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Next Step For US Body Scanners Could Be Trains, Metro Systems 890

Posted by timothy
from the how-to-radicalize-americans dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Hill reports that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says terrorists will continue to look for US vulnerabilities, making tighter security standards necessary. '[Terrorists] are going to continue to probe the system and try to find a way through,' Napolitano said in an interview with Charlie Rose. 'I think the tighter we get on aviation, we have to also be thinking now about going on to mass transit or to trains or maritime.' Napolitano added she hoped the US could get to a place in the future where Americans would not have to be as guarded against terrorist attacks as they are and that she was actively promoting research into the psychology of how a terrorist becomes radicalized. 'The long-term [question] is, how do we get out of this having to have an ever-increasing security apparatus because of terrorists and a terrorist attack?' says Napolitano. 'I think having a better understanding of what causes someone to become a terrorist will be helpful.'"
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Next Step For US Body Scanners Could Be Trains, Metro Systems

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  • by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @10:48AM (#34331060) Journal

    The obvious next logical step would be body scanners to get into your car, and should you refuse, your car will grope you inappropriately.

    Although I'm sure the car fetishists are salivating at that prospect already.

    • Re:Step after that (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Migraineman (632203) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:14AM (#34331546)
      I would suggest that, since they're heading toward "universal" security measures, we take a cue from the Old West and require that everyone carry a sidearm. That'll take security down to the individual person, regardless of mode of transportation.

      Yes, there will be some irresponsible behavior at first (consider it an initial boundary condition,) but things will sort themselves out once the yahoos have removed each other from the equation.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Shakrai (717556)

        I would suggest that, since they're heading toward "universal" security measures, we take a cue from the Old West and require that everyone carry a sidearm.

        I'd rather live in that society than the society that gropes 80 year old wheelchair grandparents alongside their 6 year old grandchildren on the theory that they could be potential terrorists.

        Besides, that society would be a pretty effective deterrent against this sort of thing [wikipedia.org], don't you agree?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by arivanov (12034)

        Lazarus Long: "Armed society is a polite society". While good idea in principle it is not very clear how that will scale to todays population densities. All armed societies known so far had population densities of several orders of magnitude less than today.

        In any case, there is a much less radical step that can and should be taken first. The terrorists exist because they have resources. As long as they have money and resources arming everyone will not help. They will simply be better armed with more lethal

    • Re:Step after that (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:17AM (#34331616) Homepage

      Terrorists can easily target the areas where people are queuing to be scanned. I demand that everybody be scanned and frisked before entering the scanning area. It's the only way to safeguard the American public.

      Signed,
      The guy who manufactures the scanners
      (AKA head of the TSA)

    • Re:Step after that (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tverbeek (457094) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:26AM (#34331786) Homepage

      No, the direction they're heading is to broaden it from securing transportation to securing public places. Hijacking of airplanes is nothing new to the 21st century; people have been doing it for decades, but passengers didn't have to undergo the kind of scan/rape we endure now to get on planes in those days because no one had tried turning a passenger plane into a weapon capable of killing thousands. The FAA was only concerned about planes being diverted by a passenger who wanted to go somewhere, or maybe being blown up by a remote saboteur.... not being used as hand-piloted missiles. That's the underlying justification for these invasive searches: to protect the public from large-scale killing.

      So when (not if) someone in the US commits a suicide bombing in a crowded public place like an airport or train station or sporting event or political rally, the authorities will start screening people just as invasively to get into those as well. They've already started with metal detectors and bag searches in some of these places, and it's just going to get worse. Step by step, we're moving toward becoming a search-and-surveillance society, in which the Fourth Amendment might keep you secure from search and seizure in your home (because that public-safety rationale doesn't apply there), but not when you venture out into public places.

      (And it's all to treat the symptoms, rather than addressing the root causes of the disease.)

    • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:29AM (#34331850)

      MICHAEL: Whoa! KITT! WTF?
      KITT: I'm sorry, Michael, but I'm under new orders from the government to pat you down.
      MICHAEL: Could you warn me next time?
      KITT: Actually, no, I can't.
      MICHAEL: Wan the anal probe necessary? There's a hole in my sexy leather pants now.
      KITT: I'm sorry, Michael.
      MICHAEL: Hmph!
      KITT: (processes quietly)
      MICHAEL: Hey, KITT.
      KITT: Yes, Michael?
      MICHAEL: Could you... could do it again?
      KITT: Oh, yes, Michael!
      MICHAEL: Take me, KITT!
      KITT: OH, yes, Michael!
      MICHAEL: Kiss me, you fool!
      (camera pans back on shaking car)
      (license plate flips over to display "If the car's a rockin', don't com knockin" mode)

  • by intellitech (1912116) * on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @10:48AM (#34331080)

    No offense, but this is completely speculative, and seems to ignore the fact that these body scanners can cost up to and exceeding $100,000 [epic.org], and that's not even including the costs of hiring and maintaining staff to manage the machines. I personally find it hysterical that anybody would think we'd see these in the _many_ train stations out there in even the distant future. Toss in buses as well, and you're quickly approaching $1M just to "secure" one bus/train route.

    As it stands, the cost of these technologies is far too great to be presently implemented at this level. Although, if the TSA is indicative of the average IQ required to operate these machines, even the morons who work for our fabulous local CTA here in Chicago might be able to run these things.

    • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @10:51AM (#34331136) Homepage
      Not to mention that they will be unable to ensure the entire route between stations is secure. Why risk being caught boarding a train with a bomb when you can plant a bomb next to the track?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by erroneus (253617)

        And let's not forget "road-side bombs." I'm not sure we fully appreciate how dangerous things are in Afghanistan and Iraq, so let's just bring the whole frikken war back home so everyone can experience a little bit of it.

        I think it's important to always remember that the reason the "terrorists" are interested in attacking US targets isn't because they "hate our freedom" it's because we are affecting their freedoms and assaulting their ideals with our imperialism. And no, I don't mean "because we are imper

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Shakrai (717556)

          it's because we are affecting their freedoms and assaulting their ideals with our imperialism

          Give me a break. One of OBL's grievances against the United States was the fact that we had troops in the Holy Land. The fact that they were there at the invitation of the Government with the mission of protecting the Holy Land from Iraq didn't matter to him.

          We could pull out of the Middle East tomorrow and return to a 1930s era isolationism and there would still be some extremist nutjob that would find a reason to hate us. That's just the way the world works.

          • by DavidTC (10147) < ... > <neverbox.com>> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:57AM (#34332372) Homepage

            So, in your universe, propping up the Saudi government doesn't count as imperialism?

            Every single step in imperialism always looks entirely sane and just. (Usually because the unjust steps are classified.)

            And we can't seem to understand how people have come to the conclusion that we have conquered them. Sure, we're running around with guns killing the rebels at the request of the government we installed in the first place, but they have FREEDOM(TM)!

            We could pull out of the Middle East tomorrow and return to a 1930s era isolationism

            Could we? Why the FUCK don't we, then?

            and there would still be some extremist nutjob that would find a reason to hate us.

            The problem isn't who hates us, the problem is how many people and what sort of recruitment they can do.

            On 9/11, 19 people killed about three thousand...so each person killed 150, although that was partially absurd luck on their part.

            But let's assume that it's still possible to blow up airplanes, and only takes two people to do that plot, so each person can still kill 150 people.

            But the problem isn't the 150 people. There is functionally no way to stop that if the person is willing to die. You could fricking mix ammonia and bleach at a high school talent show and kill 150 many people which chlorine gas

            It's the 19 people willing to kill and give their life to do so that many that's the problem.

            And it's not really being an 'extremist nutjob' to hate the US because they blew up your house and killed your family. That's just perfectly normal hatred.

