The Mandatory Procedures for Body Scanners

body scanner

At Australian international terminals, every third or fourth person is chosen to walk through a Pro Vision full body scanning machine. The travelers politely and willingly enter the chamber – to emerge on the other side content that they are being kept safe from terror.

But statistics tell us that a person is 30,000 times more likely to die on the roads driving to the airport than by a terrorist in an airplane.

Whenever I leave Melbourne on an international trip  – and I leave this Saturday – I try to “evade” being ushered to the full body scanner. And if I am selected and need to fly that day – I better comply. In Australia it is mandatory – if you are asked. There is no “opt out”, and if you refuse, you will not be allowed to proceed to your flight, and can only return to the airport 24 hours later – to try again.

This is what happened to Bruno Marevich, a medical practitioner (a Naturopath) from Newcastle in 2012 – when he politely refused and requested a strip search. His account was written up in Civil Liberties Australia (CLA) and below is an extract:

“He (the security person) replied that if I refused to be scanned, I could not fly on that day. That I would be detained at the airport and given 24 hours within which to reconsider. If at the end of that, I still refused to be scanned, that they would call the Federal Police. He warned me that this may entail charges, fines and imprisonment which may last a day or even one week or more as well as a future criminal record.

….I then requested for evidence in writing that what he was saying was the correct policy and procedure for handling people refusing to be body scanned. I was shown letters bound in plastic sleeves with the Australian Government letterhead which I read. They basically stated that the radiation produced by these body scanners was safe… The document also appeared to fully back up the procedure for dealing with refusers as had been explained to me by the supervisor, i.e. detention followed by police charges.

The supervisor then warned me that I had already refused twice to undergo the scanning. That he would now ask for a third and final time for my decision which I had to provide in a minute or so and which he was obliged to do. He prompted me to think very seriously about my reply as if I still refused, the next step was for me to be immediately detained…  

In 2013 I was astonished that this had become mandatory so easily and wrote to the then Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Minister Anthony Albanese and the Office Of Transport Security in May in 2013 (open letter at CLA).

I maintained that mandatory scanning of international travelers by the Pro Vision body scanners was a decision made by government based on a fraudulent 2009 incident (an incident they cited) – and that this was possibly designed to enhance and profit the “security theatre” industries.

The Incident –  the Underwear Bomber 

On Christmas Day 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber, supposedly attempted to ignite a defective explosive device concealed in his underpants mid-flight on Flight 253. Despite him being on a terror watch-list, the State Department was allegedly ordered not to revoke Abdulmutallab’s visa. There is also evidence that Abdulmutallab was “ushered” onto the plane as witnessed by Michigan attorney, Kurt Haskell, and that he was allowed to fly without a passport.

Haskel explains the incident in his article “The Colossal Deceit Known As The Underwear Bomber Case“.

It appears that this man was sent on the mission, at the behest of “authorities”, to create this very “scare.” Note that this plan had to fail. If the bomb went off, bringing down the plane, we could never have “learned” this important safety news about Muslims who hide explosives on their body.

Safety and Profit

On a Pro Vision website, ‘safe technology’ is just claimed, with little reference to research. This is repeated on Australian government websites. E.g:

“One body scan emits 10,000 times less radio frequency energy than an average mobile phone call, which is significantly less than the maximum permissible exposure levels for the public set by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA).” And… “The Government will not allow body scanners that use ionising radiation, such as X-ray technology, for aviation security screening purposes.”

Maybe these particular machines in Australia are completely safe, but Bruno Marevich does not think so.

A few years ago, the US was using the backscatter Xray type body scanners – and claimed it was safe technology then. I opted out of those – preferring a body pat-down. Then – all backscatter X-ray machines formerly in use by the TSA (in the US ) were removed from airports by May 2013. Like asbestos and smoking, we might only understand the impacts of modern technology way down the line!

Past US presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul introduced legislation against the scanning equipment, complaining that Michael Chertoff, who had a stake in the body scanning business, was also the head of the TSA at the time, acquiring them. Paul went on to say, “And the equipment’s questionable. We don’t even know if it works, and it may well be dangerous to our health.”

Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) said “There is no evidence these new body scanners make us more secure. But there is evidence that former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff made money hawking these full body scanners.”

Mandatory roll out by stealth

Still today people are aghast when told than screening by body scanners in Australia is mandatory. The roll-out appears to have been introduced without a due and honest consultation process – and during the trial the machines were also found to have provided flawed analysis.

We all agree that aviation safety is important, but there are other options available. This article is not so much about the debate over the body scanner itself, but how easily Australians accept mandatory procedures. This is a slippery slope and provides government a measure and confidence in implementing other mandatory measures that might be far worse. For example, will it one day be mandatory to ingest the FDA approved edible “authentication microchip” developed by (Google’s) Motorola? (Article here)

But what is extraordinary about the body scanners in Australia, is the manner of “punishment” to persuade compliance. There is a financial incentive to comply. Missing a flight could means thousands of dollars, and there is the arbitrary 24-hour ban, with the threat of detainment.

Who thought this up? We NEED to know.

