U.S. Feds: Airport Scanners DO Store Naked Body Images

TSA requires all airport body scanners it purchases to be able to store and transmit images for “testing, training, and evaluation purposes.”


For the last few years, federal agencies have defended body scanning by insisting that all images will be discarded as soon as they’re viewed. The Transportation Security Administration claimed last summer, for instance, that “scanned images cannot be stored or recorded.”

Photo: www.drudgereport.com

Now it turns out that some police agencies are storing the controversial images after all. The U.S. Marshals Service admitted this week that it had surreptitiously saved tens of thousands of images recorded with a millimeter wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse.

This follows an earlier disclosure (PDF) by the TSA that it requires all airport body scanners it purchases to be able to store and transmit images for “testing, training, and evaluation purposes.” The agency says, however, that those capabilities are not normally activated when the devices are installed at airports.

Body scanners penetrate clothing to provide a highly detailed image so accurate that critics have likened it to a virtual strip search. Technologies vary, with millimeter wave systems capturing fuzzier images, and backscatter X-ray machines able to show precise anatomical detail. The U.S. government likes the idea because body scanners can detect concealed weapons better than traditional magnetometers.

This privacy debate, which has been simmering since the days of the Bush administration, came to a boil two weeks ago when Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that scanners would soon appear at virtually every major airport. The updated list includes airports in New York City, Dallas, Washington, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and Philadelphia.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to grant an immediate injunction pulling the plug on TSA’s body scanning program. In a separate lawsuit, EPIC obtained a letter (PDF) from the Marshals Service, part of the Justice Department, and released it on Tuesday afternoon.

These “devices are designed and deployed in a way that allows the images to be routinely stored and recorded, which is exactly what the Marshals Service is doing,” EPIC executive director Marc Rotenberg told CNET. “We think it’s significant.”

William Bordley, an associate general counsel with the Marshals Service, acknowledged in the letter that “approximately 35,314 images…have been stored on the Brijot Gen2 machine” used in the Orlando, Fla. federal courthouse. In addition, Bordley wrote, a Millivision machine was tested in the Washington, D.C. federal courthouse but it was sent back to the manufacturer, which now apparently possesses the image database.

The Gen 2 machine, manufactured by Brijot of Lake Mary, Fla., uses a millimeter wave radiometer and accompanying video camera to store up to 40,000 images and records. Brijot boasts that it can even be operated remotely: “The Gen 2 detection engine capability eliminates the need for constant user observation and local operation for effective monitoring. Using our APIs, instantly connect to your units from a remote location via the Brijot Client interface.”

This trickle of disclosures about the true capabilities of body scanners–and how they’re being used in practice–is probably what alarms privacy advocates more than anything else.

A 70-page document (PDF) showing the TSA’s procurement specifications, classified as “sensitive security information,” says that in some modes the scanner must “allow exporting of image data in real time” and provide a mechanism for “high-speed transfer of image data” over the network. (It also says that image filters will “protect the identity, modesty, and privacy of the passenger.”)

“TSA is not being straightforward with the public about the capabilities of these devices,” Rotenberg said. “This is the Department of Homeland Security subjecting every U.S. traveler to an intrusive search that can be recorded without any suspicion–I think it’s outrageous.” EPIC’s lawsuit says that the TSA should have announced formal regulations, and argues that the body scanners violate the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits “unreasonable” searches.

TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz told CNET on Wednesday that the agency’s scanners are delivered to airports with the image recording functions turned off. “We’re not recording them,” she said. “I’m reiterating that to the public. We are not ever activating those capabilities at the airport.”

The TSA maintains that body scanning is perfectly constitutional: “The program is designed to respect individual sensibilities regarding privacy, modesty and personal autonomy to the maximum extent possible, while still performing its crucial function of protecting all members of the public from potentially catastrophic events.”

United States Postal Service Building Detention Rooms


Military source fears “criminal investigative units” will be used as black sites for detainment of Americans in the event of a national emergency and a declaration of martial law.

We have received documents from a military source indicating that U.S. Postal Service facilities across the country are expanding the construction of secretive criminal investigation rooms, which some fear will be used to detain American citizens in the event of a national emergency, bioterror attack or pandemic.

