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"Yes, We Do Laugh At Your Naked Body," : Former Airport Security Officer Tells All

Travelers Today       By    Ashley Sneddon

Updated: Feb 10, 2014 01:42 PM EST

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Yes, it's true what we all feared and suspected; former TSA agents Jason Harrington claims that airport security do laugh at us as we're going through the body scanner. 

Staff would make fun of images taken from the scanners, a former US security worker alleges.  He said they would point, laugh and gawk at the images as passengers went through a full 3D body scan.  

Harrington also alleges on website Politico, that passengers would be profiled by nationality and he and fellow staff agreed that many measures were ineffective and 'useless' 

"The scanners were good at detecting everything besides cleverly hidden guns and explosives.  Many of the images we laughed at were of overweight people, their every fold and dimple in godawful 3D display.  Piercings of every kind were visible, and we could point out women who'd had mastectomies, because their chests showed up as dull, pixelated regions."

"Hernias appeared as bulging, blistery growths in the crotch area and passengers who were caught off-guard by the scanner would often appear in hilarious, ridiculous poses. All the old crass stereotypes of race and genitalia were also full-in-force on our secure radio channels."

Another issue Harrington brought up was the confiscation of seemingly innocuous items from passengers.  

"I hated it from the beginning," he muses.  "It was a job that had me patting down the crotches of children, the elderly and even infants as part f some post-9-11 security show.  I confiscated jars of homemade apple sauce as a risk to national security.  Once, I even had to confiscate a celebratory bottle of champagne from a Marine coming back from Afghanistan.  He had no legs and was in a wheelchair, and it fell on me to tell this kid with no legs that I had to take his celebratory champagne in the name of national security."

He also reveals that passengers from 12 nations - Syria, Algeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Cuba, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and North Korea were automatically given extended screening, for what he describes as "the crime of having a passport from the 'wrong' nations."

Harrington is currently writing a book about his experience as a security guard and writes a blog called Taking Sense Away, where you can read more of his confessions. 

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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