Lobbying for body-scanning machines doubled over past 5 years -not that Chris Matthews has a clue (video)

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Incidentally, I wonder tonight if MSNBC's Hardball host Chris Matthews will apologize to one his guests from last night, Ginger McCall,  Staff Counsel and Assistant Director of the Open Government Project for the Electronic Privacy Information Center.  When McCall mentioned Chertoff and his association with Rapiscan, Matthews almost went ballistic, disbelieving that the honorable Mr. Chertoff could be so slighted, which make we wonder: doesn't the guy read the newspaper? I know he does, which is why it was so odd that he acted like he had never heard about Chertoff and his flacking for a company and not disclosing his financial interests in it.


You can see the entire exchange on Hardball here:


As the mainstream media continues to dominate their news coverage with footage and anecdotal stories of some aggressive pat-downs by TSA agents at American airports, USA Today reports that the companies with multi million-dollars contract to supply those airports with body-scanning machines more than doubled their spending on lobbying in the past five years, and hired several high-profile former government officials to advance their causes.

You might recall that in the days and weeks after the "underwear bomber" , Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab nearly blew up a plane in Detroit last Christmas, former homeland security chief Michael Chertoff was all over cable and broadcast news hyping the full body screening machines as way to detect hidden explosive devices.

Only later was it discovered that Chertoff was working for Rapiscan Systems, the company that produces those machines.

As USA Today reports, last year Utah Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz proposed legislation that would limit the use of scanners at airports as a backup measure only.:

The attempted bombing contributed to the bill's demise, Chaffetz said, "But I also routinely heard that 'Secretary Chertoff believes this is the right thing to do. Who are you to challenge him?'

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