The naked truth can be irrational

Brian
Brian Jones
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The exhibitionists among us are going to have some extra fun when full-body scanners are installed later this year at the St. John's International Airport.

Some people won't mind a bit if they're ordered to step into the scanner that will allow security personnel to see through their clothes and view their naked body.

The exhibitionists among us are going to have some extra fun when full-body scanners are installed later this year at the St. John's International Airport.

Some people won't mind a bit if they're ordered to step into the scanner that will allow security personnel to see through their clothes and view their naked body.

With any luck, in their minds, maybe they'll even make it onto Facebook or YouTube.

"Never," politicians and security advocates have assured the public. The naked body images will be for temporary viewing only, and will not be saved or stored.

Yeah, right

Anyone who believes airport personnel on duty every shift, day after day, night after night, security suspect after security suspect, will always dutifully hit the delete key should also visit the nearest real estate office to inquire about buying a bridge over some Florida swampland.

Transparent errors

You have to worry about the long-term viability of western democracies when so many of their citizens are willingly gullible.

The arguments in favour of full-body scanners are easy and plentiful: better technology will increase public safety; full-body scanners will prevent terrorists from smuggling explosives onto planes; anyone with nothing to hide shouldn't object to having a full-body scan.

But those who place high faith in modern technology might want to check the latest news about the Gulf of Mexico oil well blowout, just to see how that's going. Technology solved it yet?

As for full-body scanners making it impossible for terrorists to bring explosives onto planes, well, no.

Some security experts have said the device used by the so-called Underwear Bomber in the U.S. last Christmas wouldn't necessarily have shown up on a full-body scanner.

And, when the federal government announced in January it had purchased 44 full-body scanners for use in airports across Canada, a planeload of commentators quickly pointed out the contraptions are useless in detecting plastic explosives inserted into a body cavity, a realistic alternative for any determined Jihadist.

As for the "if you don't have anything to hide" argument, that mode of reasoning is prevalent in dictatorships, so let's hope Canada has not devolved so much that we're willing to entertain it as a line of argument to defend any state action.

Other methods

There is also the troubling question of why the full-body scanners will be used on passengers, but not on airline employees or airport security staff.

After all, there's more than one way to bring terror onto an airplane.

Is it mere oversight that the full-body scan plan doesn't include airline and security staff? Have the unions objected? Is each and every employee in each and every Canadian airport 100 per cent trustworthy and gooder than good?

In former times, people accepted the notion that it is desirable and reasonable that the watchers also be watched. Today, we're apparently willing to just do what the government tells us we must do for our own good.

"Sir, I don't care how worried you are about the possibility that a disgruntled baggage handler took a bribe and is even now committing a dastardly deed. Just shut up and step into the scanner, please."

Authorities have tried to deflect objections to the full-body scanners by saying not everyone will be required to step into one. Only some passengers will be selected by airport security staff to be scanned.

If you like office hockey pools, or election pools, you could try a variant: you and your co-workers could hold a pool to pick the month and year that full-body scans at Canadian airports will become mandatory for every passenger. Anyone who selects "never" may as well pass over their money right now.

Brian Jones is a desk editor at The Telegram. He can be reached by e-mail at bjones@thetelegram.com.

Organizations: International Airport, The Telegram

Geographic location: St. John's, Canada, Florida Gulf of Mexico U.S.

