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Don't Fly If You Just Had Surgery! 453

mcgrew writes "The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the TSA is now worried about surgically implanted bombs. Are they trying to get everyone to stop flying entirely? I know there's no way they'd get me in an airliner these days. I'll drive, even though it is far, far more dangerous."
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Don't Fly If You Just Had Surgery!

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  • This was from some B movie? any have a name?

    I think it was on the scifi channel I don't think the airplane part was in it but the surgically implanted bombs was.

    • So what should the TSA do here? Have a TSA surgical team prepped to slice people open and check things out, give them the grope from the inside?

    • MI5/Spooks had an episode where the woman had a bomb implanted in her, and she was supposed to blow up a bunch of dignitaries.

    • by Nexus7 ( 2919 )

      Didn't "Hurt Locker" have it (the kid the hero is soft on)?

    • What was that Schneier was saying about "movie plot threats" again?

      We've had security theater since 2002, now it seems like they're trying to base their approach to security on his "Shit you never, ever do" list.

    • by hypergreatthing ( 254983 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @01:30PM (#36673066)

      The outer limits had an episode where aliens abducted a human couple (wife and husband) while they were camping, made them into complete replicants with the same memories and all, except when they got near a trigger person (the president or whomever) their hearts would turn into a nuke and blow up. The antagonist was a security officer who's solution was to capture these replicants before they detonated and extract their beating hearts. He even mentions in the episode something to the fact that the last five humans (who were afterwards found out to be non replicants) died for a just cause.

      Fast forward to the end, the husband escapes to the park they were camping in to find the alien ship to prove his innocence. They suspect his wife is the replicant and shoot her before she can explode. They find the original body of her in the alien ship, and then in a twist they also find the dude's body. When learning that he is a replicant he self destructs and explodes killing the security office.

      I can't wait until we get heart extractors in airports.... you know, to find the terrorists.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sjames ( 1099 )

        If they can continue to grope a pre-schooler who is clearly terrified and screaming "NO DON'T TOUCH ME!", they clearly already have a working heart extractor somewhere.

    • Isaac Asimov's short story, "Let's Get Together". Wikipedia says 1957. Androids were substituted for scientists who had attended conferences overseas; plan = when they all attended a major conference which would be addressed by the President, they would get together . . . reaching critical mass.
    • The Dr. Who Spinoff torchwood did that kind of. Torchwood's base was destroyed by a extremely powerful bomb placed inside of Jack Harkness.
  • by chemicaldave ( 1776600 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @12:56PM (#36672680)
    The next logical measure is to conceal contraband internally, be it through surgery, or more probable, up the butt. I can't wait for someone to be detained with explosives in their bum so we can get our mandatory anal probes.
  • Well the security goons already have the gloves - Just give 'em a box of scalpels and a bottle of iodine and let 'em do their inspections! Make sure you allow a few extra hours in your travel plans and don't eat or drink anything for at least twelve hours before arriving at the airport.


    • Don't forget to make the claim that it's not actual surgery, so no MD license is required. Nor really any training.

    • And if you call ahead they can perform any needed exploratory surgery while processing you for security. Verify if that lump is cancerous, explosive or benign.
  • by tmosley ( 996283 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @12:57PM (#36672704)
    This was the logical end of this stupidity. Face it folks, you can't be 100% safe, no matter how many liberties you give up.
    • by mr1911 ( 1942298 )

      Face it folks, you can't be 100% safe, no matter how many liberties you give up.

      Mod parent up.

      Of all the days to be without mod points.

    • by Cinder6 ( 894572 )

      No, the logical end is to give everyone who flies a sedative.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        remote detonation/timer

        • by pesho ( 843750 )
          Not if you sedate the passengers for about a month and transport them at a random time point while they are sedated.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by houghi ( 78078 )

            So that is what they are doing: Testing it on luggage.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sstamps ( 39313 )

      It was precisely what the terrorists wanted in the first place.. to make us so fearful that we started to treat people even worse, on average, than most third-world dictatorial/theocratic regimes do. They hated us for our way of life (rightly or wrongly.. doesn't matter at this point), and they succeeded in making it worse by proving that our high-and-mighty principles of liberty and privacy weren't as high-and-mighty as we kept saying they were to the rest of the world.

      The only thing the TSA (and our gover

    • by rlwhite ( 219604 )

      The end? Nah, next is bombs triggered by brainwaves. Let us control your mind, or don't fly! If you're not guilty, why should you mind?

    • You think this is the end? This will keep going because people will keep flying and travelling. In all of this time, I don't think there has been a serious decrease in air travel... at least not one easily attributable to the security measures anyway. It won't end until something bad happens to legislators personally to make them reconsider what has been going on. And this is rather like the healthcare system problems -- they never feel the effects of the healthcare system so they simply have no interes

    • This was the logical end of this stupidity. Face it folks, you can't be 100% safe, no matter how many liberties you give up.

      I disagree. Just think of the potential advances. A full body CT scan and a colonoscopy for each passenger/patient. The potential for improving colon cancer detection alone is just mind boggling.

