Saturday, December 02, 2006


Part of the Progressive Plan Against Terrorists of Global Reach

Iraq is not the "central front" on the so-called "war on terror".

Every where we congregate in the form of crowds, spectators, travellers, commuters are, though.

Consequently, as a Progressive, I support the maximal or optimal installation of Backscatter Technology - as much as medical safety and Homeland Security budgets permit.

By Christmas, Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix will test a new federal screening system that takes X-rays of passenger's bodies to detect concealed explosives and other weapons. The technology, called backscatter, has been around for several years but has not been widely used in the U.S. as an anti-terrorism tool because of privacy concerns.

TSA's Web site indicates that the Backscatter technology will be used initially as a secondary screening measure, meaning that only those passengers who first fail the standard screening process will be directed to the X-ray area.

When I first heard of it, soon after 9-11, I was immediately sold. I haven't changed my mind. I would like to see the program expanded and become a primary system.

The Transportation Security Administration said it has found a way to refine the machine's images so that the normally graphic pictures can be blurred in certain areas while still being effective in detecting bombs and other threats.

High-resolution images -- which clearly depict the outline of the passenger's body, plus anything attached to it, such as jewelry -- might be judged as too invasive.

The system will be set up so that the image can be viewed only by a security officer in a remote location. Other passengers, and even the agent at the checkpoint, will not have access to the picture.

In addition, the system will be configured so that the X-ray will be deleted as soon as the individual steps away from the machine. It will not be stored or available for printing or transmitting,

The radiation is lower than the kind a doctor would use to look at organs or bones. It's low enough it can be used safely on a pregnant woman.
In a backscatter portal, a single ray is passed rapidly over a person's body, taking just eight seconds to scan each side. Data collected from the position of scattered photons are processed to deliver a photographic-quality image. The process uses high-energy X-rays, which tend to reflect (scatter back) from objects, unlike the low-energy X-rays used for medical procedures, which tend to penetrate objects. Because of an effect called "Compton scattering," the rays are deflected differently depending on the density of the matter being scanned. They penetrate clothing but not flesh and are blocked more completely by solid objects. This effect means that most weapons will be sharply revealed by backscatter imaging.
The process is anonymous: as long as you don't pack pistol, knives or plastic explosives on your person, no one will ever associate your name to your physique.

Privacy-smivacy! We're talking about the front defensive lines in the struggle against world terror.

ASAP, I would like to see this technology become commonplace, installed in all target-rich environments in the civilized world: air terminals, athletic events, etc.

Install it as much as medical safety and budget considerations permit. Privacy is not an issue for me.

14 Moderated Comments:

Blogger J.C. said...

If privacy is not an issue for you , maybe you could volunteer to get a chip put in you also.

Then we can track you also. Never know you might do something we don`t like.

12/02/2006 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Muslim Unity said...

Privacy is not an issue when people are dying- when children and innocent lives ar ebeing lost.

12/02/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger RoseCovered Glasses said...

There are good points in the article. I would like to supplement them with some information:

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armements”

The Pentagon is a giant,incredibly complex establishment,budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Adminisitrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the Sec. Def. to be - Mr. Gates- understand such complexity, particulary if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

Answer- he can’t. Therefor he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

This situation is unfortunate but it is ablsolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen unitil it hits a brick wall at high speed.

We will then have to run a Volkswagon instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.

12/02/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Kentucky Rain said...

I have no problem with "Backscatter" technology, or any other technology that keeps us safe, and that includes an ID chip that is capable of providing my identity and tracking my movements. I have nothing to hide from the government or anyone else.

12/02/2006 03:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taliban can't lose! They might not be able to set a nuclear device on you but you do it for them with, soon to be everywhere, scanners. Once again I have to agree with binLaden; God is great!

12/02/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger J.C. said...

Mmmm, a little dose of reality courtesy of rosecovered glasses.

Hey Mike , what if they start directing your movements once the chip is in. Also making it impossible to go some places you might want to go. Like escaping across the border.?

