Monday, November 15, 2010

TSA Body Scanning Scam? Follow the Money!

Who could have guessed that the TSA's draconian new security measures, instituted shortly before the busiest travel holiday of the year, would have been so unpopular? Fighting terrorism with inconvenience, humiliation and terrorist acts against small children... What's not to like?

In reaction to the TSA's new rules, November 24 has been slated as "National Opt-Out Day." Airline passengers are encouraged to opt out of having their genitals irradiated and inspected by strangers.

Proponents of Opt-Out Day hope that if widespread, opting out of the pornoscan in favor of the alternative (a thorough groping), will eventually push TSA employees to tell their bosses, "Enough is enough."

Pilots and flight attendants are already saying "no way" to the threat of daily sexual assault.

Who expects this policy to last? How much money will have been wasted on the pornoscanners before the program is finally abandoned? Why go through so much trouble to execute such an ill-conceived and ineffective plan?

For potential answers, follow the money:
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) this week awarded Rapiscan Security Systems a $25.4 million contract using Recovery Act funding for whole body imaging systems that will be deployed at some of the nation's airports, marking the first production award to any company for the imaging systems.

Rapiscan's Secure 1000 system is based on X-Ray technology...

The award is a surprise considering how recently the agency began the pilot tests of the Secure 1000 at several airports.

A less surprising choice for the first production award would seemto have been L-3 Communications [LLL], which has sold about 40 of its ProVision millimeter wave-based whole body imagers to TSA beginning in the fall of 2007.
(Don't feel bad for L-3. They've gotten at least $165 million from Uncle Sam for body scanners.)

Rapiscan has a very cozy relationship with the TSA and other government agencies. Just this year, Rapiscan has been awarded an IDIQ (indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity) contract for up to $325 million from the TSA for its checkpoint x-ray baggage inspection system, $35 million for advanced aviation checkpoint x-ray systems, $3.5 million for cargo and vehicle Inspection systems, $9 million for advanced cargo and vehicle inspection technologies, contracts worth up to $12 million for research, $
18 million for cargo and people screening systems, $3 Million for Rapiscan Secure 1000 Portable Body Scanner, $25 million for cargo & vehicle inspection systems. Using my old-fashioned arithmetic, the total for the year is approaching half a billion dollars.

A blogger at ultra-liberal Daily Kos also smells something suspicious:
"Rapiscan's lobbyists include Susan Carr, a former senior legislative aide to Rep. David Price, D-N.C., chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee. When Defense Daily reported on Price's appropriations bill last winter, the publication noted "Price likes the budget for its emphasis on filling gaps in aviation security, in particular the whole body imaging systems."
Very convenient; very cozy! (see Update I below)

Open Secrets charts Rapiscan's recent spending on lobbying:

Data for the most recent year was downloaded on July 26, 2010.

So what if the body scanners end up in the dump after a nationwide revolt?
The windfall profits for Rapiscan will have been well worth their investment.

No one can say Rapiscan didn't hustle for the money!

UPDATE I: Nudie-scan CEO is an Obama ally
Rapiscan is one of the two companies that makes the nudie-scanners at airports for the TSA. Rapiscan CEO Deepak Chopra (who has the same name as the more famous Deepak Chopra, M.D.) recently was tapped by Obama to accompany the administration on Obama’s trip to India.

Also, Chopra is an Obama donor.
Chopra gave a maximum donation to Obama in 2008, as well as a $1,000 donation to Rep. David Price, D-N.C., chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee, in 2007.

Update II: Full Frontal Nudity Doesn’t Make Us Safer (via Memeorandum)

Update III: Soros Profiting Off Naked Airport Screeners (h/t fuzzislippers)

Update IV: Obama loves Rapiscan CEO

X-posted at Left Coast Rebel


Fuzzy Slippers said...

Don't forget that scurvy little spider Soros has holdings in Rapiscan, too.

Bungalow Bill said...

You gave the GOP a pass on this one.

RightKlik said...

FS: I didn't know that, thanks for the info!

BB: I assume most readers know Chertoff was appointed by Bush.

DaBlade said...

All I can think of when I see those body scans is George Costanza yelling "I WAS IN THE POOL!"

Evelyn said...

There had to be reason for this insanity...thanks for pointing it out.

Anonymous said...

Looks like john pistole wants his share of the body scanner booty to pad his retirement fund, his famous pat downs are in place to get americans to accept those scanners.

Anonymous said...

Homeland security is a joke and john pistole is a liar and a common criminal, first john pistole lied to the american people when he said that increased security was necessary to prevent another christmas day bomber, because these are the facts, despite being on homeland security no fly list a man boarded a plane in amsterdam headed for the united states, he was so dangerous that his own father notified the authorities who failed to act despite the warning, right after the failed attempt former TSA administrator michael chertoff went on the talk show circuit promoting full body scanners he was pedaling, john pistole then orders TSA with just two weeks worth of training to pat down anybody who refuses to use the scanners, while this is going on homeland security secertary Janet Napolitano is joined by the president of mexico in a lawsuit against the state of arizona for asking people suspected of being in this country illegaly to show some id, everyday americans are being molested and some TSA agent is locked in a booth viewing child pornography just to line the pockets of corrupt public officals at homeland security and TSA.