        • by Apple Acolyte (517892) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:07PM (#34332540)
          A truly erroneous hard-left outlook, but stupidity is fitting given your account name. Jihadists are very clear about their intentions. It has almost nothing to do with forcing our economies on them. The primary driver of jihad is the desire to subjugate the entire world to the dictates of Islamic dictatorship. Radical Muslims view the non-Muslim controlled parts of the globe as the world they are at war with, and the war they are waging is to impose their religion on all non-Muslims. Other justifications for jihad are at best secondary motivators. And shame on you for whitewashing and apologizing for the unquestionably evil, outrageously heinous campaign of misery and death waged by radical Islam.
          • by radtea (464814) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:25PM (#34334782)

            A truly erroneous hard-right outlook, but stupidity is fitting given your account name. Imperialists are very clear about their intentions. It has almost nothing to do with forcing our social democracies on them. The primary driver of imperialism is the desire to subjugate the entire world to the dictates of American hegemony. Radical imperialists view the non-American controlled parts of the globe as the world they are at war with, and the war they are waging is to impose their empire on all non-Americans. Other justifications for imperialism are at best secondary motivators. And shame on you for whitewashing and apologizing for the unquestionably evil, outrageously heinous campaign of misery and death waged by radical Imperialism.

            Give peace a chance. [cindylooyou.com]

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nospam007 (722110) *

        A bomb? Just put a derailing shoe on the rail.
        Anybody good at soldering can manufacture one from scrap metal. If you chose the right place it goes down a bridge or a cliff.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Voulnet (1630793)
      Actually the gigantic sum of money there is what can make me believe it might actually happen. Lots of money there to lobby for.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I don't care about the financial cost of these machines. I care about the privacy and liberty costs of these machines. They don't make us safer, they don't protect us and we end up giving up freedoms and privacy for absolutely nothing.

      But if these machine do cost 100K each (doesn't sound bad for a certified x-ray machine), then how much does Janet Napolitano get per machine?
    • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:08AM (#34331430) Journal

      It's completely absurd. Anyone with half a brain can think of at least half a dozen reasons why they can't secure trains this way.

      • The average Amtrak station is a double wide about 100 feet of the tracks. They would have to build real thousands of real train stations at a cost of tens of billions of dollars.
      • Unlike planes, which leave the airport up in the air, trains leave the station on the ground. So all someone has to do to get around security is to walk along the tracks.
      • There has never been even one single case of a terrorist boarding any train in the United States with the intent to cause it harm. There has never even been intelligence suggesting that this is a credible threat.
      • The easiest, safest, and most effective way to target a train is not to target the trains themselves, but rather the approximately 233,000 miles of unsecured railroad tracks. If we want to make it at least as secure as the U.S. Mexico border fence (with fences along both sides of every track), it would cost approximately 1.8 Trillion dollars, or about 14% of the total U.S. national debt.
      • That's not counting the tens of trillions of dollars you would have to spend on adding bridges at every railroad crossing in the nation to allow cars to go over the fences.

      In short, Ms. Napolitano clearly has not thought this through. Either that or she has thought it through and she's just the biggest idiot on the face of the planet. With political appointees, it's often hard to say. Either way, it's time to defund the TSA and Homeland Security. They're the biggest laughingstock of the security world since Windows XP.

      • by delinear (991444) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:47AM (#34332210)

        • There has never been even one single case of a terrorist boarding any train in the United States with the intent to cause it harm. There has never even been intelligence suggesting that this is a credible threat.

        Even coming from a country where they did attack the trains (well, the subway system [wikipedia.org]), it still sounds like a bad idea, for all of the other reasons you listed, plus, assuming you could ever make this 100% (or close enough) secure, what's next? Attacks at sporting events? Attacks on people in large offices? Schools? The terrorists don't have a playbook, they can make it up as they go along, trying to react to that is just going to cost a fortune and make everyone's lives hell.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LordKronos (470910)

        There has never been even one single case of a terrorist boarding any train in the United States with the intent to cause it harm. There has never even been intelligence suggesting that this is a credible threat.

