Elisabeth Meinecke

Chaffetz called the TSA response “vague” and told Townhall he was not satisfied with it. He said the question remains whether there are more effective, less invasive security measures that would serve the airports better. He expressed interest in a system that used both metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs and mentioned a comment from someone in the airline industry who suggested flight attendants be trained on what to look for. The funding for many of the scanners – the majority of which are yet to be deployed – is coming out of the Fiscal Year 2011 budget, but Chaffetz isn’t sure whether defunding the project would be a solution the Congress would embrace, since many members don’t want the appearance of being soft on terror.

Despite his strong stance against the body scanners as they currently are used, Chaffetz said he’s opposed to the “opt-out” day that people are calling for right before Thanksgiving, where everyone opts out of the full-body scan and forces the TSA to perform many more pat downs. Chaffetz objected on the grounds that he doesn’t want anyone to miss their vacation and that there was a civil way to go about moderating the use of the scanners.

The website Opt Out Day does read, “There is no intent or desire to delay passengers en route to friends and family over Thanksgiving. We want people to stay within the confines of the law, and exercise their right to a pat down because of the lingering questions over the scanners.”


Elisabeth Meinecke

Elisabeth Meinecke is TOWNHALL MAGAZINE Managing Editor. Follow her on Twitter @lismeinecke.