David: It turns out the amount of radiation is significantly higher. And when I say "significantly", we're talking about 10 times. 10 times as high. And I'm... what can I say? I'm glad I didn't go through it.
Louis: Of course, any amount of radiation is harmful.
David: And cumulative, absolutely.
Louis: So... oh, but yeah, big surprise.
David: The TSA is reanalyzing the radiation levels of X-ray body scanners installed in airports nationwide after testing produced dramatically higher-than-expected results. The TSA has deployed at least 500 body scanners to 78 airports, said the machines meet all safety standards and would remain in operation despite a, quote, "calculation error" in safety studies which showed 10 times higher than expected radiation levels.
This is the most unbelievable part, is the source of this confusion. The SNAFU involves tests conducted on the roughly 250 backscatter X-ray machines produced by Rapiscan of Los Angeles, which will deliver another 250 at about $180,000 each. About the 250-millimeter wave technology machines produced by L-3 Communications of New York, or rather, that part... the L-3 Communications machines were not part of the results.
Now, remember, Rapiscan is a client of Michael Chertoff's consulting group, Bush's Secretary of Homeland Security. So if you want to talk corruption, if you want to be completely unsurprised, Louis, by why we should expect that the testing was not done properly, it was not done correctly, we didn't have the real information, just look at the fact that Michael Chertoff was on TV discussing this technology without mentioning his business relationship with the manufacturer. You remember covering that, Louis.
Louis: Of course. Right.
David: And it's just one of many examples, right? I don't think any of us are surprised.
David: Rapiscan technicians in the field are required to test radiation levels 10 times in a row and divide by 10 to produce an average radiation measurement. Often the testers failed to divide results by 10. I don't even get that, because wouldn't that mean that the actual radiation levels are 10 times lower than what is being measured?
David: I don't get the explanation, but you know what? What we're hearing is that the actual radiation is 10 times higher. I'm not surprised. I'm glad I opted for the bizarre porno pat-down where a federal agent told me I wasn't taking it seriously enough, I needed to keep my palms up, he couldn't do anything about the fact that it was ticklish. He had to stick his hands between my pants and my undergarments and shake out and shimmy around me. As absurd as that was, I hate... it sounds weird, I'm glad that I got that instead of the 10 times radiation.
Louis: Right, and there are no regulations here, right? There's no... there are no regulations on acceptable levels of radiation coming out of these machines?
David: Well, it's one of those things where what is acceptable is an ongoing discussion, right? I mean, what is acceptable... any amount is bad...
Louis: I mean, regardless of what an acceptable level would be, there are no regulations?
David: I don't know that. I actually don't know.
David: In other words, with a microwave, there must be some limit to what amount of radiation can be emitted from it, you know, to you standing just next to it, there has to be some limit somewhere I think. I could be wrong.
Louis: But we haven't heard about it.
David: Well, as we know, Louis, just because we haven't heard of something doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Louis: That's true.
David: But regardless, the point is we were told a certain thing and it turns out that that's not the reality.
Transcript provided by Alex Wickersham and www.Subscriptorium.com. For transcripts, translations, captions, and subtitles, or for more information, visit www.Subscriptorium.com, or contact Alex at email@example.com.