Just Say No to TSA Full-Body Scanning

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The TSA now wants to see you naked. There's a way out of this -- demand a pat-down. It's less creepy, and less invasive. Far less invasive, in fact, because TSA officers have no idea how to conduct actual pat-downs. The frisking they do now is entirely symbolic. As I've pointed out in the past, frisking is only useful if it's invasive, which is to say, clever terrorists -- and we know that the TSA, at least under the rule of Kip Hawley, wasn't actually hunting for clever terrorists -- hide weapons in their anuses (just as prisoners do), and behind the scrotum. Small items, such as razor blades, can be hidden in the mouth, or between toes. Female terrorists have even more options. I'm not, by the way, encouraging terrorists to hide knives in their nether regions. I'm just pointing out that, as ever, TSA has left a giant loophole open for anyone clever enough to find it. 

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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