TSA Travel Terror
Look! Someone said pretty much everything I could say on the subject! (via Reddit):
I think the radiation health concerns stuff is a red herring (the radiation exposure you get just by flying is much, much higher).
I think the images-escaping-into-the-world is a red herring (I’d be able to tell what scan was mine, which is why I refuse to be scanned — but I don’t think anyone else could.)
But the points about the scanners and pat-downs being harmful, unconstitutional, pointless and stupid are right up my alley.
On Sunday I’m going to try to fly out of McCarran Airport in Las Vegas.
I called the TSA Customer Service Manager there. She confirmed there are indeed two millimeter wave scanners at the checkpoint used by my airline (US Airways).
She confirmed they are used as the primary screening method, although, because scanning takes so long, when the line gets backed up, excess passengers are directed to the metal detectors at that checkpoint.
My plan is to get there about four hours early and try to get through security.
There is no question that I will refuse to step into a scanner or submit to anything more than a basic pat-down (what I got at O’Hare in August).
The question is what will happen when I refuse.
Maybe the scanners won’t be on.
Maybe they’ll be on and I’ll be part of the overflow that goes to the metal detectors.
But if not, I’m game to see what happens. It will probably be anticlimactic as hell.