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TSA to Conduct First Real World Test of Cutting-Edge Backscatter Technology

TSA to Conduct First Real World Test of Cutting-Edge Backscatter Technology

Old Oct 20, 04, 2:04 pm
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TSA to Conduct First Real World Test of Cutting-Edge Backscatter Technology

US Newswire Article

"The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will begin testing advanced explosives detection technology today as part of the agency's Secure Automobile Inspection Lanes (SAIL) pilot project. For the next 30 days, passenger vehicles boarding the Cape May-Lewes Ferry will be screened for explosives with Z- Backscatter technology. This prototype ferry security project is one in a series of TSA programs designed to test emerging technologies on various modes of transportation for possible use in future screening projects."

Wow! Screening cars on a ferry. Why not just take a big pile of money and set fire to it?
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Old Oct 20, 04, 2:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Spiff

Wow! Screening cars on a ferry. Why not just take a big pile of money and set fire to it?
This way the money goes up in smoke, but at least it's in the form of fine cigars that your campaign contributors bought with the proceeds of the return on their investment.


(This is not a partisan attack. Applies equally to politicians of all stripes.)
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Old Oct 20, 04, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Spiff
Wow! Screening cars on a ferry. Why not just take a big pile of money and set fire to it?
Considering the size of that pile, EPA would have severe objections
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Old Oct 20, 04, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by L-1011
Considering the size of that pile, EPA would have severe objections
Or it could just lie, like after 9/11.

"Oh yeah, sure, the air is great, as evidenced by the fact that our rescue workers are practically wearing scuba breathing gear.

What? Your nose, throat and lungs are burning? Well, that's perfectly healthy and normal. Doesn't that always happen when you breathe?"
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Old Oct 20, 04, 8:04 pm
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Spiff -- I can't link to the article for some reason. Nevertheless, the because of the introduction of these machines, the cops agreed to stop random searches of vehicles on the ferries.

Welcome to the United States of North Korea.
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Old Oct 20, 04, 8:13 pm
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Originally Posted by FliesWay2Much
Spiff -- I can't link to the article for some reason. Nevertheless, the because of the introduction of these machines, the cops agreed to stop random searches of vehicles on the ferries.

Welcome to the United States of North Korea.
Armaggedon is a comin' from cars on the ferry. Or women with underwire bras. Or photographers taking pictures of ferries. Or ferries or fairies themselves. I'm so confused.
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Old Oct 20, 04, 8:15 pm
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Sorry, the article is gone.

Maybe it was censored by The Man so that those wily terrorists' ferry bomb plans are thwarted.
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Old Oct 20, 04, 8:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Spiff
Sorry, the article is gone.

Maybe it was censored by The Man so that those wily terrorists' ferry bomb plans are thwarted.
What about the faerie bombs? Have those been thwarted? I'm so afraid and confused.
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Old Oct 21, 04, 1:43 am
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Originally Posted by Spiff
Sorry, the article is gone.
Seems to work fine from here as of UT 0740.
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Old Oct 21, 04, 5:25 am
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What would happen if a Ryder truck with a fertilizer bomb exploded on a ferry? Here in BC we have ferries with 2100 pax/crew and 470 vehicle capacity.
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Old Oct 21, 04, 5:32 am
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Originally Posted by CATSA Screener
What would happen if a Ryder truck with a fertilizer bomb exploded on a ferry? Here in BC we have ferries with 2100 pax/crew and 470 vehicle capacity.
What would happen if one exploded at a football game? Or at the mall? Or on a bridge? There are some things that either 1)cannot be prevented or 2)are so improbable that there's no point in worrying about them happening!
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Old Oct 21, 04, 5:48 am
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Originally Posted by Spiff
What would happen if one exploded at a football game? Or at the mall? Or on a bridge? There are some things that either 1)cannot be prevented or 2)are so improbable that there's no point in worrying about them happening!
2100 people would die as the ferry broke apart and sank instantly. I don't think a large container bomb could create that kind of carnage in these other examples you have listed.
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Old Oct 21, 04, 6:10 am
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Originally Posted by CATSA Screener
2100 people would die as the ferry broke apart and sank instantly. I don't think a large container bomb could create that kind of carnage in these other examples you have listed.
That many people and more could be killed in a public place just as easily.

And if it's one car's worth of explosive, that ferry isn't going to sink or it doesn't hold 2100 people.
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Old Oct 21, 04, 6:23 am
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Originally Posted by Spiff
What would happen if one exploded at a football game? Or at the mall? Or on a bridge? There are some things that either 1)cannot be prevented or 2)are so improbable that there's no point in worrying about them happening!
Spiff, you seem to be going down the route of acceptable losses here. At what point does the number of preventable deaths/injuries become acceptable against the perceived downsides of carrying out controls? That's next door to sticking your fingers in your ears and hoping it doesn't go bang.

A lorry bomb on a ferry is avoidable through the deployment of TSA checks. It's a possible threat, it's stoppable, why not stop it?
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Old Oct 21, 04, 6:23 am
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Originally Posted by Spiff
That many people and more could be killed in a public place just as easily.

And if it's one car's worth of explosive, that ferry isn't going to sink or it doesn't hold 2100 people.
I was talking about a large cube-van or semi-truck loaded with explosives.

http://www.bcferries.com/about/fleet...er_island.html

The whole lower vehicle deck of one of these is dedicated to over-height vehicles such as semi-trucks and busses.

I'm not an engineer but I think it's reasonable to believe that a large truck bomb would pretty much instantly sink one of these. I don't believe such a truck bomb would be able to create as much carnage in any other land-based scenario (a few hundred perhaps). Can you think of a likely scenario?

Last edited by CATSA Screener; Oct 21, 04 at 6:33 am
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