January 11th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Are machines that "look under your clothes" the answer to airport security?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

They see everything… I mean everything. But apparently that's okay with folks since that failed Christmas bombing plot... where a Muslim extremist tried to blow up an airplane bound for Detroit.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/11/art.body.scan.jpg caption=""]
A majority of Americans say they're willing to submit to screening at airports using full-body scanners.

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows 79-percent of those polled say U.S. airports should use the technology...

72-percent say they would not be concerned about airport security using a full-body scanner on them... 82-percent say they would prefer the full-body scanner to a pat-down by a security guard.

Also - the survey shows only 18-percent of those polled believe full-body scanners pose health risks...

There is some debate out there about the safety of the technology meant to detect bombs or weapons under passengers' clothing.

These scanning machines deliver small doses of radiation - equal to about one-percent or less of the radiation in a dental X-Ray - to millions of travelers. Radiation experts say it's such a small amount that the risk to individuals is next to nothing... but some expect the technology to result in a few additional cancer deaths.

Health question aside, more focus has been on the privacy issues.The ACLU says full body scans amount to a "virtual strip search."

The Obama administration says it plans to put hundreds more of these machines in U.S. airports and is urging other countries around the world to do the same.

Here’s my question to you: Are machines that can "look under your clothes" the answer to airport security?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Sharon writes:
Whatever Israel is doing regarding airline security is what the United States should be doing. Doesn't matter if it's racial profiling or strip searches. Just get it done.

Zoe from Kansas writes:
I don't give a darn about "privacy" but the whole issue is crazy. Al Qaeda must be having a real good laugh at us scurrying around like chickens with our heads cut off – over a threat that didn't even work. The facts are: there is no ultimate protection, and our whole system is flawed to the core.

Linda from Arizona writes:
Putting aside the obvious invasion of privacy, there is no "safe level" of radiation. X-ray radiation is cumulative. At some point, if you get enough, you will develop cancer. Does anyone really believe these lying clowns when they say it's "safe"? They completely blew it with the undie-bomber, and now they want to irradiate and humiliate the poor people who are unfortunate enough to have to fly… I will never fly again, and they can put that in their full-body scanners and smoke it.

Mike from St. Paul, Minnesota writes:
I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that the people complaining about Obama being a Big Government Marxist will be the ones who are ok with Big Government strip searching all private citizens in the name of the collective good.

Jason from Oklahoma writes:
I am so uncomfortable with the privacy violations that these machines pose that I will not fly through an airport that uses them. If all airports put them into use, then I guess I'll have to learn to start loving trains and ships.

Andrew from Wilson, North Carolina writes:
I don't have any body parts that are different from anyone else. If this technology keeps said body parts from blowing up 30,000 feet over Kansas, I'm all for it.

Filed under: Airlines
soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. Conor in Chicago

    No. Al Qaidas objective is to bankrupt us and force us to give up our freedoms. These machines play right into their strategy.

    January 11, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  2. Paul From Michigan

    Well Jack,

    I guess if you want to attempt to assure safety in the air, then any means that discovers bombs, guns, knives or whatever should be implemented. That said, I really don't believe that we can ever 100% guarantee that our planes, buses, trains, subways or cities will be safe from terrorism.

    January 11, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  3. Calvin Hunter

    Maybe the next time the Christians want to use the US Military to declare war on the Mulims, people will begin to think about the long term consequences. Christians, Muslims and Jews are responsible for the wars and damage being done across the globe. Pay up America as the Christians are in the lead.

    January 11, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  4. Russ in PA

    Of course it isn't, although politicians – and those making money off of such schemes – want you to think so. Let's get government and the TSA out of airline security, and put it back in the air carriers hands where it belongs! Pretty soon someone is going to suggest that every other seat be taken up by an air marshal, And, oh, by the way, how many incidents have they prevented???

    January 11, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  5. william fitzwater

    I'm going to give a joke on this subject.

    Isn't this idea of a full body scanner like the equivalent of looking under the Scotsman's kilt?
    Do we realty want to know the truth ? Should we know ? Can we handle the truth ?

    I suppose the activity of the journalist is to dig for the truth no matter the consequences. Maybe the issue of body scanners is the same let computer programs do their work but never be to complacent to to not question their findings or trust their verdicts.
    Always understand no matter how perfect our defense our aviaries will try to get around under or thru them .

    This is what happened the question is more where do we go from here what freedoms we wish to surrender and not let those people control us through frear or intimidation.

    January 11, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  6. Michael Alexandria, VA

    They will certainly stop some people from flying with bombs, although it may also cause a backlash among Muslims as well.

    January 11, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    NO. There will still be those who get past security, one way or another.

    January 11, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  8. Peter

    There is nothing wrong with the security at airports. I have not heard of an attack at JFK or O'hare. The approach to security is backwards. In Israel they have no scanners no taking off the shoes or any of the other knee jerk reactions we have here. Their approach is a multi level intelligence agency that works together long before a person gets to an airport.

    January 11, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  9. tom smith, wisconsin


    A great day for voyeurs and exhibitionists. Let the games begin!!

    I am concerned about children and this voyeuristic searching.

    But our modesty will be completely safe, THERE IS NO WAY THOSE SCANS CAN BE SAVED OR EXPORTED. The government can be absolutely and blindly relied on.

    January 11, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  10. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Absolutely not. We don’t need machines Whatever we develop, they will find a way to defeat. They have pulled all of these things off with low tech devices. As soon as we figure out some expensive way to do this effectively, these animals will find some other place to stick their explosives. I’ll leave that to your imagination. The answer is profiling, the kind Israel does, by watching behavior and observing actions, movements, body language etc. We will never stop everyone and will have to resign ourselves to it. But we can do it much more effectively and way cheaper. Oh and we need to dismantle the DHS which has proven to be another worthless Bush disaster.

    January 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  11. Annamaria S. Sauer

    Mr. Cafferty,
    I rarely watch TV, therefore I am not familiar with your program and role at CNN. A friend forwarded a clip of your admirable comments regarding the latest lack of the so loudly promised transperency over the Healthcare debacle. Please know that I very much respect your honesty and courage to do so. I also would like to encourage you to continue to find the truth and speak it. For example; why is there such complete silence regarding the Fort Hood incident? How come no one in the chain of command has been called to account for their actions or the lack there of that allowed this man to be promoted and allowed to carry out this hienious act?! I thank you and wish you continued good health and success.
    A.S. Sauer

    January 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  12. Rob of Brooklyn

    No. its another joke.

    January 11, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  13. Phil-Wenatchee, WA

    Maybe part of it but not completely. Just for drill, I'd opt for the "pat down". Do you really think they're going to "play" with my genitals? I doubt it. These machines are around $140K each...and I forsee outfits like Lockheed Martin getting involved in the bidding process. I see these machines as a deterrent but not the total panacea, and that more emphasis should be placed on intelligence gathering.

    January 11, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  14. lou

    No, I think they are going to have to use more profiling. People hate the word profiling because it has a racist connotation, but it doesn't always mean that. The cops around here sit outside certain areas in town...the local beer joints... knowing that's where the drunks hang out, and trying to stop them before they get on our highways with a loaded car. How is that any different than screening people in an airport that come from certain areas of the world that we know want to hurt us?

    January 11, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  15. Peg from NY

    In a word, NO!

    January 11, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  16. Albert K., Los Angeles

    Jack, the surrender of our rights and dignity means our enemy has won. Our security depends on our standing by our creed that armies exist at the consent of the people and to declare war against the people who allow Al-Qaeda to thrive among them. That’s how we won the war against Japan. Likewise, Al-Qaeda will only be defeated when we give their people good cause to turn against them.

    January 11, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  17. Keith - Twinsburg, Ohio

    Contrary to what our president believes, our country is at war. Whatever is done to save lives and put bad men in jail, is good!!!.