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Recent comments

  • Derek
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Gordon Brown Was a traitor to his country.
    In Britain if you are asked to go through one of the scanners you must comply. If you refuse you will be barred from flying and your name will be kept on a list. Guilty before you fly. You are not given the opportunity to have a pat down. The terrorists have scarred the not properly elected Prime Minister (what a joke) in to forcing civilised human beings in to getting there naked bodies photo graphed and looked at in detail by anyone who is TRAINED. Have these perverts been vetted or are they on the sex offenders list. I bet all the Trained individuals are men. A Doctor is the only other man i would willingly let look at my wifes naked body for medical reasons not some floor cleaner who applied for a job as pervert. Looking for bombs or staring at naked woman all day. What a job to have. Not having to pay for porn but also getting paid to look at it. I spoke to a friend at an airport and he told me that the images are kept for an hour before they are deleted. Just encase something happens on the plane they can then go back and have another look at the porn. So all this the images arent stored in anyway and are deleted straight away is complete rubbish! In order for myself and family to have a nice holiday in the sun I am expected to let my wife expose herself to a complete stranger. I didnt marry a slag. Porn stars have a choice to get photo graphed, our wifes and children dont. Until these Skandalis machines are destroyed I am stuck in this country for a holiday. To drive to a hot country far away with a young family is unfair on them. The dignity of our loved ones has been thrown away just because of some mud hut dwellers go boo !!! The images you see are from the back ground scatter scanners not the fully disgusting Millimetre wave scanners which revel everything your body has to show. Even down to the size of your labia. Do you think Winston Churchill would have aloud his loved ones to expose there genitals to strangers just so they could go on holiday. Get some Genitals Brown. Dont jump on the first band wagon that they say will stop terrorists. This last attack would still of happened even if he had gone through a scanner. I served in the Army for my family and friends protection. Now my Supposed Leader is making them strip in front of anyone deemed TRAINED. Disgusting behaviour from a supposed leader of men. Bend over Britain all is lost.
    PS.funny how the shares in these machines are on the up. Some one is making a lot of money out this.

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    With most of the world's undiscovered oil under the seas and the latest disaster in the Gulf, I don't see how there is going to be enough oil around to keep this merry-go-round airborne much longer. Thus scanning may become a thing of the past in very short order.

  • jeff
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    I think the scanners are a fabulous idea. Terrorists are becoming more and more tech savvy and we have to keep up. If you have a better idea, Brian, I failed to notice it in your article. (I read it twice just to be certain you had nothing productive to say.) I have no problem with airport staff seeing me in my birthday suit if it means I'll survive the trip. And I know a few of the airport staff....they aren't pervs, they have better and more important things to do than run to the staff lounge with a stack of nude printouts. Maybe you and Randy Simms can get together and brainstorm about a more productive way to deal with terrorists...how about racial profiling? Simms is all over that one. Or maybe the both of you can hit a gym if you are so emabarrassed with your body image.

  • 20% member
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    jeff from nl said the following: '(I read it twice just to be certain you had nothing productive to say.)'


    jeff from nl wanted to be certain that he believed he read negativity and only negtativity from this piece. When negativity is all you are looking for, then negativity is all you will find. As for the scanners, they are the Bowmarc Missiles of our time - just another useless item sold by another big Amexican corporation. Junk machine and junk security policies. Terrorists don't even need to ever get near an aircraft to knock it down. It's stupid to think we are smarter than all of them.


    Excellent piece Brian, and closer to the truth than anyone wants to admit. These people can go stick their heads back in the sand.

  • Me
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    I agree whole Heartedly! I work at an Airport and this is a sick waste of money! The Terrorists win again..Security is a joke..We have a local Security Firm looking after our Hangar and only one of them has a RAIC Airside Red Pass ! This would ensure they are CSIS checked..They all have access to Airside, and Aircraft when they are in the Hanger..I won't divulge their Heritage but not one of them is Canadian born...There was a Death in the States recently where some security personnel were fooling around with the Scanners and one of them was made fun of due to the size of his private anatomy..he was tormented to the point that he Killed his Co-worker..Google it..This is another waste of the Money we Pay in Airport Security Fees we are charged every time we Travel! My suggestion is that every time you are given the option of the Scanner or a Search, take the Search, and keep Lobbying the Fed's to use the Fee's to actually Study Security and what measures could be implemented to improve it and not provide a False Sense!

  • Steve
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    The answer for you Refusniks and poor Brits who have no options:
    Leather !

    If you get leather underwear (which are perfectly legal),
    the scanner cannot penetrate it. If they fit tightly, you will look like a woman (with nothing up top). The TSA guys would go WTF?

    Leather blouses for women are cool also and work equally well.

    Check out:
    http://youniqueboutique.com/mens_leather.html

    Remember it must be real leather, the thicker the better. The Rapiscan cannot see through more than 0.1? of skin (or leather).

