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Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to walk through body scanner at LAX

Hoping to head off a passenger insurrection during the busiest air travel week of the year, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will pass through a body-scan machine at LAX on Monday in order to demonstrate its ease and safety, officials said.

Villaraigosa will undergo the screening at Terminal 6 around noon, said Nancy Castles, an airport spokeswoman.

"He wants to show his support for TSA's efforts to secure the traveling public, visitors and employees here at LAX,'' Castles said. "He wants to reassure that these measures are here to protect the public."

Public outcry over the body-scan machines and enhanced pat-down procedures have officials nervous that a rebellion will culminate on Wednesday, typically the busiest flying day of the year.

For the 10-day period beginning last Friday and ending the Sunday after Thanksgiving, an estimated 1.53 million passengers will fly out of LAX, Castles said.

A loosely organized Internet group is urging consumers to "opt-out" of the body scan, which shows a naked image, in favor of the pat-down screening. Doing so would significantly slow security lines and could force some passengers to miss flights, airport officials said.

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-- Catherine Saillant

 
Comments () | Archives (20)

This is just an uncomfortable inconvience, what if a terrorist gets on board a plane and blows up our families and loved ones. What will the loosley internet group say to the surviving family members then? This particular group should be investigated. It seems like they are causing alot of panic for what. It's an uncomfortable inconvience that we need to stay alive and keep our loved ones safe.

Lupe

What a loser. He put ads all over LAX and now he and apparently the LA Times just want to show that you too should get radiated or groped, ridiculous!

People stand up to unwarranted strip searches and radiations... How often are these machines calibrated? How do we know they won't put out more than they are supposed to? It happens in radiation therapy causing lots of deaths (see NYT article for this fact).

Don't believe the hype write your Senator, congressman, and President about this!

Please he will get preferential treatment unlike any other passenger!

Total Grandstanding here

I wonder if the scanner will show all his hidden street gang tatoos?

Shame on the Mayor. As if his treatment will be anywhere near as invasive or demaening as the many reports that are coming out. Tomorrow he will be back on his private jet--what a phoney.

I would rather take my chance with our enemies, than be treated like one by my own government.

Here are a few possible outcomes from this publicity stunt:

1) Villaraigosa only walks thru the scanner and doesn't get felt up at all, and merely risks skin- or testicular cancer.

2) Villaraigosa gets weak patdown for photo-opportunity purposes, says "I don't understand what the big deal is."

3) Villaraigosa gets the "practically-a-body-cavity-search" like the rest of us, and says, "Wow, I had no idea! This is really intrusive and unconstitutional. Something needs to be done!"

Nobody's going to let #3 happen.

So, is he going to release his scanned image to the public, too?

I would like to see Obama, AG Elder, First lady, the VP, TSA top guy, congressmen, senators,etc... all go thru these scanners and patdowns everyday if they think this is a perfectly OK procedure and they stand behind it 100%.

Considering the mayor's extramarital behavior, half of the female population of L.A. has already seen him naked anyhow... The scanner won't reveal anything new.

Who really care what he does?

Great. It's not inconvenient enough for passengers now, with the molestation and dangerous scans, now they have to wait while this idiotic media hound sweeps ahead of everyone with his aides, bodyguards and camera crew, just to prove what? And who the hell wants to see his nude body image, like it won't be doctored! Please, we do not need more moronic Villaraigosa photo ops.

Wow. Is this condescending publicity stunt to show all of us *stupid* sheep who don't know how that machine works? This is insulting to the people of Los Angeles. The people who are revolting against these machines know very well how they work and what they do. We just don't believe the liars.

I would prefer that the mayor follow in Jesse Ventura's footsteps and set an example by deciding not to fly commercial aircraft. He is giving the TSA exactly what they want. A role model for the sheeple.

Did he:

Take off jacket?
Take off belt?
Take off shoes?
Take off watch?
Empty pockets?
Get patted down after?

If the answer to any of the above was 'no', then he didn't really 'get scanned'.

not even a "legal" TSA scan -- he's still wearing his jacket and shoes. if he wants to impress anyone, he should go through outside a publicity stunt -- just like everyone else. if he really wants the full experience, tell him to buy a cup of coffee first, and leave the receipt in his pocket.

Too bad he didn't actually get on a plane with a one-way ticket :(

The terrorists don't get on planes IN the U.S. They get on in a different country that has lax screening. Duh. They're laughing at us now at how pathetic TSA is.

this scanning is either 100% everybody get's it or nobody get's it The people who want it, do NOT have to do it. That's bull, no more it's OK you can do it, cause I don't have to. I am not going for all these rules that the higher up's don't have to follow.

It's time that they follow the rules also that they put in affect...

Just another PR moment for the Pint Size Mayor, and he is too smart to realize we know him too well.

I don't understand. When Bush was president, all the libs were howling against any government action to monitor us. Now, the libs are happy, but the conservatives are howling about their privates being groped. Security is not convenient. If you want to fly with others, their safety overrides your privacy. Otherwise, get your own plane.
Of course, our government won't admit we are at war, and won't take the needed action (fight like your Nation depends on it and slaughter your enemies), so we get stuck in this limbo and are enduring the Muslim's "death by a thousand cuts" treatment. Lets get on with it. Either that, or seal our borders, don't trade with anyone, and be isolationist.


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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