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January 3, 2010

Stripped Naked By Al-Qaeda (and I Haven’t Even Been to the Airport)

Body Scan.jpg

(Click for larger size)

Memo to al-Qaeda: The plan actually worked! Abdulmutallab didn’t even need to detonate his explosive to to literally scare the pants off the non-Muslim world with all these photos of near-naked airline passengers — not to mention, sending whole countries into a frenzy of anxiety, media hype and, of course, unchecked spending.

Since Christmas, western media has been flooded with images such as this, with countries rushing to either purchase or put into operation these ridiculous machines. Beyond the vanity issues, which apparently can be mitigated by placing operators behind screens or in separate rooms, and using software that blurs faces and can produce displays that are not so graphic, all kinds of other problems abound. There are the added delays, the radiation from the x-rays, the limits of the machines to detect past certain levels of components or substances, the possibility of hiding bombs inside the body … not to mention the megabucks that go out the window with each passing type of threat. (I don’t know. Can you buy stock in Rapiscan?)

Maybe I should have actually withheld this post, knowing how these photo serve up a gift to the jihadists, each one setting off another burst of fear and humiliation.

Spiegel photo gallery.

(photos: Reuters)

  • Illy

    This is getting completely ridiculous.
    We’re governed by imbeciles everywhere.

  • g

    Hearing that Cuba is one of the nations on the scrutiny list is a clear indication that this is just security kabuki.

  • bystander

    Yep; they’ve found more than one way to entangle our pants around our ankles.

  • thomas

    Like a great many official responses to terrorist attacks — the invasion of Iraq, the formation of a department of homeland security, extralegal kidnappings and torture, etc., etc., — the pretext of security allows the imposition of yet another humiliating and dehumanizing instrument of physical power without any public support or any public input. Terrorists wouldn’t be nearly so scary if they didn’t inspire such glee in the hearts of authoritarians the world over.

  • John Powers

    Privacy is a right contested so it’s annoying for concerns about privacy to be ridiculed. But it’s appalling that concerns about the safety of backscatter radiation are dismissed out of hand.
    “Truth invites inquiry, falsehood dreads examination.” ~Charles T. Sprading

  • Zoey & Me

    Hey, how ’bout an ad by Capitol One “What’s in Your Underpants”?

  • DennisQ

    Although the way the pictures are juxtaposed, it looks like three images of one person, there are actually three different individuals. You can tell first by looking at the position of the hands and then noticing the height and weight of each person.
    The guy in the center seems to be wearing a cape. Perhaps he’s a superhero from another planet, and he looks like he’s calling out into the void. Hello, Earthlings . . . I come in peace . . .
    The guy on the right, who is taller and heavier, seems to be wearing a veil. I can’t explain what sort of garment that is.
    The guy in the center seems to be getting whacked with a higher dosage of X-rays. You can see his leg bones very clearly – not well enough for orthopedic surgery, but certainly enough to fry the corpuscles in his bone marrow. I wouldn’t want to do this twice a week, as many travelers do.

  • Rob

    The “plan” works for everybody. The authorities get to implement the new security measures, which are really just a marketing tool.
    If people believe there is a serious threat, then the bigger picture (invasions and occupations) make more sense.
    As far as the Detroit attack was concerned, it would have worked out better for the authorities if the plane had actually been destroyed. 150 dead Americans at Christmas would have given Omaba a blank cheque for a bombing run across Iran (Is Iran still the next Nazi Germany? It gets confusing sometimes).

  • Bubba

    It’s all designed just to keep us all frightened. Frightened people are much more easily controlled. That’s making me frightened.

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