America’s 14 Most Pissed-Off Comments on the TSA’s Airport Body Scanners

Image from a backscatter X-ray airport scanner. <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/01/tsa-dumps-porno-airport-scanners-good-riddance">Wikimedia Commons

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Americans wishing to fly by plane have been subjected to full-body scanners, also known as “Advanced Imaging Technology” or “porno scanners,” since the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rolled them out in airports in 2008. The goal of the scanners is to aid in the detection of illegal and dangerous items, but they’ve raised health concerns and peeved travelers who don’t feel comfortable that the scanners broadcast semi-nude images of their bodies. Those passengers who wish to bypass the scanners face an equally unpopular alternative: a physical pat down by a TSA agent.

TSA is getting rid of the most controversial scanners by this summer because the company that made them wasn’t adequately protecting passenger privacy. The replacement scanners are supposed to offer more privacy by only showing a generic outline of passengers.

Since late March, Americans have submitted over 3,000 comments to the TSA about the existing scanners and the planned change. Here are 14 of the most pissed off public comments submitted to TSA…and the one guy who loves them:

  1. “No to scanners. You want to see my junk? Fine. But first buy me a drink.”—Jack A. Webber
  2. “You’re really asking us if we want you to be checking out our genitals in the name of national security?”—Alec
  3. “I opted out once and I felt like crying because I’m not a touchy feel person and well, when you are using feminine hygiene products, NO ONE wants to be touched anywhere near there…So yeah, no more flying for me.”—Anonymous
  4. “I sit in airports, and watch people get shuffled through these machines, raising their hands like criminals ‘assuming the position,’ and I think- ‘How did we get so afraid?’—Curtis
  5. “A poem: Land of the screened./Home of the afraid./No porno scanners. Why?/4th Amendment./Health risks./Common sense./Liberty./No TSA./Why?/See above.”—S. Private
  6. “STOP USING ADVANCED IMAGING TECHNOLOGY FOR SCREENING PASSENGERS ! YOU TYRANNICAL DEMONS. WE CAN ALL SEE IF YOU HAVE A GUN OR BOMB AND WE AIN’T SCARED OF KNIVES AND BOX CUTTERS”—Anonymous
  7. “Bunch of perverts! You are slowing down our economy.”—Onederer
  8. “I am an 82 year old Jewish woman with an artificial hip. That makes me a prime terrorist suspect according to the TSA. I need to be frisked every time I fly. That is a disgusting procedure. I doubt that Janet Napolitano would want her mother or her grandmother to be subjected to it.”—Joan B. Berkowitz
  9. “I have not flown in more than 2 years since being improperly touched and fondled by a TSA employee. I served in the military to defend the rights and freedoms of this country, only to come home to find the TSA taking both away.”—Anonymous
  10. “I am a stroke survivor…I am a rape survivor…I take a train or drive, because I’m not willing to put myself in the hands of people who bully and try to railroad me through machines my doctor has strictly said to stay away from.”—T.A. 
  11. “Go ahead. Screen me. Screen the crap out of me. Coming and going if you must. But don’t let this be a doorway to more and more restrictions. I don’t care if you want to make sure no explosives get on a flight. I do care if you’ll look through my phone or computer files as well.”—Jonathan
  12. “I spent over 36 years on active duty in the United States Navy. Had numerous very high security clearances and was a qualified Nuclear Weapons delivery pilot. Being ‘frisked’ or forced into an X-ray machine and treated as a common criminal [is] disgusting to someone who dedicated a large portion of his life to the defense of the united States.”—Terry Farnell Carraway
  13. “Having 4 replaced joints, I am full of metal and have had numerous X-rays. I don’t want to subject myself to more X-rays…My husband and I were a writer-photographer team and used to fly everywhere for our business. Since you have instituted these procedures, we have been forced to give up our business.”—El Hilf
  14. “AS A PILOT AND FLYER IM AS CONCERNED AS ANY ABOUT SECURITY FOR ALL TRAVELERS AND I AND MY SIG OTHER ARE ALSO NATURIST [NUDIST, AS ARE A VERY MANY] HUMANS. TO EXPEDITE AIRPORT SCREENINGS A ‘NUDIST’ OR SIMILARLY WORDED LINE SHOULD OFFER VERY FAST SCREENING FOR THOSE OF US WHO ARE NOT SHAMED BY OUR BODIES. THIS WOULD BE A GREAT BOON TO TRAVELERS AND HELP UNCLOG SCREENING STATIONS”—Norm Al Man

BONUS, the one guy who loves them:

“I love the new body scan system. I have two artificial knee replacements, and was always put in the uncomfortable position of having to step out of line for an intrusive pat-down. Now, I stand in the machine like everyone else, and I guess they see the artificial knees and I go right through. I’m as happy as can be!”—Fred Joreskfly

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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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