Contrary to reports last week that the TSA is eliminating its expensive fleet of x-ray body scanners from airports, the federal agency signed a contract months ago with a separate company to provide the very same machines.
When Rapiscan, the company responsible for providing the TSA with the x-ray scanners, failed to adhere to a congressional demand to install software which disguised images of travelers’ naked bodies, the media announced that the TSA was abandoning x-ray body scanners in airports altogether.
However, the TSA merely announced that it had ended its $5 million dollar contract with Rapiscan, not that the x-ray devices would be gone for good. In addition, the Rapiscan machines will merely be relocated to other government agencies.
What press reports failed to mention was the fact that the TSA signed a much larger $245 million dollar contract with American Science and Engineering, Inc. back on October 9, 2012.
The press release concerning the contract outlines how AS&E will provide the TSA with “SmartCheck® Advanced Imaging Technology.” One look at AS&E’s website confirms that the technology is primarily used in “backscatter” x-ray body scanners for airports that emit “ionizing radiation.”
A promotional video posted on YouTube also shows AS&E Vice President Joseph Reiss talking about how the company has perfected “back-scatter imaging” using x-rays and is also providing the Department of Homeland Security with backscatter vans that can roam highways and conduct drive-by scans, which was also reported by Forbes in 2010.
The only difference between Rapiscan’s body scanners and those developed by American Science and Engineering, Inc. is that the latter company was able to develop “privacy friendly” software to comply with congressional demands. The scanners they will provide to the TSA are the same x-ray backscatter version that have been linked with cancer by numerous prestigious health bodies.
Although AS&E claims x-ray scanning technology is safe, numerous respected health authorities have warned that the radiation-firing body scanners can cause cancer, including the Johns Hopkins school of medicine, Columbia University’s center for radiological research, the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety, and the University of California.
The TSA will also continue to use ‘millimeter wave’ scanners that pose a threat to health because they emit terahertz photons which can “unzip DNA,” “creating bubbles in the double strand that could significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication,” according to the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
The mainstream media has got it wrong once again – far from abandoning dangerous x-ray scanners, the TSA has signed a contract worth almost 50 times its previous deal with a company whose primary function is providing x-ray scanners for airport security.Scridb filter
Huge new First Amendment project arrives this Thanksgiving
Paul Joseph Watson
Opt Out! November 19-26
This Thanksgiving, Infowars.com is giving thanks for the First Amendment, by getting back in the faces of those who are attempting to abuse their authority to silence free speech and in turn conceal flagrant abuses of our rights and our basic dignity – with the launch of the national Opt Out and Film campaign.
Of course, every week should be First Amendment week, but we’re picking one week in particular as part of a grass roots outreach that we hope will contribute towards putting an end to what has come to represent the face of big government tyranny – the Transportation Security Administration.
In November 2010, the national opt out day was a huge success that generated massive media attention. The TSA was forced to mothball most of its radiation-firing body scanners for that one day in a desperate attempt to avoid embarrassment – a political act that proved the naked scanners had nothing whatsoever to do with genuine security concerns.
Now it has been confirmed that the TSA punishes people who opt out of the scanners by subjecting them to more invasive grope downs, it’s time to re-assert our dignity, and we’re going to do it using the First Amendment.
The TSA’s own website admits that it is not illegal to film TSA agents, just as it is not illegal to film police officers. However, there are innumerable examples of the TSA threatening travelers who either film them or who simply dare to display a “bad attitude” while they are being harassed.
So that’s precisely what we’re going to do. Every invasive pat down, every overbearing rude TSA screener, every act of humiliation metered out against the elderly and the disabled, every attempt to intimidate and coerce Americans into a form of obedience that strips them of their basic human dignity will be caught on camera.
The TSA’s policy on “enhanced pat downs” now includes literally touching and groping people’s genitals as part of the procedure – a policy top rape counselors have warned is triggering post traumatic stress disorder in rape victims.
If Americans can be trained to put up with this level of intrusion, they will accept anything.
By focusing our attention during Thanksgiving week on filming TSA pat down procedures and opting out of other ridiculous TSA policies such as “chat downs,” forcing travelers to “freeze” on command, or testing drinks purchased by travelers after they have already passed through security, we’re going to expose the federal agency for what it is – an insult to everything America is supposed to stand for.
Remember, this campaign is about shining a spotlight on the actions of the TSA not only in airports but in every other place where TSA goons have infested – from subways, to highways, to political events and even school prom nights – the imposition of ‘Checkpoint USA’ is upon us and it’s time to let the system know we will not be treated like prisoners in our own country.
