Dr. Blaylock: Body Scanners More Dangerous Than Feds Admit
Wednesday, November 24, 2010 9:58 AM - By Dr. Russell Blaylock
Dr. Russell Blaylock is a nationally recognized board-certified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author, lecturer, and editor of The Blaylock Wellness Report.
The growing outrage over the Transportation Security Administration’s new policy of backscatter scanning of airline passengers and “enhanced pat-downs” brings to mind these wise words from President Ronald Reagan: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.’”
So, what is all the concern really about — will these radiation scanners increase your risk of cancer or other diseases? A group of scientists and professors from the University of California at San Francisco voiced their concern to Obama’s science and technology adviser John Holdren in a well-stated letter back in April.
The group included experts in radiation biology, biophysics, and imaging, who expressed “serious concerns” about the “dangerously high” dose of radiation to the skin.
Radiation increases cancer risk by damaging the DNA and various components within the cells. Much of the damage is caused by high concentrations of free radicals generated by the radiation. Most scientists think that the most damaging radiation types are those that have high penetration, such as gamma-rays, but in fact, some of the most damaging radiation barely penetrates the skin.
One of the main concerns is that most of the energy from the airport scanners is concentrated on the surface of the skin and a few millimeters into the skin. Some very radiation-sensitive tissues are close to the skin — such as the testes, eyes, and circulating blood cells in the skin.
This is why defenders using such analogies as the dose being “1,000-times less than a chest X-ray” and “far less than what passengers are exposed to in-flight” are deceptive. Radiation damage depends on the volume of tissue exposed. Chest X-rays and gamma-radiation from outer space is diffused over the entire body so that the dose to the skin is extremely small. Of note, outer space radiation does increase cancer rates in passengers, pilots, and flight attendants.
We also know that certain groups of people are at a much higher risk than others. These include babies, small children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with impaired immunity (those with HIV infection, cancer patients, people with immune deficiency diseases, and people with abnormal DNA repair mechanism, just to name a few).
As we grow older, our DNA accumulates a considerable amount of unrepaired damage, and under such circumstances even low doses of radiation can trigger the development of skin cancers, including the deadly melanoma. I would also be concerned about exposing the eyes, since this could increase one’s risk of developing cataracts.
About 5 percent of the population have undiagnosed abnormal DNA repair mechanism. When exposed to radiation, this can put them at a cancer risk hundreds of times greater than normal people.
It also has been determined that when skin is next to certain metals, such as gold, the radiation dose is magnified 100-fold higher. What if you have a mole next to your gold jewelry? Will the radiation convert it to a melanoma? Deficiencies in certain vitamins can dramatically increase your sensitivity to radiation carcinogenesis, as can certain prescription medications.
As for the assurances we have been given by such organization as the American College of Radiology, we must keep in mind that they assured us that the CT scans were safe and that the radiation was equal to one chest X-ray. Forty years later we learn that the dose is extremely high, it is thought to have caused cancer in a significant number of people, and the dose is actually equal to 1,000 chest X-rays.
Based on these assurances, tens of thousands of children have been exposed to radiation doses from CT scanners, which will ruin the children’s lives. I have two friends who were high-ranking Environmental Protection Agency scientists, and they assure me that in government safety agencies, politics most often override the scientists’ real concerns about such issues.
This government shares House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s view when she urged passage of the Obamacare bill sight unseen — “Let’s just pass the bill, and we will find out what is in it later.”
When the real effects of these scanners on health become known, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and the rest of the gang who insist the scanners are safe will be long gone.
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Strange Men Grope Nancy Pelosi or the Terrorists Have Won
As long as the head of the TSA, Long Dong Silver, refuses to get rid of the intrusive, possibly dangerous airport searches, how about requiring members of Congress to go through the same security screening in order to enter hallowed congressional office buildings?
Not just Barney Frank — I mean all members of Congress. "We’ve patted you down twice, Congressman Frank. Why don’t you just go to your office now?"
The Rayburn House Office Building is a far more likely target for a terrorist attack than a random flight out of a random American airport. But every passenger on every flight in America must allow a TSA agent to get to second base with them, in some cases third base, or appear live in a nude video in order to board the plane.
If that’s necessary to keep us airline passengers safe, why not use the same security procedures to protect members of Congress?
According to the FAA, there were about 37,000 commercial flights per day in 2008. A mere six buildings contain the offices of every member of our country’s entire legislative branch.
So why shouldn’t the people entering those tempting terrorist targets be given the same security screenings as the roughly half-million Americans taking random commercial flights every day?
It can’t be because Capitol Hill security guards recognize members of Congress and their staff. TSA agents presumably recognize lots of people going through airport security. Ten to 20 percent of passengers are frequent fliers taking the same routes over and over again, year after year.
In addition, TSA agents will recognize their neighbors of 40 years, their hometown mayor, their children’s teachers, local and national celebrities, actors, athletes and other famous personalities. Some TSA agents probably recognize Christian Slater as that guy who sometimes has a gun in his carry-on bag.
But all those people have to take their shoes off, remove their computers from their luggage and be subjected to a pat-down because TSA agents are prohibited by the Homeland Security Department from using an ounce of common sense.
