Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Why "Homeland Security" Is Total Bullshit 

On the surface, this story makes it sound like the system is working; two men arrested in California, admit they had trained at al Qaeda camps, were trained to attack hospitals and malls...
The FBI has arrested two California men after one of them admitted he attended an al Qaeda training camp in Pakistan, Justice Department officials said on Wednesday.

Hamid Hayat, 23, and his father, Umer, of Lodi, California, east of San Francisco, were taken into custody over the weekend. Both men are being held on charges of lying to federal authorities.
But... read down a bit, and the story turns from a hopeful example of the FBI actually doing their job to an indictment of all of the so-called Homeland Security bullshit that the rest of us have to put up with -- now, apparently, for no reason at all.
Hamid, whose U.S.-bound flight from Korea was diverted on May 29 to Japan because his name appeared on a no-fly list, had originally denied any involvement in terrorism.

After the plane was diverted, Hamid was interviewed by an FBI agent, the affidavit said. Hamid denied having any connection to terrorism or terrorist activities and was allowed to continue his travel to the United States, it said.

Upon his arrival in California, Hamid again denied being involved in training camps.
Hm. Okay, let me get this straight -- if you're a famous pop singer or a British journalist and your name accidentally winds up on a no-fly list, you don't make it into the country. But if you simply tell the FBI, "Me? Terrorist? Oh, no. Not me. No, no, no," then they let you continue on your merry way.

Jeebus Christ on a crutch. They've diverted planes because someone dropped a nailfile in the toilet; they've created this climate of fear; they've harassed innocent people left and right at check points; and yet this same system blithely lets a guy on a no-fly list waltz on in after he simply says, "Oh no, wrong guy."

Well no fucking wonder 9-11 happened. And the reason they finally did wind up arresting these two? Later, when given a lie-detector test, Hamid admitted that, gosh, he had trained in an al Qaeda camp. Meaning: he turned himself in.

Kind of turns the whole story around, doesn't it? And, additionally, makes me wonder whether Hamid wasn't Abu Ghraibed into confessing.

So -- there's definitely a problem here. One, looks like all this extra security is absolutely useless, a waste of money and a major infringement of American's civil rights. Two, when the FBI actually does their job, they do manage to catch potential terrorists without terrorizing the rest of us. Kind of a happy ending, but I'd still like to know the answer to this question: if things like no-fly lists are so "essential" to our safety, why did it come down to a domestic interview to stop a potential threat?

Or, in other words, why have all this post 9-11 paranoia crap, when the old fashioned ways actually worked?

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