Ex-Homeland Security Chief Chertoff Pushes Client’s Body Scanners
After years of advocacy for so-called “body scanners”, an emerging technology which allows for a complete image of a person’s naked body, it was revealed in late 2009 that the Chertoff Group has clients that include manufacturers of the body-scanning systems. Though no group has been specifically identified, the manufacturer Rapiscan Systems is considered by many to be the client in question. An article from the Washington Post on January 2, 2010 states:
Chertoff’s advocacy for the technology dates back to his time in the Bush administration. In 2005, Homeland Security ordered the government’s first batch of the scanners — five from California-based Rapiscan Systems.
Today, 40 body scanners are in use at 19 U.S. airports. The number is expected to skyrocket at least in part because of the Christmas Day incident. The Transportation Security Administration this week said it will order 300 more machines.
In the summer, TSA purchased 150 machines from Rapiscan with $25 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. Rapiscan was the only company that qualified for the contract because it had developed technology that performs the screening using a less-graphic body imaging system, which is also less controversial. (end Washington Post article)
This revelation comes amid Chertoff’s continuous media blitz following the December 25, 2009 bombing incident in which Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian, carried onto the Detroit-bound aircraft. This tour included an interview on Meet the Press, where he appeared with fellow principal of the Chertoff Group General Michael Hayden (former director CIA & NSA). Michael Chertoff also published an editorial in the Washington Post on January 1, 2010 where he advocated the scanning systems. Both the editorial and Meet the Press appearance involved brief and flippant disclosures of this connection between the Chertoff Group and a “manufacturer of body-imaging screening systems”.