Totally Sexually Assaulted: The TSA’s New Full Body Scanner Has Many Americans Furious

By Ben Mason
Elm Alumni Columnist

By now I’m sure many of you, dear readers, have heard about the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) controversial use of full-body image scanners in airports all across the country. If you haven’t been reading or watching the drama unfold, you should be. But before I begin a discussion of what I think the TSA should look like and operate in the future, let me first clear up some of the myths and underline some of the facts about the new body scanners.

First and foremost, let me make it perfectly clear that the new body image scanners at airports in the U.S. allow TSA officers to see you naked. Unlike normal X-ray machines, which allow people like doctors to see your bones and any metal on or inside your body, these new scanners allow the person viewing the image to see your flesh. When you walk through the scanner at the airport everyone who can see the screen will no longer have to wonder what you look like without your clothes.

Second, yes, these new scanners do give off X-rays. Don’t let an ignorant Transportation Security Officer (TSO) tell you otherwise. Many pilots and flight crews are becomingly increasingly worried for their health as they pass through these scanners multiple times a day. Sure, you have to get your teeth X-rayed or your swollen arm looked at every so often, but do the doctors stay in the room with you when it happens? Of course not, because they would be potentially exposed to the rays several times each day.
Third, yes, there is a reason these scanners were invented. They will see anything you’re trying to hide on your body. Pistol strapped to your penis? Caught. Bullets beneath your breasts? Caught. A conventional X-Ray would still be needed to see inside the body, but even an ordinary metal detecting wand would suffice. In fact, one of the main complaints about the current doctrine that the TSA is working under is that none of this is really necessary. I’d rather have  someone pass a wand over me a dozen times instead of putting a finger into my rectum and asking me to cough. Is any of this really making us safer?

In case you were wondering, you must submit to the scan or you will be physically violated by a TSO. If you refuse to be seen naked by every employee who feels like taking a peek at you, an employee of the same gender as you (because homosexuality in the work place doesn’t exist, and no one would ever feel uncomfortable while being groped by a member of the same sex, presumably) will pat you down and feel your entire body. Ladies, your labia, individually, will be touched, and the undersides of your breasts will be searched. Men, your penis and testicles will be felt, just to make sure you aren’t hiding anything crazy in your jock strap. And this isn’t an exaggeration: it’s happened to countless children and even the elderly.

So what’s my problem with the full body scanners? For one, the scans literally violate U.S. child pornography laws. Why is that you ask? Because the machines come from the factory set up to save each image as it is taken and store it. The TSA has announced that they only use the machines in the image storing “off” mode, but recently 35,000 images were stored by U.S. Marshals in Orlando, Fla. After some court rulings, the machine that took the photos was sent back to the factory with the images stored inside of it.

Technically, these images are supposed to simply be erased after being reviewed by an off-site professional, but anyone who knows anything about working in a government office can tell you: that won’t always happen. How easy would it be for a TSO to save the nude images of a high school cheerleading team on their way to the championship? Pretty easy. The machines are already programmed and ready to store as many nude photos as the TSO’s want. It’s just plain naïve to think that someone with a high school degree who lacks the decorum to become anything other than an airport rent-a-cop will go ahead and erase what amounts to an incredible cache of legal-aged and under-aged pornography.

The controversy has sparked a lot of counter measures, especially because of its widespread appeal on the internet. Many groups of angry civilians are beginning to paint messages such as “Like what you see, pervert?” on their bodies with metallic paint before they go through the scanners. After hearing stories of mothers with infants being groped in front of their children, I think you’d agree that things are getting a little out of hand. Other protestors are simply walking out of airports, or filing complaint cards each time they board an airplane.

Now I don’t know about you, but somewhere inside my idea of marriage is a statement like “With these rings on our fingers, we’re agreeing not to get naked for anybody else.” So what’s it like to have your significant other be seen naked by some TSA employees?

What’s it like to have your children scanned naked into a computer on their way to Disney World? Does your religion require you to wear a head scarf or perhaps thermal underwear to cover your private parts? Well get ready to be exposed (but it’s okay because “millimeter wave technology” will blur out your face. Some freak could easily still save images of your children’s genitalia for later enjoyment, though).

If any of this seems alarming, you’re reading it correctly. In a recent news story, TSA employees had to walk through the scanners themselves to be seen by each other in a training event. One man got tired of hearing about how small his compatriots thought his penis was, and beat one of them senseless in the parking lot with a baton.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not walking through some full body image scanner with my hands behind my head like an enemy of the state. I’m not going to subject my significant other, or my children, to the same treatment. If I go through the machine it’ll be with a beret on my head, a cigar in my mouth, with one hand in the air and the other one gripping my crotch. This isn’t the America I want to live in.

**Before you decide to get all riled up about this issue, please remember that I am just an opinion columnist. See examples of the bodyscans on the TSA homepage or just use a image search. Searches for “Don’t Touch My Junk” and other slogans will bring you up to speed on the resistance movement.

4 thoughts on “Totally Sexually Assaulted: The TSA’s New Full Body Scanner Has Many Americans Furious

  1. Allah- Akbar! Ben Mason and peace be upon the TSA and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for making our Jihad so much easier this time.In the name of the most merciful we may now employ our new IEEDs, (Improvised Enema Explosive Devices).

