Reports abound that the Transportation Security Administration deactivated a number of its controversial Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines throughout the country on Wednesday. Passengers from California’s LAX reported that the backscatter X-ray machines were “all roped off.” The phenomenon coincided with National Opt-Out Day, a grassroots-driven protest against naked body scanners and intrusive pat downs at airport security checkpoints.
While it cannot be confirmed how many body scanners were turned off at the California airport, it is clear that wherever the news cameras went, hungrily awaiting a protest scene, the scanners were simply deactivated. This begs the rather serious question: Is the TSA more concerned with its PR image than its duties? What’s most perplexing is how government officials can claim that the body scanners are critical to airline safety if on the busiest travel day of the year so many can go unused without incident.
“Shutting down the ‘National Opt-Out Day’ by turning off the machines is the only logical move for the TSA,” writes Mike Adams of Natural News.
“The agency needed a way to defuse the growing grassroots resistance to its criminal violations of Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights. So instead of facing what was sure to be widespread protest, the agency simply decided to turn off the machines for a day.”
After the TSA introduced an “enhanced pat down” procedure to be used on all travelers refusing naked body scans or on those who set off metal detectors, individual protests and lawsuits began in earnest.
The idea of National Opt-Out Day was to raise awareness of the risks the new TSA procedures pose to travelers’ health and their civil rights. Early in November, the Opt-Out movement received a significant boost when the president of the Allied Pilots Association urged all pilots to opt out of being scanned.
On Wednesday, groups of travelers refused to subject themselves to the dangerous ionizing radiation emitted by body scanners, choosing a full body pat down instead. TSA Administrator John Pistole told Fox News Wednesday morning that such organized protests would slow down security checkpoints and lead to missed flights.
Thanks to TSA complicity, it seems his fears did not materialize.