(NaturalNews) The unremitting conviction and laudable bravery of one former U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screener has given the world an inside look at what really goes on at one of the country's most hated and oppressive federal agencies.
Jason Edward Harrington, a former TSA employee-turned-creative-writer tells all in a new piece for Politico, divulging the truth about the full-body, aka "naked body," scanners, as well as the generally abysmal morale among TSA screeners at one of America's busiest airports, O'Hare in Chicago.
What began as a covert whistleblowing endeavor quickly turned viral for Harrington, who admittedly witnessed more than he could bear during his six miserable years with the TSA. Writing about his experiences on his blog, entitled Taking Sense Away, Harrington laid the foundation for what would quickly balloon into an international controversy.
Frustrated with the TSA's knee-jerk approach to national security, Harrington decided to come clean about the agency's many misdoings. Each time a new threat emerged, TSA officials would take things up a notch, further invading the privacy and personal rights of innocent air travelers.
"I hated it from the beginning," the former screener recalls. "It was a job that had me patting down the crotches of children, the elderly and even infants as part of the post-9/11 airport security show."
Naked body scanners a total fraud, admits former screener
Of particular concern to Harrington was the TSA's quick adoption of radiation-emitting naked body scanners, which he admits were a complete failure from the start. Not only have the machines never been proven safe, he says, but they are also completely ineffective, missing the very items of concern that they were purportedly introduced to detect.
"We knew the full-body scanners didn't work before they were even installed," he writes for Politico. "Officers discovered that the machines were good at detecting just about everything besides cleverly hidden explosives and guns."
As you may recall, blogger Jonathan Corbett helped expose the fraud of TSA naked body scanners back in 2012 when he published a video on YouTube showing that the machines are completely useless at detecting objects stored on the side of a person's body.
In case you missed it, you can watch Corbett's groundbreaking video here: http://youtube.com.
"As I saw it, $40 million in taxpayer dollars had been wasted on ineffective anti-terrorism security measures at the expense of the public's health, privacy and dignity," laments Harrington.
TSA screeners laugh at images of nude air travelers captured during naked body scans
But the level of corruption surrounding the naked body scanning protocol goes even deeper. Besides being orders of magnitude less effective than simple metal detectors at recognizing potential objects of threat, the naked body scanners also allow TSA screeners to view and laugh at naked imagery of innocent air travelers.
According to Harrington, the images generated and monitored in the so-called "Image Operator" room -- the I.O. room is a private, camera-free area of the security setup where TSA screeners scroll through the images captured by naked body scanners -- quickly became the laughingstock of jaded TSA employees who knew that the whole thing was a scam.
"Just as the long-suffering American public waiting on those security lines suspected, jokes about the passengers ran rampant among my TSA colleagues," recalls Harrington. "Many of the images we gawked at were of overweight people, their every fold and dimple on full awful display."
Harrington recently released the first chapter of a book that he is writing about his experience, entitled Playbook: A Novel, which you can read here: http://playbooknovel.com.
You can also read the full account of his experiences while working for the TSA at Politico.com: http://www.politico.com.