So, if you decide you want to fly out of this country, you have to submit to either an “aggressive” full body pat-down…or else, have your whole body scanned by an imagine machine.
You have a choice of which, but you must submit to one or the other or you’re not going anywhere. Most of my friends who fly have told me they go with the scanner because it’s easier and faster than the pat-down. If I still flew (I don’t) I’m not so sure that’s what I would want. I’ve read that these machines are so sensitive that the viewer (a stranger,) can determine whether or not a man has been circumcised! I just don’t want to get that “up close and personal” with the airport personnel!
Sure, the pat-down involves being touched in private areas, but at least I can stare the “patter” in the eyes while this is going on. She won’t be able to make snide comments to her cronies in some back room while she’s doing it. I just feel it enables the passenger to maintain a little more dignity – not much, but a little.
But, here’s what I find ridiculous about this whole thing. Here’s a quote I found by the Associated Press in the paper the other day: “Some passengers and flight crews are fearful the imaging machines emit an unhealthy dose of radiation. The government insists they’re safe, but agreed on Friday to let uniformed pilots skip the screening.”
Two things struck me about this. One is that it sounds like the government wouldn’t want the pilots to get an unhealthy dose of radiation (if they’re wrong,) but couldn’t care less about the passengers. I know they’re assuming that the pilots fly much more frequently than the general public, but what about the rest of the flight crew? It’s okay to gamble with their exposure? And what about frequent fliers – people who travel on business almost every day? What makes the government single out pilots as the only exceptions? And if it’s so safe, why make an exception at all?
The other thing about this that sent up red flags for me is the phrase, “let uniformed pilots skip the screening.” Is it just me, or does that sound like a “how-to” instruction for the terrorists? Want to get something on the plane? Wear a pilot’s uniform! I mean, seriously? You think they won’t try it? It’s ridiculous.
Either require everyone, and I mean everyone, to go through some kind of screening or else no one. Otherwise you’re leaving a hole in the security system that makes all this other stuff a moot point.
At least that’s how I see it.