Wednesday, November 24, 2010

From Katrina to Naked Body Scanners

Former Bush Homeland Security experts Michael Chertoff and Frances Townsend botched the White House response to Hurricane Katrina and follow up Lessons Learned report.  This disastrous duo currently defends naked body scanners and/or genital manipulation for air travelers.  WaPo noted Chertoff's conflict of interest in pushing scanners, as his firm worked for one manufacturer, Rapiscan, a division of OSI Systems.

Fran defended enhanced pat downs and scanners on CNN.  Defending the horrific is Townsend's specialty, evidenced by her Katrina "investigation.".

Back at the White House, the job of monitoring the storm was left to Kenneth Rapuano, Townsend's deputy.
Fran's White House Lessons Learned report was a whitewash.  The public rightly wrote off George W. Bush for his abysmal Katrina response.  However, disgust turned to anger with the September 2008 financial crisis.

President Obama is on a similar trajectory.  The BP Oil Spew is his Katrina.  Oddly, Obama related it to the financial crisis on The Today Show.  It remains to be seen if TSA pornography/genital manipulation rises to that level of citizen outrage.

People who write negatively about or actively protest TSA practices are "domestic extremists."  Recall, that Defense Department technology is eventually used domestically.  What else do Michael Chertoff, Fran Townsend and Rapiscan have in store for citizens trying to hold onto their privacy and dignity?

Rapiscan Systems is a leading supplier of security inspection solutions utilizing X-ray and gamma-ray imaging, and advanced threat identification techniques such as neutron and diffraction analysis. The company's products are sold into four market segments; Baggage and Parcel Inspection, Cargo and Vehicle Inspection, Hold Baggage Screening and People Screening

Flagship products include:

Rapiscan Eagle C02 – performs safe and effective inspection (less than five seconds) of occupied vehicles at sites such as border crossings and facility entrances.

Rapiscan Secure 1000 – built upon the most widely deployed people screening technology, it is easy to use with a durable, modular design for fast set-up and tear-down in one hour or less. The system is ideal for high security environments because both organic (i.e. solid and liquid explosives, narcotics, ceramic weapons) and inorganic (i.e. metal) materials are apparent in the image.

Rapiscan MobileCheck – a complete checkpoint that integrates people screening and hand luggage screening in a single easily relocated, rugged ISO container.

Metor 300 Portable – is a reliable, durable and versatile security solution for both temporary and permanent security checkpoints. With enhanced discrimination features, it is well suited for the security screening of large groups of people and ideal for outdoor use.

It's harder to follow the money, when firms don't register as lobbyists.  As for declaring conflicts of interest, that's so passe.  The next phase of Airport Security, buying verified ID chips, also points back to Katrina.

What will they do for us next?  Not much, unless you need White Collar Defense or Corporate Risk Management.  Chertoff got Columbia/HCA's Rick Scott off on criminal charges, setting up Scott's Florida Governorship.

Michael Chertoff isn't watching the common man's back, not in the least.  If Fran ever needs help for her Katrina malpractice, Chertoff is the man to call.

Update 3-27-11:  I recently served my civic duty, spending the day as potential juror.  The case involved sexual assault.  The prosecutor said any unwanted touching of the genitals, even over clothing, constituted a felony.

Update 5-3-11:  Will the shooting death of Osama bin Laden end the molestation of Americans in airports?  Apparently not.  That's one story, that unfortunately, won't change.

Update 5-6-11:  Fran Townsend effusively praised President Obama.  Did she pave the way for a possible appointment?  Fran also said, "The war is by no means over."  Rapiscan.

Update 5-24-11:  The Texas Legislature almost held federal officials accountable for unwanted touching of citizens' genitals.  Radio host Alex Jones raised Cain after the Texas Senate backed down.

Update 5-25-11:  Carlyle Group affiliate ARINC stands to make money from the travel security mess via its CrewPASSM Screening Solution.  Recall many federal officials and elected leaders get to bypass TSA screening.

Update 6-29-11:  After being radiated by TSA workers at risk of cancer, passengers can go through Carlyle Group self boarding gates.  It's not clear what exception Fed Chief Ben "Bypass" Bernanke will get at the gate.  Maybe, he'll get a personal escort, but not the Dominique Strauss-Kahn kind.

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