Excuse me, that's my naked body you're looking at

So, it finally happens: Airport security has gotten so ridiculous, and we've become such fearful little hamsters, that by the end of the year, we'll all be submitting to electronic strip searches.

I don't want to linger on the civil liberties questions raised by the Tampa International Airport's purchase of four body imaging machines. It wouldn't do much good anyway, TSA already purchased them.

But if you still believe TSA's good intentions, let me point out three things that seemed to slip by St. Petersburg Times reporters.

First, a quote by our local Transportation Security Administration spokesman John Van Dyke:

"Our goal is to be proficient with them before the Super Bowl," in Tampa in February, he said.

Mr. Van Dyke seems to imply that these will help keep Tampa and her tourists safe during the Super Bowl. But those scanners would only scan travelers leaving Tampa, not those coming in for the event.

Second, another TSA spokesman, Christopher White, tells the Times that they will protect passenger's privacy:

Images are deleted after viewing, and officers can't "save, store, print or transmit" them, said TSA spokesman Christopher White.

Then tell me — how did the Times get a photo for the front of their Metro section? This is not even going into the fact that nearly everyone has cell phone cameras these days.

Third, White claims the images are detailed, but do not show nudity:

He describes the images as robotic, like someone in a tight-fitting leotard. "You can see detail, but it's not a naked picture," White said.

So, do you mind telling me what those nipple-like dots are on the breasts of the woman pictured on the Times website?

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