One Nation Under Fear

I Narrowly Avoided a Naked Body Scanner

I went through an airport security line over the weekend and there were two metal detector lines -- one with the usual metal detector doorway, and the other with a naked Backscatter machine as its primary security screening device. But the TSA at this particular airport never warned travelers which line would have the naked body scanner and which line would have the traditional metal detector.

So everyone who happened to be in the naked body scanner line received a full body -- and very naked -- scan of themselves as a the primary means of screening. And I mean naked. The sign at the line, next to the carry-on conveyor belt showed a male and a female scan, and each one was totally crisp and clear, with genitals clearly shown.

When I noticed the two different entry points (one was constitutional, the other wasn't), I asked the TSA official whether I could switch to the other line. I'm not ashamed of my body, but I'm ashamed that my country so willingly acquiesced to fearmongering and subsequently trampled all over the 4th Amendment. The TSA guy said I could switch as long as my bag and shoes hadn't touched the conveyor belt yet.

Off I went through the traditional metal detector.

As I watched other travelers blindly agreeing to be x-rayed buck naked as a means of preventing an astronomically remote 1 in 10 million chance of an airborne terror attack, I couldn't help but to think to myself once again, "The terrorists won."