  • Derek
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Gordon Brown Was a traitor to his country.
    In Britain if you are asked to go through one of the scanners you must comply. If you refuse you will be barred from flying and your name will be kept on a list. Guilty before you fly. You are not given the opportunity to have a pat down. The terrorists have scarred the not properly elected Prime Minister (what a joke) in to forcing civilised human beings in to getting there naked bodies photo graphed and looked at in detail by anyone who is TRAINED. Have these perverts been vetted or are they on the sex offenders list. I bet all the Trained individuals are men. A Doctor is the only other man i would willingly let look at my wifes naked body for medical reasons not some floor cleaner who applied for a job as pervert. Looking for bombs or staring at naked woman all day. What a job to have. Not having to pay for porn but also getting paid to look at it. I spoke to a friend at an airport and he told me that the images are kept for an hour before they are deleted. Just encase something happens on the plane they can then go back and have another look at the porn. So all this the images arent stored in anyway and are deleted straight away is complete rubbish! In order for myself and family to have a nice holiday in the sun I am expected to let my wife expose herself to a complete stranger. I didnt marry a slag. Porn stars have a choice to get photo graphed, our wifes and children dont. Until these Skandalis machines are destroyed I am stuck in this country for a holiday. To drive to a hot country far away with a young family is unfair on them. The dignity of our loved ones has been thrown away just because of some mud hut dwellers go boo !!! The images you see are from the back ground scatter scanners not the fully disgusting Millimetre wave scanners which revel everything your body has to show. Even down to the size of your labia. Do you think Winston Churchill would have aloud his loved ones to expose there genitals to strangers just so they could go on holiday. Get some Genitals Brown. Dont jump on the first band wagon that they say will stop terrorists. This last attack would still of happened even if he had gone through a scanner. I served in the Army for my family and friends protection. Now my Supposed Leader is making them strip in front of anyone deemed TRAINED. Disgusting behaviour from a supposed leader of men. Bend over Britain all is lost.
    PS.funny how the shares in these machines are on the up. Some one is making a lot of money out this.

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    With most of the world's undiscovered oil under the seas and the latest disaster in the Gulf, I don't see how there is going to be enough oil around to keep this merry-go-round airborne much longer. Thus scanning may become a thing of the past in very short order.

  • jeff
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    I think the scanners are a fabulous idea. Terrorists are becoming more and more tech savvy and we have to keep up. If you have a better idea, Brian, I failed to notice it in your article. (I read it twice just to be certain you had nothing productive to say.) I have no problem with airport staff seeing me in my birthday suit if it means I'll survive the trip. And I know a few of the airport staff....they aren't pervs, they have better and more important things to do than run to the staff lounge with a stack of nude printouts. Maybe you and Randy Simms can get together and brainstorm about a more productive way to deal with terrorists...how about racial profiling? Simms is all over that one. Or maybe the both of you can hit a gym if you are so emabarrassed with your body image.

  • 20% member
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    jeff from nl said the following: '(I read it twice just to be certain you had nothing productive to say.)'


    jeff from nl wanted to be certain that he believed he read negativity and only negtativity from this piece. When negativity is all you are looking for, then negativity is all you will find. As for the scanners, they are the Bowmarc Missiles of our time - just another useless item sold by another big Amexican corporation. Junk machine and junk security policies. Terrorists don't even need to ever get near an aircraft to knock it down. It's stupid to think we are smarter than all of them.


    Excellent piece Brian, and closer to the truth than anyone wants to admit. These people can go stick their heads back in the sand.

  • Me
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    I agree whole Heartedly! I work at an Airport and this is a sick waste of money! The Terrorists win again..Security is a joke..We have a local Security Firm looking after our Hangar and only one of them has a RAIC Airside Red Pass ! This would ensure they are CSIS checked..They all have access to Airside, and Aircraft when they are in the Hanger..I won't divulge their Heritage but not one of them is Canadian born...There was a Death in the States recently where some security personnel were fooling around with the Scanners and one of them was made fun of due to the size of his private anatomy..he was tormented to the point that he Killed his Co-worker..Google it..This is another waste of the Money we Pay in Airport Security Fees we are charged every time we Travel! My suggestion is that every time you are given the option of the Scanner or a Search, take the Search, and keep Lobbying the Fed's to use the Fee's to actually Study Security and what measures could be implemented to improve it and not provide a False Sense!

  • Steve
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    The answer for you Refusniks and poor Brits who have no options:
    Leather !

    If you get leather underwear (which are perfectly legal),
    the scanner cannot penetrate it. If they fit tightly, you will look like a woman (with nothing up top). The TSA guys would go WTF?

    Leather blouses for women are cool also and work equally well.

    Check out:
    http://youniqueboutique.com/mens_leather.html

    Remember it must be real leather, the thicker the better. The Rapiscan cannot see through more than 0.1? of skin (or leather).