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I had a mini "tilting at windmills/resistance is futile" moment at my hometown Airport screening area this week.  So imagine my surprise (not!) when I saw that the TSA had released this little gem on Friday.

On Tuesday, I was traveling from my hometown to Boston and for the third time in three months, I was “randomly” asked in my hometown to go through the full body scanner.   I politely asked the screener why I am selected so often.  Why I am being selected to go through a full body scanner approximately one out of every three times I fly out of my hometown?  He mumbled some response and I moved into the scanner as the alternative full body pat down is government sanctioned molestation.

NOTE:  One of the last times a screener asked me to go through the scanner in my hometown, I asked the same question and he changed his mind and DIDN’T make me go through the scanner.  I, frankly, was astounded.

When I left the scanner, I asked the TSA agent on the other side if I could talk to a supervisor.  The first TSA agent followed me on the other side of the scanner and said he didn’t like my attitude and wanted me to talk to a supervisor.  Great!  We both want the same thing.

I wanted to ask the supervisor about the status of the Registered Traveler Program and if my hometown airport was looking to restart this program.  And further ask if this program would eliminate or reduce the number of times I would be scanned because no one is really monitoring the effects on frequent travelers/frequently scanned passengers.  I started the conversation by asking “is there anything I can do to reduce the number of times I am scanned?  It’s about one in three travel times that I am scanned.”

I immediately got the “if you travel more you should expect to get scanned more” speech.  Geez, so if I play Mega Millions more often, I should expect to win more?  Is that how it works?  He added that I could always choose molestation, er, the pat down if I didn’t want the scan.  He really didn’t want to or bother to answer my questions.    

I then asked him to remind the TSA agent that didn’t like my attitude (meaning questioning the number of times I am scanned), that I paid for his job and he basically worked for the me, the American taxpayer and as such should respond to my questions.  He disagreed and said they work for the “government”.  I told him that a least for now in American democracy, the “government” is me.  Good times.  Glad Chertoff is making money since he left DHS and now lobbies for the scanner companies.  Mission Accomplished.

When returning from Boston, EVERY, traveler was put through the full body scanner which does use radiation.  I was scanned twice in one day! On Friday the TSA dumped the story linked above.

...the radiation reports generated by TSA contractors reveal haphazard oversight and record-keeping in the critical inspection system the agency relies upon to ensure millions of travelers aren't subjected to excessive doses of radiation.
"What happens in times of failure, when they can give very, very high radiation doses. I'm totally unconvinced they have thought that through," Rez said of the TSA. "I just see a large, bumbling bureaucracy. Of course it's not very reassuring."

Who is monitoring not only these x-ray machines, but the accumulative x-ray dose for frequent flyers?  Should we trust the reported radiation data coming from the TSA?  Or is it an uncontrolled radiological experiment?    Any hospital in the U.S. would have their x-ray department shutdown if they followed what the TSA is doing.  Ionizing radiation is ionizing radiation regardless if the TSA equipment isn't classified as a medical device.

I have started keeping a travel log documenting my flights and when I am scanned.  I don’t know what I will do with this info.  All I know is that when a

person's probability of dying due to radiation from each scan is 1 in 20 million, which is negligible.  However, he also said the probability that a person would to blown up in an airplane by a terrorist is even lower – about 1 in 30 million.
Peter Rez

I smell bullshit.

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