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Author Topic: Air Paranoia
Richard MacKinnon
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posted 22 August 2006 06:41 AM      Profile for Richard MacKinnon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From Monday's airing of Democracy Now:

AMY GOODMAN: Raed Jarrar joins us in a studio in San Francisco, the Iraq Project Director for Global Exchange. He is an Iraqi blogger and architect, who runs a popular blog called "Raed in the Middle." Before we talk about the latest in Iraq, Raed, I wanted to ask you about -- well, starting at the end, your trip home, how you made it back to the United States.

RAED JARRAR: I made it back to the United States in a very easy way. In fact, the incident that happened in JFK was not related to my trip, because I went back to D.C. I spent a day in D.C. Then I took the bus to New York. I spent a couple of days in New York. There was an event there. Then I was supposed to take my airplane, my Jet Blue airplane from JFK to Oakland in California last Saturday. So I went to the airport in the morning, and I was prevented to go to my airplane by four officers, because I was wearing this t-shirt that says “We will not be silent” in both Arabic and English. And I was told by one of the officials that wearing a t-shirt with Arabic script in an airport now is like going to a bank with a t-shirt that reads, “I am a robber.”

AMY GOODMAN: That's what the security said to you?

RAED JARRAR: Yeah. I was questioned by four officials from -- I think some of them were from Jet Blue and others were maybe policemen or FBI. I have no idea. I took their names and badge numbers, and I filed a complaint through ACLU against them, because I asked them very directly to let me go to the airplane, because it's my constitutional right as a U.S. taxpayer and resident to wear a t-shirt with Arabic script. And they prevented to let me exercise this right, and they made me cover the script with another t-shirt.

AMY GOODMAN: So they said you could not fly if you wore your t-shirt that said, “We will not be silent”?

RAED JARRAR: Yes. They said that very clearly.

AMY GOODMAN: I was just looking at another piece in the Daily Mail of Britain, which says, “British holidaymakers staged an unprecedented mutiny -- refusing to allow their flight to take off until two men they feared were terrorists were forcibly removed. The extraordinary scenes happened after some of the 150 passengers on a Malaga-Manchester flight overheard two men of Asian appearance apparently talking Arabic. Passengers told cabin crew they feared for their safety and demanded police action. Some stormed off the Monarch Airlines Airbus […] minutes before it was due to leave the Costa del Sol at 3am. Others waiting for [another flight] in the departure lounge refused to board it [until the men speaking Arabic were taken off the plane].”

RAED JARRAR: And, Amy, there was a similar story from San Francisco last week, with a Canadian doctor called Ahmed Farooq, who was prevented to complete his airplane, because he was praying in his seat. So, I think, you know, these incidents are increasing, because of the latest alleged terror attack.

AMY GOODMAN: Also in this article it talks about others, as you were just talking about. “Websites used by pilots and cabin crew were […] reporting further incidents. In one, two British women with young children on another flight from Spain complained about flying with a bearded Muslim even though he had been security-checked twice before boarding.”


From: Home of the Red Hill Concrete Expressway | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Phred
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posted 23 August 2006 09:39 AM      Profile for Phred     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah the situation is right fucking retarded. The yanks are so goddamn paranoid it blows my mind.

I was flying home from Zurich to Newark on Sunday and I had a shirt on that said "all your base are belong to us" and on the back "somebody set up us the bomb" and had a small grafic of an old style bomb with a lit fuse. (if you know what this shirt refers to... your probably aware of the joke). Anyways, the flight attendant on my continental flight was like "you know..you shouldn't wear a shirt that says bomb on it.. and has the picture of one on the back... you know... these are crazy times." I gave her this look like she was a damn idiot and didn't quite know what to say. I started explaining the shirt to her but she just kinda walked off. Then she came back about 20 minutes later and tried to justify herself and I just chuckled and was like "Lady... google this shirt and all will be explained". The dude next to me turned over and said "you have no chance to survive make your time" and then we laughed our asses off.

Another incident was prior to leaving Zurich, security would not allow me to take my cough syrup aboard. The limit was 120 ml and my bottle was a 200ml bottle. I had just bought it so I suggest I drink 80ml to bring it to 120ml... no dice. Ya so I had to chug a bunch of it so I felt I got something of my money's worth. Man I was WIRED the whole trip!


From: Ottawa | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
jas
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posted 23 August 2006 09:57 AM      Profile for jas     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Phred:
I had a shirt on that said "all your base are belong to us" and on the back "somebody set up us the bomb"

I don't get it either.