The documents (PDF) show architectural floor plans for criminal investigation rooms that would be housed within existing U.S. Postal Service buildings. The blueprints show “secret rooms” within post offices where, the source claims, “families will be separated” in the event of martial law being declared.

The United States Postal Service undoubtedly uses such “criminal investigative units” to conduct investigations into mail fraud through its federal enforcement arm, the United States Postal Inspection Service, but as with many things of this nature, everything serves a dual purpose.

The fact that such rooms are being constructed inside post offices is verified. We discovered this web page which talks about how an architecture firm called IPG Architects constructed a “Criminal Investigative Office” within the Macon Post Office in Macon, Georgia. The new documents describe similar rooms being constructed in Lake Forest, Illinois and Gurnee, Illinois.

The tone of the article that accompanies the documents is not for the faint-hearted, but the threat of the federal government seizing post offices and using them as detainment facilities is very real.

U.S. Postal Service Expands Construction Of Secret Rooms 250510top3

Under the terms of the December 2001 Model State Emergency Health Powers Act, of which the majority of states have now passed similar versions, the government has the power to seize control of all public and private property.

Critics savaged the MSEHPA as “an unprecedented assault on the constitutional rights of the American people,” that, according to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons claimed, “could turn governors into dictators”.

The act included draconian and sweeping language giving the government almost limitless power in responding to a declared national health emergency, such as a bioterrorist attack or an epidemic.

Under the act, the government ascribes itself the power take over any public facility, including post offices.

In addition, a recent executive order signed by President Barack Obama hands the US Post Office a “key role” in dealing with the aftermath of a bioterrorist attack, according to an AFP report. The executive order directs the Post Office to work with government agencies and local law enforcement to oversee “medical countermeasures”.

“The US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano were instructed to work with the post office to develop a “dispensing model for US cities to respond to a large-scale biological attack, with anthrax as the primary threat consideration,” states the report.

We have also previously received documents indicating that post offices would be used as detainment facilities in the event of a national emergency or a “red alert” being declared.

If all this sounds hard to believe, just remember that the same was said when we reported on how the federal government was recruiting religious leaders to pacify the public in the event of martial law being declared under the banner of the “clergy response team” program. The existence of the program was confirmed by news channel KSLA after first being brought to our attention by concerned pastors who were approached to partake in the initiative by the government.

Whether the Post Office’s role in a martial law scenario will also include providing quarantine and detainment facilities remains to be seen, but the documents provided to us do indicate that the construction of criminal investigation units within Post Office buildings is being expanded nationwide.

Click here for the full PDF of the floor plans showing how “criminal investigation offices” are being built inside U.S. post offices nationwide, as well as the accompanying article.

Casa Blanca y British Petroleum Encubren Desastre en Golfo de México

Wayne Madsen Report

WMR ha sido informado por fuentes del Cuerpo de Ingenieros del Ejército de E.E.U.U, la Agencia Federal de Emergencias (FEMA), y la el Departamento de Protección del Medio Ambiente de Florida, que la Casa Blanca y British Petroleum (BP), que donó 71.000 dólares en el 2008 a la campaña presidencial de Barack Obama - más de John McCain o Hillary Clinton-, están encubriendo la magnitud de la catástrofe del petróleo en el Golfo de México y trabajan juntos para limitar la responsabilidad de BP por daños causados por lo que puede llamarse un “mega-desastre”.

Obama y sus altos funcionarios de la Casa Blanca, así como el secretario del Interior Ken Salazar, están trabajando con el director ejecutivo de BP, Tony Hayward, sobre la legislación que aumentaría el límite máximo de responsabilidad para las reclamaciones por daños de los afectados por el desastre del petróleo de $ 75 millones a 10 mil millones de dólares . Sin embargo, fuentes federales y las fuentes de WMR en el Golfo están reportando que el desastre tiene un costo real potencial de al menos $ 1 billón. Los críticos de la oferta que está siendo elaborando entre Obama y el Hayward dicen que 10 mil millones de dólares es sólo una gota en el vaso para un desastre billonario como este, pero también notan que si los activos de BP fueran nacionalizados, podrían alcanzar casi un billón de dólares para fines de indemnización. Se habla en algunos círculos del gobierno, incluyendo a FEMA, de la necesidad de nacionalizar BP con el fin de compensar a aquellos que en última instancia se verán afectados por el peor desastre de petróleo en la historia del mundo.

