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Nuclear medicine

Nuclear medical tests can turn you into a nuclear bomb terror suspect in the eyes of the TSA

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: nuclear medicine, medical tests, TSA

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(NaturalNews) (NaturalNew) Nuclear medicine has been around for decades, as has the technology for the federal government to monitor and track nuclear materials. In the past patients who have been treated with nuclear medicine have "set off" government nuclear detection gear, but few of them were chased down by an "elite" team of government agents.

That was before the ongoing clown show that is the Transportation Security Administration appeared on the scene.

We're not sure if this is an example of gross incompetence to the extreme, some job-justification stunt or just plain stupidity, but whatever the cause, it is just one more reason why the TSA needs to just disappear, and the sooner the better. We need to find a way to replace all of this ridiculous, hair-trigger paranoia with some policies that combine common sense pragmatism with the need for vigilance.

'Hot' travelers

According to a report by CBS Chicago (CBS 2), members of the TSA's "elite" VIPR team stormed a Union Pacific West train during late-afternoon March 14 after being alerted to a possible nuclear threat.

The scene was captured via cell phone video camera by CBS 2's photojournalist Lana Hinshaw-Klann, who just happened to be there, shows members of the VIPR team carrying hand-held nuclear-detection devices that picked up a reading at Chicago's Ogilvie Transportation Center (such teams were created in 2004, following the terrorist bombing of a train in Madrid, Spain).

According to CBS 2, officers held up the train before it left the station and began searching for persons or luggage or carry-on baggage that appeared to be posing a nuclear threat.

Jerry Jones, a Chicago attorney, was aboard the train heading home. He said the federal agents eventually narrowed the area they were searching to his immediate vicinity.

"I had no idea I was the center of the activity," he told the station.

Agents must have detected something on him as he entered the station and walked up the steps to the boarding area, Jones said.

The issue? He had just had a nuclear stress test at an area hospital earlier in the day; the radiation he was emitting set off silent alarms and sent the VIPR team into action.

The TSA agents passed by him on several occasions before eventually staying in his train car. He finally understood what was going on when one agent questioned the man next to him, "Sir, do you have an explanation as to why I am getting a high isotope reading on your bag?"

"The fellow's jaw dropped," Jones said.

What is all this paranoia about?

Once the agent said isotope, Jones knew what was happening, and he knew that the agents were looking for him. He raised his hand and told them he had just undergone a nuclear stress test.

Jones was allowed to go on his way after showing the agents proof of the nuclear test. "Patients undergoing nuclear testing can request a card they can give to security if they travel afterward. Doctors have done this for air travelers," the report said.

Jones said he was happy that the government had such equipment and that teams were out there ostensibly protecting society. But the question remains: In what has been "the nuclear age" for decades, why only in recent times has the government begun to worry about nuclear medicine patients? Is it paranoia run amok?

Sources:

http://chicago.cbslocal.com

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/16869630/#.UUduPTeRdoE

http://interactive.snm.org/index.cfm?PageID=5660
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