From: the world we want | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
North Shore
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posted 23 August 2006 12:57 PM      Profile for North Shore     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Jas, just go here:

Wikipedia

That should explain it.


From: Victoriahhhh | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 23 August 2006 08:12 PM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We have always been at war with Eurasia.

From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 23 August 2006 08:26 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Whoa. The top of this thread blows my mind. It's so SOAP it's Ivory liquid.
From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
siren
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posted 23 August 2006 08:36 PM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And the bottom just wonkied up also.

But you know -- why would you wear a T-shirt depicting a bomb when you knew you were boarding a plane? Even joking about bombing has been enough to get people barred at security.

Sure, the reference is funny, but perhaps not at an airport. The problem is not just security but how others on the flight (as depicted in the original post) might respond.

Crumudgeonly note: Doesn't anyone wear a nice shirt with a collar on air flights anymore?


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 23 August 2006 08:45 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Dress shirts are forbidden on transatlantic flights nowadays. Terrorists can hide explosives disguised as collar straigteners. Deadly.

All of your collars are belong to us.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 23 August 2006 08:53 PM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just googled the phrases and went to the somewhat official site. Funny as hell. My 17 year old son came out of the basement next to my office and I said "do you know about this?"

The look I got made me feel very old and very dumb indeed. Ah well.


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
Moderator
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posted 23 August 2006 08:58 PM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Excuse me, but as of my current reading of this thread, there is a babbler above that has a babble number of 31337. We do not have over 31000 members on this forum. Maybe next week, but not today!

There is something wonkey afoot!


From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
Moderator
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posted 23 August 2006 09:06 PM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well that's strange, it was Cornhole, and now he's just 1337.

No this is not drug related!


From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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Babbler # 11323

posted 23 August 2006 09:10 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Uh oh, looks like babble is being hacked. Check the top of this thread:

quote:
ALL YOUR BABBLE FORUMS ARE BELONG TO US!!!

SOMEBODY SET US UP THE BOMB


Bizarre...


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
jester
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posted 23 August 2006 09:11 PM      Profile for jester        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Why does Proaxiom have 2 differect numbers and a wierd posting time in his dupe post?
From: Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 23 August 2006 09:14 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
oldgoat, I sent you a PM -- this thread is being hacked, or else some mod is having "fun"?!
From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
siren
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posted 23 August 2006 09:24 PM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:
Dress shirts are forbidden on transatlantic flights nowadays. Terrorists can hide explosives disguised as collar straigteners. Deadly.

All of your collars are belong to us.


You are on the path to destruction. If we stop wearing dress shirts, the terrists have won.


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
siren
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posted 23 August 2006 09:26 PM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by oldgoat:
Well that's strange, it was Cornhole, and now he's just 1337.

There's a babbler named "Cornhole"??????

Is it just me or did it just get evil in here?


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 23 August 2006 09:34 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Aacch!! Proaxiom's 1st post now quotes 1984 and his 2nd post has disappeared!

All babblers who have posted on this thread, run for your lives! YOU ARE ON THE WAY TO DESTRUCTION!!!

Edited to add: And Babbler #31117 Cornhole has vanished...perhaps the universe is saved?

[ 23 August 2006: Message edited by: Catchfire ]


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
jester
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posted 23 August 2006 10:17 PM      Profile for jester        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by siren:

There's a babbler named "Cornhole"??????

Is it just me or did it just get evil in here?


Alfred E. Neuman has been possessed.

[ 23 August 2006: Message edited by: jester ]


From: Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 24 August 2006 04:03 AM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sorry about that, folks. That was me playing with HTML in my post last night. I wasn't 'hacking' the thread in the conventional sense of the work (ie. intrusion). It was just a post with HTML in it.

I discovered you can do the following:
- By closing the table row of your post and then putting text, you can put text on the top of the thread above the OP
- By ending the post with an open HTML tag with an open attribute value, you can suppress the 'Edited by...' text that appears when you edit your post
- By closing the table row of your post and then putting another table row, you can forge a new post

For all of them, you can see what's going on if you know how to read HTML and read the original page source, rather on relying on the browser-rendered version.

This was just a stupid game, inspired when I felt like doing something amusing with an 'All your base' line, but after I went to bed last night I thought up something sinister to do with it.

What if my forged post had another Babbler's name on it, and contained something extremely offensive?

I wonder, if it was sufficiently bad, would a moderator ban that Babbler before he had a chance to proclaim his innocence?

