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This is just a curiosity, but don’t for a minute think the Naked Body Scanners that are being placed at airports around the country, and are technically known as backscatters, are coming from what in any way could be considered the private sector. It’s tough to pin down, but around every corner of the backscatter are military men and intelligence operatives.
The backscatter X-ray was first applied as a commercial security scanning device by Dr. Steven W. Smith. Smith is currently President of Spectrum San Diego, a wholly owned subsidiary of the military connected SAIC. The president of SAIC is Walter P. Havenstein.
Havenstein received a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. He served on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1971 to 1983, specializing in tactical communications and systems acquisition management, and completed his career in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1999 retiring as a colonel.
SAIC has an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group. Its president is K. Stuart Shea. In 2003, Shea was named to the 12-member National Commission for the Review of the Research and Development Programs of the U.S. Intelligence Community, established by Congress to review the full range of current research and development programs in the intelligence community
Smith sold his backscatter device to Rapiscan Systems, a division of OSI Systems, Inc. On OSI’s board sits Dr. William F. Ballhaus, Jr. He served as director of NASA’s Ames Research Center.
©2010 Economic Policy Journal