Green Room

“They Can Read Your Mind”: TSA’s New Mobile Scanner and Other Neat Developments

posted at 10:54 am on November 24, 2010 by

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano would like to wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving. Or something like that. Her exact words were actually along the lines of “Only a small percentage of people are getting groped at airport checkpoints, so quit your bellyaching and take it like a man.”

The secretary has a point. Flying is a privilege, not a right. You can always, for example, travel by train, secure in the knowledge that you won’t be subject to radiation, embarrassing nude images of your most intimate parts, or pat-downs of the same.

At least that’s the case for now. It appears that the TSA has plans to take its act on the road. They have even developed a futuristic mind scanner on wheels that can read “evil thoughts” among those lined up to attend sporting events and rock concerts. As the helpful video produced by Homeland Security shows, they even have a clever acronym for it—FAST, short for Future Attribute Screening Technology.

The best thing about FAST is its portability. If the Big Sis has a mind, they can park an MMR (mobile miner reader—my own acronym) outside the local mall, the petting zoo … you name it, and the government will be there to tap into your brainwaves and find out whether you’re naughty or nice.

As for travel by train, bus, or subway, the TSA has your back. And front and every part in between. Not that the plans to conduct airport-style screenings in train and subway stations should come as a surprise. Shortly after his Senate confirmation as TSA administrator in June, John Pistole told USA Today that

[p]rotecting riders on mass-transit systems from terrorist attacks will be as high a priority as ensuring safe air travel. Given the list of threats on subways and rails over the last six years going on seven years, we know that some terrorist groups see rail and subways as being more vulnerable because there’s not the type of screening that you find in aviation. From my perspective, that is an equally important threat area.

Drastic times call for drastic measures, which presumably means that delays are train or subway platforms will no longer necessarily be the result of traffic slowdowns but long lines at security checkpoints.

When Pistole speaks, moreover, of taking the “TSA to the next level,” having screeners function as a “national-security, counterterrorism organization, fully integrated into U.S. government efforts,” one would be justified in supposing (hoping?) that he has plans for a more elite corps of security personnel. Those currently employed by the TSA are not required to have completed high school. Their annual salary, moreover, averages $25,000, an amount that works out to not quite double the minimum hourly wage and makes them the lowest paid federal employees in the nation.

The country right now is in serious financial straits. It would seem however that if we’re going to invest in security at all, we should go the extra mile and hire the best people for the job we can find.

Related Articles

Recently in the Green Room:



Trackback URL


…if we’re going to invest in security at all, we should go the extra mile and hire the best people for the job we can find.

I’ve been saying this for years. The FBI fields a behavioral analysis unit that can be deployed nationwide, and yet I’ve heard more people (libs and conservatives alike) try to explain to me why it’s “not practical” to expect behavioral analysts to work at our international airports.

gryphon202 on November 24, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Those questions about recording at an event look to me to be advertising this for much more than national security.

aikidoka on November 25, 2010 at 11:35 AM

HotAir — Politics, Culture, Media, 2017, Breaking News from a conservative viewpoint

Sunday morning talking heads

Jazz Shaw Jun 25, 2017 8:01 AM
Top Pick

Health care and tweeting and Russia, oh my!

Top Pick

Will they stay or will they go?

I can’t imagine what I was thinking when I said that

Rocking the boat majorly

Big government never contracts. It only grows more powerful

It’s only a “ban” until it becomes inconvenient

The decline and fall of Obamacare and the AHCA

Jazz Shaw Jun 24, 2017 8:31 AM

This was all over before it began

Fixing crime in America is a complicated issue

Taylor Millard Jun 23, 2017 8:31 PM

Cops alone won’t solve it.

Victim’s father was President Maduro’s supervisor back when he was a bus driver.

Democrats forgot all about the “era of good feelings”

“Bernie and Jane Sanders have lawyered up.”

“the Judiciary Committee is examining the circumstances surrounding the removal of James Comey.”

Winning isn’t everything. It is the only thing

Trump signs VA reform bill into law

John Sexton Jun 23, 2017 2:41 PM

“What happened was a national disgrace, and yet some of the employees involved in these scandals remained on the payrolls.”

A new era of something.

“…died suddenly in less than a week just after his return to the U.S.”

The shortsightedness of “Denounce and Preserve”

Taylor Millard Jun 23, 2017 12:11 PM

Pragmatism for the sake of pragmatism doesn’t always work.

Perhaps if you threw in a new car?

Gay marriages still growing, but not as fast

Andrew Malcolm Jun 23, 2017 10:31 AM

More, but not as quickly.

Should’ve stuck with the pirate gig. It was working for him

The battle for the rubble of Raqqa is underway

Andrew Malcolm Jun 23, 2017 8:51 AM

Won’t be much left.

Your list of demands is a publicity stunt

“what happened that day was emblematic of a deeply troubling trend among progressives…”

“The jobs are still leaving. Nothing has stopped.”

Bad vendor. Bad! No cookie!

“The Corps is just starting to grapple with the issues the court has identified.”

“So you want me to sing my praises, is that what you’re saying?”

Why would we possibly want that?

“I mean he sold our country to The Russians.”

I could think of someone else you might want to ask about…

“You can ask a hundred people what hate speech is and you get a thousand different answers”

Trump: I never made any recordings of Comey

Allahpundit Jun 22, 2017 2:01 PM


Hackers stole private data from election databases

John Sexton Jun 22, 2017 1:21 PM

“90,000 records stolen by Russian state actors contained drivers license numbers”

Failure to protect the city