Yes, it's another topic about our illustrious blueshirted government thugs, but I'm starting it with a specific focus. A frequent passenger flying from Atlanta who routinely opts out of the virtual strip search scanners was informed yesterday by a TSA supervisor that "opting out was not an option, and [he] needed to leave the airport." He was only allowed to proceed to his flight after submitting to being run through the machine. Why the big, draconian push to force everyone through these things? They're fraught with health and privacy concerns, arguably violate our constitutionally protected rights...but for what gain? They don't provide any additional safety beyond what is already in use, and they cost a shitload of money. As usual, when you start following the money, the picture takes on a new light. Here's a little timeline on the porno-scanner phenomenon: 2005: Michael Chertoff, as head of Homeland Security, orders the first batch of porno scanners from a company called Rapiscan Systems. After his departure, Chertoff gave dozens of interviews using his government credentials to promote the device. What he didnt tell people was that Rapiscan was one of the clients of his consulting company, The Chertoff group. March 2009: The Department of Homeland Security says they will apply $1 billion in stimulus money to the nations airports. Senator Joe Lieberman, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, personally promises to oversee the distribution of stimulus funds so money goes toward the goal of creating 4 million jobs and not on boondoggles December 2009: Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz inserted language into the Homeland Security appropriations bill barring the use of full-body image scans as primary screening tools at airports, and it passed the House on a bipartisan vote of 310-118. Both the ACLU and the NRA backed it. The amendment also made it illegal to store and copy these images. It died in the Senate. December 25, 2009: The Christmas bomber attempts to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear while on board a flight to Detroit. December 29, 2009: Joe Lieberman calls for more widespread use of the full-body scanners after the aborted attack. January 2010: Since they couldnt get money for the porno scanners from Congress, TSA uses the Christmas bomber scare to appropriate $25 million they had received in stimulus money to buy the backscatter scanners from Rapiscan, Chertoffs client. Rapiscan said the contract helped create 25 jobs. The government gives the TSA the green light to spend a total of $173 million on the scanners. TSA spokesperson Sarah Horowitz said the agency has enough funds that would come from the stimulus program and other federal sources to purchase 300 more porno scanners, per CNN. Total jobs created, per the governments own website: 1. April 2010: The GAO reports that it remains unclear whether the AIT would have detected the weapon used in the December 2009 incident based on the preliminary information GAO has received. November 8, 2010: US Airline Pilots Association tells its members NOT to submit to AIT screenings. November 15, 2010: Joe Lieberman says he comes down on the side of the patdowns. Considering the TSA plans to install nearly 700 more of these $200,000 machines in the coming months, I smell a dirty, stinking rat.