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UCSF-letter-concerning-health-risks-of-full-body-scanner-TSA-screenings

Original post made by Elizabeth, Mohr Park, on Dec 1, 2010

I'm one of the lurkers on PW forums. I have no idea about the validity of this, but thought some of the more well read members of this forum might know something. It is being passed around FB and email lists. It seems to be an older story, so it might already be a dead horse.


Web Link

Comments (18)

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Posted by Yemen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2010 at 2:09 pm

There are two different kinds of scanners, one uses radio waves, and seems to be harmless. The other uses x-rays. Of course they are supposed to be low dose x-rays, if the machine is working properly. The x-rays are absorbed by your skin.
There are two kind of machines only because the TSA wanted to have two companies in competition and make prices come down.
We could have had only the radio wave scanners.
Some of our elected officials have stock in the companies that make these scanners.
Only now, in 2010, are all passenger names being checked against the Do Not Fly list. This was not being done before.
Until just recently, the TSA required airlines to check the Do Not Fly list every 24 hours. Now it's every 2 hours. The names on the list could go to the airlines instantaneously, but our government doesn't want to pay for that technology.
The bombers and potential bombers have a lot in common. Why are we not profiling for these individuals? We'd rather have the TSA groping 4 year olds than profiling for terrorists, and we're all stupid enough to go along with this.


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Posted by Maja7
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 1, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Why are we not profiling? I'll tell you why....political correctness. We are at a point in the society where "everything" must be measured against how it may or may not offend a culture or religion. As a Christian, I may be offended by someone or something (latest is the depiction of Jesus covered in ants; said to be ART)but I'm not going to act out against it.Until we get over this fear of offending other religions or cultures, we are only victimizing ourselves.


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Posted by Kyle
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2010 at 6:32 pm

I haven't met one person who's against profiling. It makes sense. The present situation does not make sense. This process of x- raying and groping every single American is inefficient and laughable. We know the demographics of the bombers.


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Posted by Janna
a resident of Dublin
on Dec 1, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Janna is a registered user.

Are you actually talking about profiling Americans? That should go over well. All American citizens created equal unless you were born with a certain skin color that makes us think you're a terrorist. Huh?

How would that have worked out for finding Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph? Would you have profiled them to be terrorists? Of course not.


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Posted by Yemen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2010 at 11:37 pm

I'm talking about taking the characteristics, behavior patterns, gender, country of origin, history, etc. of all known terrorists who have bombed, high-jacked, or attempted to bomb our planes, and create a profile of this type. Then subject people who fit this profile to extra attention at airports.


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Posted by Meredith
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2010 at 8:35 am

Have you noticed that anytime the subject of profiling comes up that left-wing loons immediately inject "race" into the conversation. Of course, that fits with their general modus operendi to inject the race card at every opportunity, and in so doing are being racists. Sophisticated profiling for security has little to do with race.


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Posted by Janna
a resident of Dublin
on Dec 2, 2010 at 8:46 am

Janna is a registered user.

Hey Meredith,

If you can't answer as to how profiling, and yes it is racial, would have helped catch either of the two domestic terrorists I mentioned, that's okay, but don't tell me I am the one injecting race into it. That would be your side.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 2, 2010 at 8:53 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Let's just say that the random sampling of passengers does nothing and did nothing to catch would-be terrorists. It's security theater at it's finest.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 2, 2010 at 9:06 am

Stacey is a registered user.

P.S. Janna, not all profiling is racial. Don't confuse yourself. It is not racial to ask everyone at a security checkpoint a few simple questions by well-trained staff.


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Posted by WHAT?
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 2, 2010 at 9:24 am

Since when is profiling based on race? have you even travelled? I am talking outside the North/South American region. Profiling is a science based on human reaction to questions. It is a reading of body language, what a person does with their mouth, their eyes, their hands, feet, breathing patterns, etc. It requires extensive training and is very costly. The cost is the primary reason that the TSA doesn't do this. If you travel in Europe you will experience it. The experts are in Israel....it is quite an experience. Non-intrusive, but when you are done, you realize the implications of the questions. As a non-threat you have no reason to worry...if you are hiding something? They will figure is out very quickly. As in all things nothing is 100% BUT having said that, it is way more effective than the current situation here. My personal belief is that the TSA should buck up and get these people trained properly.


