Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Ignore the pro-TSA propaganda merchants on the corporate cable news networks.
A new ZOGBY International poll finds 61% of voters oppose the newly enhanced security measures at the country’s airports and 48% said they would probably seek alternatives to flying because of the new, invasive measures.
Airport security has become a topic of heated debate, particularly since Nov. 1, when the Transportation Security Administration implemented a more aggressive pat-down search technique at security checkpoints.
Since the so-called “Christmas underwear bomber” attempted to detonate a bomb on Dec. 25, 2009 aboard a flight bound for Detroit, MI, the TSA expanded use of full-body image scanners that use ionizing radiation called Backscatter X, a known health hazard, to produce images of passengers’ bodies. The radiation blast creates a nude image of passengers to ostensibly detect hidden weapons or contraband.
The TSA is busy adding about 60 scanners a month at the nation’s airports, with a goal of installing 500 machines by the end of 2010. But Constitutional rights groups, including the ACLU, have objected to the new measures, comparing the pat-down procedures to a “groping” and sexual harassment.
The Zogby poll, taken online Nov. 19-22, seems to indicate a change in public opinion over the last few weeks. A CBS News telephone poll taken Nov. 7-10 found that 81% of Americans questioned said they approved of the use of the full-body scanners at airports. The CBS poll did not ask about the new pat-down search techniques.
Of those polled by Zogby, 52% said the enhanced security measures would not prevent terrorist activities and nearly half (48%) said the measures violated passenger privacy rights. Another 32% said they considered the full-body scans and pat-down search procedures to be sexual harassment.
“It’s clear the majority of Americans are not happy with TSA and the enhanced security measures recently enacted,” pollster John Zogby said in a statement.