Dennis Prager

The major objection to the scanner comes from the ACLU and from libertarians on "privacy" grounds. This objection led the House of Representatives to ban full body scans. That the ban was led by a Republican, Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, who continues to defend his opposition to body scanning, only shows that the left has no monopoly on foolishness.

But it was House Democrats who overwhelmingly voted to ban body scans. Only a fifth of the Democrats in the House voted against the ban while two-thirds of the Republicans voted against it.

The ACLU, which can almost always be depended on to say something foolish and advocate a position that harms society, calls the process "virtual strip search." And Chaffetz declared, "I just think it's too invasive. Nobody needs to see my kids -- I have a son and two daughters -- and see my wife naked in order to secure an airplane!"

So, the leftist and libertarian opposition centered on the issue of privacy. And the conservative opposition -- to conservatives' credit, the smallest of the opposing groups -- centered on "nudity."

It is difficult to say which one is more idiotic. Both illustrate what happens when dogma supersedes common sense.

What privacy are we even talking about? I cherish my privacy, but anyone who actually looks at the scans made by the whole body scanner cannot seriously talk of either privacy or nudity. They are indeed "virtual" images, meaning no skin is shown and the human figure looks metallic.

The ACLU and Rep. Chaffetz have read too many Superman comics -- they imagine the superhero's "X-ray vision." But that is not possible. There is no skin shown. So how can there be "nudity"?

I willingly relinquish whatever "privacy" I lose by being scanned for the even more precious value of staying alive.

Those who think that TSA employees will be leering at naked bodies have a little too much sex on their minds. Same-sex TSA employees will be looking at metallic-like images of thousands of bodies that pass through airport security. Look on the Internet at those images and then tell me that they are "nude." A necrophiliac would be bored.

As a conservative, I am embarrassed by people who put thousands of lives in danger under the guise of protecting their wives and daughters from appearing "naked."

So until my government does something intelligent -- like screening for dangerous people, not dangerous weapons (as Israel so successfully does) -- to protect this frequent flyer, I will not play the pretend game of "do something" that prohibits me from relieving myself on the grounds that terrorists only blow up planes after going to the bathroom during the last hour of a flight.

I will surrender a lot of things to stay alive. But I will not surrender my intelligence. That and being told when to urinate are the real losses of dignity, not a full body scan.


Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.
 
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