Some air travelers and politicians — particularly on the Republican side — have criticized the invasiveness and credibility of full-body scanners in airports, but Transportation Security Administration administrator John Pistole defends them, The Hill
The machines are the best deterrent against non-metallic explosives, he said in a speech at a Department of Homeland Security conference in Washington Friday, according to The Hill.
That flies in the face of a complaint that U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., and other Republicans voiced at a March 16 meeting, calling the scanners and pat-down alternative "totally useless" in foiling terrorists, The Hill notes.
"The equipment is flawed and can be subverted," said Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. "Our staff has subverted it."
Despite concerns, Pistole said today, "They are the best possibility we have right now of detecting Christmas Day . . . type explosives." He was referring to the unsuccessful bombing attempt on a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas 2009.
As for complaints that radiation from the scanners could be dangerous, The Archives of Internal Medicine
released a report this week discounting that risk. In fact, it said passengers are exposed to more radiation just by virtue of the fact that they are flying.
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