        To me, that's the key item. There are countless ways that terrorist can cause lots of damage and death in places where security is currently minimal or nonexistent, yet for some odd reason that doesn't happen much. Despite the fact we keep beefing up airport security, they continue to attack this one target instead of all the other easier targets. We know that these days a terrorist is not going to be able to take control of a plane, so that can't be a reason. So why do they continue to attack planes? The o

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dare nMc (468959)

      body scanners can cost up to and exceeding $100,000

      Maybe Janet got a offer to join the last Homeland Security secretary's comany the Chertoff Group [boston.com]. The Company that produces the body scanners, with a no-bid contract from the government. Maybe Janet needs to keep the scam growing to profit once she is out of government.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sjames (1099)

      One must wonder, since most bus stops are just a bench with a sign, where will they put the scanners and who is going to man them. Of course, if it doesn't make sense to screen city bus passengers, why should metro rail passengers be scanned?

      The nice thing about trains is that you can't fly them in to buildings no matter how hard you try.

  • by alen (225700) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @10:50AM (#34331104)

    seen most of the movies and tv shows and reading some of the books now. everyone is always getting scanned

    geeks should rejoice

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @10:50AM (#34331114)

    Fuck you.

    Hi John Pistole.
    Fuck you too.

    And Obama. God it pains me to say it.
    Fuck you. What the fuck, man?

    And to the 82% of people who think this is good,
    Fuck all of you.

    • by dcollins (135727) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:14AM (#34331554) Homepage

      "And to the 82% of people who think this is good, Fuck all of you."

      Of course, the 81% number was 2 weeks ago. (CBS poll Nov 7-10). Link. [cbsnews.com]

      More recent poll has approval at 64%. (ABC/Washington Post poll Nov-21). Link. [washingtonpost.com]

      At this rate, expect to have it under 50% by early December. People are rapidly become educated about the absurdity, invasiveness, high cost, lack of security, lack of privacy, and radiation of this procedure.

  • by VoiceInTheDesert (1613565) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:02AM (#34331330)
    I knew she was this stupid when it comes to security. She was good at education and better at the budget than some, but her border security policy was awful and never did jack shit towards actually keeping anyone safe. Why she was selected for this, of all jobs, is beyond me. As I said, she could have been good at something else like Secretary of Education, but Homeland Security is possibly the worst possible position for her. She just has no grasp of what makes things secure (hint: it's not a fence/scanning machines).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by swb (14022)

      You KNOW why she was selected. She was a woman who backed Obama over Hilary, and from a state with an active international border, with at least as much weight placed on the former as the latter.

      It's really all political.

      What I find so amazing about this is the Obama administration's willingness to embrace such naked totalitarian behavior without so much as a flinch, although Pistole's tone and manner are only making the problem worse. They need a kinder, gentler voice selling this nonsense, Pistole is th

  • Thanks Janet! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MRe_nl (306212) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:02AM (#34331342)

    'I think having a better understanding of what causes someone to become a terrorist will be helpful.'

    Really? It took you ten years to realize this?
    Hint: being sold by your neighbor to the CIA, blindfolding, extraditing, torture, more flying, Guantanamo Bay, ten years of lock-down will turn ANYBODY and his brother into a so-called "terrorist".

    Full body scanners, on the other hand, don't do shit, terrorism-wise.

    As for a fear-free future: stop being afraid.

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:04AM (#34331370)

    I would love it if we had a president who said something like this:

    "Yeah, about the TSA. We're ending it. Same with Homeland Security. Folks, the simple truth of the matter is there's no possible way to secure ourselves against all risk. I think we can all agree that the Soviet Union operated as a police state none of us would want to live in and even with all that security, they still had serial killers. China routinely uses the death penalty for drug smugglers and yet they still have a drug problem.