    If Adam did not bite into that apple, Jack.... we wouldn't be having this conversation...

    January 11, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  18. Jane (Minnesota)

    If there can't be bomb sniffing dogs at att the security check points, then I'm for the electronic look at all passengers boarding planes. For crying out loud, it's not a nude glossy of everyone they are taking – it's more of an x-ray. I'd rather be safer traveling than be a prude.

    January 11, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  19. Kevin in Austin, Texas

    Nothing is foolproof.. and the human race is full of fools.

    January 11, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  20. Steven in Fostoria, OH


    as someone who just traveled back from Amsterdam to Detroit after New Years with a fiance` who was terrified I'm ok with with machines looking under my clothes. I watched a barely teen girl question her chaparone about the physical pat down just to get onto the plane.

    Since it's not the gov't stopping us from Travel I can't blame them, but as I sign some of my inalienable rights away in order to travel with the airline companies I mutter to myself that this isn't right.

    Then I remind myself what the CIA term "blowback" really means and how it affects me directly.

    steven L.
    fostoria, OH.

    January 11, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  21. Ed

    Former Secretary of DHS, Michael Chertkoff, thinks so. Of course, he's a paid representative of a company that manufacturers them. Once we start looking under clothes, the terrorists will just hide them in body cavities next. The butt-bomb is coming.


    January 11, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  22. Denny from Tacoma

    Apparently so in reference to current events, however, considering body orifices, even that may not be enough. Be safe and have everyone fly nude?

    January 11, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  23. miguel velazquez

    Hi jack how are you.I watch the situation room because i like you section,i think that the machines that look through you clothes may help,because those coguards terrorist are thinking about evrething they can do to kill us,but we are never happy if you instal machines to help you we no happy,if we don`t,we are no happy .the main thing is security.

    January 11, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  24. boomer49

    We either use the machines or we start flying dressed in nothing but hospital gowns and paper shoes.
    Cripple Creek CO

    January 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  25. Emden (Deep in the Heart of Hurst Texas)

    Only if we do the following:

    (1) Save the images of famous and/or beautiful people.
    (2) Sell access to those images over the internet
    (3) Take the $$ & deploy security that's modeled after the Israelis

    January 11, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  26. John from Alabama

    Jack: Machines, searches, x-rayes, and dogs are all right with me. Any measure the United States Government needs to do to make this nation safe from terrorist is just fine and dandy with me. I believe it would be a terrifying death to die 30,000 feet over anywhere from an explosion. This is an easy question to answer.

    January 11, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  27. Mike in St. Paul

    I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that the people complaining about Obama being a Big Government Marxist will be the ones to be OK with Big Government strip searching all private citizens in the name of the collective good.

    January 11, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  28. Albert K., Los Angeles

    Whats next Jack, bend over for a body cavity search for suppository bombs? The surrender of our rights means our enemy has won. Our security depends on our standing by our creed that armies exist at the consent of the people and to declare war against the people who allow Al-Qaeda to thrive among them. That’s how we won the war with the Empire of Japan. Likewise, Al-Qaeda will only be defeated when we give their people good cause to turn against them.

    January 11, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  29. Peter Togel

    As long as we can all stand close to the airports with shoulder-launched missile weapons, I believe that looking at naked people does not do the trick. This seems to be all a big sales pitch for the security industry. Follow the money ...

    January 11, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  30. Fred R DeLeon SR

    Probably not, but for a start looks good to me. So if some people feel
    sort of unhappy they should think that safety comes first. I guess instead criticism, it should be a common effort for a common benefit.
    But some people use the fork, some use the fingers; to eat that is.

    Fred R DeLeon Sr
    Indianapolis IN

    January 11, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  31. tom from el paso

    lets get real here . The TSA is instructed to stop terrorist , they are not the least bit interested in what the human body looks like . The safty of all travellers is their number one priority , as it should be . now for thos eof you who think its invaision of privicy ....well my safty is more important than your embarresment. . wise up . take the train / boat for your next trave plans .

    January 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  32. Kay, Chicago

    You wouldn't need to worry about what people are carrying if you could keep the bad guys off the planes in the first place.

    And if you let bad guys on, they'll always think of some new bad thing, and we won't be able to keep up. They can't even keep contraband out of prisons, which shows you how hard it is.

    So we need to start profiling.

    January 11, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  33. Joyce Grissom, Marshall, TX

    It's a help. When will we quit complaining? Things change, some may be uncomfortable, but what's that if you are safe! Big brother is watching anyway and remember, BUSH gave us the PATRIOT ACT! If you think I'm kidding, google or bing yourself.

    January 11, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  34. MarKel Houston

    Hire the Israelis to come to the US and teach us about airport security, or security in general!

    January 11, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  35. Rocky

    For now they are. The only other way for terrorists to get weapons on board aircraft now will be to carry them inside their bodies. Look on the bright side: the thought of Ahmad shoving a weapon of mass destruction up his wazoo in order to fight his little jihad is just too funny. Hopefully, things will go far enough that the little buggers quit tryin'.

    January 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  36. GWTripp, Mch'sburg, PA

    That sounds so naughty, Jack. It is important to see what is entering the secure area. We also need trained agents to ask a set of questions of everyone before being allowed into the secure area. There are also ways to trim the queue to make terrorist stand out. Cramped quarters should be avoided.

    January 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  37. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    Dogs are better for sniffing out explosives but these machines are able to find other things. We should use both in tandem.

    January 11, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  38. Chad N.

    Nope, no way, no how.

    I don't care what they do for security or to enhance it. No matter what they do security measures can be beaten, and most of the time in the simplest of fashion. Usually security measures end up being faulty anyway in the long term, just look at what has happened recently.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  39. Paul P

    A small part, but not the whole answer unless these machines can screen for foreign substances even under the skin. In these cases K9 units would likely be more effective. The best bet are still probably metal detectors and effective and smart screening which include watch lists and monitoring unusual behaviour traits.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  40. Richard in Colorado

    They may not be the final answer, but they would help. I believe the American people should get over thinking their body is different from the rest of ours. Being a frequent visitor to nudist camps, I find they are all one of two models. (Basically). The main difference is size, shape and attitude, so why get so concerned about doing a screening that may someday save a lot of lives.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  41. MG Arizona

    Yes it is one of the answers as long as images are produced in a non graphical form (like X Ray) and strict laws are enforced for any type of misuse of the technology.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  42. Rob in NC

    They would be the most effective. However, Americans have a problem with the violation of their personal rights and, as demonstrated by the Nigerian gentleman, they don't (won't) do it in other countries. We are only safe if we come and go within the US. Rob in NC

    January 11, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  43. JENNA

    Are machines that can "look under your clothes" the answer to airport security?

    Machines that can "look under your clothes" are not the problem, it is the sleezy citizens that view the images and what happens to the images once viewed that is the problem. For instance: I don't want those that get their "jolly's" by looking a nude boys looking at my grandson.. and I be damned if some man other than my husband or my doctor going to see me nude..

    Plus I REFUSE to travel anywhere were there is mandatory. There better be a plan "B" in place or the travel industry is going to suffer greatly!

    Roseville CA

    January 11, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  44. frankie

    Because a guy was willing to put explosives in his underwear, I am no longer against machines that can see through my clothes. Being embarrassed is alot lower down on the scale of bad events than being blown up or having my family blown up. It's all relative.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  45. Don from Belleville Ontario

    No. They will probably be discontinued within months of their costly purchase. They will discourage air travel and concerns will likely surface about what harmful side effects they will have on screeners and on the public. The only thing they are effective in detecting is whether the passenger going through is letting a fart.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  46. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    I don't think so. There will always be a Woody Allen in "Casino Royale" type that will swallow the explosives.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  47. Alex in Seattle

    The only other way to find an underwear bomb is to allow a TSA agent to grope my privates. I'd rather have the machine do it, Jack!

