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Friday, January 01, 2010

Michael Chertoff - drumming up business for a company he represents
Posted by Jill | 8:54 AM
Today Michael Chertoff, otherwise known as That Guy Who Botched the Hurricane Katrina response, advocates in the increasingly and alarmingly right-wing Washington Post for full-body scanners:
The case of Abdulmutallab shows that we cannot simply "rely on intelligence." Abdulmutallab was not on a watch list that required closer scrutiny. Even if the review President Obama has ordered closes a gap that would have put Abdulmutallab or others on more select watch lists, there are plenty of terrorists out there about whom we know nothing. Too many potentially dangerous people simply would not appear on any watch list. We cannot put all our eggs in the "intelligence basket." That's why, since Sept. 11, 2001, we have worked to establish multiple layers of defense to protect the American people. Watch lists surely are an important layer, as is intelligence-sharing, but others, such as the deployment of advanced detection technology, are just as important.

Claims that the screening amounts to "virtual strip searches" is calculated to alarm the public. As if screening is meant to reveal people's private parts to TSA officers. But the agency has nonetheless taken privacy concerns seriously in creating procedures for using this technology. In deploying the machines, the TSA has strictly limited the number of officers who see the images; separates the officers looking at images from the passengers being screened (so the officers do not know which passengers the images belong to); and uses software to blur the faces on the images -- further protecting the anonymity of passengers. Moreover, the machines are configured to prevent TSA officers from storing or retaining any images. As an additional measure, passengers can choose not to walk through one of the machines and receive a physical examination instead.

In short, the TSA has listened to the reasonable concerns of privacy advocates and incorporated numerous suggestions into its protocols to draw the right balance between security and privacy. The administration must stand firm against privacy ideologues, for whom every security measure is unacceptable. Failing to use all available tools to plug a gap in security puts the lives of airline travelers needlessly at risk.

And failure to use these full-body scanners puts Michael Chertoff's wallet at risk, as we see from the byline (emphasis mine):
The writer was secretary of homeland security from 2005 to 2009 and is co-founder of the Chertoff Group, a security and risk-management firm whose clients include a manufacturer of body-imaging screening machines.

Because government spending is A-OK when it goes in the pockets of the well-connected.

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Anonymous ShortWoman said...
"As if screening is meant to reveal people's private parts to TSA officers."

Excuse me for pointing out that the terrorist in question hid explosives in his underwear, next to his crank. Revealing his private parts is the *only* way that would have been found. However, that's not going to go over well with the American people, so I guess we have to find another way to pretend airport screening keeps people safe.

Anybody want to take bets on how long it takes for "full body screening porn" of pirated airport scanner pix show up on the web?

Anonymous Oval12345678 said...
Maybe Americans should consider skipping plane rides and going by bus, train or automobile. For trans-atlantic tripe, there are many fine ships available with crossings from New York to England and Europe. Or else, gasp, just stay home for a "change." That would be "change you can believe in..."

Blogger casey said...
Hello Jill,

As far as I am concerned the hell with anything Chertoff spouts because of his exceptional record as head shit in charge of protecting the homeland (The Fuhrer rules) was his motto.