Former Homeland Security Chief Admits Lucrative Business Relationship With Manufacturer During Talk Show Rounds
NAPA, Calif., Jan. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During a CNN interview on December 29th, 2009 former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff pushed the use of full body scanners as the first and best line of defense against the kind of terrorist airline attack that occurred on Christmas Day. Chertoff, who has been making the national media rounds for a week now, has not once voluntarily disclosed this inherent conflict of interest to the American people. Worse still, he is overstating the true capabilities of these devices in order to profit from their sale.
According to Dr. Kenneth G. Furton, Professor of Chemistry, International Forensic Research Institute, Florida International University, using canines would be a much more promising tactic to prevent explosives from being smuggled aboard commercial jets. Indeed, Dr. Furton offered, "I am surprised by the rush to implement yet another developing technology that is both expensive and not proven to be able to reliably detect the explosives used in this last terrorist event. There is extensive research reinforcing the proven ability of detector dogs to detect explosives without the intrusive privacy issues involved in full body scanning. It is not certain that even with a high resolution image of a traveler's groin region that a half cup of explosive powder would be detectable."
He continued, "I have conducted research with canines for nearly two decades and these biological explosive detectors continue to be the most reliable method for locating concealed explosives. These orthogonal instrumental detectors under development should be considered as potential complements rather than replacements for canines' proven ability to detect vapors emanating from concealed explosives."
Kate Hanni, President of FlyersRights.org, added her voice to Furton's on this issue: "Michael Chertoff has marginalized himself in the worst way possible by 'selling' the flying public on claims that these Rapiscan full body scanners are a panacea. While these body scanners detect 'anomalies' that are between the skin and clothing, they will NOT detect anything in a body cavity that is deeper than 1/10th of an inch, which experts warn will likely be a part of future attacks. This just adds insult to injury, as Mr. Chertoff shamelessly peddles his wares using the nation's airwaves and a near-national tragedy."
As of October 1st, 2009, 150 of these units were ordered by the Transportation Security Administration costing the American taxpayer $25 million in stimulus funds, with another 300 on order at a cost of $51 million. As Hanni's sees it, "half measures avail us nothing. It's time to hit the pause button and do a wholesale review of what we have today so we can implement policies that will offer the flying public the most secure and efficient travel process possible under the current circumstances."
FlyersRights.org is the largest non-profit airline passengers rights organization in the world.
Kate Hanni, Founder