TSA’s Full-Body Scan


When the British police foiled a terrorist plot to detonate liquid explosives on an airplane in 2006, Homeland Security began demanding that passengers remove their shoes during security checks. In four years, they never found another shoe-bomb threat. It’s the same with banning liquids. Instead of taking advanced preventative measures against terrorist attacks, the TSA is just reacting to threats — once they’re past.

When all is said and done, this full-body x-ray isn’t the ultimate solution to protecting airplane passengers — the x-ray body scans won’t make a difference when it really matters. Clever citizens like Coloradian Jeff Buske have already created underwear that outsmart the scans by adding a tungsten lining that prevents the x-rays from revealing our “private parts.” If people like Buske can outsmart the TSA in a week flat, we can only imagine how easy it’ll be for terrorists to work around these new restrictions.

— Lexi Halamandaris
Contributing Writer

Peace of Mind and Safety Worth the Costs
The new frisking and imaging techniques in the U.S. airports definitely get a little too close for comfort. But when the alternative is bomb threats and mayhem, we can stand to give up some personal space in exchange for our safety. The upside of the TSA’s new and detailed body scanners is that they can see everything — meaning we’ll be better protected from the truly dedicated and sneaky terrorists that try smuggling bombs in their underpants.

The downside: They see everything. That’s what has America in a tizzy — we’re highly conservative when it comes to invasions of privacy. But if there was ever a time to loosen up, it’s now; if this method saves even one life, it’s worth letting some airport worker — who you can bet you’ll never see again — enter your bubble of personal space.

In the wake of 9/11, we asked to be protected by our government, and therefore we must sacrifice some privileges for the sake of a safer public. Temporary discomfort comes second to the safety of the masses.

For now, these intrusive examinations are what the country needs until we find a better way to ensure safety and restore confidence in air travel. The alternative: Having attractive celebrities perform the pat-downs — although it might cause people like me might go through security twice.

— Madeline Mann
Staff Writer

Reactive Measures Distract From Prevention

TSA security measures have become routine. After shoe-bomber Richard Reid, people were forced to remove their shoes. Next, there were threats of liquid explosives; the solution was to limit liquids. Now with the underwear bomber, we need to have our underwear inspected. By 2012, a man will put something dangerous up his butt, and in 2013, the TSA will start anal cavity inspections.

Another year, another intrusive security measure. That’s not to say security isn’t important, but body-scanners and intensive pat-downs aren’t going to protect us from all terrorists. Right now, a terrorist could easily cause mayhem at a high school gym, a football stadium or even a train station. Is the solution to these threats body scanners at every single building in America? No. We will only be safe if we eliminate the terrorist threat at the source.

Instead of responding to every terrorist attack reactively, the U.S. needs to continue old-fashioned investigations and support of special force units to eliminate terrorists. Al-Qaeda wasn’t weakened by shoe inspections, but by freezing of bank accounts and strict monitoring of their members. All our security measures at the airport will have little effect if terrorists just choose another target. Hence, we need to address the cause and not the symptoms, and stop the terrorists in their tracks (and I’m not just saying this because I don’t want an anal cavity search) to protect America.

— Saad Asad
Contributing Writer