In response to "Against full-body scans" (letter, Jan. 7), while as a previously lactating mother I understand the writer’s health concerns, they are unfounded.
The amount of radiation emitted during a one-time search is negligible. Adults and small children are exposed to radiation in higher doses from many other locations in everyday life. To negate the use of a very safe and effective search technique based on that is rather shortsighted and narrow-minded.
Additionally, to rely on the good intentions and situational awareness of others to combat violent and abhorrent terrorist attacks is what has gotten the world to where it is now. If noninvasive search techniques worked, we would not have had the Sept. 11 attacks, the Madrid train bombings in 2004, the London bombings in 2007 or the Christmas 2009 attempt either. The brave passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 did not sit apathetically in their seats, and yet, they still perished. Stringent and invasive security could have assured their survival, as well as of all the others who lost their lives on that terrible day.
As a security professional, I can assure you that "security theater" is not our intent, and we do not perform our jobs as "casual government inspection." Most security personnel are professional and they take no joy in looking at or touching people’s private belongings — or body parts, for that matter. These types of searches are just as important a deterrent to terrorist/criminal activity as they are effective in detecting potential weapons or explosive devices.
I am sure that if we were able to ask all the innocent dead people of all the aforementioned terrorist attacks if they would mind submitting to a full-body scan in exchange for their lives back, all would have no problems complying.
But, hindsight is 20/20 and freedom and safety are never free.
Capt. Brenda FranklinSouthwest Asia