A growing number of Americans are already outraged over the government's use of high-powered, ultra-revealing and potentially dangerous backscatter x-ray machines at a growing number of the nation's airports, and as bad as that problem is, it's about to get a whole lot worse unless Congress intervenes to stop the madness.
In the late
1990s, travel experts doubted the government would ever employ such
machines in a security checkpoint role at airports or other locations.
The terrorist attacks on 9/11 dramatically reversed that mentality to
the point that now, no doubt afraid of being accused of doing "too
little" to enhance security, lawmakers and select government agencies
have done a complete reversal, permitting the use of high-powered x-ray
machines to "scan" airline travelers (and perhaps, we near bus, train
and other modes of travel in the future).
The all-knowing Transportation Security Administration insists
the machines it is currently using - some 250 of them - are safe, but
the agency relies primarily on its own in-house and government experts
to support their claims.
The non-governmental experts speak
other private-sector experts, including a bevy of health and radiation
scientists cited by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, disagree. They
include Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D., a board certified neurosurgeon, who
The growing outrage over the Transportation Security
Administration's new policy of backscatter scanning of airline
passengers and enhanced pat-downs brings to mind these wise words from
President Ronald Reagan: The nine most terrifying words in the English
language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help you. So, what
is all the concern really about - will these radiation
scanners increase your risk of cancer or other diseases? A group of
scientists and professors from the University of California at San
Francisco voiced their concern to Obama's science and technology adviser
John Holdren in a well-stated letter back in April (2010).
letter he referred to was signed by doctors John Sedat Ph.D., David
Agard, Ph.D., Marc Shuman, M.D., Robert Stroud, Ph.D., all of whom are
faculty at the University of California, San Francisco. They wrote:
We are writing to call your attention to serious concerns about the potential health risks
of the recently adopted whole body backscatter X-ray airport security
scanners. This is an urgent situation as these X-ray scanners are
rapidly being implemented as a primary screening step for all air travel
passengers. Our overriding concern is the extent to which the safety of
this scanning device has been adequately demonstrated. This can only be
determined by a meeting of an impartial panel of experts that would
include medical physicists and radiation biologists at which all of the
available relevant data is reviewed.
These experts went on to
say that even though the overall dose of radiation "would be safe if it
were distributed throughout the volume of the entire body, the dose to the skin may be dangerously high."
Despite what the experts say, the government continues to employ more powerful x-ray machines
matter. Again, the TSA knows better. And apparently, judging by the
lack of concern shown by a majority of members of Congress, most of them
agree with this rogue agency.
So, law enforcement agencies,
including the TSA and others, are continuing to expand their use of
x-ray scanners, "including machines that expose people to as much as 50
times more radiation than an airport scanner, and are sometimes using them on people without their knowledge or consent," AllGov.com reported.
Customs and Border Protection is currently installing some 35
drive-thru x-ray gates that will scan vehicles at the border with
passengers still inside.
New York City, meanwhile, has utilized
specially equipped vans to scan vehicles for drugs and weapons, again
while people are inside them.
Also, prisons have begun to use
x-rays that can see through the body in search of contraband that may be
hidden inside the bodies of prisoners - and jail employees as well.
Where are the government regulatory agencies?
The Food and Drug Administration,
which is responsible for the safety of medical machines like x-ray
equipment, apparently has no jurisdiction over their non-medical use,
according to reports. So, they've done nothing about the use of x-ray
scanners by police.