Los planes de BP para hundir una cúpula de contención de cuatro pisos sobre el petróleo que brota de un abismo un kilometro por debajo de la superficie del Golfo, donde la plataforma  Deepwater  Horizon explotó y mató a 11 trabajadores el 20 de abril, y los informes de que una de las fugas ha sido contenida es pura desinformación de relaciones públicas destinada a evitar el pánico y las demandas de una mayor intervención de la administración de Obama, de acuerdo con FEMA y el Cuerpo de Ingenieros. Fuentes internas de las agencias dicen que la Casa Blanca ha estado resistiéndose a la divulgación de cualquier información “dañina” sobre el desastre del petróleo. Añaden que si el desperdicio de petróleo al mar no se detiene en 90 días, habrá daños irreversibles a los ecosistemas marinos del Golfo de México, al norte del Océano Atlántico, y más allá. A lo sumo, algunos de los expertos del Cuerpo de Ingenieros dicen que podría tomar dos años para cimentar el abismo en el suelo del Golfo.

Sólo después que la magnitud del desastre se hizo evidente fue que Obama llamá a la secretaria de Seguridad Nacional, Janet Napolitano, para declarar el el problema un “asunto de seguridad nacional.” Aunque la Guardia Costera y FEMA son parte de su departamento, el razonamiento real de Napolitano para no invocar la “seguridad nacional” era que los medios de comunicación bloquearan la cobertura de la inmensidad de la catástrofe que se está desarrollando en el Golfo de México y el Océano Atlántico y sus costas.

Desde el Cuerpo de Ingenieros, FEMA, la Agencia de Protección Ambiental, la Guardia Costera del Golfo y los organismos estatales de protección ambiental, el mensaje es el mismo: “nunca han tratado con algo como esto antes.”

La administración Obama también conspiró con BP para amañar el alcance de la fuga de petróleo, de acuerdo con nuestras fuentes federales y estatales. Después que la plataforma petrolera explotó y se hundió, el gobierno dijo que 42.000 galones por día brotaban del lecho marino. Cinco días después, el gobierno federal aumentó a 210.000 galones al día.

Sin embargo, WMR ha sido informado de que los sumergibles que están supervisando el escape de petróleo están viendo imágenes de televisión de lo que es una “erupción volcánica de petróleo.” Por otra parte, cuando el Cuerpo de Ingenieros del Ejército intentó primero obtener imágenes de la NASA de la mancha de petróleo del Golfo – que es mayor que el que se informa por los medios de comunicación – la petición fue rechazada. Sin embargo, National Geographic logró obtener las tomas de imágenes de satélite de la magnitud de la catástrofe y las mostró en su sitio web.

Hay otras imágenes de satélite que han sido retenidas por la administración Obama que muestran lo que yace bajo el enorme abismo escupiendo petróleo a un ritmo cada vez más alarmante es una caverna que se estima, tiene el tamaño del Monte Everest. A esta información se le ha dado una clasificación prácticamente de seguridad nacional para evitar que el público la conozca.

El Cuerpo de Ingenieros y FEMA mantienen silencio crítico sobre la falta de apoyo a la acción rápida después de la catástrofe por parte de la Casa Blanca de Obama y de la Guardia Costera de los EE.UU.. Sólo recientemente, la Guardia Costera ha comprendido la magnitud del desastre, y envió cerca de 70 buques a la zona afectada. WMR ha sabido también que las inspecciones en plataformas off-shore mostraron ‘válvulas de cierre pedidas por el Servicio de Administración de Minerales que durante la administración Bush se limitaban sello de goma-, como resultado de la colusión criminal entre Halliburton y el servicio del Departamento del Interior.  El potencial de desastres similares existe con las otras 30.000 plataformas en alta mar que utilizan las mismas válvulas de cierre.