    January 11, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  48. Dennis North Carolina

    if it will protect us than yes.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  49. Tina Tx

    Who cares. Just stop these lone wolves that are going to target the US and we Americans. Americans watch sex on the tv but yet are afraid that some one might see an extra pound or two? Come on people get real.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  50. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    They may not be the total answer but I'm all for them. If you want to fly the terroristic skies then cooperate for the safety of all.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  51. Eugene, Myers Flat, CA

    Our government has waisted untold bilions, if not trillions, on airport security upgrades that are just plain stupid. Scanning people with X rays will lead to an increase of nude photos on the internet because some TSA employees will save photos somehow. Israel has the world's best airport security and has had zero attacks. Why not copy their program?
    And we're still waiting to hear Blitzer sing.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  52. Mode (PDX)

    No. These security protocols will only stop the lunatic, not the sane terrorist. Its easier, I guess, to x-ray the population for discontented and radical militants than it is to change our foreign and domestic policies– such that there wouldn't be so many lunatics, terrorists and discontented people; but that would require congress think rather than just throw money.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  53. katiec Pekin, IL

    Nothing is going to keep us totally safe, but would be agreeable to anything that will help. None of us know the accuracy rate of these
    machines or that they will lessen the threat, but the terrorists do
    not know this either.
    Employee and intelligence incompetance seems to be a bigger

    January 11, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  54. Will from San Jose, CA

    The Christmas bombing plot wasn't a failed attack at all. For the price of a ticket and a few chemicals that couldn't be mixed properly on a airplane Al-Qaeda is going to force the US to spend billions of dollars we don't have on machines that we don't need.

    Terrorism is about fear not casualties, and when we respond with these knee-jerk reactions we are doing exactly what they want.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  55. luva

    not the answer but it could help. safety is the most important thing ,what ever it takes.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  56. Denis Duffy

    Machines are machines. That's it. Another tool in security? Yes.
    Will it assure airplane security? No, of course not.
    Sooner or later we will lose a plane, peoples lives and the debate and finger pointing will start anew.
    A machine can't think. A terrorist can and will figure out how to skirt the scrutiny at our airports. There are no guarantees.

    Denis Duffy
    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  57. Michael D. Knox

    This new technology using millimeter waves poses unknown health and psychological risks. Naked body scanners are just another over-priced toy designed to give government contractors and vendors more money. They can also provide extra income for TSA worker with camera phones or other means to store and send scans. Celebrity scans will fetch the highest prices. Blackmail and internet exposure are likely.

    The failed shoe bomber resulted in the useless practice of removing our shoes. The failed crotch bomber has most Americans willing to appear naked for their government. These two men have costs us billions and, because of our government’s reaction, been highly successful without even blowing themselves up.

    Michael D. Knox
    Tampa, FL

    January 11, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  58. Jim


    I don't know if even full body scanners can stop determined terrorists, but they will certainly help to make it more difficult to sneak dangerous stuff aboard an airplane, hence they will make flyers safer. If that means certain airport security persons get a peek, well, so be it. If you want to fly, you get the eye.

    Reno, Nevada

    January 11, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  59. Gail, Plano,Texas

    No. A thousand times no. The only way to be safe is for all passengers to fly naked! Of course, they must be cavity searched, too. Sound off the wall? No more than other safety measures are. There is no such thing as "safe". Life is a roll of the dice. We have become a nation of wusses.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  60. Missy M

    I wish there was a better solution - the thought of these machines make me uneasy. Once these machines are in, it will only be a matter of months (maybe even weeks) before the first scandal hits of airport screeners laughing at or printing out and distributing the images. I'm sure Al Queda is getting a good laugh too about the degree of humiliation Americans are willing to suffer thanks to them.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  61. Ed from California

    Yes, if the screening process is used at foreign airports as well. Going anywhere in America by plane is not fun. But, this is the world we live in and if you want to fly and be safe. You'll have to put up with a great deal of inconvenience, and just go with the flow. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but perhaps, a National ID card or check might be an answer. You go through a background check (your dime), fingerprints, photo etc..Big Brother! It's that important to know who is getting on your flight!

    January 11, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  62. A. in DFW Texas

    no, stop pissing off the people in other countries.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  63. Mr. D

    I think that machines that look at Homeland Security and the TSA would be of better use. I'm afraid that declaring that you have "nothing to hide" might come back to haunt you after being scanned. Can't you see the results of this outrageous requirement getting on You Tube. Well, we need more laughter in this world.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  64. Susan Frost

    If, God forbid, I ever had to get on an airplane I wouldn't mind submitting to a full body scan in the interest of safety, although at my age I can't imagine any part of my body that even a machine would care to look at! Seriously, I think it would be a better idea if those in charge of our security would pay attention when a parent tells them that his kid is a raving lunatic with a bomb in his butt.

    Tuscaloosa AL

    January 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  65. T. Thomas in Abilene Tx.

    No. Neither are cavity searches , but some enterprising terrorist will one day make that a very real concern ,too.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  66. Zach - DC

    Dental X-rays are dangerous. We submit to the use of these machines because the potential hazards are outweighed by the benifits of detecting potential health problems. The same is true of X-ray machines in hospitals. Great care is taken to subject only the area of concern to the X-rays (by covering the rest of our bodies with lead sheets). To the 100K plus traveler weekly exposures to even small doses of X-rays will likely have long term effects. Effects that aren't outweighed by the benifits of deterring terrorist activity. The public by and large needs to be educated on the dangers of X-rays. The inventor of this technology died a painful death of cancer, as did his wife and many assistants. Before we go showering ourselves in X-rays we need to do a true cost-benifit analysis and find out if this is a risk we are willing to take (after all, I thought we were trying to overhaul health care in this country for the better).

    January 11, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  67. Dean in Pa

    If drug smugglers can ingest bags of illegal drugs and get through security, will these machines catch a terrorist that ingests some form of explosive? These people have a death wish and who knows how far they will go to succeed.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  68. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    the ACLU needs to get over itself. LIFE is the first of "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happness" because without LIFE the other two are MEANINGLESS

    I could care less what some TSA operator sees as long is it is NOT in public view. I would rather go thru a scanner that can actually detect non-metalic lethal objects and be SAFE than worry about "privacy" and have a plane I'm on blown out of the sky or, worse yet, hijacked and flown into a building.

    and I would sure rather go thru the scanner than have ny privates "felt up" by some TSA worker.

    Oh, and one other thing. Jack. as a retired airline captain I can assure you that THE best airline security tool today is an ARMED PILOT.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  69. Karen, Idaho Falls

    Right now it seems to be the only effective way to discover explosive materials and other dangerous contraband. Personally, I'd rather give the TSA people a look at my body and arrive safe and sound than be a dead statistic after the plane goes down. If this bothers anybody, they can always drive, take a bus, take a train, or walk.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  70. kishawn in houston

    Yes, but they are only one answer to a complex question. Purchase pattern profiles, better trained detection dogs, and government travelers registration programs could help airport traffic move faster without compromising security or dignity of travelers.. These pat down serches and profiling of middle eastern citizens is against our values and you dont give those up for fear... If we do the terrorist win.....

    January 11, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  71. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,I don't think there is just one answer,but we do owe it to ourselves to make it as difficult as possible for those who want to kill us.If that means using these machines,then,so be it!!

    January 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  72. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I don't think any one thing alone is the answer. If the lines of communication and sharing of information were kept open like they were designed. The terrorist would never have been standing in line to board a plane. But since he was able to to get in line, if he would've had to walk through one of these machines, there would have been a good chance Of him being stopped. The machines should be used as a safety net and not totally dependent on for the answer in solving the security problem.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  73. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    Are we as a people so ashamed of our bodies that we would rather subject ourselves to much longer and less safe security procedures than go through a "virtual strip search." And the word to look at is "virtual."

