No, no, no.  The agreement was that you wouldn’t hire dirty wankers to operate the airport body scanners.  Definition of a dirty wanker (henceforth abbreviated DW):  Someone who uses the scanner to take a picture of a colleague and then tells her “Love those gigantic tits.”

The problem is that airport security workers aren’t vetted carefully enough to catch all the DWs, nor do they receive the thorough training required of other people who perform pat-downs and other privacy-invading procedures, like police officers.  The Police Academy (in Pasadena, anyway) is a 26-week course.  Becoming an airport screener, according to the job listing, requires five weeks of training and a driver’s license.  And I doubt they are too picky about their applicants.  Not many people are going to be scrambling for a job that earns $39k a year and makes everyone hate you*.

Well, at least nobody is ever going to get anything through airport security again…oh, Britain has found that they’re 50-60% effective, as this report (PDF) says.  And, as others have pointed out, the risk of a terrorist incident (roughly one in 16 million per flight; for comparison, according to the National Safety Council, your annual risk of being struck by lightning is about one in 6 million, and your odds of dying that way are a whopping one in 80,000).

So, speaking of statistics, what are the odds that your airport screener will be a DW?  We know there’s at least one, and according to TSA’s self-adulatory statement, they have 43,000 employees.  Someone on this forum scrounged up 10 sex offenders who have been caught so far; here’s a child molester they caught three weeks ago.  Making the conservative estimate that, for every one who does something egregious enough to get caught, there are 9 who keep their filthy thoughts to themselves, the odds are a whopping 4,300 to one, and probably far higher.  After all, what sort of person would want to go into such a thankless job?  Could it be the sort of person who likes to look at naked people?  True, the body scans are meager offerings when one has the internet, but most other jobs will censure you for looking at naked pictures all day.  And even on the internet, one has limited access to children–no such restrictions apply at the airport.  And anyway, it’s hard to fathom the human mind.  Especially the mind of a DW.


*A disclaimer about airport security workers:  Please understand that however much airport body scanners are an affront to living in a civilized society, you should never take your anger out on the employees.  They are simply bottom-tier government peons.  Since I’m currently working as a bottom-tier government peon myself, I can confidently say that they have zero ability to influence policy.  Libertarian nutjobs have been talking about how they’re going to grill census enumerators on what part of the Constitution gives them the right to collect personal information (article I, section 3, but the far better answer is “So you’re in favor of disbanding the Air Force, then?”), but it isn’t fair to expect the 23-year-old with three days of training to answer for all the actions of the Department of Commerce.  Similarly, one shouldn’t make airport security employees answer for the TSA.  Politely ask to file a complaint, but leave it at that.


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