Dan Gilmore / August 18, 2015

About the TSA’s Full Body Scanners…

It’s a pity, as the government spent $120 million to adopt the body scanners.

In the fervor after 9/11, the Senate voted unanimously to federalize airport security, the thinking being that a large federal government could do more to ensure national security than the private firms the 9/11 hijackers foiled. But now the word on Capitol Hill is that the full body scanners the TSA relied on to catch guns, knives, bombs and tactical water bottles don’t work. It’s a pity, as the government spent $120 million to adopt the body scanners, paying about $150,000 for each one of them. This comes at a time when the TSA missed undercover federal agents, who were testing the TSA’s security system, letting them pass through with weapons 95% of the time. Perhaps it’s time for the 14-year experiment in nationalized transportation security to end. The question is if we can work against Ronald Reagan’s adage — y'know, the one about government programs bearing an uncanny resemblance to eternal life. Unfortunately, Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson doubled down, proposing fliers go through the failed body scanners and a good ol’ metal detector.

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