    January 11, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  74. Laura Nason Niles, MI

    Depends whether you are trying to make it safer for people to fly or trying to make a quick fortune off a scam!
    The "underwear bomber" could not have been detected by the full body scanner, nor could anyone else like him, because they give passengers a steel plate to cover that area of their bodies. They all know that but those selling them, Chertoff for instance, stand to make a whole lot of money if only they can "sell" the public!

    January 11, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  75. BILL, WI

    The ACLU should start it's own airline. So that their members and absolute privacy advocates can get on a plane without any searches or questions.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  76. Quinn

    YES! I'm not sure why so many people are outraged by something that could completely eliminate all possible means to bring harm to a plane. It's obvious that these are terrorists are using different tactics to attack American people therefore we should take on knew tactics to combat them. Loosen up people or maybe try a train!

    January 11, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  77. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    Jack, decades of wreckless foreign policy has finally resulted in grandma having to stand naked in front of strangers in order to travel anywhere. Just because 72% of survey takers have been hood-winked into thinking giving our rights and privacy away makes us safe, does not make this good policy. Someone is making a mint off this, while officials can claim they are making a difference.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  78. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, of course not! They are only one of many tools we should be using to keep our air travel safe. I also think the NTSB should get hot instituting pre-cleared travel permits that can be instantly verified biometrically to speed the screening process. 95% of the traveling public are NOT a threat of any kind, and could be issued biometric ID cards that would allow them to zip through the screening process. This would leave the NTSB much more time to clear the 5% who can't qualify for the travel pass.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  79. Darren

    Look at all the costly hoops al-Qaida has us jumping through and surely they'll come up with something we haven't thought of yet, making our government nothing more than knee-jerk reactionaries.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  80. Elizabeth Thompson

    The vindictive Right sees an opportunity to hopefully get him removed.

    It only shows he is getting under their skin!

    January 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  81. tortor des moines iowa

    thats not the answer to airpory security.All they are doing is to watch other people nakedness..They need to get a better and advance machines to dictate if someone is carrying an explosive object.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  82. J W

    I doubt it.

    When we create a machine that tells us what every passenger is thinking, now THAT just might work. Might also lower some political candidate's polling expenses.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  83. Michael H. of Albuquerque, NM

    Airport security is theater. The current explosion of fear mongering serves the corporate interests of those that make these machines. Real airport security checks at the curb before you go in the front door. And real terrorists buy newsprinters ink by the barrel.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  84. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    They would have been a few weeks ago, not likely anymore. We spend too much time trying to prevent the last attack that happened and no time fixing the root causes and improvign our intelligence gathering. These scans will prvent nothing.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  85. Frank

    Why not just use dogs? They are the only screening method that comes closse to 100%

    January 11, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  86. Dan, NV

    Yes, these need to be one additional componant in airport (train?) security. They need to be faster and/or have enough of them that the lines will still move smoothly. It amazes me that there is all this 'privacy' talk, but people have no problem going to the pool/beach in a speedo.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  87. ken, nj

    It appears that americans are willing to do anything because they are scared of a terrorist who did not board a plane in the u.s. and burned his underwear. Wow! We have now entered the twilight zone. Wake up america.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  88. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    i am not for it. It is invasive, makes an already long screening process longer and it will truly prevent nothing. If anything, they should use it as a secondary measure for more risky people. But I guess that would require some degree of profiling, and we are against treating anyone differently even when safety is at stake.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  89. Gladys Tillman

    I don't believe it is. However I am not against meausres that are designed to assure my security while in flight, I am just not that convinced, as a result of this past Christmas Season incident that the measures being taken are assuring that security. Hearts and Minds Jim, Hearts and minds; change these and we will be more secure as a nation!

    January 11, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  90. Gary H. Boyd

    Well, obviously it's gonna separate the girls from the boys. If I were 50 years younger I'd probably apply for a job at TSA just for the show. But whether it can separate the good from the bad's another matter altogether.

    Gary Boyd in Scottsdale, Arizona

    January 11, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  91. Lizzie in L.A.

    Whether the machines are "the answer" remains to be seen (pun intended) until after they actually capture some bad guys. Hopefully by that time, the bad guys will automatically (ha ha ha) be on the no-fly list so it wouldn't matter anyway.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  92. Laura

    Eh, people should be more comfortable with their bodies anyway. If this question were asked in Europe, it probably would be no problem. Why not?

    January 11, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  93. PAT

    These machines are part of the answer.
    TSA must make sure the security checkpoints
    are manned.
    I conducted tests with scienitist from national
    labs on what these machines could help identify.

    Garland, Tx

    January 11, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  94. dennis g

    with 4 million people on average flying everyday thats 28 million people a week or billions of people a year the percentage of failure of airport security is close to zero. It seems more likely to me that someone is trying to manipulate the American tax payer into buying security systems that have already been described as less affective than the metal detectors we already have. pure class warfare. treat the lower class like sheep by playing on their emotions of fear.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  95. anthony.....Glassboro, NJ

    In my opinion Jack, we'll need dissection soon since the terrorists will surgically implant their bombs. Machines won't stop these malcontents only diligence which, we see is imperfect at best.
    Maybe it's time for the Muslim world to stop cheering them on and finally cast these demons from their ranks. They don't realize that another successful catastrophe against the West will bring them all to paradise.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  96. Joe Robertson

    Great headline and the answer is NO. ACLU also does a great job of pointing out that they do not pickup low density objects like plastics and liquids. Hot pants would have made it past the invasion of the body scanners.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  97. Jeff Crocket in New Britain, CT

    No because our enemies will just swallow the bombs or embed them.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  98. ronald

    You bet these machines are needed.Even the Nigerian airport that the alleged terrorist departed had not even used the machine.
    I say, use the machines for everyone.
    All it takes is one guy to create chaos and we will all end up using them anyways.
    And,i suggest someone gets a machine that is geared to detect that explosive used,since both this guy and that uglier than sin brit whom tried to use becoming the shoe bomber.
    get some machine that detects that explosive and if one does not exist, get it invented now,not later.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  99. Gigi Oregon

    Probably not. But at least they'll have a few laughs to go along with the public outrage and abuse.
    And don't forget to screen the politicians (our Representatives) who have been terrorising us for the past decade. With bogus wars, lower taxes for the rich, bailouts for corporate thieves and elaborate parties for our government representatives and their lobbyist friends.etc.,etc, etc.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  100. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Not at all. It is a false sense of security on top of privacy issues for adults and children as well and health concerns.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  101. Ross

    No Jack, they are not.

    The answer to airport security is consistency. TSA rules changes by the day. One day I can take a novel to read on an aircraft, the next day I cannot. At one point there was a rule that no one could get up out of their seat 1 hour prior to landing, but they could get up 1 hour and 15 minutes prior to landing and go for a pee. What's up with all the changes? Does logic come into play at all here? I wonder?? Just trying to keep up to the constant change that seems to be daily...it probably makes it pretty tough even on the front line screeners to even know what is OK and what isn't.

