A former officer with the Transportation Security Administration has made startling revelations that only confirms the fear of the general air-travellers. The former TSA staff reveals that the other image operators made 'crude' jokes of naked scan of travellers during security checks. Further he has revealed that the x-ray body imaging is useless and travellers are unnecessarily being exposed to dangerous radiation.
Jason Edward Harrington. in a lengthy confessional published in Politico, has let out everything that TSA doesn't want the American fliers to know. The confessional starts with the incident that led to the termination of Harrington from the TSA. Despite his First Amendment rights, the TSA decided to let him go,simply because he wrote a letter to a newspaper.
This gives readers ample idea that Harrington does have some personal score to settle against the TSA.
His confessions but are not unfounded, it only goes to confirm the fears of the general air-travellers. Earlier in 2010, the Gizmodo had reported that despite the government's claim, it came to light that the images of naked bodies of the public were saved by the U.S. Marshals.
Watch: Leaked Naked Body Scan Images
Talking about the I.O. room, in the article, Harrington notes, "It was the one place in the airport free of surveillance cameras, since the TSA had assured the public that no nude images of passengers would be stored on any recording device, closed circuit cameras included." It reveals the fact that none of TSA staff or their activities in the I.O. room are monitored.
While there have been several claims that the full body scan and its security benefits, Harrington notes that TSA knows, how useless the machines are, as he says, "We knew the full-body scanners didn't work before they were even installed."
What is more damaging and demeaning is the fact, Jason notes, "Most of my co-workers found humor in the I.O. room on a cruder level. Just as the long-suffering American public waiting on those security lines suspected, jokes about the passengers ran rampant among my TSA colleagues: Many of the images we gawked at were of overweight people, their every fold and dimple on full awful display."
The I.O.room the Harrington article portrays is that of a bunch of high-school students, who find joy in petty jokes at the expense of others. He reveals in Politico article, "One of us in the I.O. room would occasionally identify a passenger as female, only to have the officers out on the checkpoint floor radio back that it was actually a man. All the old, crass stereotypes about race and genitalia size thrived on our secure government radio channels."
Watch: How Video Body Scan Machines are Used!
This is just the tip of the iceberg, Jason also revealed, " The scanners were useless. The TSA was compelling toddlers, pregnant women, cancer survivors-everyone-to stand inside radiation-emitting machines that didn't work."
While TSA is forcing the passenger, even the TSA staff are wary of the radiation emitting from the machine. "Many of my co-workers felt uncomfortable even standing next to the radiation-emitting machines..." writes Harrington.
He continues, "When concerned passengers-usually pregnant women-asked how much radiation the machines emitted and whether they were safe, we were instructed by our superiors to assure them everything was fine."