I think the mods might want to consider disabling HTML for all the forums.


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 24 August 2006 12:14 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Getting back to the topic of air paranoia:

Penis pump or Bomb?

quote:
A female security guard claims Amin uttered the word "bomb" when she was examining a small black squeezable object she'd taken from his bag.

For his part, Amin, on his way to Turkey with his mother and his children, claims he was whispering to his mother that it was a "pump" in fact a penis pump.



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 24 August 2006 09:14 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Flying the Paranoid Skies
quote:
When the pilot on my Ottawa-bound United flight from Chicago last Tuesday came on the intercom to report a problem, I felt a trickle of panic, even though he assured us that there was no cause for alarm. They had discovered, he said awkwardly, an object on the plane that should not be there. He had notified the authorities at Ottawa airport, and they would handle the problem upon our arrival.

A few nervous minutes later, at around 4 p.m., we landed and taxied to a desolate spot far from the terminal. I and my fellow passengers (close to 50 of us) expected to see emergency vehicles waiting and a crew of people to rush us off the plane before this "object" exploded. No such luck. We were greeted by an eerie silence, a silence that lasted almost 40 minutes until a bus finally pulled up near our plane.

Perplexed and confused, we were ordered to disembark and told that we could bring nothing with us, not even our passports. (Apparently this order was a mistake because we were expected later to have our identifying documents with us.) Grim-faced police officers with guns stared at us with accusing glances as we staggered down the steps. I felt the impulse to put my hands up. What had we done wrong? Were we suspected of terrorism?

We were transported to a large garage, filled with armed police, on the airport complex and told that we had a long wait ahead of us. This turned out to be true. It would be four hours from our arrival at Ottawa before we were finally released....



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 24 August 2006 09:22 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Child's toy causes panic on plane.
quote:
Alaska Airlines Flight 281 from Guadalajara, Mexico, landed normally at LAX but taxied to a remote part of the airport, where passengers were quickly taken off while police using bomb-sniffing dogs investigated, an FBI spokesman said.

"The device was identified as a type of toy transmitter and a thorough search of the plane and cargo hold for explosives came up negative," he said.



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 24 August 2006 09:36 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Woman caught smuggling deadly dihydrogen monoxide onto plane
quote:
Flights in and out of Tri-State Airport are back to normal today, one day after a Pakistani woman was suspected of having possible explosives in her carry-on items.

The liquids in question were apparently not explosives, but precautions were taken anyway and the woman was released without charges.
...
When the containers were sent through an electronic device known as a sniffer, two plastic containers tested positive for suspicious chemicals.

“I didn't see one of the liquids; one of the bottles looked like it might have been a water bottle,” [airport manager] Salyers said.

A K-9 unit was brought in and the dog also detected a suspicious chemical. West Virginia National Guard and West Virginia State Police explosives teams were notified and the two containers were isolated and taken by a robot to a remote location of the airport for final determination as to what the identity of chemical residue.

The woman was later taken by F.B.I. agents from the airport to another location for continued interrogation.

“The woman didn't act suspicious; she acted calmly,” Salyers said. “She had an immediate reason as to why such material might be on the outside of what she was carrying.”

The airport was evacuated at approximately noon and all flights suspended.

About 50 passengers were affected by the flight delays. Salyers said it was the first time in the history of the airport that flights had been delayed because of suspected explosives at that airport.
....
The investigation eventually involved a number of emergency services and law enforcement agencies, among them, the state police, airport police, the national guard, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
....
The woman's mother told the Associated Press that her daughter, who is four months pregnant and lives in Barboursville, W.Va., was targeted because of her nationality and Islamic headcover.

“It was not only a false alarm, it was racial discrimination because there was nothing,” Mian Qayyum said, refusing to name her daughter.

“She just had water to drink because she is pregnant and she had a face wash that had a drop of bleach on it,” Qayyum said from her home in Jackson.



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 24 August 2006 09:45 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Refuse to be Terrorized!
quote:
On Aug. 16, two men were escorted off a plane headed for Manchester, England, because some passengers thought they looked either Asian or Middle Eastern, might have been talking Arabic, wore leather jackets, and looked at their watches -- and the passengers refused to fly with them on board.

The men were questioned for several hours and then released.

On Aug. 15, an entire airport terminal was evacuated because someone's cosmetics triggered a false positive for explosives. The same day, a Muslim man was removed from an airplane in Denver for reciting prayers. The Transportation Security Administration decided that the flight crew overreacted, but he still had to spend the night in Denver before flying home the next day.