    "The trappings of the police state represented by the TSA does not deter terrorists, it represents the illusion that government is doing something. It also is making a great deal of money for people who provide goods and services for the paranoia industry.

    "The fact of the matter is that we will get hit again. We don't know by who, we don't know where, we don't know when, but it'll happen. You know what, though? We're strong. We can take whatever they dish out. They could fly ten more planes into ten more buildings, they could set off a nuclear device in downtown New York. No, we won't like it. But we'll crawl out from under the rubble and rebuild. Living as we have before, uncowed, unbowed, not conceding a goddamn thing to terrorists, that's middle finger resolutely extended right back at them. It says 'If that's all you've got, we've got nothing to worry about.'

    "What we're no longer going to do is live our lives looking over our shoulder, jumping at shadows, giving up the way we live our lives because someone has rattled us, because we've lost our nerve, because we've been beaten.

    "Oh, and while we're on the topic, Middle Eastern nuts wouldn't have so much money to finance terror attacks if we weren't giving it to them for the goddamn oil. They wouldn't even have a reason to attack us if we weren't involved in their politics in the first place. Our post-oil energy policy is also our anti-terror policy."

    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:24AM (#34331756)

      "Oh, and while we're on the topic, Middle Eastern nuts wouldn't have so much money to finance terror attacks if we weren't giving it to them for the goddamn oil. They wouldn't even have a reason to attack us if we weren't involved in their politics in the first place. Our post-oil energy policy is also our anti-terror policy."

      While we're on the topic, most of our oil comes from Canada, South America, and yes, our very own US of A. It's a common misconception that we rely on the middle east for "most" or all of our oil, and you see it perpetuated every time Obama and other politicians talk about "our foreign dependence".

      Our foreign policy was/is heavily influenced by communism, by the way...that's at least half the reason we got ourselves into such a mess. It wasn't just "oil", it was "commies getting oil."

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by csteinle (68146)

        While we're on the topic, most of our oil comes from Canada, South America, and yes, our very own US of A. It's a common misconception that we rely on the middle east for "most" or all of our oil, and you see it perpetuated every time Obama and other politicians talk about "our foreign dependence".

        Oil's pretty fungible. Where a specific barrel comes from is largely irrelevant. OPEC still manages to pretty effectively control the price of oil sold to the US without the US sourcing that much from OPEC.

      • Sure, "most" of our oil is sourced within North America. But some very significant fraction comes from elsewhere. Around 40% of our consumption is from domestic sources, another 15-20% is from elsewhere in North America. The rest comes from elsewhere in the world - some from stable, friendly places (Norway, the UK), some from relatively friendly but not so stable places (e.g. Nigeria), and some from not-so-friendly but relatively stable places (e.g. Venezuela), and some from places that are both unstable an

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dcollins (135727)

      [Applause]

      Also throw in something about "All we have to fear is fear itself" from back when we are actually facing down the Third Reich and a real, global war with multiple empires.

    • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:33AM (#34331922) Journal

      Man I would love to see the reaction on Fox if Obama did something like that. Just how fast can they switch from "Obama invading your rights" to "Obama making you vulnerable to terrorists" without causing cognitive dissonance in their audience. Actually, I'm not sure their audience is capable of cognitive dissonance.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Stanislav_J (947290)

        Actually, I'm not sure their audience is capable of cognitive dissonance.

        cognitive, adj. \käg-n-tiv\ : of, relating to, being, or involving conscious intellectual activity (as thinking, reasoning, or remembering).

        Lessee...thinking, reasoning, remembering. Strikes one, two, and three. Fox News aficianados don't think or reason -- they are sponges soaking up their pundits' mots du jour and regurgitating them. There's about as much cognitive activity involved their as there is in a trained parrot.

        Dissonance, plenty. "Cognitive." not so much.

  • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:19AM (#34331648) Homepage Journal

    is that those who get cancer from radiation exposure if these body scanners are more widely used, will be a number orders of magnitude greater than those killed by terrorists, if we had no security at all

  • by spinkham (56603) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:20AM (#34331684)

    There's plenty of controversy about the new full body scanners that the TSA is installing at airports, and plenty more about the way some TSA agents are handling those that choose to opt out.

    The heart of the matter comes from the fact that the TSA often doesn't understand that it is in show business, not security business. A rational look at the threats facing travelers would indicate that intense scrutiny of a four ounce jar of mouthwash or aggressive frisking of a child is a misplaced use of resources. If the goal is to find dangerous items in cargo or track down Stinger missiles, this isn't going to help.

    Instead, the mission appears to be twofold:

    1. Reassure the public that the government is really trying and

    2. Keep random bad actors off guard by frequently raising the bar on getting caught

    The challenge with #1 is that if people believe they're going to get groped, or get cancer, or have to wait in line even longer on Thanksgiving, they cease to be on your side. Particularly once they realize how irrational it is to try to stop a threat after it's already been perpetrated. (Imagine the havoc if someone had a brassiere-based weapon...)

    And the challenge of #2 is that the cost of raising the bar gets higher and higher.

    Smart marketers know how to pivot. I think it's time to do that. Start marketing the idea that flying is safe, like driving, but it's not perfect, like driving. If someone is crazy enough to hurt themselves or spend their life in jail, we're not going to stop them, and even if we did, they'd just cause havoc somewhere else. So instead of spending billions of dollars a year in time and money pretending, let's just get back to work.

    The current model doesn't scale.

    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/11/groping-for-a-marketing-solution-tsa-and-security-theater.html [typepad.com]

    This is very much like what Schneier has been saying for years, but nobody else really cared till things got sexual. Isn't that like our species ;-)

    Schneier, from 2005 [schneier.com]:

    Exactly two things have made airline travel safer since 9/11: reinforcement of cockpit doors, and passengers who now know that they may have to fight back. Everything else -- Secure Flight and Trusted Traveler included -- is security theater. We would all be a lot safer if, instead, we implemented enhanced baggage security -- both ensuring that a passenger's bags don't fly unless he does, and explosives screening for all baggage -- as well as background checks and increased screening for airport employees.
    Then we could take all the money we save and apply it to intelligence, investigation and emergency response. These are security measures that pay dividends regardless of what the terrorists are planning next, whether it's the movie plot threat of the moment, or something entirely different.

  • by corbettw (214229) <corbettw@[ ]oo.com ['yah' in gap]> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:29AM (#34331864) Journal

    I used to tear up with pride when I heard the national anthem, or Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA". The final line of the anthem, "the land of the free and the home of the brave", and Greenwood's line that "the flag still stands for freedom, and they can't take that away", are both now lies. We are not the land of the free, the flag doesn't stand for freedom, they did take it away, but most of all we are no longer the home of the brave. We are a nation of cowards, so afraid of the boogeyman of terrorism we are willing to sacrifice not just our rights but our very dignity, all in the forlorn hope of being safe.

    The TSA has not stopped a single terrorist in the 9 years of its operation. The full-body scanners would not have detected any of the bomb plots of the last few years, including last year's Captain Underpants. It is a complete and total waste of time and money, and serves no purpose beyond enriching a handful of politically connected individuals.

    Enough is enough. It's time we all refuse to subject ourselves to any security measures until sanity is restored. Don't show your ID at the airport, don't go through the metal detectors, don't even submit your carry ons for X-Ray inspection. The pendulum has swung too far in one direction, it is time we push it back where it belongs.

    If everyone were to refuse to submit to these intrusions, they would be gone in a matter of days. The "powerful" who think themselves our masters are neither, and in their hearts they know it. The people still have the power in this country to stand up for what's right.

    Who's with me?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jaysyn (203771)

      I'm with you. I quit flying 9 years ago. The only thing that will break this is to *completely* cut money off from the airports. They could care less about civil rights.