So you believe in the benign nature of the controllers. Sweet. A perfect victim.

12/02/2006 05:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa Mike, God help me but I may have to agree with Skippy a second time in my life. (I'm running out for more beer after I write this because of the trauma.) While this Backscatter tech sounds great and I have no problem with it do not come anywhere near me with any type of implantable ID chip. While I may have nothing to hide from any present administration nothing precludes the next from imposing their view on who might be dangerous and in need of constant watching. If we are in so much danger that the people need to start wearing tags like some endangered animal we have lost to those trying to bring down the walls of civilization and liberty.

12/02/2006 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Sapo said...

I'm in favor of total loss of privacy and destruction of the Constitution in order to protect us from the enemies of America:


12/02/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

I knew I would be planting the seeds of discord in here. As expected the extremes agree: Mike goes the extra nine yards and suggests he would accept internal chips being inserted in his body and Skip goes for it; Pekka and M.D. disagree and comeback with sarcasm. All was anticipated except for:

12/03/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/03/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way , you could be a pawn in this games also just having your phone track conversations of people you are near.
Is that O.K. also Mike.?

12/04/2006 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger - said...

Ok time for my two cents here.

Backscatter technology is WORTHLESS, as is most technology in the deterrence category. I am assuming these would be installed in airports only, or were you thinking of installing them wherever people congregate? I am sick and tired of making concessions and having my life routines altered by idiots that know these tactics are only meant to give the appearance of making us safer. Anyone that would allow the government to implant a tracking/identification chip into his or her body must be on the verge of an emotional breakdown. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself and all the other crap we cannot control. So we put this technology in some airport. My god in heaven what will the terrorists do now that they cannot fly? Go by land or sea? So they can no longer attend large functions where people congregate, OH THE INSANITY what will they do? Perhaps remote detonate maybe a explosive delivery system like I dunno….a rocket? Meanwhile I am being scanned with x-rays 3 and four times a week in some cases not even know what long term effects it will have on my body?

Show me one good idea that keeps us safer and I will show you 15 ways to get around it all the while I am having to deal with it everyday. People are going to die as they have since the beginning of time. Some will murder and some will be murdered it’s not up to you to decide who and when. Nothing will keep you safe from the unknown because it IS unknown. The Art of War my friends dictates that to truly defeat an enemy you must remove his will to fight. Only then will he lay his weapons down.

12/04/2006 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

I want to clarify the issues surrounding the use of Backscatter technology, thanking Cyberotter for his provocative statement:

Cyber says,
I am sick and tired of making concessions and having my life routines altered...

The point is, I think, that no routines or lifesyles have to be varied to accommodate this technology.

Cyber says:
. . . anyone would allow the government to implant a tracking/identification chip into his or her body must be on the verge of an emotional breakdown.

I agree. (Sorry Mike!) But such a concession is not implied in the use of Backscatter technology. I think Skip loaded this freight (fright) on board.

Cyber says:
. . . being scanned with x-rays 3 and four times a week in some cases not even know what long term effects it will have on my body?

This medical issue has to be resolved. I am not professionally qualified to pronounce on it.

Cyber says:
The Art of War my friends dictates that to truly defeat an enemy you must remove his will to fight. Only then will he lay his weapons down.

This is a grandiose statement which I cannot address adequately in a comment. It goes to the central issue of our time as to whether you can go to war against a form of combat. See my Right Message - Wrong Messenger! where have I have attempted to deal with this earlier. There will be forever be Timothy McVeighs, Terry Nichols and Unabombers long after Osama bin Forgotten dies of a natural death, and it will always take international cooperation on professional police work to defeat them. Backscatter technology is not the answer.

I submit it can make a contribution.

12/04/2006 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Kentucky Rain said...

LOL! I love these comments. My highly specialized vision is transmitting each of them to my highly specialized chip which will in turn be monitored by the FBI and Wal Mart. Praise the Lord....I would be more concerned about Wal Mart:-)

12/04/2006 05:40:00 PM  

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