These grossly invasive contraptions were rushed into use immediately after the infamous Christmas Day underwear bomber incident—an incident in which the presumed perpetrator was helped aboard his flight by the CIA. It later came to light that Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of Homeland Security, is a shill for one of the manufacturers of the devices.
Oh, and did we mention that the head of Columbia University’s Center for Radiological Research, among other specialists, has said the machines might give you cancer? Don’t believe that others agree? Just Google “body scanners cancer.”
Many frequent fliers complain they’re time-consuming or invade their privacy. The world’s airlines say they shouldn’t be used for primary security screening. And questions are being raised about possible effects on passengers’ health.
“The system takes three to five times as long as walking through a metal detector,” says Phil Bush of Atlanta, one of many fliers on USA TODAY’s Road Warriors panel who oppose the machines. “This looks to be yet another disaster waiting to happen.”
The machines — dubbed by some fliers as virtual strip searches — were installed at many airports in March after a Christmas Day airline bombing attempt. The Transportation Security Administration has spent more than $80 million for about 500 machines, including 133 now at airports. It plans to install about 1,000 by the end of next year.
Read more at USA Today.