Bush’s Homeland Security Secretary flacking for nudie-scanners, too
Timothy P. Carney
The companies that make the airport nudie-scanners have high-priced lobbying teams that include former congressmen, top Capitol Hill staff, and former TSA brass, as I reported in my column yesterday.
But because I focussed on registered lobbyists, I left out the highest-profile revolving-door character in the pay of the nudie-scanner industry: George W. Bush’s Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. After the undie-bomber attempt on Christmas 2009, Chertoff went on a media tour promoting the use of these scanners, without disclosing that he was getting paid by Rapiscan, one of the two companies currently contracted by TSA to take a nude picture of you at the airport.
Here’s Chertoff in the NY Times just days after Christmas last year:
Screening technologies with names like millimeter-wave and backscatter X-ray can show the contours of the body and reveal foreign objects. Such machines, properly used, are a leap ahead of the metal detectors used in most airports, and supporters say they are necessary to keep up with the plans of potential terrorists. “If they’d been deployed, this would pick up this kind of device,” Michael Chertoff, the former homeland security secretary, said in an interview…
Chertoff was quickly reamed for not disclosing how he had monetized his public service.