Petty tyrants and the people whose orders they carry out behave differently when a camera is rolling and they are exposed to the glare of public attention.
With the Republicans making noises about defunding the TSA and the federal agency’s reputation already on the ropes as an increasing number of airports replace TSA workers with private screeners, now is a perfect opportunity to help torpedo this federal agency for good.
OPT OUT AND FILM WEEK!
(November 19th, 2012 – November 26th, 2012)
Opt Out of the Body Scanner and other Invasive TSA Procedures
Why Opt Out?
- Because the backscatter body scanners have been associated with an increased risk of cancer and millimeter wave body scanners are potentially damaging to cellular DNA.
- Because having TSA photograph your naked body is an invasion of privacy.
- Because the TSA have implemented other invasive procedures which serve to facilitate compliance rather than enhance security.
- Because TSA have repeatedly abused their power and violated travelers’ rights by touching their private parts.
- Filming the TSA holds them accountable and is a way to protect your human rights.
- Filming the TSA is perfectly legal!
WILL YOU OPT OUT AND FILM TODAY?
Visit the Facebook Group page for the national Opt Out and Film Week.
We encourage people who want to become involved in this campaign to create their own flyers and material to draw attention to this grass roots activist campaign.
Many thanks to Ashley Jessica who had the idea for the campaign and is helping with promotion and organization.
Watch a clip below where Ashley Jessica explains how you can support Opt Out and Film Week.
IMPORTANT: Send all Opt Out and Film Week videos, photographs and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Comment From Alex Jones
There is an organized move on behalf of governments and corporations to bully the First Amendment out of existence.
This is why Infowars is pioneering a new civil rights movement that is not based around race, sex or any other minority issue. The fact that our rights are being violated and characterized as suspicious and terroristic threatens the freedom of every individual, no matter from what what race, gender or creed they originate.
We are being systematically intimidated out of expressing our right to free speech as part of the advancement towards a new dark age of tyranny.
We are calling on like-minded people to join us in the Opt Out and Film campaign, with the understanding that you will in all likelihood face official oppression for doing so.
The TSA is a federal agency stuffed full of liars, thieves and petty tyrants who like to harass and terrorize innocent Americans who refuse to comply with degrading treatment and who refuse to partake in obedience training.
The risk of being harassed or even arrested for legally exercising your First Amendment right is significant. However, the risk of not exercising this right is far greater. The risk of not exposing tyranny and allowing it to breed is unthinkable.
Use it or lose it. The First Amendment is under attack across the board and unless we re-assert our right to speak up when our basic human dignity is being eviscerated by uniformed goons on a daily basis, not only at airports but also subways, highways, political events, music concerts and even high school prom nights, we can kiss our liberty goodbye.Scridb filter
Former Libertarian Presidential Candidate Bob Barr and the organization he heads,LibertyGuard.org, are determining whether or not to move forward with a lawsuit against TSA after the agency ignored a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed in December to release documents regarding a stand-down of airport security during the Thanksgiving Holidays. The deadline for a response to the FOIA was today, January 25.
Joe Seehusen, executive director of LibertyGuard, appeared on the Alex Jones Show today to weigh the organization’s next step in investigating whether TSA’s decision not to use body scanners during one of the busiest traveling period of the year was provably motivated by politics. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and TSA head John Pistole have insisted that the use of invasive body scanners and secondary pat-downs in the nations’ airports are absolutely necessary in order to stave off the imminent threat of terrorism, yet they appeared to back off from controversial airport security measures after groups publicly planned an ‘opt out’ protest targeted for November 24, the day before Thanksgiving.
Use of body scanners did ‘in fact’ stop during the period in question, Seehusen explained. The big question that needs to be probed and proven, he argued, is whether DHS and TSA knowingly played politics with the safety of Americans in doing so. LibertyGuard may grant TSA addition time to respond with the documents they seek, but are prepared with a lawsuit to insist on the matter.
“Considering recent hardline statements made by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and TSA Administrator John Pistole, this apparent sudden reversal in the TSA’s direction warrants additional scrutiny,” reads a statement from Joe Seehussen on the website for Liberty Guard. “We’d like to know if we can expect a policy shift from the TSA or if they were merely attempting to shut down the public outcry regarding their search procedures.”
TSA spokesman Kawika Riley responded to some of Seehusen’s public statements, boldly denying that any breech in normal screening procedures occurred the day before Thanksgiving. “AIT operations were normal throughout the week,” Riley said, retorting that “Any suggestions to the contrary are not true.”
