Monday, November 22, 2010

Former DHS head Michael Chertoff paid to push 'porno scanners'

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 2:47 PM

The Transportation Security Administration has managed to do something no one thought was possible these days: find something that both the right and the left agree on. We’re talking about the outrageous invasions of airline flyers' privacy by TSA’s porno scanners and junktastic pat-downs. But have you wondered how the government — not exactly known for being speedy — got all those full-body scanners up and running within months of last year’s Christmas underwear bomber? Well, wonder no more. The secret is “legal corruption.”

It turns out that when former Homeland Security director Michael “The Skull” Chertoff, left his government position, he formed a “security consulting” business and signed on to “consult” for companies that make full-body scanners. The day after the underwear bomber fiasco, Chertoff went on as many TV programs as he could (as “former Homeland Security director”) and began touting the full-body scanners as the one, true answer to the terrorism problem. He even wrote a column for the Washington Post in which he said that people who opposed the porno scanners were “privacy ideologues.” I love that phrase: “privacy ideologues,” although I imagine that when airline passenger John Tyner told the TSA agent not to touch his junk, his concerns were more visceral than ideological.

In any case, within a few days of the underwear bomber scare, the government gave Chertoff’s business clients a $350 million contract to rush the machines into U.S. airports. Never mind that Chertoff’s wheeling and dealing is a blatant, in-your-face conflict of interest; never mind that the machines are completely intrusive and privacy-destroying; and never mind that they don’t work nearly as well as advertised (as explained in the video below). Chertoff knew the right people to talk to in D.C. (which is why he was hired as a “consultant,” of course), and voila, $350 million for a technology that has infuriated the nation. Here is a good FoxNews interview with Michael Greenfield, a Democratic councilman  from Brooklyn, who wants the full-body scanner banned.

Tags: , , ,

Pin It
Submit to Reddit
Favorite

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Creative Loafing encourages a healthy discussion on its website from all sides of the conversation, but we reserve the right to delete any comments that detract from that. Violence, racism and personal attacks that go beyond the pale will not be tolerated.

Search Events

www.flickr.com
items in Creative Loafing Charlotte More in Creative Loafing Charlotte pool

© 2017 Womack Newspapers, Inc.
Powered by Foundation