  • by VShael (62735) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:30AM (#34331866) Journal

    Hmm, let's see....

    Invade their country. (Check)
    Bomb their country. (Check)
    Kill thousands of their innocent civilians, men women and children. (Check)
    Show no remorse for these acts. Indeed, be proud of them, and say the victims had it coming. (Check)
    Tell the survivors that they are going to get the same. (Check)

    How much research do you need? I thought America had drawn up this five-point-plan years ago.

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:01PM (#34332440) Homepage Journal
    It is extremely condescending for the government to assume that we're incapable of action in the face of adversity. We have proven time and again that this is not the case! We will not just stand around wringing our hands and bleating for them to come protect us when something bad happens.

    The TSA seems to believe that they can protect us from every little threat, but they're responding to the last threat from our enemies, not the next one. They are the hysterical ones, jumping through every little hoop that our enemies set up. Their behavior is increasingly bizarre and insane. None of the people whose privacy they invade beyond reason will be a threat! If an actual threat emerges it will no doubt come down to us, the very people that the TSA holds in such contempt, the very people they fear, to stop it.

  • by querist (97166) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:02PM (#34332452) Homepage
    In China, they already have pre-nudie-scanner airport-like security at the train stations - at least for the longer distance trains like Hong Kong to Guangzhou or to Shenzhen. They don't have these in the Guangzhou Metro yet, though. I've seen these at long distance bus stations too (HK to GZ again, for example). They even have them at the entrances to certain museums, the Guangzhou Science Center (which is an amazing science museum), and other similar attractions. No taking off your shoes, though. You just pass your bags through the x-ray machine and walk through the metal detector just like at an airport, but no metal-detector wand and pat-down like at the airports.
  • The real reason (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kurt555gs (309278) <(kurt555gs) (at) (ovi.com)> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:03PM (#34332474) Homepage

    The greedy airlines do not want the traveling public switching to Amtrak or the bus. The reason to grope/scan train passengers is purely in the comercial interest of the airlines.

  • Not even in Europe.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by formfeed (703859) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:08PM (#34332558)
    ..do you find scanners on train stations, and Europe had many train attacks.

    The reason might be, as others pointed out, that they would be completely useless. But then again, the US government has to support the failing car industry. And what better way of doing that, than to molest people, who want to use "unnatural" (public) forms of transportation.

  • by reuteler (819104) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:20PM (#34332736) Homepage
    the difference with planes is that you can slam them into any target you wish. they're essentially piloted cruise missiles. trains and buses and metro stations are different. while you can blow them up, kill people on them or whatever you can't slam them into an arbitrary target. in that respect a train and the metro are no different than your local mall or walmart, downtown or whatever. and i can't imagine we're going to body scan people going into walmart or any other location where there are lots of people in one place. or maybe we are? hope not.
    • No they're not (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tobiah (308208)

      Trucks and cars are even easier to load with explosives and pilot into a target, as they have been. Remember Lebanon? The first World Trade Center Bombing? Oklahoma City?
      Also, pilots figured out how to thwart hijackers right after 9/11: use the lock that was already on the cabin door. A 9/11 style attack will never happen again, the passengers won't allow it and the pilot won't open the door.

  • by kubitus (927806) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:40PM (#34333116)
    the bloody CIA built up this damn Djihadist movement to drive out Russia from Afghanistan!

    they did their job so well, that the very same Taliban the CIA created is driving the US out of Afghanistan.

    And the US protected Saudi's exported ( and still export ) their fundamentalists buying peace for their own air-conditioned dustheap.

  • by dave562 (969951) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @01:45PM (#34334262) Journal

    Let's see. They live under an oppressive government / invading force. They find themselves ecnomically fucked with no hope of advancing themselves or their family. They find their way of life and/or religion maligned as evil. Then one day they decide, "Fuck it. My life can't be any worse. Maybe I can make things better for the next generation by fighting what has fucked up my generation."

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