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ABC/WaPo Poll: Americans Support Body Scanners 64% to 32%

Not so bad after all?

6:41 PM, Nov 22, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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First Read reports: "An ABC/Washington Post poll shows by a 64%-32% margin, Americans favor airport body scanners, but by a 50%-48% margin they say the pat-downs go too far."

Of course, in general, a passenger only gets a pat-down if he objects to going through the body scanner.

The objections to the body scanners are two-fold: (1) they subject passengers to additional radiation, and (2) they produce revealing images of a passenger's body.

But TSA notes that multiple organizations have found that "millimeter wave technology emits thousands of times less energy than a cell phone transmission," and "one backscatter technology scan produces the same exposure as two minutes of flying on an airplane."

As for the (legitimate) objections to having TSA agents look at essentially nude images of passengers, the body scanners the Dutch use could solve this problem: 

If the software identifies a passenger carrying explosives, an outline of the problem body area is displayed on a generic mannequin figure instead of on the actual image of the passenger's body. The mannequin image, which appears on the operator's control panel, "can then be used by security personnel to direct a focused discussion or search," the company website reads.

If the TSA switches to these body scanners, would that allay the concerns of the 32% of Americans who oppose the body scanners currently in use? Or would most of them remain opposed? 

(Hat tip: Allahpundit)

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