USA: priviledged classes at airport security?

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff went to Baltimore-Washington International Airport two weeks ago to inaugurate a program called Checkpoint Evolution. It introduces 600 “whole-body imagers” that replicate, in schematic 3-D, everything a passenger is hiding under his or her clothing — not only hypothetical daggers, pistols, knuckle dusters and cocaine but also actual moles, scars, sores, nipples and genitalia. And all of it so vividly that the A.C.L.U. calls the imagers “virtual strip-search” machines. But Checkpoint Evolution is about comfort as well as security. Pleasant music, better lighting and open spaces are supposed to change the airport-security experience “in a way that lowers the general stress level,” Chertoff said. He failed, however, to mention a thing about checkpoints that drives stress levels to insurrectionary heights: the segregated security lines that certain airports and airlines permit. Many first- and business-class passengers, as well as frequent fliers, zip right to the metal detectors while coach passengers snake through lines for waits than can exceed half an hour. If Americans will put up with that, they’ll put up with being seen naked.Source: New York Times; full article by Christopher Caldwell here>>.

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