“Last Thursday I was flying to LA on the Midnight flight. I went through security my usual sour stuff. I beeped, of course, and was shuttled to the ‘toss-em’ line. A security guy came over. I assumed the position. I had a button up shirt on that was untucked. He reached around while he was behind me and grabbed around my front pocket. I guess he was going for my flashlight, but the area could have loosely been called ‘crotch.’ I said, ‘You have to ask me before you touch me or it’s assault.’
“He said, ‘Once you cross that line, I can do whatever I want.’…
“I tell the cop the story, in a very funny way. The cop, the voice of sanity says, ‘What’s wrong with you people? You can’t just grab a guy’s crank without his permission.’ I tell him that my genitals weren’t grabbed and the cop says, ‘I don’t care, you can’t do that to people. That’s assault and battery in my book.'”
“Unlike a medical X-ray, the TSA X-ray machines are a sci-fi fan’s dream: they are lower-energy beams that can only penetrate clothing and the topmost layers of skin. This provides TSA agents with a view that would expose any explosives concealed by clothing. But according to the UCSF professors, the low-enegy rays do a ‘Compton scatter’ off tissue layers just under the skin, possibly exposing some vital areas and leaving the tissues at risk of mutation.
“When an X-ray Compton scatters, it doesn’t shift an electron to a higher energy level; instead, it hits the electron hard enough to dislodge it from its atom. The authors note that this process is ‘likely breaking bonds,’ which could cause mutations in cells and raise the risk of cancer.
“Because the X-rays only make it just under the skin’s surface, the total volume of tissue responsible for absorbing the radiation is fairly small. The professors point out that many body parts that are particularly susceptible to cancer are just under the surface, such as breast tissue and testicles. They are also concerned with those over 65, as well as children, being exposed to the X-rays.”
“Airline passengers who object to any type of physical screening are not going to fly anywhere, the head of the Transportation Security Administration told a congressional committee Tuesday.
“Quizzed by lawmakers about a controversial new airport procedure that uses revealing full-body scan machines and intimate ‘pat-downs’ of those who object or set off alarms, TSA Administrator John S. Pistole appealed to the flying public to become “partners” in the effort to combat terrorism.
“But Pistole told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs that his inspectors at 453 of the nation’s airports are not going to back down in the face of complaints that techniques are invasive.”