Normally i discuss tech issues and try to avoid politics, but this particular issue hits home. First let me say, i dont travel that much via airlines(usually southwest or AA ), maybe 3-5 times a year. This new AIT system, in my opinion, amounts to nothing more than invasive unconstituational searches. A violation of our civil rights, i also think pat-downs violate those rights. Of course i am not abvocating the removal of all security, i think its necessary, however i draw the line when things get personal. Whats next, random cavity searches? I mean come on guys! Truthfully, i think security could be done a completely different way at airports and i think they are attacking this problem the wrong way. Security begins at the airport border, not in a line full of people inside a crowded terminal(hint hint).
Anyhow, the AIT machines, i completely agree with those concerned with the lasting effects of continued scanning( I also think the TSA technicians should worry). While we are exposed to Xrays on a semi-daily basis, adding more exposure, especially intentional exposure that is non-health related is wrong. I also think virtual strip searches are wrong. Make no mistake, just because they didnt ask you to take off your cloths, doesnt mean it wasnt a strip search. Yes, it may be more convenient, but its still a strip search since in the end, you are naked. As far as i know, only criminals or those who have recently commited a crime are subject to this type of search, why must we now include the rest of population? BTW, what good does an X-ray scanner or AIT device do when it cant see inside the body? I could easily shove explosives up my butt. I could also swallow explosives shortly before a flight. Anyone determined enough(terrorists) could manufacture devices that look like standard passenger carry-ons and then explosivify it on the plane. They could put this equipment in bags that will ride in the luggage compartment and have an altimiter attached to it so it explodes when the plane reaches a certain height. Of course, while i am not a terrorist, nor plan to be, i could think of 100 ways right now and i am sure i wouldnt be the first to think them up. I digress, my main point here is that they will eventually determine that these screening devices are not enough and move on to even more "effective" devices. I have already called my congressmen and i hope you do too.
A famous quote from Bejamin Franklin(or so they say): "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety".
Stop giving up on what america is about and start living. Boycott the pat-downs and screenings(especially on boycott day), boycott the airlines who adovcate it and vote those congresspeople who supported this out of office. I would also like to see an investigation into the fact that the companies selling these machines to congress had former white house officials "consulting" on the process. I dont mean to deny anyone a job, but when your job depends on contacts from your previous job, there is a conflict of interest.