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The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1788

TSA to do away with ‘nude body’ scanners by June

There goes half the new applications filed by dirty old (and young) men aspiring to become TSA officers because of the lascivious fringe benefits. Those benefits, at least up until yesterday, included the promise of a chance to ogle “nekkid” women via invasive “nude body” scanners. But on Friday, the agency announced that the odious devices will be phased out by June owing to public pressure over privacy concerns.

“The TSA defended the scanners,” the Associated Press reports, “saying the images couldn’t be stored and were seen only by a security worker who didn’t interact with the passenger.” Somehow that sounds even more perverse – bordering on the pornographic in fact – but the statement is almost certainly false. In August of 2010, the U.S. Marshals Service admitted that it had stored more than 35,000 nude scans of passengers on a computer in a Florida courthouse.

As for the claim that TSA officers had no interaction with passengers, passenger Ellen Terrell tells a different story. A wife and mother, Terrell maintains that in February 2010 she was told by a screener that she had “a cute figure” and was asked to pass through the scanner three times. There is also the recently published account of a former TSA employee who wrote of witnessing “light sexual play among officers, a lot of e-cigarette vaping, and a whole lot of officers laughing and clowning in regard to some … nude images.”

The AP article notes that although the nude scanners are being retired, other airport body scanners, which produce a generic outline instead of a naked image, are staying put.

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Howard Portnoy has written for HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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