      Really guys, this could go a long way to dealing with the problems of cancer screening. Add a mammogram, a Chest CT (for lung cancer), a bit better backscatter machine that can find melanomas, a prostate exam and you're golden. I guess the pap smear could be an issue (TSA would have to be able to differentiat

  • ...a bomb in the 80s that was left aboard by a woman who snuck it"internally"?

    • by PPH ( 736903 )
      ... a bomb in a box?
      • by rekoil ( 168689 )

        It was TWA 840 []. Not finding any references to the bomb being carried in a body cavity, but I remember hearing it in news reports at the time.

    • by Verdatum ( 1257828 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @01:02PM (#36672758)
      I remember in the 80s, Sonny Bono himself managed to get a bomb onto a SPACE SHUTTLE without really needing to hide it anywhere! In fact, he bought it in the airport gift shop!
      • Wow! A senator (or was he congressman?) managed to get a bomb onto the space shuttle? Who can you trust these days?

        Thanks for the Airplane 2 reference.

      • by imric ( 6240 )

        I saw that documentary too!

    • Don't know about that, but last year there was an assassination attempt on a Saudi Prince that used an internally carried bomb. It obviously killed the bomber, and made quite the mess, but the Prince was not harmed. So this has been tried at least once unsuccessfully. Not on an airplane, where the over-pressurization is an issue, but it has been done and recently.

      I just wonder why the genius's at the TSA has taken more than a year to consider this a "Threat".
  • Especially those trans-continental trips!

  • People chemically altered slightly to become human bombs. No, wait, that was a B-movie also.

  • "CNN is reporting, via Chicago Tribune" is the correct way to attribute the link in the story.

    Here is the Chicago Tribune version:,0,1632570.story []

    From the basement of Trib Tower...

  • by TheCarp ( 96830 ) <sjc@carpanet.PERIODnet minus punct> on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @01:04PM (#36672784) Homepage

    I mean, your chance of death from crash is lower sure, but thats a pretty narrow definition of "danger".

    What about the "Danger" of being detained and missing your flight? The "Danger" of irradiation from newfangled machines that the TSA lied to the public about wrt safety and safety testing? How about the danger of having property taken from you? Forgot that little credit card tool with the knife in your wallet? fuck you, gone.

    The danger that you will run afoul of some new secret rule?

    I suspect the danger of being a victim of the TSA tips the scales in favor of driving.

    • by artor3 ( 1344997 )

      I think I'll go ahead and weigh the risk of death as a tad more important than the risk of a confiscated water bottle. The only people who are really put in danger by the TSA are those poor saps who work next to the x-ray machines all day.

  • by c.r.o.c.o ( 123083 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @01:05PM (#36672794)

    The TSA operation manual is actually Nineteen Eighty-Four.

    Whoever mods me Funny, please don't. It's not a joke.

  • I've got a metal box in my chest for a nerve stimulator, TSA is going to have fun with me when I fly next week.

  • Anyone's who's seen "DeathRace 2000", would know how this works.
    • >>Anyone's who's seen "DeathRace 2000", would know how this works.

      I prefer the cranium bombs from Diamond Age and Shadowrun.

      Waay more classy than "butt bombs". You'll never go triple platinum with a name like that.

  • If this is the level of security paranoia they're pushing for, all passengers will be required to travel while naked, bound, and with a bag over their head.

    I realize for some people, that's the sign of a really hopping Saturday night ... but for the rest of us, it means that security has reached a level where commercial air travel involving the US is impossible.

    Quite frankly, I can't see the rest of the world being willing to accept any more "enhanced tools" ... as it is, I have no intention of getting into

  • by jasno ( 124830 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @01:11PM (#36672876) Journal

    They've been ignoring the threat of butt-bombs for years now, even though a terrorist actually used that technique in 2009: []

    They also continue to ignore the fact that a liquid ban is ineffective when several travelers could combine their 3oz containers past the security checkpoint.

    We reinforced the cabin doors, and that's all we ever needed to do to prevent another 9/11. The fact that we've allowed our government to waste billions while molesting innocent citizens is just sickening.

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      Terrorists have been using it long before then. The palestinians were doing it back in early 2000's, and muslims in pakistan and the philippines have been doing it since mid 2000's. That doesn't even touch on the terrorists strapping remote explosives, or using using the mentally handicapped as walking bombs either. They've been doing the first more recently, 2 cases of schoolgirls. One in India, and another in Afghanistan. And the latter for nearly a decade as well.

    • by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @01:54PM (#36673286)

      We reinforced the cabin doors, and that's all we ever needed to do to prevent another 9/11

      But such a simple solution won't make companies any money. And you know it's all about making companies money these days. Especially when the top administrators can get a kickback in the form of a high-paying lobbying job once they quit the TSA.

  • Ma'am (Score:2, Funny)

    by PPH ( 736903 )

    "We're going to have to inspect those breasts. To make sure they're real, of course. I'm going to have several of my colleagues provide their opinions as well."

    "Hey guys! Cop a feel on aisle 4!"