The next day, a Port of Seattle terminal was evacuated because a couple of dogs gave a false alarm for explosives.

On Aug. 19, a plane made an emergency landing in Tampa, Florida, after the crew became suspicious because two of the lavatory doors were locked. The plane was searched, but nothing was found. Meanwhile, a man who tampered with a bathroom smoke detector on a flight to San Antonio was cleared of terrorism, but only after having his house searched.

On Aug. 16, a woman suffered a panic attack and became violent on a flight from London to Washington, so the plane was escorted to the Boston airport by fighter jets. "The woman was carrying hand cream and matches but was not a terrorist threat," said the TSA spokesman after the incident.

And on Aug. 18, a plane flying from London to Egypt made an emergency landing in Italy when someone found a bomb threat scrawled on an air sickness bag. Nothing was found on the plane, and no one knows how long the note was on board.
...
The real point of terrorism is not the act itself, but our reaction to the act.

And we're doing exactly what the terrorists want.



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 25 August 2006 06:22 AM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
They changed the rules again. You can bring your gel-filled bras on now, and a few other items on a list. One blogger said: "I'd really like to know what went on in the meeting where they decided K-Y jelly was okay but toothpaste is not."

I'm glad you caught the Schneier column in Wired. He has a really good blog where he comments a lot about these kinds of security measures. He's written some decent books too, Secrets and Lies I have read, Beyond Fear I have not.


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 25 August 2006 11:51 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Terror fear baseless
quote:
Haarlem, Netherlands (AP) –

Prosecutors said yesterday they found no evidence of a terrorist threat on a flight to India aboard an aircraft of Minneapolis-based Northwest Airlines that returned to Amsterdam. They said they were releasing all 12 passengers arrested after the emergency landing.

The men, all Indian nationals, had aroused suspicions on the flight to Mumbai because they had a large number of cellphones and other equipment and refused to follow the crew's instructions, prosecutors said.

Because of those actions by the passengers, the pilot radioed for help shortly after takeoff Wednesday, and the plane was escorted back to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport by two Dutch fighter jets.

The 12 were arrested after the plane landed and held overnight at a detention centre at the airport.

"A thorough investigation of the cellphones in the plane found that the phones were not manipulated and no explosives were found on board the plane," said a statement from the prosecutor's office.

"From the statements of the suspects and the witnesses, no evidence could be brought forward that these men were about to commit an act of violence," the statement said.
…
Nitin Patel of Boston, who sat behind the men, told the paper: "I don't know how close we were, but my gut tells me these people wanted to hijack the airplane."



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 27 August 2006 12:23 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A Continental Airlines flight from Houston to Bakersfield was diverted to El Paso after its crew discovered a missing panel in the bathroom.

Read the story


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 27 August 2006 12:33 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
United Flight 686 from Chicago to LaGuardia was detained. The flight was scheduled to take off at 2:50 p.m. Friday.

A flight attendant notified the captain of the plane after a 13-year-old was overheard talking about a bomb.

The captain drove the plane to a secure part of the airport and investigated the incident. He could not resolve it.

The FBI and TSA were then called in to investigate.

The 13-year-old and the his mother were removed from the plane. FBI officials say the 13-year-old is autistic.

Read the Story


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 27 August 2006 07:34 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I never know what to think of James Petras' stuff:

The Liquid Bomb Hoax: The Larger Implications

quote:
The charges leveled by the British, US and Pakistani regimes that they uncovered a major bomb plot directed against nine US airlines is based on the flimsiest of evidence, which would be thrown out of any court, worthy of its name.

An analysis of the current state of the investigation raises a series of questions regarding the governments’ claims of a bomb plot concocted by 24 Brits of Pakistani origin.

The arrests were followed by the search for evidence, as the August 12, 2006 Financial Times states: “The police set about the mammoth task of gathering evidence of the alleged terrorist bomb plot yesterday.” (FT, August 12/, 2006) In other words, the arrests and charges took place without sufficient evidence -- a peculiar method of operation -- which reverses normal investigatory procedures in which arrests follow the “monumental task of gathering evidence.” If the arrests were made without prior accumulation of evidence, what were the bases of the arrests?

The government search of financial records and transfers turned up no money trail despite the freezing of accounts. The police search revealed limited amounts of savings, as one would expect from young workers, students and employees from low-income immigrant families.

[...]



