How The Radiation Lobby Puts Air Travelers At Risk

Kaye Beach

May 25, 2011

Published May 24, 2011 From

How The Radiation Lobby Puts Air Travelers At Risk

Homeland Security:Why would TSA expose low-risk passengers to radiation instead of just profiling high-risk passengers? Muslim pressure groups? No, another lobby’s behind this outrage.

Led by a revolving door of ex-Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration officials, this Beltway lobby holds far more sway over such security decisions.

We’d been under the impression that the TSA chose to subject passengers to radiation-emitting body scanners at all airports (by 2014) largely because it’s politically incorrect to profile young Arab Muslim men.

But the manufacturer who landed the federal contract has a powerful lobbyist in Washington: former DHS chief Michael Chertoff. He and his partners at the Chertoff Group have been all over the airwaves touting this technology while badmouthing profiling.

Read More

That isn’t all Chertoff is lobbying for.

In 2008 the biometrics industry was elated with the work of then DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff.

Federal identity programs boost biometrics market

By Chris Strohm, National Journal 07/03/2008

In announcing major new regulations in January that set national standards for driver’s licenses under the 2005 Real ID Act, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff declared, “This is a great teaching moment on the challenges of really reconfiguring a society.”

Chertoff’s announcement was music to the ears of private companies and lobbyists who see major national security benefits, as well as the potential for big bucks, in helping agencies verify individuals’ identity.

L-1 Identity Solutions is the largest biometric company in the US and dominates the state driver’s license business.  L1 also produces all passport cards

The biometrics giant, L1, also provides ID documents for the Department of Defense and has contracts with nearly every intelligence agency within our government

In 2010 L1 announced the sale of its biometric and document divisions to a French corporation, Safran which is owned in part by the French government.

Former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff is representing Safran.

Safran Group Enters Definitive Agreement to Acquire L-1 Identity Solutions

On September 20, 2010, the Safran Group announced a definitive agreement with L-1 Identity Solutions to purchase L-1’s Biometric, Secure Credentialing and Enrollment Services for $1.09 billion in cash on hand. Once the transaction is complete, Safran intends to incorporate these L-1 divisions as part of the Safran Group’s existing security business, Morpho, and solidify Safran’s presence as an industry leader for biometrics and identity management solutions. The transaction is expected to close during 2011, subject to regulatory approvals.

During this transaction, The Chertoff Group served as strategic advisors to Safran. The Chertoff Group members of the advisory team included: Michael Chertoff, Co-founder and Managing Principal at The Chertoff Group; Chad Sweet, Co-founder and Managing Principal at The Chertoff Group; and J. Bennet Waters PhD., Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer at The Chertoff Group.

Lawmakers express concerns about the contract with Safran

In letters to FBI director Robert Mueller, the lawmakers expressed uneasiness about granting a contract involving national security to Safran SA, partly owned by the French government. “Allowing a foreign government to provide services regarding sensitive information to our law enforcement and intelligence communities could potentially pose a grave counterintelligence threat to the U.S. government,” wrote Representative John Kline (R-Minnesota), a member of the House Intelligence Committee. “I urge the FBI to assess whether any domestic companies are capable of this work and weigh carefully the risks versus the benefits of granting a foreign government access to this sensitive data,” he wrote.

Read more about the sale of L1 to Safran and Michael Chertoff  “The Revolving Door That Never Stops Turning” 


2 responses to “How The Radiation Lobby Puts Air Travelers At Risk

  1. Pingback: How The Radiation Lobby Puts Air Travelers At Risk (via AxXiom for Liberty) « Signs of the Times

  2. News fresh out of India suggests that maybe — just maybe — the revolving door may have ground to a halt biometricswise, please see

    Three senior members of the world biometrics industry have withdrawn their academic support, describing the technology as statistically out of control.

    And would you believe it, President Obama’s latest plans for trusted identities make no mention of biometrics. Can you imagine? None.

    Dwindling academic support. Dwindling customer base. It’s a shame, isn’t it.

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