El impacto del desastre se hizo conocido por el Cuerpo de Ingenieros y FEMA antes incluso de que la Casa Blanca comenzó a tomar la magnitud de la catástrofe seriamente. La primera víctima de la catástrofe es la industria de mariscos, no sólo con los pescadores, criadores de ostras, cangrejeros y pescadores de camarones que pierden sus puestos de trabajo, pero todos los involucrados en la industria de restaurantes, desde los camioneros a camareras.

La invasión de petróleo crudo en los estuarios como la Bahía de Apalachicola-rica en un desastre para la Florida y la industria pesquera. Sin embargo, la mayor amenaza es la de los Everglades de la Florida, que los expertos federales y estatales temen que se convierta en una “zona muerta” si el petróleo sigue brotando de la fosa del Golfo. También hay expectativas de que la mancha de petróleo se vea atrapada en la corriente del Golfo frente a la costa este de los Estados Unidos, playas y estuarios como incrustaciones theChesapeake Bay, y en última instancia el objetivo de ricos recursos pesqueros de los Grandes Bancos de Terranova.

WMR ha sabido también que 36 áreas urbanas en el Golfo de México están esperando confrontar un gran desastre con el escape de  petróleo en los próximos días. A pesar de protección preparadas en la superficie para proteger áreas tan sensibles como Delfín de Alabama Island, la desembocadura del río Mississippi, y la Bahía de la Florida Apalachicola, sólo hay 16 millas de protección para la protección de 2.276 millas de costa de las mareas en el estado de Florida.

Los preparativos de emergencia continuan para hacer frente a la amenaza del petróleo en expansión que se presenta ahora para las ciudades y pueblos de Corpus Christi, Texas, a Houston, Nueva Orleans, Gulfport, Mobile, Pensacola, Tampa-San Petersburgo-Clearwater, Sarasota-Bradenton, Nápoles, y Cayo Hueso. Hay planes para evacuar a las personas con problemas respiratorios, especialmente aquellos de entre la población jubilada a lo largo de la costa oeste de Florida, antes de que el petróleo comience a acercarse a la costa.

Hay otra gran amenaza inminente para las ciudades del interior. Con la temporada de huracanes en efecto, existe un potencial de que el petróleo en el mar sea recogido por las lluvias impulsadas por los huracanes y que caigan en lagos de agua dulce y ríos, lejos del mar, aumentando así la contaminación de los suministros de agua y los ecosistemas.

White House, British Petroleum Oil Spill Cover-Up

Wayne Madsen Report

WMR has been informed by sources in the US Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),BPand Florida Department of Environmental Protection that the Obama White House and British Petroleum (BP), which pumped $71,000 into Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign — more than John McCain or Hillary Clinton–, are covering up the magnitude of the volcanic-level oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and working together to limit BP’s liability for damage caused by what can be called a “mega-disaster.”

Obama and his senior White House staff, as well as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, are working with BP’s chief executive officer Tony Hayward on legislation that would raise the cap on liability for damage claims from those affected by the oil disaster from $75 million to $10 billion. However, WMR’s federal and Gulf state sources are reporting the disaster has the real potential cost of at least $1 trillion. Critics of the deal being worked out between Obama and Hayward point out that $10 billion is a mere drop in the bucket for a trillion dollar disaster but also note that BP, if its assets were nationalized, could fetch almost a trillion dollars for compensation purposes. There is talk in some government circles, including FEMA, of the need to nationalize BP in order to compensate those who will ultimately be affected by the worst oil disaster in the history of the world.

Plans by BP to sink a 4-story containment dome over the oil gushing from a gaping chasm one kilometer below the surface of the Gulf, where the oil rigDeepwater Horizon exploded and killed 11 workers on April 20, and reports that one of the leaks has been contained is pure public relations disinformation designed to avoid panic and demands for greater action by the Obama administration, according to FEMA and Corps of Engineers sources. Sources within these agencies say the White House has been resisting releasing any “damaging information” about the oil disaster. They add that if the ocean oil geyser is not stopped within 90 days, there will be irreversible damage to the marine eco-systems of the Gulf of Mexico, north Atlantic Ocean, and beyond. At best, some Corps of Engineers experts say it could take two years to cement the chasm on the floor of the Gulf.