From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Paul Gross
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posted 27 August 2006 03:17 PM      Profile for Paul Gross   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Daily Kos

quote:
Everyone reading this blog knows that Western Governments exploit fear for political ends.

Unfortunately, everyone buys into the fear when they're responding. Instead of reacting with incredulity to overhyped movie-plot threat scenarios, liberal commentators deny that Democrats are soft on security. "We can ignore the elephant in the room just as much, if not more, than Republicans can!" they shout, seemingly in unison. "We can be just as dumb as they can, maybe even dumber!"
...
The GOP creates the fear, then both sides attempt to tell the electorate that they're better at managing it than the other. But why isn't there anybody standing on the rooftops shouting, "The fear is fraudulent! The threat is over-hyped! Stop it, you're behaving stupidly!"

If DHS, FEMA and TSA are so incompetent and underfunded, if the CIA has been gutted, if seaports are hopelessly insecure, if the USA has spent five years losing against Osama bin Laden at the world's biggest ever game of "Where's Waldo" in Afghanistan, how come the number of al'Qaeda attacks we've seen on US soil in the five years since 9/12 have been identical to the number of al'Qaeda attacks we've seen on US soil in the five years preceding 9/10? If the Government's response has been so abysmally hopeless, we should all be dying in droves, shouldn't we? But we're not. Why isn't anyone pointing this out?

As a society, we should be giving more critical analysis to the politics of fear. In a world where the destruction that could theoretically be wrought by 100 pretend terrorist plots is completely overwhelmed by the devastation imposed by one real-life hurricane, we really ought to be having a good hard look at our priorities.
...
If we know that pre-boarding passenger screening can be bypassed by anyone with a car and enough time to drive out of town to a smaller airport, is it possible to mount any credible arguments to assert that we'd be any less secure if we did away with pre-boarding passenger screening altogether? Why do we single-out air travel in a world where every automobile owner has the explosive capacity of six sticks of dynamite stored in their gas tank? And if planes aren't being attacked and cars aren't being used as fuel/air explosives, what are we actually gaining from the massive expenditure on security we've been making, and the ridiculous excesses of fear which we've been stimulating?

These are important questions to answer, but they're not even going to be asked, let alone thought about, until reality-based politics starts to rise above the politics of fear.


Some of the follow-upcomments are interesting, such as

quote:
Since Sep 11 2001, the TSA has completely failed to catch a single terrorist, or prevent a single terrorist attack. And yet they've participated in countless millions of security failures every time they've singled-out someone with "SSSS" on their boarding pass for extra scrutiny.

quote:
...the colossal idiocy of having people pour their "potentially explosive" liquids together in a big barrel. (Yeah, huh... if they were really explosive liquids, they'd just frickin' blow up when you did that, now wouldn't they?) ...
And like the diarist says, why the heck do you want to be on the plane with your bomb anyway? Wouldn't it be better to blow up a plane you're not on? Yeah. But Air Cargo screening is not in place.

You wanna know why it's not in place? Because noone sees the air cargo. We're doing some work with it, but it's slow. The companies complain. They don't want to spend money. And there's no visibility, no bang for your buck. The DHS top dipshits would love a better statistic -- XX% of cargo screened, yay! But Congress isn't pressing them on it because the people aren't pressing them because they don't know it exists. So they aren't dedicating much money or time to it.



From: central Centretown in central Canada | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 27 August 2006 11:10 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Screening air cargo would not contribute at all to their goal of perpetuating the culture of fear, so the security industry concentrates on alarming and intimidating the flying public, conditioning them to accept that the price of air safety is gross inconvenience, expense, personal humiliation and harrassment, and racial profiling.

Meanwhile, nobody at all is dying in air piracy incidents, but plane crashes due to good old human error continue, without any apparent alarm on the part of authorities.

In 2004 there were 20 airplane crashes worldwide, killing 517 people. None were the result of terorism.

In 2005, 1195 people died in aircraft accidents unrelated to terrorism.

So far this year 775 people have died in aircraft accidents unrelated to terrorism.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Paul Gross
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posted 27 August 2006 11:39 PM      Profile for Paul Gross   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
According to this scientific analysis, an additional 1,500 Americans died in highway crashes in the year following 9/11 due to increased highway traffic, presumably caused by fear of flying. http://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-04/sfra-df041206.php

quote:

Shortly after the September 11, 2001 airplane highjackings and crashes in the U.S., Dr. Gerd Gigerenzer observed that "Americans reduced their air travel...[and] a proportion of those who did not fly instead drove to their destination." An article published this week in Risk Analysis, Gigerenzer theorized that more miles-driven (especially on high-speed highways that are used for long distance travel) would probably lead to an increase in deaths from traffic accidents. That's the "indirect damage."

