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U.S. media outlets created a supportive domestic context of reception for surveillance technologies adopted in the post-9/11 era by portraying the United States’ enemies in the war on terror as the “opaque” bodies of reference from which “transparent” passenger-suspects are encouraged to distinguish themselves. U.S. public discourse domesticated full-body scanners via gendered and sexualizing scripts of being seen-through by the security state as a form of romantic love, attraction, and/or repulsion. In so doing, it obscured two important political developments: first, high-tech screening produces a new normate body; and second, the differential application of high- and low-tech surveillance is organized according to a racial norm, where race is understood not in the narrow terms of phenotype but in the broader terms of who is presumed capable of participating in the biopolitical project of terrorism prevention and who is written off as stubbornly opaque.

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