Only after the magnitude of the disaster became evident did Obama order Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to declare the oil disaster a “national security issue.” Although the Coast Guard and FEMA are part of her department, Napolitano’s actual reasoning for invoking national security was to block media coverage of the immensity of the disaster that is unfolding for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean and their coastlines.

From the Corps of Engineers, FEMA, the Environmental Protection Agency, Coast Guard, and Gulf state environmental protection agencies, the message is the same: “we’ve never dealt with anything like this before.”

The Obama administration also conspired with BP to fudge the extent of the oil leak, according to our federal and state sources. After the oil rig exploded and sank, the government stated that 42,000 gallons per day was gushing from the seabed chasm.  Five days later, the federal government upped the leakage to 210,000 gallons a day.

However, WMR has been informed that submersibles that are  monitoring the escaping oil from the Gulf seabed are viewing television pictures of what is a “volcanic-like” eruption of oil. Moreover, when the Army Corps of Engineers first attempted to obtain NASA imagery of the Gulf oil slick — which is larger than that being reported by the media — it was turned down. However, National Geographic managed to obtain the satellite imagery shots of the extent of the disaster and posted them on their web site.

There is other satellite imagery being withheld by the Obama administration that shows what lies under the gaping chasm spewing oil at an ever-alarming rate is a cavern estimated to be around the size of Mount Everest. This information has been given an almost national security-level classification to keep it from the public, according to our sources.

The Corps and Engineers and FEMA are quietly critical of the lack of support for quick action after the oil disaster by the Obama White House and the US Coast Guard. Only recently, has the Coast Guard understood the magnitude of the disaster, dispatching nearly 70 vessels to the affected area. WMR has also learned that inspections of off-shore rigs’ shut-off valves by the Minerals Management Service during the Bush administration were merely rubber-stamp operations, resulting from criminal collusion between Halliburton and the Interior Department’s service, and that the potential for similar disasters exists with the other 30,000 off-shore rigs that use the same shut-off valves.

The impact of the disaster became known to the Corps of Engineers and FEMA even before the White House began to take the magnitude of the impending catastrophe seriously. The first casualty of the disaster is the seafood industy, with not just fishermen, oystermen, crabbers, and shrimpers losing their jobs, but all those involved in the restaurant industry, from truckers to waitresses, facing lay-offs.

The invasion of crude oil into estuaries like the oyster-rich Apalachicola Bay in Florida spell disaster for the seafood industry. However, the biggest threat is to Florida’s Everglades, which federal and state experts fear will be turned into a “dead zone” if the oil continues to gush forth from the Gulf chasm. There are also expectations that the oil slick will be caught up in the Gulf stream off the eastern seaboard of the United States, fouling beaches and estuaries like theChesapeake Bay, and ultimately target the rich fishing grounds of the Grand Banks off Newfoundland.

WMR has also learned that 36 urban areas on the Gulf of Mexico are expecting to be confronted with a major disaster from the oil volcano in the next few days. Although protective water surface boons are being laid to protect such sensitive areas as Alabama’s Dauphin Island, the mouth of the Mississippi River, and Florida’s Apalachicola Bay, Florida, there is only 16 miles of boons available for the protection of 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline in the state of Florida.

Emergency preparations in dealing with the expanding oil menace are now being made for cities and towns from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Houston, New Orleans, Gulfport, Mobile, Pensacola, Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater, Sarasota-Bradenton, Naples, and Key West. Some 36 FEMA-funded contracts between cities, towns, and counties and emergency workers are due to be invoked within days, if not hours, according to WMR’s FEMA sources.

There are plans to evacuate people with respiratory problems, especially those among the retired senior population along the west coast of Florida, before officials begin burning surface oil as it begins to near the coastline.

There is another major threat looming for inland towns and cities. With hurricane season in effect, there is a potential for ocean oil to be picked up by hurricane-driven rains and dropped into fresh water lakes and rivers, far from the ocean, thus adding to the pollution of water supplies and eco-systems.

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