Ethan A. Huff
Nov 24, 2010
A new report has revealed that manufacturers of the invasive and dangerous new naked body scanners popping up in airports across the country more than doubled their political lobbying spending in recent years. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, scanner companies drastically upped their lobbying spending to push for expanded use of the machines under massive government contracts, and some also hired several former politicians and government officials to ensure that such efforts succeeded.
L-3 Communications, for instance, a scanner manufacturer that has sold nearly $40 million worth of scanning equipment to the federal government thus far, has already spent $4.3 million this year to lobby support from Congress. And Rapiscan Systems, another scanner maker, has spent over $271,000 for lobbying purposes this year, as well as hired former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary Michael Chertoff to work for the company and promote scanner use.
Chertoff is also the head of the Chertoff Group, which has been aggressively promoting the use of full body scanners since last year’s alleged Christmas Day bombing attempt. But this clear conflict of interest in revolving-door politics illustrates the blatant fraud of the new security measures, which obviously have nothing to do with improving security and everything to do with using phony terrorist scares to bilk Americans out of millions in tax dollars and rob them of their privacy and dignity.
Linda Daschle, a former official at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and wife of former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, is also a paid lobbyist at L-3 Communications. She recently worked hard to defeat a bill proposed by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) that would have limited scanner use at airports.
Chaffetz received much flack for questioning the expanded use of scanners, having been “routinely [told] that ‘Secretary Chertoff believes this is the right thing to do. Who are you to challenge him?’” Interestingly, his bill died shortly after the supposed attempted Christmas Day bombing.
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This article was posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 5:16 am