TSA Scans “Won’t Catch Anybody”, reports Popular Mechanics

The terror follies continue my little mobsters. But remember, this administration is smart, very smart. Unlike George Bush who was stupid. Well not only has State been negotiating with an impostor in Afghanistan, but those scanners designed to keep us safe, ummm, not so much, says Popular Mechanics.

I could say we are doomed, but I may have overused that phrase a bit. But, if our security is in the hands of these folks at DHS, then we’re closer to doomed than I had truly expected. Popular Mechanics interviewed cryptology expert and security consultant Bruce Schneier, who, according to PM, has been one of the most ardent critics of our current airport security setup.

So what about the new equipment?

PM: The machines have shown up in the wake of the so-called underwear bomber, who tried to blow up a plane with chemicals stored in his briefs. Would this technology have stopped him?

A: The guys who make the machines have said, “We wouldn’t have caught that.”

PM: So what kind of attack will this prevent, that otherwise might be successful?
A: There are two kinds of hijackers. There’s the lone nutcase, like someone who will bring a gun onto a plane because, dammit, they’re going to take the whole plane down with them. Any pre-9-11 airport security would catch a person like that.

The second kind is the well-planned, well-financed Al Qaeda-like plot. And nothing can be done to stop someone like that.

PM: Has there been a case since 9-11 of an attempted hijacker being thwarted by airport security.

A: None that we’ve heard of. The TSA will say, “Oh, we’re not allowed to talk about successes.” That’s actually bullsh*t. They talk about successes all the time. If they did catch someone, especially during the Bush years, you could be damned sure we’d know about it. And the fact that we didn’t means that there weren’t any. Because the threat was imaginary. It’s not much of a threat. As excess deaths go, it’s just way down in the noise. More than 40,000 people die each year in car crashes. It’s 9/11 every month. The threat is really overblown.

There’s more and it’s worth reading. Plus, read this this … from Instapundit:

DOES THE TSA KILL? More on risk-shifting and risk-increasing. “According to the Cornell study, roughly 130 inconvenienced travelers died every three months as a result of additional traffic fatalities brought on by substituting ground transit for air transit. That’s the equivalent of four fully-loaded Boeing 737s crashing each year.” Not sure how to weigh these numbers, but we certainly ought to keep them in mind.

UPDATE: I have changed the headline in the interest of accuracy, from “says” to “reports”. My apologies.

6 replies
  1. Anne-EH
    Anne-EH says:

    Jim, this comes to me as no surprise. Thse scanning machines are worse then worthless, as well as a waste of precious money and travelers time, look for more highway deaths because people will not want the hassle of going through this high tech security and just travel by car instead. Also these scanners could be possible health hazards in regards to radiation and the human. What is needed is to do what most countries do, such as Israel is use intelegence more, ask the tough pre-boarding questions, and look for behaviors. This is called profiling.

  2. Wind
    Wind says:

    Popular Mechanics?  Geez what does Jon Stewart say about this..isn't he more than qualified to tell the masses what is truth?  What a disaster we have on our hands and no one in DC or DHS have the intelligence to do anything about it.

  3. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Hmmm.  If the scanners give out enough radiation, we could be getting tans!


    Of course, this means that the Democrats would tax us for it….


    T&A for the TSA?

  4. philgrannan@yahoo.co
    [email protected] says:



    I have a knee replacement that always sets off the airport scanner (except in Cambodia and Thailand).  I always get a private "wanding" and pat down.  The pat down is never invasive and I'm glad to go through it as a means to keep us all safe in the air.

    I hope the new scanners will see the implant and let me go on my way.  The only problem has been that all my stuff gets backed up on the ramp behind the X-Ray machine while I get checked.

    I'm flying overseas in January and will know more after that.

  5. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    I have a hip implant. I always set off the metal detectors, get wanded and patted down (BIG DEAL). The new scanners see the implant: no wanding, no patting down. WORKS FOR ME!

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