Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Curing cancer is not a crime!

Part of my research involves use of an irradiator. Last year, my advisor had to sign a statement that I was "significantly trustworthy and reliable" and did not have any nefarious purposes in wanting to obtain access to the irradiator. Apparently that's not enough anymore. Now, anyone who wants unescorted access to the irradiators has to undergo a FBI background check and fingerprinting by July 15th.

I told them no. I don't see any reason why the FBI should have my fingerprints on file for the rest of my life so I can kill some cancer cells for the next 4 months. I also don't see how my fingerprints attest to my trustworthiness any more than a background check alone would. Furthermore, I think it's ridiculous that with all the potential threats that we face, they're worried about graduate students taking apart a machine the size of my laundry room to steal a chunk of cesium.

So, I have access to the irradiator until July 15th. After that, my ID badge stops working in the door and I have to have a "chaperone" to get in. I'm attempting to have that portion of the project done before then though - feasible, but we'll see what happens.

I'm sure I probably just got myself on some "uncooperative" list, but whatever. I was already a dirty libertarian :-)

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

"We're from the government, and we're here to help!"

Give 'em hell, while we still have a few rights left!

-Seth

Knot said...

Reminds me a little of McCarthy-ism.

Knot

Courtney said...

It's farcical. Just this morning I heard a GAO report that the military can't account for HUNDREDS of nuclear weapons parts. But somehow WE'RE the threat.

Anonymous said...

This is the usual confusing of scrutiny with suspicion. They are not the same. Of course there is no suspicion. That is the straw man in the argument. Scrutiny is done fairly, apportioned to all fairly, and so fairly includes all. If only the liars and predators would wear those "I'm a predator" sweatshirts so we could limit our scrutiny to just them. But they don't, so we can't.

Matt Silverthorn said...

There is a difference between valid scrutiny and being invasive. A background check is fine. How exactly is having her fingerprints going to be useful in this situation?

Courtney said...

I'm fine with scrutiny. Check my background, there's nothing there, and they probably already have the information anyways as both my dad and my husband have security clearances. The fingerprinting is excessive and unnecessary, in my view. Therefore I choose not to comply, and accept the accompanying consequences (working like a dog over the next three and a half weeks and/or obtaining an escort for further use).

ccnusbaum said...

I first read that as "I was already a dirty librarian" and thought, huh. I figured you would have opted for french maid.

Courtney said...

You're silly :-)