    I wonder if the 7-hour waits to get on US bound planes from Toronto will be over by March? I'm taking my kids to Florida, if it takes 7 hours just to board a plane for Miami at the Toronto airport, that will be it for our US bound trips. I can go somewhere else to spend my vacation dollars.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  102. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio


    No that is just the first step. What "they" really want are machines that actually go up your pants then any moves in error will be the machines fault and not a political liability.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  103. Richard Texas

    If the republicans do it then absolutely not but apparently since the democrats and Obama want to do it then it is just alrighty then. If the left think it is Ok and just then it has to be ok. Right Jack? They are not the party of No.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  104. dave from NH

    not a problem with the scanners Jack- better that
    than a pat down- in fact I volunteer to go through the
    first scanner installed with those sexy advocates of
    National Security- Sarah Palin and Monica Crowley-

    January 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  105. Sherri-Illinois

    I'm for security and safety! America is so hung up on silly things, my goodness its a X-RAY machine and it should be mandatory regardless of the vanities and hangups some people have.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  106. Cheryl, Cocoa, Fl

    i guess I'm in the minority, Jack. I believe these scanners are a gross infringement on an American's personal privacy. But, I simply don't intend to fly anymore, so the majority can have their way.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  107. Wayne from New Brunswick Canada

    Unless airports give each and every passenger a good sniff from a canine, a bomber can easily place some c4 explosive in body cavities or crotch area and set it off midair. Do like the Israelis do; use profiling and distinction to weed out potential terrorists; its not too difficult to cull the passenger list down to a few people who require extra attention. Like the teenagers say; DUH!

    January 11, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  108. bruce that old former Republican from Ma.

    Very possibly.... if this machine does the job HELL YES...!!!!!

    January 11, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  109. Mark, Worcester MA

    Besides the major invasion of privacy, do we really think these will work? Either the image is transmitted to a secure room or to a nearby screen (an even bigger violation). Either way, a person has to sit there and examine them. All day long. ... Wasn't human error cited in the Christmas incident?

    January 11, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  110. becky in tipton, indiana

    They can't hurt, and can be part of the tools used.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  111. Homeless D


    INTELLIGENCE (both the kind that is collected and the kind that analyzes what is collected) is what will make our airports secure.

    We REALLY need to take a look at the israeli airline and see how they do it, and do the same.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  112. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    They're not the answer, and there still will be ways around them. They have already had issues in England with their use violating child pornography laws, so those under 18 will be exempt from the scanners. So, we'll just have terrorists hiding bombs in their child's diaper instead.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  113. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Not at all. It is a false sense of security on top of privacy issues for adults and children as well and health concerns. Facing behaviors is probably better but the staff needs to train their own behaviors in facing others!


    airlines personnel...instead of looking under my clothes..., look at me in the eyes and ask me real questions!:)

    January 11, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  114. Scott Stodden

    Yes Jack it is when you have extremist terroist from other countries coming into the United States trying to blow up airplanes with bombs hidden in there underwear! Would you rather let them do a full body strip search or would you take your chances of dying? I think I'll let them strip search me if Im getting on a plane.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    January 11, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  115. honestjohn in Vermont

    Of course not and the danger of abuse is too great. The mice will find a way to defeat this mousetrap as soon as we spend the billions on them. And frequent fliers will suffer getting extra millirads for flying...not points. These machines will not solve a thing.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  116. Linda in Arizona

    Putting aside the obvious invasion of privacy, there IS no "safe level" of radiation. X-ray radiation is cumulative. At some point, if you get enough, you will develop cancer. Does anyone really believe these lying clowns when they say it's "safe"? What they're doing is making the sheeple who are afraid of their own shadows the stooges when THEY'RE THE ONES WHO ARE FAILING TO DO THEIR JOBS. They completely blew it with the undiebomber, and now they want to irradiate and humiliate the poor people who are unfortunate enough to have to fly. I'm so glad I'm not one of them. I will never fly again, and they can put that in their full-body scanners and smoke it.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  117. Brad in Memphis

    I'd much rather get "strip-searched" by this machine at an airport than spend a hundred times more using the NSA to police thought through internet scanning. The answer is point-of-threat searching. The point of the threat is the airplane, the search should be done when boarding the airplane. BTW, if you're worried about some pervert seeing your body, let me give you the big clue. With all the tubs of lard in this country, we'll be lucky to find someone with a strong enough stomach to do it.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  118. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    I don't think that they're the whole answer, but they are part of the puzzle. We should pursue every reasonable strategy to keep those flying safe. Machines are good, but reliable, thorough intelligence that is acted upon to protect the flying public is the best answer.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  119. Kevin in CA

    No, the machines are not the answer. The terrorist will just start hiding the stuff in body cavities ... so just go to full body xray's and ignore that pesky radiation. After all, that's the dose you'll get after TSA operates the "under clothes" scanners for a while anyway.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  120. pat in michigan

    it's not THE ANSWER but it is a good start.If you object to being sure you are safe then you should drive .

    January 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  121. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    Nothing will ever stop a highly trained bomber, and the only two things that would be effective are flying naked and heavy sedation before takeoff. Since neither one of these things are practical, I guess these machines are the next logical step. What I don't understand is why we even allow foreign domestic flights into America in the first place.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  122. john .... marlton nj

    No, of course not! Isn't this the technology that's made by the company where the FORMER head of Homeland Security is now on the board and is an advisor ? In all fairness should TSA agents have to declare their sexual preferences and wear color coded badges to alert passengers about potential gawking ??

    January 11, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  123. Jeremy, Irvine CA

    With so much money up for grabs for new security measures like these screeners, it makes me wonder if there were hidden motives for the failed attack in the first place.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  124. Sharon - Sierra Nevada

    Whatever Israel is doing regarding airline security is whas the United States should be doing. Doesn't matter if it's racial profiling or strip searches. Just get it done.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  125. Gregg

    No, it would be too easy to hide explosives in a body cavity. Scanning every passenger, regardless of where they originate, is rediculous.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  126. the little old lady in Kansas

    I don't give a darn about "privacy" but the whole issue is crazy. Al-Quada must be having a real good laugh at us scurrying around like chickens with our heads cut off– over a threat that didn't even work.
    The facts are– there is no ultimate protection, and our whole system is flawed to the core.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  127. Luci - Illinois

    Yes it sounds like a better answer than what we have. The people that complain need to stay home if they don't like it.
    I would rather have the x-ray than to be blown up on the plane.
    You can't please everyone, so go ahead and try it.
    A big number of women are showing a lot more than they should.
    If you don't believe it just watch TV, you'll get an eye full. The people griping probably don't fly anyway.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  128. Jeremy, Irvine CA

    I think I'll just stop flying.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  129. Woody, Blytheville AR

    No, not by themselves I seriously think its time we take inspiration from what Israel does, they have an outstanding record when it comes to airline security, sadly we are too politically correct to do this, to our detriment.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  130. Mike in Quebec

    Yes..... and you want to be more secure? Anyone that visits the US (and this guy had a VISA) must go through a background check. Profile 100% of the time. There aren't any McCallisters bombing airplanes are there?

    January 11, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  131. Jason Stone, Oklahoma

    I am so uncomfortable with the privacy violations that these machines pose that I will not fly through an airport that uses them. If all airports put them into use, then I guess I'll have to learn to start loving trains and ships.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  132. Monica Smith

    Of course! Get over it! After having 3 kids, there's nothing left to hide!!!

    January 11, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  133. Angie

    I would rather be safe than sorry.

    However, I will have to wear a Girdle. After all, I don't want to expose my fatty middle flapping like jelly when I pass by the Body Scanner.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  134. Ken

    I was scanned in London some years ago and (unfortunately) got to look at the screen (rear view) of my scan. Asked the guy on duty if he had to look at the screen all day. When he nodded "yes all I could say was,"You poor S.O.B."

    January 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  135. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Machines that look under clothing at the airport security checkpoints is a lot better than the alternatives. It would be a lot worse if the process were changed to the point where I could only board a plane wearing a jockstrap and a light coat of oil.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  136. Annie, Atlanta

    No, not selling one way tickets to passengers without luggage is, or dogs, since I’m partial. If we allow machine operated strip searches, Bin Laden gets to sit in a cave half way around the world celebrating his destruction of nearly everything we took pride in being.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  137. Chuck

    Jack: If you believe what the government says and you travel alot, take out some insurance to cover your medical bills. Any amount of radiation is obviously bad and if you travel frequently, you could be in trouble. There are other pieces of equipment that work just as effectively, i.e., canines.....

