October 4 2012
Power Grabs and Passenger Gropes Not Enough: A Looming TSA Shock for Travelers?
Vicki E. Alger
Apparently joining in on the kinds of intimate pat-downs that should be the sole purview of spouses and medical professionals isn’t enough for the TSA. In addition to full-body scanners, could shock bracelets be the next weapon in the TSA’s arsenal—as if the TSA’s ongoing power grabs (not to mention passenger gropes) weren’t enough? As Paul Joseph Watson wrote in a recent Infowars.com article:
The TSA’s security policies are getting more and more bizarre, from testing people’s drinks for explosives to ordering all travelers to freeze on command, but could a frightening policy that was seriously explored by the DHS be resurrected – forcing people to wear shock bracelets that would deliver an electric shock if they got out of line?
The story sounds like it belongs in a South Park episode or on an urban myths website – but it was actually true.
In 2008, the Washington Times reported on how DHS official Paul S. Ruwaldt of the Science and Technology Directorate, office of Research and Development, wrote to Lamperd Less Lethal, Inc. indicating that the Department of Homeland Security was ready to purchase devices from the company that would be used to deliver incapacitating shock s to airline passengers, all of whom would be mandated to wear the shock bracelet once they checked in for their flight.
The so-called “safety bracelet,” also known as the Electronic ID Bracelet, was designed to replace a boarding pass and be capable of tracking the passenger through the airport by means of GPS technology. The device would also contain details about the passenger and their flight plans. …
Following a wave of negative publicity, the DHS pulled the plug on its interest in the torture bracelet, and Lamperd Less Lethal, Inc. set about removing the letters from Ruwaldt it had previously proudly displayed on its website. …
The fact that the torture bracelet was ever seriously considered at all should send chills down the spine of every American who values their dignity, especially given the endless train of TSA abuse stories that pour in on a weekly basis.
While no concrete plans are in place to implement the shock…I mean safety…bracelet. Watson notes that TSA agents are already conditioning people to stop on command and submit to random drinks testing while in the terminal—that is, after they’ve already gone through any number of security indignities. As Watson conludes:
Imagine a TSA goon not only having the power to squeeze your junk if you so much as look at them the wrong way, but also having the capability to deliver an electric shock to anyone who speaks out of turn. It’s a nightmare scenario…
Remember back when the scariest thing about airline travel was the in-flight meal?