Getting Libertarians to go along with some new program is a bit like herding cats. And it won’t get any easier for TSA, because today I fly back to my beloved Arlington. I am also going to refuse the nudey-scope. Talk me down from the edge, Reason magazine:
As it happens, the sacrifice involved in mass use of the full-body scanners, which TSA is already planning, would probably be futile. A Conservative member of the British parliament who previously worked for a company making scanners said that “in all the testing that we undertook, it was unlikely that it would have picked up the current explosive devices being used by al-Qaida”—including those used in the Christmas plot.
The more intractable problem is that terrorists are fiendishly capable of adaptation. If the scanners can find plastic explosives hidden in underwear—which is not guaranteed—the evildoers have another option that would foil these gadgets: hiding the bomb in a body cavity.
That’s reassuring. Probe away, TSA. These scanners are silly, invasive, and insulting. Britain characteristically overreacted to them, citing child pornography fears. There are questions about their safety. No thanks. I’ll take the metal detector, the pat down, the saliva test, the genealogy exam, recite the pledge of allegiance backwards, name my mother’s grandmother’s cousin twice removed, and give my hair to locks of love. All for the illusion of safety.