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TSA Questioning Body Scanner Opt-Outs

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Refusing to be irradiated treated as suspicious behaviour

Steve Watson
February 22, 2012

Instances of TSA agents demanding to know why travelers are “opting out” of walking through x-ray firing body scanners, and treating the action as suspicious, continue to be reported.

Traveler Ryan Alford told Lew Rockwell.com

“I travel weekly for work and always choose to opt out of the naked body scanners. (I don’t know what’s worse, the pat down or radiation exposure, but there’s something liberating about saying “opt out.”)”

“Anyway, this week I was asked by an agent, ‘Why did you opt out?’ to which I replied, ‘Am I required to answer?’ He mumbled a bit and continued groping and poking. He then asked, ‘Where are you traveling to?’ and again I replied, ‘Am I required to answer?'” Mr Alford explained.

“It wasn’t long before a supervisor appeared, accompanied by a man in a suit (who was sporting a cross-shaped lapel pin clad in the American flag…sigh). He repeated the minion’s same question and my answer again remained unchanged.” Mr Alford added.

“After a hushed conversation between the two busybodies, I was finally allowed to go on my way, smiling with my head held high. Perhaps sometimes it’s just the small acts of defiance that leave one so fulfilled. Thank you so much for all you do. Keep up the great work.”

As we have previously reported, the TSA has warned that expressing any kind of dissatisfaction at having to be prodded, groped or forced through a radiation firing naked body scanner, will be treated as suspicious behaviour.

When someone declines to walk through a body scanner, TSA agents are trained to shout “OPT OUT!” and to conduct pat downs in full view of other passengers in security lines, to deter others from resisting.

At the height of the revolt against the TSA, it was admitted that the goal of making the pat down procedure tantamount to sexual molestation was to psychologically coerce people into using dangerous radiative body scanners, colloquially known as “Dick Measurers” amongst TSA agents.

The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg was told by a TSA agent directly that pat downs were made increasingly invasive not for any genuine security reason, but to make the experience so uncomfortable for the traveler that they would prefer to use the body scanner, despite the fact that scientists at Columbia University and the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety, along with other scientific bodies, have all warned that the devices increase the risk of developing cancer.

I asked him if he was looking forward to conducting the full-on pat-downs. “Nobody’s going to do it,” he said, “once they find out that we’re going to do.”

In other words, people, when faced with a choice, will inevitably choose the Dick-Measuring Device over molestation? “That’s what we’re hoping for. We’re trying to get everyone into the machine.” He called over a colleague. “Tell him what you call the back-scatter,” he said. “The Dick-Measuring Device,” I said. “That’s the truth,” the other officer responded.

Accounts from other travelers have described TSA agents forcing passengers to walk through body scanners even after they have opted out, purely as a psychological ploy to coerce subservience out of others. Agents have reportedly told passengers the devices would be turned off as they walked through them, but that they had to do so, as well as submit to a pat down,  in order to get through security lines.

In one incident last June, Texas state officials recounted disturbing stories that highlight how the TSA is using forceful pat-downs as a form of punishment to those who opt out of the full body scanners.

As a TSA anti-groping bill was being debated in the state, officials recounted an admission by a TSA supervisor that aggressive body searches were being employed as retribution against those who refused to walk through radiation firing scanners.

No terror threat, be it genuine or contrived, can justify the federal government treating American citizens with less respect than farmyard animals. Since TSA workers openly admit that the sexual molestation of travelers is about forcing them to use the scanner and has nothing to do with security, this underscores the fact that the groping procedure and the scanner are both tools of oppression that have no place in a free society.


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.net, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

This article was posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 10:33 am

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