Yet Seehusen has identified numerous mainstream news reports, including the NY Times, Gizmodo, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The New Jersey Star-Ledger, which all present a different account. Further, Seehusen has combed through many anecdotal accounts from travelers and bloggers, and the fact that a stand-down occurred at airports across the country seems undeniable.
This reporter, on business for Infowars.com, traveled through Denver International Airport on November 24, the day in question, and personally witnessed the lack of body scanner usage or of secondary pat-downs. No one in line was even noticeably questioned at all, and strangely, the employees themselves were perceptively nicer than countless other trips I’ve been on all across the nation.
“We’d like to think that the TSA has been listening to citizens concerned,” LibertyGuard chairman Bob Barr has stated, “However, it’s far more likely the reason was political and we think the public should be made aware of the motivations of our country’s security chiefs.”
The significance of this inquiry involves a double-standard for Homeland Security, who insist on one hand that these extreme and intrusive measures are necessary for the safety of all Americans in the face of imminent terrorism, yet were willing to abandon these security tools when it was concerned with shutting down public criticism and managing its public image. Seehusen commented that DHS and TSA have been “playing fast and loose with our freedom” while at the same time continuing to seek an expansion of power.
“If anyone looks at the aggregate scope of what’s happening [with expanding bureaucracy] it’s alarming,” Seehusen said. “The nature of government [is that] it will go as far as we will let them. I think their mission is to grow, to get bigger, to get richer by way of more budget to them, to hire more staff, to expand their scope… They can always find numerous rationales for that.”
The TSA has recently been forced to settle with passengers who’ve claimed abuse during airport security checkpoints, including a woman from Amarillo, Texas whose breasts were exposed by ogling and laughing TSA employees. Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura also just announced a lawsuit against TSA and DHS for groping and other invasive pat-down measures he says amounted to the legal definition for “sexual abuse” and have caused him to abandon commercial air travel. Will Ventura’s lawsuit, along with LibertyGuard’s probe,re-ignite the TSA revolt?
Bob Barr, who first filed the FOIA request back in December on behalf of LibertyGuard, is alsoseeking information on reported surveillance of top TSA critics, including Matt Drudge of the top alternative news website DrudgeReport.com, John Tyner, the individual who made news after telling TSA he would sue them if they ‘touched his junk’ and radio host Alex Jones of Infowars.com. The WeWontFly Blog, who were heavily involved in supporting the ‘opt out’ protests in question, caught visitors originating from a Homeland Security IP address trolling their blogs and leaving repeated nasty and disparaging comments.
“Unless we involve ourselves and decide to stand tall, it’s going to sweep over us,” Seehusen observed. “Our civil liberties will buckle. Our Constitution is certainly threatened,” he added.Scridb filter
Of course this “joke” is completely misleading. Obama is refering to a high-speed rail system where you won’t have to get a pat-down. With DHS rolling out their sexual assault program to malls, train stations, sporting events, and bus stops, of COURSE you’re going to get a pat-down before boarding a high-speed railroad. Unless WE stop it.Scridb filter
News that Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is striking back against being personally subjected to TSA harassment by suing the federal agency is sure to re-ignite a TSA revolt that has led many airports to consider abandoning the TSA altogether and replacing them with private security, while the TSA has until the end of today to respond to a FOIA request filed by former Congressman Bob Barr that could send further shockwaves through the Homeland Security-controlled federal body.
Having first privately told Alex Jones back in November of his intention to sue the TSA in a lawsuit that directly names DHS chief Janet Napolitano and TSA head John Pistole, yesterday’s announcement of legal proceedings against new invasive groping measures introduced last year has provoked a tidal wave of media coverage.
The TSA has become embroiled in a number of lawsuits and legal challenges over the past few months as the agency’s policies are flagrantly abused by TSA staffers in numerous blatant examples of sexual harassment, violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and wanton disregard for the 4th amendment to the Constitution.
Nowhere was this more evident than in the case of Lynsie Murley, 24, of Amarillo, Texas, who received compensation from the agency after TSA workers pulled down her blouse, exposed her breasts and then laughed in her face, leaving Murley, “extremely embarrassed and humiliated” according to the lawsuit.
The actions of Ventura, who is risking his television career by refusing to fly until TSA policies are changed, are sure to once again stir a national debate about TSA policies that peaked back in November and culminated in a national opt out day protest on Thanksgiving.
The revolt was led largely by the Drudge Report website, which flexed its significant media muscle to ensure the issue was kept in constant focus for weeks on end.