    January 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  138. Jayne

    No, machines aren't the answer, not the best one. Those intent on bombing a plane will put the explosives in a body cavity or even have it surgically implanted. Machines can't find that. I'd rather trust my safety to the noses of bomb-sniffing dogs any day over the eyes of human TSAa and machines.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  139. Shea W.

    I'm suprised they haven't already invented a more advanced method than this, But because they have not these body scanners should be employed. It just makes one more thing that a terrorist needs get through. The focus should not be on airport security as much as intelligence and preventing these sort of people from even entering into the airport or getting a ticket in the first place.

    Shea W. 13

    January 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  140. Margaret Owens

    We need to use full body scanning because terrorists can find ways around human surveillance. Racial profiling is a ridiculous option because those intent on inflicting terror would not hesitate to pack explosives on a 90 year old grandmother and threaten to kill her grandchildren if she doesn't become a suicide sacrifice.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  141. logan, fresno

    i think it'll do at least a little bit to help. as least, through the body scanner, muslims can't claim that they are being racially profiled, as the machine is equally racist against christians, jews and atheists.

    i just hope that the machine won't be programmed to be racist specifically against muslims, rather than racist against all religions.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  142. Martin in Shoreline, WA

    It may help, but it isn't the answer. We must address the root of why people want to kill us, and we have done nothing to address this at all. When sweatshops are no longer involved in the manufacture of our underwear, we will be safer. When we stop propping up dictators in the Middle east for oil, they will stop wanting to kill us. When we eliminate religion from our foreign policy, there will be no Armageddon.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  143. Shirley aka Tillie

    Yes.....If this is going to keep us safe in the air. I would rather someone scan my behind than blow my behind out the sky. How about you Jack? All I can say is "what you see is what it is"!!!!

    January 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  144. Warren Stromberg

    Why not just have trained dogs sniff for explosives as airline passengers file by? Anyone who has seen these dogs in action knows how remarkably effective they are. When the dog gives an alert, an inspection would be justified.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  145. John

    It's simple.. If you don't like the security checks... don't fly. I'm very sure that the Constitution does not say anything about your right to fly.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  146. Britt...OKC, OK

    Sounds like a good security measure to me. Obviously the measures we have now for screening aren't working and people are still getting explosives and what not on planes. It may take away some privacy, but I'd like to feel safe for once when I get on an airplane.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  147. Tom, Bradenton, FL

    No Jack had these IDIOTS from the CIA taken the fathers compaints seriously we would not have had this situation. No machines do not replace human intelligence.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  148. Andrew, Wilson NC

    I don't have any body parts that are different from anyone else. If this technology keeps said body parts from blowing up 30,000 feet over Kansas, I'm all for it.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  149. John

    I think full body scans will lead to less crowding, all those old folks wearing diapers and women menustrating will just stay home.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  150. Robert

    Where does it stop? It seems that many more lives would likely be lost in result of a hijack, as opposed to the small radiation. However, if an individual went into a McDonalds strapped with a bomb, which he/she then detonated and killed scores of people, would we need such a full-body scan in order to get a Big Mac? Life is dangerous, and more people perish from other entities in this world than that of extremist. No need to show the fear with such mechanisms, as we can not control everything.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  151. Ari from Elkins Park, PA

    Yes, these machines can help protect people from possible catastrophes. I care more about being safe on an aircraft than the guard across the room who can NOT see my face, seeing what is under my clothes. Remember that your one of thousands that pass through security everyday. It's worth it!

    January 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  152. Melody

    Yes Jack, I believe that this technology should be used until something better comes along. I just watched Denztel Washington's movie "Man on Fire" which reminded me that there are other places to hide an assortment of items "where the sun doesn't shine" that can be hazardous to many other besides the one storing them

    January 11, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  153. Tim

    Anyone that has been in the military, hospital, given birth or dressed out for gym has shown more to the world than these scanners will reveal.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  154. Chicago Will

    The x-ray scanners don't detect PETN. They're just a public "security blanket". Our perceived sense of security is important, but unecessary nudity seems laughable. How about we spend the x-ray money on machines that detect PETN?

    January 11, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  155. Loren, Chicago

    Seems to me to be another case of throwing money at a problem without really having a clear understanding of what the problem is.

    Chemical sniffers that can smell bomb-making chemicals would seem to be a more useful machine for examining passengers than one that looks for concealed weapons.

    Seems that common sense seems to be lacking in Homeland Security.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  156. Garry D,Ohio

    Anyone that does not want to be scanned should take the bus!

    January 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  157. Mike, Sandy, Oregon

    The machines are part of the answer not all, Machines that can "see" under my clothes is better that the security persons cold, wandering hands. The rest we need to learn from the Israelis'

    January 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  158. Victor

    We should not allow our rights to be taken away every time there is a terrorist threat. If scanners are allowed to view our bodies, the terrorists will have gained a victory in stripping us of the priviledges we possess as Americans, one of those priviledges being a right to privacy.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  159. Stephanie

    These machines are not the answer to the problem. They are simply an "in the mean time" , the manna. They are meant to sustain us in an attempt to make us feel safer until TSA, the CIA, and the Administration can put their collective heads together to come up with a permanent solution. The problem with this is that we do not actually feel safer because as we revamp our security measures, the terrorists evolve to keep up with our changes.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  160. J. Thompson

    At this point I'm all for it. I'm sick and tired of the terrorists having a one-up on us because we are not willing to take the steps necessary to protect ourself. Flying is not a constitutional right. If you don't want to be scanned then take another mode of transportation.

    Highland Falls, NY

    January 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  161. Doug - Dallas, TX

    They're better than what we have now but I guess it's a question of safe do you want to feel while you're in a plane. Anybody who want to see a picture of my scanned body has my sympathies!!

    January 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  162. Don

    Jack if people have a problem tell them to walk or use their car. I fly every month and don't want these people on my plane. I have a heart device and am patted down everytime I fly. Whats the big deal. The TSA is alway very professional and kind. What ever it takes to get me there in one piece.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  163. Betsy

    The American public pays alot of lip service to "safety", but is not always willing to walk the walk. As with most issues – its OK if it has no impact on me personally. Let everyone else be strip searched, but not me. Keep me safe, but don't inconvenience me in any way.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |

    If the people who work in the security department would just do their jobs, we would not even need these, we have not had an attack for 8 ½ years.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  165. Jean...Waldorf, MD

    Do they work? If they work then yes..."scan me up Scotty"! The same people that complain of the amounts of radiation that could lead to cancer, probably consume enough alcohol to lead to cancer, are exposed to enough sun to cause skin cancer, and a host of other things that will cause cancer. As for those that are concerned with revealing more intimate areas...this maybe a good time to start working out!

    January 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  166. Doug

    Sir, I cannot believe that this is even a point of discussion. It goes beyond a matter of personal rights when it effects the life of others. Its called the greater good. If the lives of 300+ people on the airplane and all the families that would be destroyed are not enough, what about the children in the school that is erased by falling wreckage, or the building that the planes are crashed into? Really, what is the price to be paid so somebody thinks they can hide how fat they truely are?

