Not widely reported in print/broadcast media, despite sources readily available, is revealing background information of interest to readers/viewers in connection with the mounting squabble over use of airport pat-downs and the growing number of full-body scanning machines, notes Grumpy Editor.
John J. Duncan, Jr. (R., Tenn.), former chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, blasted the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) during a speech on the floor of the House.
He cited invasive pat-downs in pre-boarding procedures at airports and the role lucrative government contracts played in the scanning equipment.
Meanwhile, OSI Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIS), which manufactures airport scanners, made no secret that Deepak Chopra, its chairman and CEO, “was selected to accompany U.S. President Barack Obama to Mumbai.”
Eyebrows were raised earlier this month over the extra-large presidential entourage that headed for India, first stop on Obama’s 10-day, four-nation Asia tour.
Congressman Duncan, in his House speech last Wednesday, mentioned fliers were being subjected to “frequent doses of radiation” from scanners and “we are going to spend up to $300 million to install 1,000 scanners.”
Bringing another cozy relationship to light, Duncan revealed “former Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, represents Rapiscan, the company which is selling these scanners to his former department.”
(Rapiscan Systems is a division of OSI Systems.)
“The American people should not have to choose between having full-body radiation or a very embarrassing, intrusive pat-down every time they fly, as if they were criminals,” pointed out Duncan. “We need a little more balance and common sense on this.”
The information on Hawthorne, Calif.-based OSI Systems’ chairman and CEO accompanying Obama came from the company’s own news release fed to Business Wire on Nov. 12.