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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Yet To Be Used Over Privacy Concerns?

As readers here know, Thomas and I are avid advocates fo the Constitution, and we understand some concerns raised by others regarding certain rights. Newt Gingrich earlier this week called for a "curtailing" of free speech rights when it comes to dealing with our enemy. He was, of course, referring to the cyber-war raging across the Internet by our enemies, and their enablers in the everyday world playing the apologist game. Thomas took him to task over his comments, and I agree in part with him, and in part with Mr. Gingrich.

But there is a "new" machine that is about to be tested here in Phoenix:

Sky Harbor International Airport here 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.

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.

The agency is expected to provide more information about the technology later this month but said one machine will be up and running at Sky Harbor's Terminal 4 by Christmas.

The security agency's Web site indicates that the 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.

Even then, passengers will have the option of choosing the backscatter or a traditional pat-down search.

Privacy concerns? Who is concerned? If this machine can detect things not likely to be noticed by airport security, then why have we not been using it to begin with. I will grant airport security, and our intelligence agencies, have done a phenomenal job of making sure we are not hit like we were on 9/11, but those that are crying foul really have no case.

Privacy is something near and dear to every American. And even though the Supreme Court has taken the concept to ridiculous levels, we still do have a right to privacy in this country. But as with any right, privacy is not absolute. There are some sacrifices that have to be made in the name of security, and this is one of them. It is not like we are advocating for the removal of all of our rights here, but what we are calling for is common sense when it comes to measures that have to be taken to ensure our safety.

And I am positive that more than one e-mail we receive will pull out the old quote from Ben Franklin about those who deny people rights in the name of security deserve none for themselves. Yes, yes, I understand your point. However by utilizing that argument, you ignore the overall fact that this invades no one's privacy. There is still a choice involved. You do not have to submit to the x-ray machine.

This machine should have been put in place after 9/11 as soon as it was ready instead of waiting five years to get around to even testing it. If we had been hit again in that time frame, and it was found out that we had a tool that could have prevented it, people would be calling for the president's head on a platter. Instead, a debate ensued over privacy. Give me a break. The side that argued over privacy is the side that has no concept of what the phrase means, and their concerns could have cost us dearly.



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