TSA Admits $1B Nude Body Scanner Fleet Worthless!
April 10, 2012 87 Comments
My last video demonstrated how easy it is to take a metal object through TSA nude body scanners undetected.
In this video, I interviewed an actual TSA screener to hear more about how these machines are an epic fail. “Jennifer,” who asked me not to use her real name or face, has been on the front lines of the TSA’s checkpoints for the last 4 years.
Please share this video with your family, friends, and most importantly, elected officials in federal government. Make sure they understand that your vote is contingent on them fixing the abuse that 200,000 passengers face from the TSA on a daily basis. If you are (or know) a TSA screener who has seen abuse in the TSA, please contact me (below)!
My legal battle against the TSA’s nude body scanner and pat-down molestation program continues in court, soon with a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. If you’d like to donate to this effort, send PayPal to: jon [at] fourtentech.com
I’d like to thank:
Travel Underground – http://www.travelunderground.org/
Freedom to Travel USA – http://fttusa.org/
Legislators who have stood up to the TSA – especially Dr. Ron Paul & Sen. Rand Paul
…and all those who have both publicly and privately stood up to the TSA.
Add me on Twitter: @tsaoutourpants (no “of”)
In the video I released last month, I showed the world that it’s trivial to beat the TSA’s nude body scanners; all it takes is simply strapping a metal object to your side. I referred to the program as a “giant fraud,” and I chose those words carefully: it was not an oversight, but rather the TSA knowingly imposed these virtual strip searches on us despite the fact that they don’t work.
Now how can I be so sure that the TSA knew that the scanners were broken? Well, in the first video I referred to other countries who take aviation security more seriously than we do had rejected the scanners years ago. Over the last year, we’ve also seen almost the entirety of Europe has backtracked on the body scanners. And there have been dozens of research studies that have shown vulnerabilities in the technology, of which the TSA must surely be aware.
But most importantly, I know because TSA employees have told me so. In the last year and a half since I filed my lawsuit against the scanners and the groping, I’ve received hundreds of e-mails and thousands of comments on my blog, and some from actual TSA employees who have seen the scanners fail first-hand. One of them was nice enough to sit down for an interview with me last week. “Jennifer” has been working with the Transportation Security Administration for the last 4 years as a screener, and had this to tell me:
[Video Interview Segment]
Jon: Were there specific times where this machine didn’t work, for either someone testing it, or a passenger went through and it was determined that they went through with…
Jennifer: Absolutely. Yes, absolutely.
Jon: Metal objects?
Jennifer: Metal, non-metal.
Jon: Big, small?
Jon: Things like wallets I think you mentioned to me?
Jon: So you’d send someone through the scanner and you’d see a bulge in their pocket, but the scanner would show nothing?
Jon: Things during training?
Jon: What would you test it with when you were testing the machines?
Jennifer: There were different props: guns, knives, bags of powder that were supposed to resemble explosive material.
Jon: Sometimes these would just go through completely undetected?
Now if it wasn’t scary enough that the TSA deployed these machines knowing they could take simulated bombs through them, Jennifer tells me that they were forcing screeners to run these radiation machines who hadn’t, according to the TSA’s own policies, been properly trained:
[Video Interview Segment]
Jon: They tried to send you to the machines, and you said, ‘Hold on, I’m not certified.’
Jon: And then in December I guess you tried the same thing and they said, ‘Too bad?’
Jennifer: We were forced to work on these machines. So basically, there were so few of us trained to work on the machines, they basically forced us.
Jon: So they didn’t care if you were certified or not?
Jennifer: No, I actually went to my supervisor — or a supervisor — the first day. I and another officer had this concern, that, you know, ‘Look, we’ve never worked on this particular machine, we don’t know what to do’ and his answer was, ‘Sorry, we don’t have enough staffing, you’re going to have to work on it.’
Jon: Certified or not, just get on the machine and make the best of it?
Jennifer: Yep, ‘just have your co-workers help you.’
After Jennifer was repeatedly ignored when she brought these serious issues up with management, she contacted her representatives in Congress for assistance… after which the TSA promptly began the process of firing her! A process, by the way, which took the TSA three months, during which Jennifer was forced to sit around on the taxpayer’s dime and do absolutely nothing. Fortunately, Jennifer turns in her uniform today.
[Video Interview Segment]
Jon: You wrote to Congress about the problems you saw in the TSA.
Jennifer: I did.
Jon: What happened?
Jennifer: I sent my letter on Jan. 1, and I came back from sick leave about a week later, and I was immediately removed from screening duties.
Jon: So you sent a letter to a Congressman — or to several — saying ‘Hey, there’s a problem with the TSA,’ and the TSA’s response was… retaliatory would you say?
Jon: Was that the end of your screening duties… have you been back to screening since?
This is why the TSA sucks. Because good employees who point out when the public is being put at risk aren’t listened to, they aren’t promoted – they’re fired! …and what’s left are the pizza-box employees that strip-search grannies, steal from your bags, throw hot coffee on pilots, and shoot up my neighborhood.
And every time another TSA employee is arrested – we’re up to at least 60 in the last 12 months – the TSA spouts off on their blog about the professionalism of their employees, just as when they’re caught on video molesting children at airports, they defend their employees’ fondlings as “by the book” – that book being the “Screening Checkpoint Standard Operating Procedures” or “SOP.” The SOP is the TSA’s secret guide as to how TSA employees are supposed to do screening as airports. The only problem is, TSA employees never actually read that book!
[Video Interview Segment]
Jennifer: Supposedly there is an SOP manual at every checkpoint. I’ve never seen it.
Jon: So you wouldn’t know where to go to find this book?
Jennifer: No, no.
Jennifer: I know, you can’t make this stuff up, you really can’t.
Jon: Did you read the SOP at any point, during training, or…
Jennifer: You mean initially…
Jon: Did you ever read the SOP from cover-to-cover?
Jennifer: Oh no, no… I’ve never read… no.
Absolutely stunning. I’d like to thank Jennifer for exposing this, and if you’re an attorney that would like to contact Jennifer, send me a message. I’d also like to encourage any of the few good TSA employees left who have seen abuse in the TSA to contact me – see the notes on this video for how to do so, anonymously if you’d prefer.
But there you have it. The TSA was aware of the fatal flaws in the nude body scanner program, yet knowingly defrauded the American taxpayer into buying these machines, as well as travellers from across the globe into posing naked “for their safety.” Well no more, guys — we’re done posing naked for the TSA. It’s time for the nude body scanner program to be immediately ended, for TSA Administrator John Pistole to be fired, and for the TSA to be dismantled as soon as possible. I encourage you to make this an election year issue and demand from your candidates a strong commitment to restoring our civil rights – and our sanity at airports. I also encourage anyone who’s asked to go through a body scanner to simply say, “I opt out,” and refuse to participate in this security theatre.
Until next time.