November 7, 2010

Hon. Janet Napolitano
Secretary, Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528

Hon. Ray LaHood
Secretary, Department of Transportation
US Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590

Administrator John Pistole
US Transportation Security Administration
TSA-1 Administrator
601 South 12th Street
Arlington, VA 20598

Dear Secretaries Napolitano, La Hood, and Administrator Pistole:

We are writing to urgently request a meeting (if possible on November 15th or 18th) with you on the use and roll out of whole body scanners and enhanced pat downs by the TSA. These new procedures are extreme. They involve invasions of the personal privacy with hands being placed on genital areas and private body parts and/or electronic strip searches of airline passengers. They should require an extreme justification.

This new procedure has been received with shock and horror by many airline passengers and will no doubt involve much litigation and national negative publicity as it becomes a standard procedure employed against millions of airline passengers. See attachments.

At the very least, there should be a robust debate by aviation security experts and a full presentation to an expanded Aviation Security Advisory Committee with opportunity for critics to be heard before these new procedures are implemented.

In virtually every case of attempted bombing or hijacking of airliners by a passenger since 9/11, it has been airline passengers with flight attendants who foiled the terrorists, not TSA. Without public support and understanding, terrorists can have a victory merely by generating fear and opposition by the public to TSA procedures, especially if –as some security experts maintain– the current back scatter scanners are ineffective, unnecessary and their adoption owes more to the political connections of a former Secretary of Homeland Security with financial interests in this technology, than to actual need and merit.

/s/ Kate Hanni
Executive Director

/s/ Paul Hudson
Executive Director
Aviation Consumer Action Project
Former Member, Aviation Security Advisory Committee (1997-2007)
Member, FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, Executive Committee

/s/ Ralph Nader
Consumer Advocate

Cc TSA Chief Counsel
US Transportation Security Administration
TSA-2 Administrator
601 South 12th Street
Arlington, VA 20598

Contact Information:
1-877-359-3776 Hotline
1-707-337-0328 cellular

Aviation Consumer Action Project
240-391-1923 fax

Ralph Nader
Consumer Advocate,
P.O. Box 19312 ,
Washington DC 20036
202-234-5176 fax