In a crude political stunt designed to deflate the success of the opt out protest, the TSA completely reversed its procedures as travelers across the country reported that the agency had temporarily roped off naked body scanners and relaxed supposedly mandatory invasive pat down policies.
This led to former Congressman Bob Barr’s Liberty Guard organization filing a Freedom of Information Act request demanding an explanation as to why the TSA felt comfortable in briefly mothballing policies it claimed were vital for national security simply as a propaganda ploy.
Obviously reticent to address the FOIA, the TSA pulled out all the legal tricks to delay their response and in fact Liberty Guard’s Shane Cory informs us via email today that the agency has until the end of the day to formally respond to the FOIA request.
Any admission that the TSA amended its policies as part of a coordinated media stunt will send shockwaves through an agency already on the ropes, and we’ll have more on this story within the next 24 hours.Scridb filter
A 57-year-old Palestinian woman with a pacemaker died over the weekend, after passing through the scanning machine at the Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt. The woman, Fatima Mahmoud Abu Obeid, crossed over to Egypt along with her husband, and about half an hour later suddenly collapsed. She was taken by ambulance to a Rafah hospital on the Egyptian side where she was pronounced dead.
Palestinian sources blamed her death on the border scanning machine, described as a “U.S.-made advanced portal using millimeter wave holographic technology to screen passengers for weapons and explosives.”
Military sources deny any link, saying that the machine has been tested and found not to harm those passing through it. Similar machines are also used at Ben-Gurion International Airport.
Abu Obeid reportedly did not tell the operators that she had a pacemaker, and the incident is being investigated. The sources also dismissed the idea that the millimeter waves were not the same level used for all other passengers. Palestinian operators last week closed the Rafah Crossing to protest the installation of the new machine; they claim it emits dangerous radioactive waves.
Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is suing the TSA and Homeland Security for humiliating and ‘offensive’ pat-down procedures he’s been subjected to during airport security checks that included ‘warrantless, non-suspicion-based offensive touching, gripping and rubbing of the genital and other sensitive areas of his body.’ Ventura, who had a hip replacement procedure in 2008, says he was unduly targeted due to his disability. His lawsuit, filed yesterday in Minnesota, claims the pat-downs violated his privacy, his 4th Amendment right and legally meet ‘the definition for an unlawful sexual assault’.”
Alex Jones, who traveled with Ventura last September during the production of his “Conspiracy Theory” TV show over the course of multiple flights, witnessed the former governor being groped and inappropriately touched in a pat-down procedure that Ventura faces everytime he travels. “That’s why I want to leave the United States,” Ventura had told Jones at the time. “This is why I go down to Mexico– this is wrong.”
But Jones says Ventura was even more upset everytime he witnessed some old man in a wheelchair harassed or manhandled by the TSA, without any basis for suspecting them. That’s when Ventura first revealed his thoughts of suing the TSA. In November, Ventura went on the Alex Jones Show and vowed never to fly commercially again until TSA reversed its policies. Part of Ventura’s suit includes a complaint about violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, whereby he says TSA has unduly selected numerous disabled passengers for secondary screening and potential harassment without cause.
Ventura, who travels frequently for his job hosting a TruTV program when he isn’t in Mexico, further commented that he would ‘no longer be forced by the TSA to prove he is not a criminal or terrorist.’ Ventura lamented on Jones’ program. “It probably means an end to my career,” referring to his difficulties with air travel. He’s not alone, as representatives from the travel, airline and tourism industry have already met with Big Sis to lobby DHS to back off of the enhanced pat-downs that caused a traveler backlash in the fall and what they say are more than 41 million travelers who ‘avoided’ flights and didn’t spend an estimated $9 billion in travel sales.
Ventura’s attorney, David Olsen, told KSTP in Minnesota “The security procedures are going too far. There’s a line somewhere and he believes that line has been crossed.”
Steve Wagstaffe, then D.A.-elect, now current D.A. of San Mateo County, California, stated in November 2010 that he and his deputies would be patrolling San Francisco International Airport for possible violations by TSA staff and would prosecute any employees engaged in “lewd and lascivious behavior” while conducting pat-downs. He further noted that groping of travelers’ genitals, even if backed by TSA policy, amounted to a felony offense. The TSA recently settled with an Amarillo, Texas woman whose breasts were exposed by TSA employees who then laughed at the matter.
Jesse Ventura is reportedly working with the press from Mexico and should be appearing on the Alex Jones Show in the near future.Scridb filter