    January 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  167. Ken in NC

    Scanners are a part of solving our security problem but the big ticket item is to change the attitude of the flying public. These attitudes must change to accept the invasion of their “privacy” by this machine over the enemies of our nation celebrating their success. It’s a no brainer for me. El Al, the safest in the world says you fly our planes after you agree to our security terms. If you do not agree to them then you are free to fly another carrier.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  168. Will in Dallas, TX

    Flying commercially is not a right, it's a privilege. If you don't like the idea of being scanned by an X-Ray then take a train or a bus. If John Madden can do it, I think anyone in America could! TSA should take steps to make sure flying is as safe as possible, and body scanners "appear" to be the solution.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  169. Jeannine

    Jack, As an infrequent flyer I am concerned about full body scans. I have a metel rod in one leg and metel wires in my chest. I am aprehensive about flying as I feel I surely will be pulled out of a line at the scanner and publicly patted down or force to disrobe even in a private area.
    If the privacy and dignity can be preserved and guarrenteed then I will fly again. Til then I will drive where I need to go.
    Corinna Maine

    January 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  170. Eric

    Ben Franklin said "he who gives personal liberty for temporary security, deserves neither".
    I appears that our country is looking more and more like the novel 1984.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  171. Keith Krebs


    Given lapses of security by the Secret Service at the White House we obviously need to provide better security to our national political leadership. Who knows when a State dinner gate crasher might have an underwear bomb?

    I think the metal detectors at the White House and on Capitol Hill should be replaced with full-body scanners and a "no exceptions" rule instituted. I bet we'd then hear a bit more about what an invasion of privacy they are.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  172. Ben

    So far, its the best solution out there. If it is only 1% of the radiation in a dental x-ray, I certainly don't travel on a plane 50 or 100 times a year but I do get a dental x-ray every year or so, therefore I am not concerned about the health consequences. The scan only looks through the body and does not display an actual image of what the person looks like under their first layer of clothing and therefore it should not be an invasion to anyones privacy unless your not human (because we all look the same in an x-ray). The threat of airplanes being used against us is not going away anytime soon, and it is one minor step that can have the potential to save many lives and therefore should be used.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  173. Mari Fernandez, Utah

    Folks need to take a deep breath and settle down. Don't let the GOP-fear-mongers get to you.

    The chances of an American dying in a terrorist attack is, ONE in 80,000 (look it up)!

    The chances of an American dying of a heart attack? 1 in 2. 50%

    January 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  174. Lori Lentz

    I would be in favor of anything to get through airport security faster. I certainly think that a machine that scans would be much quicker than having a security officer do body checks.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  175. Shirley

    NO THESE MACHINES ARE NOT THE ANSWER!! The airport should be the last line of defense. THE VISA PROGRAM NEEDS TO BE THE FIRST!! Da! Lets keep them out of our country in which case they won't get on our planes!! Period

    January 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  176. Andrew Davidson

    Well Jack I see no problem with this at all, but it is just another way to get rid of the gap or whole in the security due to lazy workers.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  177. DirTyRuSH216

    Airport security...I think it's a joke! If there was truly security at airports, it would start from the time the passenger enters the Airport. How easy can anyone walk from the car to the inside of a crowded airport; picture LAX or JFK. It's truly unbleivable! Americans need to stop fighting eachother over stupid differences such as Conservative or Democrat. We need to unite together to support our troops and protect this country...I've said enough.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  178. Colleen, NC

    It is my understanding that these scanners will blur the breast area and genitalia. Now that we have told the entire world that, I suspect it will be easy enough to figure out how to sneak materials past the scanners. The xmas day would-be bomber had the stuff down his pants so if these scanners had been in use then, he still would have made it on the plane.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  179. Robert Butler

    No, because the machines can't see inside the body. The terrorists will just start to swallow or insert their explosives inside their bodies.

    The key is eliminating the causes of terrorism: our occupation of foreign countries, and our support of foreign dictators.

    Robert Butler from Austin, Texas

    January 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  180. Christian Bettencourt

    Scanners will help.
    however will they detect explosive liquids digested by a person prior to boarding the airplane and detonated by the same person then swallowing another substance to then detonate the contents within the stomach?
    My point is people are very creative!
    PS: I got this from watching 24.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  181. Jim in Rochelle, IL

    No, these machines are not the answer to airport security.
    Potential terrorists must be stopped before they even get into an airport.
    The machines are simply another diversion to instill a false sense of security and don't address the real problem of actually profiling a potential terrorist. This political correctness will be the end of us all.

    Here's an idea, adopt El-Al security measures. When was the last time a terrorist boarded an Israeli airplane?

    January 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  182. Tom

    Absolutely this is the answer, in the short term at least.

    Would you rather have your body scanned by some isolated personal in a secluded room or to be blown to bits at 30,000 feet over the Atlantic? Talk about your violation civil rights… I go with the full body scan.

    Tom from Columbus, Ohio.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  183. Kirk

    Body scans are one tool in the process of making flying safe, assuming the TSA will use them properly. Flying is a privilege, not a constitutional right. If those more concerned about privacy than security feel body scanning is an injustice then Amtrak, Hertz and Greyhound could use their business. And who knows, perhaps use of body scans will inspire travelers to exercise and improve their diet.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  184. Jim

    We seem always in the US to depend upon technology to do what people can do much better. Why not follow the Israeli lead and train behavior specialists to spot those who should be barred from flying. Airports in Israel seem to have the best secuirty records. I'd rather be asked a few questions by a behavioral specialist than be stripped bare by a machine. The TSA's record doesn't impress me one bit.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  185. David

    It feels as though if we start to use these "virtual strip search machines" the terrorists have won. We have become a culture of fear in constant search for the guarantee of safety which simply doesn't exist. Living life means taking risk. Flying is still the safest way to travel.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  186. Nicholas lulgjuraj

    I think that these machines will be a major step in national security but the fact that they emit radiation makes me a bit uneasy. If radiation is the price we must pay for safety and security then so be it.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  187. Derek M

    With the caliber of people that the TSA hires (ex: Chicago Midway) anything that will make it easier to spot a threat will be a benefit to all Americans.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  188. E Alan (Milwaukee)

    That tiny amount of radiation might not impact a person that only travels by plane once every few years, but what about frequent travelers? Our indifference to radiation, knowing the effects it has on the human body, is really quite unsettling.

    As fair as our airport security woes, a coinstructive solution would be to have an actual well trained staff of employees that do their jobs without fail. As a semi-frequent traveler some of the TSA officers I've encountered have been inattentive, unprofessional, and clearly there just to get a check. If the public safety is their goal, then the standards need to be higher. Or maybe our security agencies that employ smarter ways of profiling( than to search everyone named "Aziz") and better communication with fello agencies.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  189. Diane in Tampa, FL

    Hey Jack - again another moneymaker for the homeland security scanner industry - who cares that we are at risk with more radiation accumulating in our bodies - who cares about the possibility of mistakes in calibrating these machines (see the recent pet scan (or whatever scan) scandal in hospitals throughout the U.S.) - who cares that whatever the latest technology, a terrorist will find a way around it - who cares? Rest assured it's NOT the security industry.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  190. Shane, Rocklin Ca

    Absolutely not. This invasive technology will not keep those intent on using airplanes as a source of terror from doing so, they will devise ways to circumvent the machines. Why not use bomb-sniffing dogs in every airport security line. Dogs don't give cancer, aren't invasive, and have are more adept at detecting bombs than a machine will ever be.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  191. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    No, the best way to end the threat of attacks on America is to develop renewable energy sources. We have spent trillions on giving money to rich companies and corporation, if we had spent 10% of that on building our own energy infrastructure we would not be in the middle east trying to force these poor people to sell their oil to us for next to nothing, and expanding our footprint of bases.

    Anyway I stop flying before years 9/11 because of the way the airlines treat their customers, basically they kidnap you when you go onto their planes, all your right are tossed out the view-port!

