TSA Reverses Decision On Scans For Pilots

 photo: wiki commons The TSA has decided to let pilots off the hook on the new security procedures.  Makes sense, as a pilot who really wants to do some damage can simply crash the plane into a building or grab the gun they now carry in the cockpit and open fire.  And aren’t the backgrounds of professional pilots thoroughly vetted, even more-so than the TSA security guards?

Beyond that, aren’t professional pilots on the front line in the war against terrorism?  If there’s a problem on the plane, who ya gonna call?  A TSA screener?

It doesn’t seem reasonable to expect pilots to subject themselves to repeated body scans, does it?  That would be hundreds of scans per year.  Hey, wait a minute.  That’s exactly what regular business travelers will now be subjected to, unless they enjoy having their genitalia groped by security guards.

Almost makes you wonder if somebody didn’t decide to make the pat-downs so undesirable that travelers would be forced to go through repeated radiation just to avoid being groped by someone with the following “credentials.”

Applicants must be a citizen of the United States or a U.S National and have a high school diploma, GED or recognized equivalent. If you do not possess the education component, you can still apply if you have at least one year of full time experience working as an X-ray technician, aviation screener or security officer. In addition to these two basic requirements, applicants will be required to meet the following employment conditions:

  • Demonstrate physical fitness to work on a daily basis without the aid of medication.
  • Work irregular hours and shifts, including holidays and weekends.
  • Pass drug and alcohol screening tests.
  • Pass background, criminal and credit checks. –airlinepilotforum

So you pass on being groped by someone with questionable training, whose starting pay was just a little above $23,000 a year, and opt for screening instead.

Thing is.  Radiation is cumulative.  It doesn’t just go away.  Every time you get another scan the amount of radiation builds and builds and….   You get the idea.  While there is some disagreement as to the amount of damage low-level radiation does, it is generally agreed that it’s a good thing for humans and other living creatures to avoid.

What was wrong with the old system?   Who’s making huge money on this new and “improved” system?  It’s easy to fly off into nutjob land with conspiracy theories.  However, whenever huge profits are involved it’s usually a good idea to remember the words of deep throat and “follow the money.”

Or maybe safety really is the only issue?  If so, how safe do you want to be?  Is it acceptable to you to be subjected to repeated doses of low-level radiation?   You okay with the idea of being groped by a security guard?

Let’s review:

-A lunatic got on a plane with a “shoe bomb” so now we must remove our shoes before boarding an aircraft.

-Another lunatic tried blowing up a plane with exploding underpants, so now we must subject ourselves to full body scans or groping by security guards.

Can body cavity searches be far behind?  (forgive the pun)

There is apparently no limit as to what the terrorists will do.  Is there a limit on what you’re willing to go through to get on a plane in the name of increased security?  What constitutes acceptable risk and at what point should the flying public and their government officials say “enough?”

At this point, I pity the poor frequent flyer.

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