Metal detectors, x-ray machines out of use in major airports during opt out protest
Paul Joseph Watson
November 23, 2012
Did the TSA once again mothball its fleet of body scanners and even de-activate metal detectors in an attempt to neutralize the nationwide TSA opt out campaign taking place this week?
Activist Christopher Key traveled to several airports around the country with the intention of deliberately setting off the metal detector and then filming his TSA pat down.
On Friday last week, Key told CBS News of his intention to take part in the Infowars Opt Out and FIlm protest by flying out of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Alabama in order to illustrate how Americans who are willing to give up liberty for security “lose both”.
Before passing through security, Key even took the precaution of filling his pockets with a roll of $10 dollars worth of quarters, a large set of keys, and a camera pen that could have easily been mistaken for a knife.
Intending to film his pat down and then accuse the TSA screener of “sexual assault,” Key passed through the metal detector and was surprised to see that he didn’t set it off. He then returned to security and passed through another metal detector for a second time, also without setting it off despite carrying a large amount of metal on his person.
Either the metal detectors were turned off or they completely failed to detect the metal Key was carrying, a shocking lapse in airport security in either case.
Key also noted that when he began filming TSA screeners they ceased performing full body pat downs.
Key then flew out of Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah and again passed through the metal detector carrying his quarters, keys and pen camera intending to set the device off so he would be asked to undergo a full body scanner or a pat down. For a third time the metal detector failed to go off.
Key then traveled to Dallas where he passed through security at Fort Worth International Airport. As the video below illustrates, when Key asks TSA agents why the full body scanners are not in use, they claim the machines are “broken” but fail to explain why.
With airports already crowded and busy as a result of Thanksgiving travel, in addition to the suggestion that the TSA may have tried to neutralize the national opt out campaign by simply mothballing the main object of the protest – the naked body scanner – as well as deactivating metal detectors to prevent people filming their pat downs – is this another damning illustration of how the TSA is nothing more than security theater?
If the the very device that we are told is vital in stopping terrorists, despite the fact that it hasn’t apprehended one terrorist, can be temporarily dispensed with for political reasons or simply because there are more travelers, then what use is it in the first place?
This wouldn’t be the first time that the TSA has mothballed the naked x-ray scanners for public relations purposes.
During the November 2010 national opt out day protest, reports from travelers at numerous different airports confirmed that the TSA had temporarily mothballed the body scanners in a bid to neutralize the protest. The Gizmodo website was bombarded with Tweets from eyewitnesses about how the machines were roped off or not in use at major airports throughout the country, claims later confirmed by newspaper reports but denied by the TSAitself.