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Washington Post Sells Radiation-Firing Naked Imaging Scanners
Corporate media goes on the offensive in favour of electronic strip searches

Steve Watson
Thursday, Jan 7, 2010

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The Washington Post has become the latest corporate media outlet to advertise for mass implementation of naked body scanners in all U.S. airports following the failed Christmas day plane bomb attempt.

In an editorial that reads more like a sales pitch, the Post runs with the headline "There's nothing to fear from the use of full-body scanners at airports."

"Ever Since Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly tried to blow up Northwest Flight 253 with explosives in his underwear, a debate has begun anew over the use and usefulness of full-body scanning technology that would have detected his secret cargo," The editorial states, failing to mention the fact that according to designers of the body imaging machines, they would NOT have detected his secret cargo.

"The privacy concerns raised by these machines are understandable. But the precautions taken at every step to guard passenger privacy should allay any fears." the editorial states, as it alleges that all images produced by the scanners are fuzzy and blurred, a claim clearly contradicted by readily available examples that show high quality detail of naked male and female bodies.

The piece also claims that the ability of the machines to store, transmit or print images is disabled when they are delivered to airports.

"Considering Mr. Abdulmutallab's success at getting a concealed explosive aboard an aircraft, thought must be given to making full-body scans a mandatory and primary security screen." the Post piece continues, without highlighting the safety issues concerning the firing of ionizing radiation at the body, which effectively "unzips" DNA, according to scientific research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

One would be forgiven for thinking that the writers of the editorial were on the same payroll as former Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff, such is the eagerness of the piece to sell the machines.

The editorial also refers to the passage in the House last June of an amendment brought by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) to ban "strip-search" imaging at airports, a proposal he has reiterated his support for since the failed bombing attempt.

"You don't have to look at my wife and 8-year-old daughter naked to secure an airplane," Chaffetz said at the time.

"You can actually see the sweat on somebody's back. You can tell the difference between a dime and a nickel. If they can do that, they can see things that quite frankly I don't think they should be looking at in order to secure a plane," Chaffetz told the House.

"The Chaffetz amendment has yet to pass the Senate -- and it shouldn't." The Washington Post assertively concludes.

The Post joins scores of other corporate media sources in it's unreserved praise of the body scanners. In a Globe and Mail article published this week, University of Ottawa professor Mark Salter gushes over the virtual strip searches, concocting a bizarre twist of logic argument that the machines actually increase privacy. This viewpoint flies in the face of that of surveillance experts who note that the scanners will do nothing to make air travel safer.

Of course, we shouldn't be surprised given that the vast majority of the corporate media is owned wholesale by the very military-industrial complex set to land huge profits from the sale of thousands of the naked imaging scanners.

As we have previously documented, the plan to implement the scanners on a mass scale was in the works before the Christmas day incident. In October last year the TSA announced plans to expand the passenger electronic strip search program. In November, The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit challenging the Department of Homeland Security's failure to make public details about the agency's Whole Body Imaging program. On December 17, just one week before the failed bombing, EPIC also filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice concerning the use of the screening devices.

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