 

 

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Comments

  1. It is pleasing to report that the editor of Gumshoe is now in Canada and did not get scanned at any airport.
    You may wish to observe the last two words in the Canadian national anthem: “nos droits.” (Only in the French version, actually, though what does it matter, given law C-51?)

  2. I just saw, on a blog, the sarcastic remark “Soon we will have body cavity searches at a shopping mall.”

    Why not? There is NOTHING TO STOP IT.

    As Christopher says below:
    A lobotomy of individual thought, objective reasoning and resistance to the crimes of power has been largely achieved.

  3. Assuming I make it through the scanner, I will be in Vancouver for this week. I’ve asked Mary Maxwell to do a series of articles for Gumshoe on the theme of Magna Charta. She will begin on June 15, the 800th anniversary of the charter, signed by a reluctant king in 1215. How time flies!

    • Oh-oh, Dee, It’s not just gettin’ to Canada. It’s what happens on arrival! The Senate up there has just passed the new censorship laws, and it waits only for royal assent. I quote:

      “I am pleased to announce that the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, was adopted at Third Reading and passed by the Senate today. This legislation demonstrates our government’s leadership in the global fight against terrorism,” said Blaney.
      … to better protect Canadians against terrorist threats by giving our police forces the tools they need to keep Canadians safe.”

      THE TOOLS, DEE, WATCH OUT FOR THE TOOLS!!!!

      “Under the legislation, the anti-terrorism act will criminalize the advocacy and promotion of the commission of terrorism offences, help prevent terrorists from travelling and recruiting others, and provide law enforcement with additional resources.”

  4. Australians, IMHO, seriously need to develop a back bone.
    The story given and the alleged legalese claimed to be authentic needs to be challenged in a court of law. I do not recall any legislation being passed, (openly) to make it a crime to refuse these scanners. The way I understood it, it was your prerogative to allow it or not.
    For my money, I flatly refuse to fly anywhere, if it demanded that I use such a machine to verify my innocence.
    Whatever happened to INNOCENT until proven guilty ?
    If every Australian, REFUSED TO FLY, if they were required to go thru these machines, the airlines would scream blue murder and the pressure on the Government would ensure a collapse of this system over night.
    However, whilst Australians DO HAVE THAT POWER, I seriously doubt they have the intestinal fortitude to draw a line and make a stand.
    Therefore, they only have themselves to blame.

    • Its a bit like calling for a boycott of Bali isn’t it.

      So pissed off…A week has passed…what were their names???…really, you saw that on Masterchef?…..is the Footy on….Where? Oh Bali?…Yeah I’ll be in it….

      And that in a nutshell is Australian political awareness.

  5. Dear Dee,
    I am trying to locate the relevant law. My usual source for legislation is austlii.edu.au.
    They show the Aviation Transport Security Act and at least one amending act, but it is related to cargo.
    They also show many bills. But a bill is not an act. I get the impression that there is no legislation to say that a person must submit to the body scanner. I may be wrong.

    I don’t see any provision for refusal-to-undergo-scanning to be a punishable offense. Below I show the wording that says the GG can make regulations. As far as I know the GG cannot criminalise something that Parliament did not criminalise.

    “The Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 (the Act) establishes a regulatory framework to safeguard against unlawful interference with aviation. To achieve this purpose, the Act establishes minimum security requirements for the Australian aviation industry by imposing obligations on persons engaged in certain aviation activities.

    Subsection 133(1) of the Act provides the Governor General may make regulations prescribing matters required or permitted by the Act to be prescribed; or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the Act.”

    • Dear Dee, While you are overseas, think of us back here:

    • I remember reading an amendment – and I think it mentions the scanner in more technical terms

      This from a gov site
      “Accordingly, the Government has decided a no opt-out policy will be enforced in relation to screening at airports.

      What if I refuse a body scan?
      If a person refuses to undergo a body scan, and they have no medical or physical condition which prevents them for undertaking a body scan, they will be refused clearance and not allowed to pass through the screening point. They therefore will not be allowed to board their aircraft.”
      http://travelsecure.infrastructure.gov.au/bodyscanners/faq.aspx#anc_e

      • You see, Dee, no penalty is involved. Makes me think the article by the naturopath was intended to make us submit?
        Also the word “policy” means policy, not law. Next week when I’m doing my thing for Magna Charta I will mention that our HR Commissioner Gilian Triggs thinks there is too much discretionary stuff (in general). Yay! Smart meters, out!

  6. Christopher Brooks says:

    Dee, when recently it was openly reported that 95% of the time under mock testing security failed to detect the items the system is allegedly targeting, we know that the whole system is motivated by results other than “terror” threats.
    http://abcnews.go.com/ABCNews/exclusive-undercover-dhs-tests-find-widespread-security-failures/story?id=31434881

    What would happen if a smoke detection product was found to be only 10% effective?

    Following the reports in the media on the laughable effectiveness of the “security” systems how has the public reacted?

    What about our elected representatives?

