Last March, the Government Accounting Office warned Congress that full body scanners have not been tested and may not be able to detect the very type of explosives material the machines were procured to detect. Few listened, as most members of Congress rolled over as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced plans to make full body scanners the primary means of passengers screening, with “enhanced pat downs” (groping) if a citizen felt uncomfortable walking through the virtual strip search machine.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano assured us that these machines were vital to national security and necessary to keep us safe. For months, I pointed out the fact that the machines cannot pick up weapons in body cavities, but I never dreamed it would be so easy to get a gun past a full body scanner–and not just once but multiple times!
As Nick reports, a government agent successfully smuggled in a handgun in her bra on five different occasions during an undercover test at Dallas/Fort Worth. Each time she went through security, she was screened by a full body scanner and each time the machine missed the very thing it was purchased to detect.
While we are once again reminded that no technology exists that can detect all weapons, Michael Chertoff and his cronies at Rapiscan are laughing their way to bank.
Sadly, I think this “revelation” will only lead to harsher screening rather than a thoughtful evaluation of whether we need to fundamentally change our security paradigm.