Chertoff needs to get paid

chertoff1.jpg In an article published by the Washington Post, former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff warns America of the need to install body-imaging screening machines at airports. He rails against critics of the devices, accusing them of being ideologues setting out to 'alarm the public.' At the foot of the piece, the fig leaf: "Chertoff ... is co-founder of the Chertoff Group, a security and risk-management firm whose clients include a manufacturer of body-imaging screening machines."

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  1. I would recommend listening to the latest “Skeptics Guide to the Universe” podcast in which the rogues interview “security guru” Bruce Schneier who has some very interesting comments to make about security and the “Security Theater” Mr. Chertoff espouses.

  2. Ok. That photo creeps me out. He clearly smeared a thin layer of human tissue over his natural carapace just moments before it was taken.

  3. Are these the same scanners that can image through powders like Underpants Boy’s PETN to give full frontal nudity shots for TSA voyeurs?

  4. Why can’t we get enough people on the page to send these fearmongering shills packing? It’s obscene.

    I’d prefer to be murdered with a) my constitutional rights and b) personal dignity fully intact… whoops, we’re a few years too late for a).

  5. @phisrow

    Yeah. I showed the photo to my wife while reading her your comment. Her response was, “There’s a face that’s best viewed by lightning strike.”

  6. This reminds me of those ‘plastic bag’ lobby people who say that bringing your own bag to the super market will somehow cause your children to come down with incurable diseases.

  7. It’s illegal for a government employee to receive a gift from a citizen worth more than $20. It isn’t illegal for a government employee to funnel billions of dollars of taxpayer money into their pockets through fear mongering.

    1. According to judge walker, so long as you’re bilking everyone you can’t be sued for breaking the law.

      Man, I miss the good ol’ days of Rule Of Law. Those days where awesome.

    2. It probably would be illegal or unethical for a government employee to tout a technology that he personally makes money from.

      But Chertoff isn’t a government employee.

      Also, just to be really fair here (not always the goal, I know), the article says that he’s pushed for the technology since he worked for Bush, which was well before he had financial interest in it.

  8. Cover up his mouth and nose with your hand in the picture to see how much he’s not smiling.

    “You are not in a position to ask for anything. We will take what we wish, and then decide whether or not to blow your ship from the water.”

  9. It really is like something twisted from “Blackadder” *sigh*

    Edmund: Never had anything you doctors didn’t try to cure with leeches. A leech on my ear for ear ache, a leech on my bottom for constipation.
    Doctor: They’re marvellous, aren’t they?
    Edmund: Well, the bottom one wasn’t. I just sat there and squashed it.
    Doctor: You know the leech comes to us on the highest authority?
    Edmund: Yes. I know that. Dr. Hoffmann of Stuttgart, isn’t it?
    Doctor: That’s right, the great Hoffmann.
    Edmund: Owner of the largest leech farm of Europe.

  10. Good thing the Supreme Court has stood up for Mr. Chertoff’s owner’s constitutional right to bribery.

  11. It seems (mostly) conservatives in Washington don’t give one rats ass about conflicts of interest, much less just perceived conflicts of interest.

    Or things like class, humility, ethics, humanity, generally being a decent human being… little things like that…

    The fact that Democrats are (generally) the lesser evil shows how horrible these bastards are.

    America? Where are you? Still looking for America. Has anyone seen America?

  12. neurolux: The paper* cited in those “terahertz imaging may damage DNA stories” is a computational simulation which may suggest that terahertz light might be able to slightly separate a single base pair if it deposits it’s relatively small energy at the same time as natural thermal fluctuations, or other unspecified events.

    This is like saying that, “Pushing someone on a swing may cause bruises.” when you are talking about someone on a swing getting hit by a car at the same time as you push them. (see: stochastic resonance)

    Additionally one receives quite a dose of electromagnetic radiation that actually has the energy to ionize components of DNA just by flying above a significant portion of the atmosphere. This is much more dangerous than any terahertz radiation scan before the flight could be.

    I would like to prevent or reduce the deployment of these technologies but lying is not the way to do it.

    (* http://arxiv.org/abs/0910.5294 )

  13. …he rails against critics of the devices, accusing them of being ideologues setting out to ‘alarm the public.

    By iron quota is filled for the week, if not the whole damn year

  14. See, the Supreme Court decision is seen as horrible, but I honestly wouldn’t see it as too terrible. Just think of the lawsuits! You could get some offended person sue this guy’s company as a person for sexual harassment

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