ray. Even if that’s true, I don’t want a dental X-ray every time I fly. There’s a very similar story to the underwear bomber told by witnesses aboard the shoe bomber’s flight, the reason we must take off our shoes to fly.

Dave Kraft

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