In June 2002, Al Gore got searched at an airport. Gore may have a forgettable face, but at that point, he had been vice president of the United States for eight of the previous 10 years, had run for president, and then had made a spectacle of himself by demanding a recount when he lost.
I’ve seen James Caan in an airport security line. Is James Caan less recognizable than Rep. Steve Rothman? (Tip for the TSA: When your agents are asking passengers for their autographs, you’re probably not on the verge of nabbing Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.)
Why are members of the ruling class the only Americans for whom it’s possible to design a security system that takes the obvious into account?
If security guards at a big, fat terrorist target like the U.S. Capitol can be expected to figure out that members of Congress aren’t a threat, why don’t we trust TSA agents to figure out that little grandmothers, nuns and 8-year-olds aren’t a threat either?
Nancy Pelosi is more likely to engage in a terrorist attack on America than any grandmother or 8-year-old. Just look at what she did to our health care.
Pelosi opposed the Gulf War on the grounds that it would be bad for the environment. She voted to reduce funds for the B-2 intercontinental bomber and repeatedly voted against a missile defense system. She voted to end Radio Marti broadcasts to Cuba. She voted against war in Iraq. She voted against a constitutional amendment to permit school prayer and against allowing state and local governments to display the Ten Commandments.
No wonder she has a 100 percent congressional rating from al-Qaida.
And yet Pelosi is not only able to breeze into the U.S. Capitol without a search, but she can usually board a commercial airline without submitting to the groping or nude body scan that awaits the rest of us. Members of Congress and government officials are generally exempted from the TSA’s airport screenings.
Does TSA administrator John "Long Dong Silver" Pistole get searched at an airport? How about Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano? FBI Director Robert Mueller? Michelle Obama and the kids?
No, of course not. TSA agents are busy X-raying James Caan’s shoes and feeling up nuns.
I’d feel safer if Pistole and Napolitano had the full body cavity search than Grandma. Anyone involved in the creation of an airport security system that requires pilots to be checked for weapons has got to be removed from any government job and promptly institutionalized, as he is a danger to himself and others.
We’re talking about the pilot. Is there anyone in the government who can tell us why the pilot doesn’t need a box-cutter to seize control of the airplane and kill everyone on it? You there, in the back — the skinny guy with the big ears behind the teleprompter: Wanna take a guess? Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?
I’m for any program that requires Nancy Pelosi and Janet Napolitano to either be felt up or videotaped nude every morning by Jose, the $20-an-hour security guard — just as they do for the rest of us.
TSA Should Profile, Keep Hands Off Innocent Passengers
Wednesday, 24 Nov 2010 11:43 AM - By Michael Reagan
Four years ago I had hip replacement surgery — which involves having an implant containing metal — and that means that every time I fly, which is often, a Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) employee passes a wand over my body to be sure I’m not concealing some explosive device on my person. I’m used to it and I don’t complain. It’s the price we pay for airline safety.
I happened to fly on the day the new, more invasive procedures took effect. As I went through the new pre-boarding process, the TSA inspector congratulated me for not "going commando," as he put his hand into the waistband of my underwear. That’s about as intimate an action as anyone can commit without getting a violent reaction from me, but I managed to restrain myself.
As bad and embarrassing as this experience was for me, I wondered what government would even consider ordering a male or female employee to put his or her hands inside the pants of an airline passenger before they board a plane.
Wow, I thought. The ghost of 9/11 terrorist Mohammed Atta is probably laughing out loud over what he accomplished when he and his fellow murderers drove airliners into the World Trade Center towers. They not only killed 3,000 innocent people but by their cowardly actions also provided a foreshadowing of the federal government curtailing our liberties once again. He must be happy over the results of his act of murderous terrorism as he bakes in the fires of hell. After all, he invented today’s TSA.
The sad truth is that he appears to have won — we are still not safe from the crazies, and it is the crazies who are at war with us.
In 1981 when my father, President Reagan, was shot I remember asking the Secret Service agent in charge of my protection detail that with all their training and all their agents that surrounded my father how could it have been that would-be assassin John Hinckley was able to get off as many shots as he did and almost kill my father in the process.
His answer was that there simply is no training that can protect you from all the crazies who are willing to die in attempts to kill their targets, and they are our dedicated foes. Abraham Lincoln knew this when he said that anyone who was willing to die in an attempt to kill a president could succeed, as John Wilkes Booth proved in that hideous night at Ford’s Theater.
Political correctness killed 13 innocent people at Ft. Hood when Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan gunned down 13 people and wounded many others despite the fact that his fellow officers were aware of his attachment to radical Islamism and all that it implied; it is the same political correctness that is stopping us today from doing what we truly need to be doing at airports and other public places: profiling all passengers.
I profile strangers I encounter unconsciously and so do you, and it is well past time that President Obama and his TSA do it was well, and it’s just too darned bad if anyone is offended.
Mr. President, Israel’s El Al Airlines inspectors routinely profile passengers and keep their hands to themselves, and they haven’t allowed a single terrorist to board their planes. You should follow suit and tell your TSA people to keep their fumbling hands to themselves.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan and a political consultant. He is the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Look for Mike’s books and other information at Reagan.com. E-mail comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.
© Mike Reagan