I don’t mean to be vulgar, but as the TSA ratchets up the security theater to new and literally obscene heights, I can’t help thinking about the butt. I’m specifically referring to the ability to smuggle weapons past these security measures using the anal cavity and/or the GI tract.
Let’s assume that the new porno scanners and extreme gropings can actually find every weapon any individual tries to hide under their clothing and next to their skin. (Note: the GAO has serious doubts the full-body scanners can actually do that.) Even if these measures worked perfectly, any would-be terrorist could easily defeat these intrusive screening techniques (on which we are spending millions) as long as they are willing to spend $5.50 on tube of personal lubricant.
In all seriousness, we know from our prison system and from dealing with drug mules that it is possible to hide a lot of things inside the body. Blades can easily be concealed in the rectal cavity. Go to any maximum security prison and you will likely find a small museum of weapons that were at one time hidden inside inmates’ butts. Significant amounts of drugs or explosive materials can be wrapped in condoms, swallowed, and recovered past the screeners by vomiting or allowing them to pass through the gastrointestinal system.
Taking porn scanner pictures and groping us will do nothing to stop that threat.
Seriously, are we simply banking on the fact that suicidal terrorists are too dainty or homophobic to use this simple, proven technique to evade security? Are we to believe conversations like this are taking place in Al Qaeda camps right now?
Terrorist One – Finally, our years of planning have come to fruition. We will finally strike a glorious blow against the Great Satan.
Terrorist Two – Death to the infidels!
Terrorist One – Ok now all you need to do is use this bottle of lubricant to stick the weapon up your butt. It is the easy, surefire way around their new security scanners.
Terrorist Two – I’m not putting anything in my butt. You do it.
Terrorist One – There is no way I’m going to do it.
Terrorist Two – Maybe I don’t really hate the infidels that much. I mean, dying in a suicide attack to strike a mighty blow is one thing, but putting something in my butt for 30 minutes–that is just asking me to make too big of a sacrifice for the cause.
I know it sounds absurd, but that is the point. I honestly want an answer as to why future terrorists won’t simply get around these new measures by hiding the weapons or explosives in their butts–thus rendering these intrusive, expensive, and possibly dangerous backscatter x-rays useless.
It would be one thing if we were debating whether we should be subjected to costly, time consuming, privacy invading screenings if they actually protected us from a threat, even if that threat is already statistically very small. But these porno scanners might not be able to stop the threat they were supposedly put in place to thwart, and even if they did work at that level, any prospective terrorist could defeat the whole regime with some lube or a condom. Because these measures are just that easy to get around.
The TSA is taking away our privacy and our dignity, but only providing a false illusion of added safety—while, of course, the well-connected are profiting from the sale of more and more props for our security theater.