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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Maybe they thought he was Cat Stevens

This story is troubling.

Comments (8)

Might also just be a nice guy who works for Intel, in Hillsboro.

This sort of thing seems to happen a lot. No explanations, no hearings, no process, due or undue. I wonder that this is the first we've heard of it, and it happened more than a month ago. (I'm also mildly curious about how a native Algerian 'acquired' German citizenship. I don't know the rules, but had the impression that it's not so easy.)

This is an example of why I sleep better at night, a reminder as it is of the breathtakingly stellar job Bush-Cheney et. al. has done in frustrating and thwarting the terrorists from doing the one thing they've desperately wanted to do since 9/11/01: strike again. And this is one little way how they do it. Me, I'm troubled by and wonder about people who find it "troubling."

I really really really hope that's sarcasm, Zeb.

But, somehow, I doubt it.

Didn't the terrorists "strike again" shortly thereafter, killing several people by poisoning them with anthrax? And unlike the Clinton administration which usually got their man, whoever did that is still running free--just like Bush refused to do anything about the Cole once it was determined who did that one.

The thing is I think we all want to give TSA, or whoever, the benefit of the doubt on this stuff. Maybe it was a good decision. Who knows? I do believe the accumulation of seemingly poor decisions by our politically-driven intelligence community requires us to look at this stuff critically.

*If* the guy is a bad guy, why wasn't he detained and sent to Gitmo or somewhere else for questioning? *If* he's a bad guy, why is he allowed to walk the streets of Germany free? *If* he's not a bad guy, why wouldn't we welcome him into the country?

On September 12th, you were either with us or against us. Now it seems there may be a third option.

i'm a white, Anglo-Saxon looking guy. in 1979, i landed at the airport in Hamburg, Germany with a bunch of other boy scouts (sans uniforms) on our way to a jamboree.

i remember soldiers walking around with submachine guns. we were told to not take pictures of them, to not do what today would be labeled "terrorist" moves. my friend took a picture over my shoulder--the soldier saw him, and i expected to go down in a hail of bulllets on the spot. the soldier frowned and walked on.

when going through security, at some point i was asked what i had on me. i produced a good-sized pocketknife, tied with a lanyard to my belt loop.

they gently but firmly guided me to a small cublicle area, searched me and questioned me. did i have any other stuff? why did i have a pocketknife tied to my belt? where was i going? i have an Irish name--was I by chance Irish, did I know anything about the IRA?

after about ten minutes, i think they realized they had a freaked out teenager from America about to crap his pants, and let me go.

you know, folks, America is new to the "terrorism" scene--most of the rest of the world has been dealing with it to some degree for decades.

I know very respectable people from other countries who won't come to the US anymore because of the stories they've heard. They expect to be treated badly, something that never happens to them in the other countries they frequent.

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