In the annals of stupid moves this one ranks high. John Pistole’s decision, to not expose the new “super” scanners to public scrutiny and commentary before putting them in use, alone disqualifies him from any job in the Federal government.
But this latest piece of investigative research from Leon Kaufman and Joseph Carlson (more on the two below the fold) has concluded that (quoting from the abstract):
… Even if exposure were to be increased significantly, normal anatomy would make a dangerous amount of plastic explosive with tapered edges difficult if not impossible to detect.
In other words … the machines do not work as advertised. A chubby terrorist with folds of meat along the side of his/her body could walk right through the machines with a slice of bacon or an explosive device taped to the side of his/her body.
Of course, this revelation comes about in the light of such deplorable incidents as the one involving a recent mother and the bottle of breast milk intended for her seven month old:
Theo Caldwell at The Daily Caller sums it up nicely:
It is human nature to abuse authority; and the fewer checks on that authority, the more obscene the abuse becomes.
As a side note let me mention what I have managed to learn about the backgrounds of the two researchers. From this page we learn that:
Leon Kaufman received BS in Engineering Physics and Ph.D. in Physics degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and is Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of California at San Francisco, where he spent 24 years in the Radiology Department and in the Nuclear Medicine Section. In this field he developed a number of advanced counting and imaging devices incorporating gas-filled wire chambers and room temperature and cryogenic semiconductor detectors. …
Sounds to me like someone qualified to speak on the issue of imaging practices. The second author appears to also be a former faculty at UCSF.