MINNEAPOLIS — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura sued the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration on Monday, alleging full-body scans and pat-downs at airport checkpoints violate his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.Ventura is asking a federal judge in Minnesota to issue an injunction ordering officials to stop subjecting him to “warrantless and suspicionless” scans and body searches.
A leading Israeli airport security expert says the Canadian government has wasted millions of dollars to install “useless” imaging machines at airports across the country.
Dear Mr. Hamilton:
Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) use of whole-body imaging scanners and pat-downs. I appreciate the time you took to write and welcome the opportunity to respond.
As you may know, the TSA began using advanced imaging technology (AIT) in February of 2007. These scanners produce a three-dimensional image of passengers, allowing TSA officials to quickly and efficiently search for prohibited carry-on items. Following the attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 over the United States on December 25, 2009, the TSA has accelerated scanner installation, placing 450 whole-body imaging scanners across the country.
I understand you have concerns that full-body scanners and pat-downs may pose privacy concerns. You may be interested to know that the TSA has taken steps to ensure every passenger’s privacy. Specifically, images from AIT machines are viewed in a remote location, away from the screening process. Once the TSA official has viewed the image, that image is then permanently erased. In addition, only passengers who alarm a walk-through metal detector or a whole body image scanner or opt out of the AIT machines are subject to a pat-down. These pat-downs are performed by same-gender TSA officers and all passengers have the right to a private screening with a witness at any time.
I believe the failed Christmas Day bombing plot is a reminder that it is important to meet our critical national security needs. I understand these procedures have caused inconvenience and discomfort for passengers; however, critics of these security screenings must consider the possible consequences of relaxing our security measures. Protecting American lives from terrorist attacks is, and must be, the nation’s highest priority. Please know that I value your opinion and will keep your concerns in mind as I work to strengthen airport security, while continuing to protect individual privacy.
If you have general concerns about TSA policies, I would encourage you to visit http://www.tsa.gov to view current policies for travelers. Additionally, if you have not already done so, I would encourage you to contact the TSA directly to share feedback about current policies. This may be done either by phone at (866) 289-9673 or by email at TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov.
Once again, thank you for writing. Should you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.
United States Senator
Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the Nation are available at my website http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/. You can also receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing to my e-mail list at http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ENewsletterSignup.Signup. Feel free to checkout my YouTube page http://www.youtube.com/Senatorfeinstein
Mobile Prison Guard Towers Coming to a Walmart near You. Unbelievable!
“Fuck you, Fuck all you cocksuckers, you wont change anything. ride the bus, TSA is here to stay there [sic] doing a great job keeping americia [sic] safe.”
The message was clear enough. It’s a typical hate message one gets for saying anything controversial about anything in this Land of the Free. But someone traced the source and found it had come to We Won’t Fly from someone at the Department of Homeland Security:
Jack Cafferty asks: Is the TSA going too far when it makes a 4-year-old disabled boy remove his leg braces?
Shawn Hamilton answers: “Yes, Jack. We’re glad you finally noticed.”
Note: This isn’t a recent story but from February 2010. It shows that the new TSA policies, reprehensible and misguided as they are currently, are not a new phenomenon. TSA has been focusing its laser eyes and giving “freedom pats” to infants, disabled people, and our elders for a long time.