Be sure and read Tim Carney’s Examiner column today on the politically-connected lobby for the controversial new TSA scanners that are upsetting airline employees and travelers everywhere. Carney notes that a company called Rapiscan got a $165 million contract for the new body image scanners four days after the underwear-bomber incident this past Christmas. Not surprisingly, Rapiscan is politically connected, observes Carney:
Rapiscan got the other naked-scanner contract from the TSA, worth $173 million. Rapiscan’s lobbyists include Susan Carr, a former senior legislative aide to Rep. David Price, D-N.C., chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee. When Defense Daily reported on Price’s appropriations bill last winter, the publication noted “Price likes the budget for its emphasis on filling gaps in aviation security, in particular the whole body imaging systems.”
Then this morning Carney also noted that former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff was flacking for Rapiscan.
As for the company’s other political connections, it also appears that none other than George Soros, the billionaire funder of the country’s liberal political infrastructure, owns 11,300 shares of OSI Systems Inc., the company that owns Rapiscan. Not surprisingly, OSI’s stock has appreciated considerably over the course of the year. Soros certainly is a savvy investor.
Likewise, Former former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff also made out on the new scanners.
The Boston Globe reported on this back in January:
Former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff has given dozens of media interviews touting the need for the federal government to buy more full-body scanners for airports.
What he has made little mention of is that the Chertoff Group, his security consulting agency, includes a client that manufactures the machines. Chertoff disclosed the relationship on a CNN program Wednesday, in response to a question.
An airport passengers’ rights group on Thursday criticized Chertoff’s use of his former government credentials to advocate for a product that benefits his clients.