Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Whole World Is Suspect!

And we had better be watching for aliens from outer space!

USA Today reports that the government's terrorist watch list has now hit 1 million. That's a 32% increase since 2007! Now just how in the world do you keep track of that?

The FBI says 95% are foreigners. Terrific. People are put on it by intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Like the local traffic cop after issuing a ticket. Did you know that can happen? There are various levels of offenses that will get you on the list but just what the offense may be is not divulged.

What makes the matter worse, when people seek redress, some 51,000 in the past two years, they find that they have been misidentified. Do you think? Some of those names include Senator Edward Kennedy and Nelson Mandela. There is also Robert Johnson. Now there's an uncommon name. I know a Robert Johnson. The only thing he's likely to terrorize is a bottle of Scotch! John Williams? Which one? I must not forget John Anderson. Age 6.

Long before 9/11 we lived in Seattle. We often went to Canada to camp or do the galleries. We also groused about how long it took to get back across the border. To come home! It's much worse now. What are they going to do during the Winter Olympics? It will be madness.

I haven't flown for several years. I resent being pawed by "security" guards for, as I was once told, "my own good". I resent the passengers who when interviewed repeat the mantra, "well, as long as they're keeping us safe". From who? The 9/11 hijackers were here legally!

There are some 12 million illegal aliens in this country. How many of those names are on the watch list? Is yours? Is mine? This is one more instance where a bloated bureauracy has run amok and in so doing become largely ineffectual. There are no specific rules for who goes on the list. There is no easy way to get off the list.

Some intent on doing us harm will slip through the cracks. Even with all that is now in place - or maybe because of what is now in place. We'd do well to learn a lesson from the Europeans who've learned to pick themselves up and move on.

One million names and growing. The more it grows the more liberties we lose. Will we ever again be free of fear? Will we ever again be able to cross our borders or fly or sail or take a train without being screened? Which one of our lost liberties will be the one where we finally say enough? Or will we always be like lemmings marching to the sea until there is nothing left?


Anonymous said...

Amen to this. What person would answer "yes" when asked if they had let someone put something in their luggage? Why is it being asked? Can we really keep a 3 year old off the plane because his name is on a watch list? This way the politicians can say "I'm keeping you safe." but they really aren't. It's more like security theater than any real effort.

June Saville said...

Well DOGWALK I think I might give you lot a miss for a while (not that I could afford to get there anyway).
I'm one of those characters who thinks that fear is self-propogating, and that people who wish us to be afraid win if we let them.
June in Oz

Margie's Musings said...

All the more reason why I don't travel anymore.

Sansego said...

The whole think smacks of fraud. I don't believe our government is truly interested in stopping least not during the Bush years. The harassment going through security at airports is merely a test to see how much indignities average Americans will endure over some b.s. rationale, because there might come a day when our country does become a police state.

I prefer to travel by train. There is no security to go through...though a terrorist attack using a train could change all that. I hope it never happens. Train travel is one of the greatest pleasures in life.

Anonymous said...

Bloated beauracracy is synonomous with govt.

AS annoying as the airport procedures are, I do believe it has helped. It doesn't matter whether "terrorists" are here legally or illegally. If they want to do something, they will find a way. The Islamic experts say that these people are very patient. They will wait for as long as it takes and "anniversaries" do not compute with them. Meaning they won't pick another 9/11 for an action. I have never been pawed at an airport...yet. Hopefully never will. But just as an example of how dopey the shoe thing is, baby formula is allowed. Prescription meds are not checked. And just because toothpaste, shampoo etc. fits in a one quart bag doesn't mean they aren't actually something dangerous. Will we ever be able to go somewhere without being screened? I believe the answer is no...these are the times we live in. In another generation, this will just be part of "how it is". I guess I don't see it as losing a liberty. Nobody tells me I can't go where I choose to go. Just that I have to take off my shoes and cut down on my (much needed) cosmetics. Should my right to free speech, to vote, to live as I choose within the bounds of civilization, freedom of the press etc., be endangered, then I will man the barricades. CU