    While you Americans and the TSA are busy having your wives and children violated in front of all and your manhood handled by rent-a-cops, someone else could have been busy too! You see, let’s make up a nonexistent character called Martyr Mahmoud, Blessings upon him, and what if he got up this morning after fasting for 30 hrs. Preparing, perhaps a condom filled with .5 pounds of C4. A little molding elongating, a little olive oil, relax now, ..there that wasn’t so bad. Now take 3 showers, scrub any possible residue. The little micro blasting cap is so mixed up with the laptop wiring that even Mahmoud has to look carefully; ah there it is Now you can walk in the scanners with confidence or even endure the infidels enhanced pat down, whatever tickles the TSA’s fancy.

    Now of course this would not work on an Israeli airline, they don’t bother groping and scanning, if the bomb sniffing dog did not stir a ruckus then they would notice my name, when I buy my ticket and when I check in, my photograph is already zooming through some secure lines, They ask me some questions, check their intelligence data base, profile, then profile me some more and before you know it I would be in a room talking to someone from Mossad and that would be the end of my road.

    6 months later…CNN SPECIAL REPORT>>>>>>>”The new single use sterile rectum cam probes are being utilized as a process to make sure the traveling public is safe,” she said, adding that the probes did not pose health risks and that privacy safeguards have been adopted”.

    Americans have a problem with being screened to board an airliner with cosmetic security by a reactive
    T otaly
    S tupid
    A gency
    What is my answer?
    Who do the terrorists hate the most?
    The Israelis.
    Who has a perfect airline security record?
    The Israelis.
    Who does no routine groping and x-ray strip searches?
    The Israelis.
    Who profiles more than anyone in the world and has the best intelligence data base?
    The Israelis.

    Israeli security experts have refused to install these scanners at Ben Gurion International Airport, which is widely hailed as the safest airport in the world. Rafi Sela, the former Chief Security Officer of the Israel Airport Authority, explained he could “overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to take down a Boeing 747.
    Any idiot can thwart your system!

    Fire Ms. Napolitano and hire Israeli Mossad to manage our airport security.

  2. I really hope people will wake up and not just see this as another necessary measure to keep us safe, or as an unnecessary measure, but “what can you do, the government has already intruded on our lives already, there’s nothing you can do about it”. How is this in any way acceptable?

    The only way to be 100% safe from being inside a plane bombed by a terrorist, is to not fly.

    We need to have a limit on the invasion of our privacy that we will accept to feel safe.

    If anal and vaginal cavity searches become a prerequisite to boarding a plane, will people still be saying “if you don’t like it don’t fly, but shut up and let the rest of us be safe”?

    How long until this is implemented for trains and buses? What then? If you don’t like it, don’t travel at all?

    Stop the insanity NOW.

  3. If there is any class action suit developing against the TSA’s use of body scanning and the invasive alternative, touching private body parts, I will be an active participant. I am not free to lead this movement, but I will certainly support it. I will not submit to scanning or touch my private parts and I believe the government has violated the law in demanding this as part of a flight contract.

    Alice A.Grayson

  4. Searches, scans? Great straightforward journalism from the BBC, BBC 1, Panorama, UK- 8.30 pm last night, revealing what had previously somehow not been revealed. Yes, political, yes associated with risk presented by the so called fundamentalist mindset. It was called, “British Schools, Islamic Rules.”

    Children in the UK being taught in schools (I think private islamic weekend schools attempting to , or may be advertising that they, teach the Saudi Arabian School Curriculum) and in different degrees, by state funded “faith schools”, how to, “list the repehensible qualities of the Jew,” taught about the “required hand / foot amputations for theft”, stoning, burning or to be thrown off a cliff, the correct penalties for homosexuality. Really the usual things we kind of know they believe in, but kind of don’t know, is that because it is hard to believe this sort of thing is what they are taught to, and do believe in in 2010, or because we prefer not to have to think about how serious the situation is?

    More interestingly, one of the characters who had been asked to account for the sort of language and expressions present in the teaching materials being presented to children, and indeed the language used in the Koran, had to bluff through and say the term Kaffa, was not a derogatory expression in modern times, only in Medievil Times or at the time of the writing of the Koran.

    This is acutely awkward for those that represent the islamic faith, I think they were caught on the hop so to speak. People could try referring to a muslim as kaffer and see what happens. Second thoughts don’t.

    It is the same here as it is the States, the main rule of the land is “you can not do anything that may offend the muslim”.

    If Mossad can handle these things, yes, we should go to them to learn what they know. Probably we should be talking to each more in general on these issues.

    We have had a muslim setting fire to a ‘poppy’ at our Armistice Day celebrations. As you may expect it is some guy from the English Defence League who is being prosecuted resulting from some difference of opinion over the right and wrong of burning the poppy!

    You only have a right to be so fussy over wether you are searched or scanned because you are free to be so.
    Remember, do you remember the 2nd World War, your freedom is not something that is given to you for all your life simply because you are uniquely priviledged and live in the free civilised world, you have to always ensuring that you maintain that feedom, that privilege. This is common sense, no more, no less.

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