    I often express my will and provide information to Andrew Wilkie MP because he is on the record exposing the corruption of the US intelligence narrative that was used to justify invading Iraq.
    There is a very clear shift in intensity taking place in Iraq/Syria.
    Iran is being drawn in to support Assad’s Syria.
    This article provides some important threads of recent developments.
    http://undergroundreports.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/as-western-aid-bolsters-islamists.html

    I was presenting an updated case, including a list of recently made available or published, documents and reports that totally contradict the pedigree of the “ISIS” phenomena and it’s results and purpose.
    The initial staff member was very receptive to all the documents and my interpretation that the ME reality is very similar to in 2003 when Andrew Wilkie resigned in protest from his position as an intelligence analyst.
    He put me through to Andrew’s Chief of Staff when I set out the incredible list of documents and statements that have emerged in recent months evidencing the US/US Proxies active role in controlling by logistic action, and at times deliberate inaction, the advance of “ISIS” against Syria.
    There was no argument my thesis was valid.
    I was urging Andrew Wilkie to tell the truth to the Australian public. It will take more than my pleading.

    Similar to the “security system”, that is not a security system, facts, reason and an objective logical response to the clear reality is overwhelmed by the entrenched emotional conditioning and authority that rules the herd.

    A lobotomy of individual thought, objective reasoning and resistance to the crimes of power has been largely achieved.

    I gently inquired to Wilkie’s man if they receive many petitioning calls on the Martin Bryant case.
    We had some discussion on the issue and he was interested in my view and on what basis.
    They do have calls on the subject but not frequent.
    I mostly framed my views on this occasion around the incredible transgression of due legal process and the legal representation and controversies that are clearly documented pertaining to the treatment of Bryant up until he “confessed”.

    Wilkie’s chief was aware of these justice process issues and I told him I would stake my reputation to judge and research, which I value greatly, declaring in my opinion Martin Bryant is innocent.

    Just as a note.
    By following my lengthy petitioning on the “ISIS” realities that included indisputable documents and logical argument that was very consistent with the very corruption of “intelligence” that Wilkie placed his reputation upon, information contradicted by all the agencies of power at the time, my appeal and attention towards the Byrant case was able to be made with intelligent rational conversation. It is just as important for us to understand how our minds work so we can be effective and reach people on a level where they are hearing and understanding what we are saying and why we are taking the trouble to speak out against injustice/crime.
    I sometimes even discuss with political staffers how I have carefully and thoughtfully approached my subject in a fashion that can untangle the grip of the dominant sorcery so I can communicate with reason and intellect to overcome the emotional conditioning and poison that corrupts many subjects and the language we use to associate.

    • Excellent Christopher ….. We need to clone you. Now that’s a topic….

      • Dee, the University of Adelaide has a lot of high-tech IVF-related research. I’ll ask them about cloning Christopher. How many copies do you think we need?

        • On second thought, maybe it would suffice just to threaten the pollies with the idea of many, many Christophers. In America there’s a guy named Bill Windsor who, like Christopher, is carrying out a huge task on behalf of everybody. As soon as a court does something wrong to Bill, he looks it up in the state procedural manual and files a counter-attack.

          I wish Bill would get cloned. No high-tech IVF needed. Just ask many citizens to do what he is doing. He provides extreme detail at his website LawlessAmerica.com. However, others have uploaded websites with similar names in order to confuse the issue. He says thousands of people (I think that should be “people”) are posting scurrilous material against him.

          As well they might (I mean as well “they” might). He is a very serious threat to judicial corruption.
          Go, Windsor!

  7. persecuted2 says:

    Without doubt, Australian society is extremely conformist, passive and dumbed down. The myth of the “rugged” and “individualistic” Australian is just that, a myth. It might have had a grain of truth in the 19th century but that time has long since passed.
    The media here both creates and reflects this situation. Take ABC radio as an example. The ABC proudly proclaims that it is a “partner” of the BBC, one of the most sophisticated propaganda machines on the planet. In other words, the ABC propagandizes the same political agenda that the BBC does, the agenda of our “rulers”, the political elites behind the curtain. Outright lies are stated as truth and no alternative viewpoints are tolerated or even discussed. The treatment meted out to Kevin Bracken in 2010, including the statements made in Federal Parliament on this case, is a prime example of that

    • persecuted2 says:

      Continuing with this discussion of the media, I just came across a great webpage on the topic of “crisis actors”. [This is for those readers who might not be familiar with this topic.] The url is https://willyloman.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/when-crisis-acting-goes-bad-real-bad-worst-crisis-actor-of-the-21st-century-poll/

      Especially watch the video titled, “They’re Laughing at You – False Flag Crisis Actors – Navy Yard Shooting – Sandy Hook – Boston”. The music on that video is pretty cool, too!

    • persecuted2 says:

      Maybe it was a bit too harsh to write, “Australian society is extremely conformist, passive and dumbed down” because most people, in every country, are just as conformist. passive and dumbed down. But at least there is a hard-core section of society in the U.S. who are constitutionalists, who are constantly monitoring their individual freedoms from a tyrannical government. This section of society is lacking in Australia because we never had the same kind of constitution and Bill of Rights that the Americans have.

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