    January 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  192. Terry from Zion, IL

    Hey Jack,
    If getting scanned will keep me safe when flying, its fine with me.
    Its time to get into the 21st century and understand what our enemies are trying to do to Americans so get over it... and fly safe.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  193. Pete - Augusta Ga

    Jack –

    No – body scanners are just the latest technology developed to catch yesterday's terrorists techniques & targets. These people are already 10 steps ahead of us on where & how they will strike (perhaps shopping malls, sporting events, etc).
    For airport/airplane security we should utilize the techiques of ElAl – targeted, smart screening including politically incorrect profiling. Then our focus should be on forward-looking intelligence efforts.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  194. Sue in Jackson, Miss.

    People don't seem to realize that the full body scanner is basically a strip search, and that it would be used on everyone, including children. Does anyone really want their 14-year-old daughter to be photographed in the nude? The other main question is whether this total invasion of privacy will make us any safer. We've been putting our liquids and gels in zip-lock bags for years, yet that still didn't stop the "Underpants Bomber" from boarding an airplane carrying a liquid. At the same time, we still haven't addressed port security, power grid security, or mass transportation security. We need to stop pouring billions of dollars into trying to prevent past isolated events, step back, and take a look at the big picture.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  195. Denise

    As a survivor of severe abuse I don't know if I could endure a "pat down"...the words even make me shiver. A machine that basically undresses you is a bit more tolerable. I am becoming afraid to fly.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  196. Michael D. Knox

    TSA is going to be a great place for pedophiles and sexual predators to work. Who else would want to monitor the scanners?

    January 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  197. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Machines can't get up and walk away from their security post. However, a machine can't totally be relied upon, we'll still need people to people profiling.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  198. Rich

    No Jack the machines will only show that the honest are honest. The terrorists will bypass said machines by finding empolyment in the secure areas of the airports. Maybe event as TSA staff, we did after all just have a Major in the US Army down Ft Hood show his true colors.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  199. Thomas W. Williams

    "Body scanners" use radio waves, safer than microwaves and 10,000 less radio waves than the average cell phone which is why they are safe for people with medical implants.
    I think everyone should have to go through them. The metal detector that you have to go though now only picks up metal and I personally will feel safer knowing that they (TSA) has done everthing possible to insure that I get where I am going.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  200. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    When the rates of cancer go up from the energy, magnetism and radiation that these things are pumping out all day long, the public will start a riot! I feel for the people who work there beside these machine they had better get tested every six months maybe even three months!!!

    January 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  201. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    No, someone on CNN even fooled a machine by carrying a clear liquid in a clear bag attached to his pants waistband. I think we should go with dogs who can scent anything anywhere. They don't touch anybody. They don't bite. They just sit in front of the person from which they detected the offending odor. But dogs are not high tech. They don't make money for the scanner company and people can't stop affixing human motivations as well as telepathic superpowers to dogs. They keep thinking that dogs will have it in for them for their past atrocities to animals and instead of scanning from banned substances, will accuse them falsely to get even for their past misdeeds.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  202. Terry, Ft. Bragg

    Free and mandatory showers for departing passengers would be a lot cheaper, safer and socially acceptable. When have you heard a complaint about showering to enter a public swimming pool? Now if some traveller wants a second shower at the arrival gate (when you really need one) profit from towel vending and other niceties can offset the operating cost.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  203. dirtyrush216

    someones going to make alot of money on this scam...however, these scanners should be at the entrance to the airport and it should be mandatory that each person enter thru the scanner.!

    January 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  204. sherryann

    im a muslim women and am OK with the full body scan if it gives us the security needed to prevent future attacked.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  205. stephanie potts

    do what they have to do before boarding then train those wonderfull dogs and put them on board the aircraft AFTER everyone is on board and seated...so far their the only ones that seem to seek and find without making mistakes..

    January 11, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  206. Bill Logal

    Dear Jack, Having machines that will reveal the human body at airports is a real nifty idea especially if the technology allow a wide screen or maybe three screens to broadcast all the images captured by these machines. Why Jack the TSB could ask for advertisers to pay for these machines and just imagine what fun we'd all have watching our naked fellow passengers going through security. Why should just you media folk be the only ones to stick their noses in our private business.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  207. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio


    No these machines are not the complete answer but most people educated in the last 30 years would jump at the chance to get "on screen" anyway. You don't actually have to jump up and down do you?

    January 11, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  208. Fernando Amaral

    These full body scanners for airport security is absolute bull. The thought that this is going to stop any Terrorist act is absurd. Whats next? Hospitals, schools,malls, movie theaters and any other place where the public gathers to put these in. To much time is being spent fighting a war on Terror overseas when the real crime and terror is being conducted here in North America by Politicians and big Banks. I am sure if you connect the dots some politicion is making big bucks off of these scanners

    January 11, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  209. EugeneWiese

    I want whatever works.If the scanner is the best preventive measure than great.I personally don't like someone patting me down:however, if feeling someone up works better,than do it. Airline and homeland security trumps the American peoples personal feelings. Gene

    January 11, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  210. Judy Methven

    I am not going to let anybody do an electronic strip search on me. I am a 67 year old grandmother and an not going to let anybody look under my clothes or feel me up. A pat down seqarch will not work unless they get really personal and I am not going to submit to it. I guess my days of airline travel are over. Whyshou all of us Americans have to sumit to such humiliating treatment just because our government won't do the politically incorrect thing and profile by religion and race. I'm sorry but we need to set aside political correctness in times like these. It is the Muslims that are out to get us period! There is absolutely no way that we can stop all terrorism just like we cannot stop all crime. Yes there will be American born terrorists that have a grudge. But that is not where the main problem is coming from so we need to concentrate on the big picture of Muslims hating us. Judy from Oklahoma

    January 11, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  211. Jay

    I can’t say whether or not this technology is the answer to airport security, but with regards to the folks at the ACLU: Would you really put people’s lives at risk of being blown up by a terrorist just to keep a complete stranger they’ll never meet from seeing a virtual image of their pee-pee parts? Grow up.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  212. sheri graves

    Is this new screening equipment OK? Sure. Why not? These whacko religious zealots are as extreme as they come. So, no measure is too extreme to keep innocent people safe. Don't want to have a full body scan? Then, find some other way to travel! Maybe someday it will be necessary for everyone to fly naked in order to be sure there are no terrorists about to blow up the plane. I say we take whatever extreme measures are necessary to keep these deadly extremists from boarding any airplane anywhere.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  213. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    No, Jack. The answer is what our intelligence and security people repeatedly say, human intelligence and diplomacy.

    Boots on the ground means we'll generate fewer enemies with reduced air strikes on weddings.

    Respectful cooperative diplomacy means we'll generate more allies.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  214. george

    I do believe it's one of the answers along with more bomb sniffing dogs and proper profiling,yes profiling,this for some reason seems to be a bad thing go figure.
    call it racial,call it ethnic call it anything you want. Individuals trained in such a field just might along with better technology help to curb the onslaught of maniacs who want to blow up a plane and kill innocent people.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  215. Nora

    body scanner are a good idea, but explosive sniffing dogs have my vote. a good dog handler and a good dog sniffing ea person before they board a plane is cheaper and can take a bite out of bombings or bombers.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  216. Ridwan - Athens, GA

    As a Muslim myself, I think the full body scan is the best idea for protecting from future attacks. I think it isn't an invasion of privacy, unless you think looking at detailed MRI of your self is too revealing.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  217. Luci - Illinois

    Can't they have both scanners and dog sniffers both?
    The dog will cold nose them and that will keep them off the planes!!!!!

    January 11, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  218. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Jack, I'd rather do a full strip search and body cavity search of any yound male from the countries with terrorist risk, civil liberties be damned.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  219. Addie

    I feel that body screening is an excellent idea and should be enforced as soon as possible. When a persons life and safety is on the line being able to see under a persons clothing should not even be a concern.

    January 11, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  220. Pat, Arizona

    OK, privacy, security.....security, privacy....sorry Jack...I am more concerned with security. Ya can't have it all.....

    January 11, 2010 at 6:58 pm |