The TSA and the full-body-scanner lobby

President Dwight Eisenhower tried to warn us about the growth of a “military-industrial complex,” but these days we also have to worry about a Homeland Security-industrial complex. September 11th, the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security may slow us down when it comes to boarding planes, but it has accelerated passage through the government-lobbying revolving door it appears.

Let's look at those expensive, hi-tech body screeners our congressmen are now thinking about buying.

One manufacturer, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, is American Science & Engineering, Inc. AS&E has retained the K Street firm Wexler & Walker to lobby for “federal deployment of security technology by DHS and DOD.” Individual lobbyists on this account include former TSA deputy administration Tom Blank, who also worked under House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Chad Wolf — former assistant administrator for policy at TSA, and a former aide to Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Tex., a top Senate appropriator and the ranking Republican on the transportation committee — is also lobbying on AS&E's behalf.

Smiths Detection, another screening manufacturer, employs top transportation lobbying firm Van Scoyoc Associates, including Kevin Patrick Kelly, a former top staffer to Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., who sits on the Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee. Smiths also retains former congresswoman Helen Delich Bentley, R-Md.

Former Sen. Al D'Amato, R-N.Y., represents L3 Systems, about which Bloomberg wrote today:

L-3 has “developed a more sophisticated system that could prevent smuggling of almost anything on the body,” said Howard Rubel, an analyst at Jefferies & Co., who has a “hold” rating on the stock.

“Speed and privacy issues have slowed its introduction.” Jennifer Barton, a spokeswoman for New York-based L-3, didn’t respond to a phone call seeking comment. L-3 rose $1.17, or 1.4 percent, to $86.80 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading yesterday. That was the highest closing price since October 2008.

Beltway ConfidentialUS

Just Posted

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler, pictured in July at Oracle Park, says team members simultaneously can be “measured and calm” and “looking to push the accelerator.” (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
How Gabe Kapler sets the tone for Giants’ success with strategy, mindset

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the hands-down manager of the year’

Artist Agnieszka Pilat, pictured with Spot the Robot Dog from Boston Robotics, has a gallery show opening at Modernism. (Courtesy Agnieszka Pilat)
Screenshots of VCs, Kanye and tech parties by the Bay

In this week’s roundup, Ben Horowitz’s surprising hip-hop knowledge and the chic tech crowd at Shack15

Speaker of the Parliament of Mongolia Gombojav Zandanshatar said his country and San Francisco face similar challenges on issues including COVID recovery and climate change.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Mongolian leaders meet with tech, film leaders on city tour

‘I really want San Franciscans to meet the new Mongolian generation’

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Firefighters extinguish burning material near Lake Tahoe on Sept. 3 in the wake of the Caldor Fire; environmental scientists say the huge fire is bringing to light deficiencies in forest management. <ins>(Max Whittaker/New York Times)</ins>
Cal Fire, timber industry must face an inconvenient truth

We are logging further into the wildfire and climate crisis

Most Read