  • So what are they going to do with all these microwave and X-Ray-scatter body scanners that were installed all around the place? Anything that is surgically implanted will not be visible to them, because they have very little penetration. Are going to get 'upgrades' for another couple of billion $$?
    • I wholeheartedly agree with you. TSA is a very expensive security theater troupe creating a ridiculous Maginot line [] around our airports.

      Not only will these expensive body scanners not be effective against internally-hidden explosives, even if the TSA cat-scanned passengers, the screeners would need a medical degree to recognize the difference between explosives and artificial joints, plates, etc.

      The explosives hidden in the printer cartridges were x-rayed and eluded detection. Consider this from Wikip []
    • by NetNed ( 955141 )
      Silly rabbit, those were not about safety. Those were about money and companies that got the contract to install them being linked to prominent political figures that stood to make a financial gain by their installation.

      Wait for some other device that can detect bombs in a cavity in the body next that just happens to have a present or ex politician as CEO or some other top level position with the company.
  • And publicly-funded colonoscopy exams by the TSA. Rawr, the terrorists must be really scared now!
  • We're going to need to give you a cavity search.

    *straps passenger to table, puts on gloves, grabs scalpel*

    A deep cavity search.

  • Que Sam Jackson shouting "I am sick of these muthaf'ing bombs on this mothaf'ing plane!"

    Alternate joke: After just having watched some anime, the TSA is worried about Psyonic attacks on planes, so they will be detaining and searching cute, underage girls with long wavy hair and large eyes.

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @01:31PM (#36673076)

    There are some surgeries that leave objects they cannot reliably distinguish from bombs without removal. Now that the TSA seems to slowly begin to understand what it takes for the to actually provide security, they may discover that they cannot.

  • I used to work in the airline business in Minneapolis. Rochester, MN, home to the Mayo Clinic, is just a small commuter flight away. A lot of people would fly there for hospitalization from around the country and around the world. We regularly had trouble with people on their way home from Mayo who would get to Minneapolis then require an ambulance upon arrival because of problems with blood clots, lung function and other issues resulting from flying in a small seat on an airplane in a lower-pressure atmosp

    • then require an ambulance upon arrival because of problems with blood clots, lung function and other issues resulting from flying in a small seat on an airplane in a lower-pressure atmosphere.

      INAMD, but I think the primary risk is with being immobile during the flight and not so much the lower pressure. A friend of mine died from a clot that formed as a result of a leg injury followed by a long flight.

      This site says [] you're at risk for 4-6 weeks after surgery.

  • ... that you can't introduce foreign objects into the human body without leaving obvious surgical wounds.
  • Put every single passenger into their own kevlar-sack, then stack them in those bomb proof freight containers.
    It's the only way to be sure.

  • This seems to be a pretty blatant attempt by a very unpopular organization to scare people into accepting restrictions on personal freedoms.

  • The TSA is going to eventually get to the point where they determine that passengers are too dangerous to let on planes, but people have to fly, so the only solution (without having everyone fly naked) is to drug all passengers.

    Airlines will love this idea, no more water, peanuts, or stewardesses needed. They will save a fortune, and the drugs to put everyone to sleep will be funded by your tax dollars. Profit!

    And of course, the drug will be manufactured in the home state of whatever Senator proposes this i

  • if you are too scared to leave your house then stay home. People don't need naked scanners or to be groped at the airport.
  • by deadhammer ( 576762 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @02:10PM (#36673442)
    Fucking... really?

    Measures may include interaction with passengers, in addition to the use of other screening methods such as pat-downs and the use of enhanced tools and technologies, he said.

    We're talking about implanted bombs. Pat-downs won't help.

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @02:10PM (#36673454)

    So, anyone with half a brain has realized by now that there are ways to get around these backscatter devices, whether it's with surgically implanted devices, sticking devices up an orifice, or simply being in the other line at the checkpoint. If we go down the rabbit hole a bit, the TSA will doubtless try to push things further over time in order to "protect" our security against additional threats (let's pretend that there isn't popular outrage for a moment), meaning that they'll start rolling out ideas like having passengers disrobe, doing body cavity searches, or bringing in full-power x-ray devices so that internals can be seen. Let's think about this a bit.

    1) The TSA has demonstrated that, left to itself and its own ways, it will attempt to enact policies that are as draconian as possible.
    2) Surgically implanted devices cannot reliably be detected except with full-power x-rays of a passenger's internals.
    3) Full-power x-rays will never be permitted for use on everyone, due to radiation exposure concerns.
    4) As a result, the TSA can never hope to detect all devices, and is thus incapable of defending against all attacks.

    Any intelligent person should then be able to see that none of the flights are safe because the TSA cannot stop a dedicated terrorist from accomplishing his or her task once they are in the airport already. Therefore, the question shouldn't be, "how do we stop them from getting in once they're at the gate?" Instead, it should be, "what's the most effective way to identify them before they get anywhere close to the gate?" We all have heard the ironic fact that the TSA has never actually stopped a single terrorist, but rumors seem to indicate that the various three-letter government groups have managed to stop several plots in the last few years. Why not double-down on something that works and is flexible enough to adapt to new threats, and ditch the useless security theater that can only react to threats we've already seen?

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.