The TSA is opening an investigation targeting John Tyner, who recieved an aggressive “pat down” at the airport when he refused to go through with the TSA’s ‘porno scanners’
By Jane Hamsher / AlterNet / November 16, 2010
[Editor: go to original article for all the excellent and numerous links.]
The TSA is opening an investigation targeting John Tyner, the man who earned himself an aggressive “pat down” at the airport when he refused to go through the TSA’s new AIT “porno scanners.”
But it’s the TSA that should be investigated, not Tyner.
Tyner was now allowed board his flight after he refused to allow himself to be groped, and now he could face both prosecution and a fine of $11,000.But his real crime was making the “don’t touch my junk” video showing exactly what happened during his encounter with the TSA, which sparked a public backlash.
The new pat-down policy for refuseniks, which started on November 1, has been described by the Airline Pilots Association as “sexual molestation” — and it’s nothing more than a way to punish people who might boycott the Department of Homeland Security’s expensive new boondoggle scanners. And prosecuting Tyner is blatant and very public way to intimidate anyone who might follow his lead. This goes to show just how how constant threats of “terror” are used to create new markets for products nobody needs. The public is then intimidated into compliance in the name of “national security,” when in reality they’re sacrificing their dignity, their civil liberties and their tax dollars for the sake of enormous profits:
- 2005: Michael Chertoff, as head of Homeland Security, orders the first batch of porno scanners from a company called Rapiscan Systems. After his departure, Chertoff gave dozens of interviews using his government credentials to promote the device. What he didn’t tell people was that Rapiscan was one of the clients of his consulting company, The Chertoff group.
- March 2009: The Department of Homeland Security says they will apply $1 billion in stimulus money to the nation’s airports. Senator Joe Lieberman, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, personally promises to oversee the distribution of stimulus funds so money goes toward the goal of creating “4 million jobs” and not on “boondoggles”
- December 2009: Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz inserted language into the Homeland Security appropriations bill barring the use of full-body image scans as “primary” screening tools at airports, and it passed the House on a bipartisan vote of 310-118. Both the ACLU and the NRA backed it. The amendment also made it illegal to store and copy these images. It died in the Senate.
- December 25, 2009: The “Christmas bomber” attempts to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear while on board a flight to Detroit.
- December 29, 2009: Joe Lieberman calls for “more widespread use of the full-body scanners after the aborted attack.”
- January 2010: Since they couldn’t get money for the porno scanners from Congress, TSA uses the “Christmas bomber” scare to appropriate $25 million they had received in stimulus money to buy the “backscatter” scanners — from Rapiscan, Chertoff’s client. Rapiscan said the contract “helped create” 25 jobs. The government gives the TSA the green light to spend a total of $173 million on the scanners. TSA spokesperson Sarah Horowitz said “the agency has enough funds that would come from the stimulus program and other federal sources” to purchase 300 more porno scanners, per CNN. Total jobs created, per the government’s own website: 1.
- April 2010: The GAO reports that “it remains unclear whether the AIT would have detected the weapon used in the December 2009 incident based on the preliminary information GAO has received.”
- November 8, 2010: US Airline Pilots Association tells its members “NOT to submit to AIT screenings.”
- November 15, 2010: Joe Lieberman says he “comes down on the side of the patdowns.”
The last thing the TSA needs is a pile of crappy technology that isn’t even effective, that people refuse to use, right?
So the “groping” technique was developed as a way to punish people into using the scanners — because there are $148 million more on the way. And just so nobody gets the idea to follow Tyner’s lead, the TSA is using threats and intimidation to guarantee the market for the porno scanners. Whether Tyner is prosecuted or not, people will hear about what happened to him and think twice before refusing to become fodder for their new machines.
This is a full-on outrage. It’s time to investigate the TSA, not Tyner. Sign the petition demanding Congress investigate the TSA’s porno scanners, aggressive groping, and abuses of power.