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Posted by Beth
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 2, 2010 at 10:47 am

We should have the Israelis teach TSA how to make a secure airport. Of course that would make sense, and when in the last 100 years has anything the government done made sense. Personally, I've been boycotting any flights through America. Even drove cross country with kids to avoid it. Much easier to drive through the border into Canada and take a flight from there to Europe. At least I don't feel molested.


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Posted by Lou
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Meredith, you're really generalizing. I would probably be a person others would describe as 'liberal' and I am all for profiling for terrorists at airports. I don't care who it offends, it makes sense. I'm also against the death penalty, for abortion rights and for gay marriage.


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Posted by Janna
a resident of Dublin
on Dec 3, 2010 at 9:37 am

Janna is a registered user.

No, it's not all racial profiling. However, physical features are the first thing they see. Do you really believe they don't take that into account first?

I'm still wondering how they would have caught white American terrorists at the airport with their techniques. I seriously either of those two I mentioned would have been pulled by TSA.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 3, 2010 at 11:24 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I'm still wondering how they would catch white American terrorists at the airport with current techniques.


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Posted by Jamie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2010 at 11:52 am

Those two you mentioned weren't part of a network of people active today whose goal is to attack U.S. planes.
Yes, you're right, we will not prevent random people, not part of a group that can be studied in advance, from committing crimes.
But there is a group of people who have joined together to commit violent acts against American. It makes sense to study their characteristics and look out for them.
This group even has an online magazine.
It's called Inspire and it's run by Al-Qaeda.
Inspire states that Al-Qaeda is promising more small-scale attacks, like its attempts to bomb two U.S.-bound cargo planes. It likens this to bleeding its enemy to death by a thousand cuts.
The group says it's part of a new strategy of smaller attacks to hit the U.S. economy.
"To bring down America we do not need to strike big, with the security phobia that is sweeping America, it is more feasible to stage smaller attacks that involve less players and less time to launch."
Their latest idea is package attacks that are intended to cause economic harm, not casualties.
"We knew that cargo planes are staffed by only a pilot and a co-pilot," the author writes, "so our objective was not to cause maximum casualties but to cause maximum losses to the American economy."
The U.S. has banned all cargo from Yemen and Somalia, because that's where the people who have tried to do this and are writing about it are based.
We may be upsetting people from Yemen and Somalia who are just trying to send a harmless package. We are certainly inconveniencing them.
Do you think we should ban all cargo from every country, and within the U.S., so we don't inconvenience or offend the residents of Yemen and Somalia?






Read more: Web Link


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 3, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

As I wrote previously, current techniques are security theater at its finest. We subconsciously delude ourselves into thinking it is working and effective because it makes us feel safe when we see it.

Web Link


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Posted by Tina
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2010 at 1:31 pm

It makes me feel like we are stupid, quite honestly.


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Posted by Pleasanton Neighbor
a resident of Castlewood
on Dec 17, 2010 at 2:32 am

The actions of the TSA(DHS) are a disgrace to all that is great about America. I teach my children that no one is allowed to put their hands on their bodies, much less inside their underwear (yes, the TSA is really doing that). My father didn't enlist in WWII to end Nazi rule so we could create a police state here at home.

We need to return to a "no touch" policy at the airports: dogs-OK, GE-made puffer/sniffer machines-OK, metal detectors and wanding-OK. Forcing our families to be seen naked or have their breasts and or genitals touched by TSA...? Heck no. I'm thrilled to see so many rising up against this outrageous Orwellian nonesense! Write and tell the airline executives you won't fly and go to www.wewontfly.com Let's help them get a billboard up by SFO and OAK!

On profiling: many people in the middle-east are caucasian in appearance, so by definition, any profiling would have to be behavioral or country of origin-based, NOT race based.


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