Indeed, U.S. consumers reduced their air travel by between 12 and 20% in the 3 months after 9/11. And, they increased their highway travel. ... post-9/11 traffic on high-speed highways was substantially greater than in previous years...The increases in miles-driven were accompanied by greater numbers of traffic deaths. In the year following 9/11, some 1,500 more Americans died on the highways than would have been expected, based on highway accidental death statistics from the previous 5 years.


So around half as many people died through irrational preference of driving in the single year after 9/11 as died in the 9/11 tragedy itself.

Driving is around 65 times as risky as flying.

Flying on a major airline is much safer than driving. There were only 22 crash-related deaths on major U.S. commercial airlines in 2005, and 13 deaths in 2004 (not including small and/or private planes, which are not as safe). Many thousands die in car crashes every year. (There were 42,119 automotive fatalities in the USA in 2001.)

[ 27 August 2006: Message edited by: Paul Gross ]


From: central Centretown in central Canada | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Jingles
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posted 28 August 2006 08:28 AM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Consider that the yearly death toll on the roads of the United States is around fifty thousand, and the maiming and injury toll much higher, you'd think they'd have color coded highway warnings. Almost as many Americans die every year from vehicles as died in Vietnam, but they're scared shitless of Pert Plus.

Those comments in the Kos blog are hilarious. They still don't get it, even after reading the article to which they're responding! The article states that the security fears are a fraud, and the comments say "the government doesn't put enough money to secure air cargo". You want to bang your head against the wall.


From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 28 August 2006 08:50 AM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jingles:
Consider that the yearly death toll on the roads of the United States is around fifty thousand, and the maiming and injury toll much higher, you'd think they'd have color coded highway warnings. Almost as many Americans die every year from vehicles as died in Vietnam, but they're scared shitless of Pert Plus.

Heart disease kills a million and a half Americans each year, and yet there are still line-ups at McDonald's. If the terrorists really wanted to kill large numbers of Americans, they'd start new fast food chains.

You can't pin this sort of thing on the American administration. It's human nature. We obsess about small (but dramatic) risks while we largely ignore many large (but commonplace) risks. Evolution built in a risk perception mechanism into our brains, but it's not designed for the risks in the modern world.

In the book Freakonomics, the authors point out that many parents are reluctant to let their children play at a friend's house if they know the friend's parents have a gun in the house. But there is no such reluctance for letting their offspring play at a friend's house where there's a pool...

And yet a swimming pool in the backyard is 100 times more likely to kill your child than a gun in the house.

We inherently suck at risk assessment.


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 28 August 2006 11:55 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't agree with Gwynne Dyer a lot, and especially not with his recent assessment of the Russian revolution, but he was right about accidental deaths in the U.S. being a bigger danger to American lives at home in the U.S. than any acts of terrorism in its history.

"...every year, a few hundred of the victims are from (self)-important places like the United States, Western Europe and Japan." And it's mainly diplomats, foreign dignitaries and news journalists targeted.

They would likely save more American lives with a national worker's rights and safety campaign than with bloated Homeland Security bureaucracies. They could save more workplace accidents and deaths on the job by enhancing worker's rights to organize unions and repealing the dated Taft-Hartley Act. Political conservatives are notorious for railing against bureaucracy but creating more of it themselves.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 28 August 2006 04:17 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Proaxiom:
You can't pin this sort of thing on the American administration. It's human nature.
If you can see that it's bullshit, and I can see that it's bullshit, why do you excuse the USians for not seeing it?

Prisoners of human nature? I think not.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 29 August 2006 10:58 AM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
If you can see that it's bullshit, and I can see that it's bullshit, why do you excuse the USians for not seeing it?

Prisoners of human nature? I think not.



You're right. I would have been better to say you can't exclusively pin this sort of thing on the US administration.

One characteristic of democracy, though, is that general human failings tend to manifest in its governments.


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 29 August 2006 11:00 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Proaxiom:
One characteristic of democracy, though, is that general human failings tend to manifest in its governments.
I guess Cuba's lucky not to have that problem, eh?

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 29 August 2006 12:28 PM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You can trade in one set of problems for another. If there's a system of government that doesn't have inherent problems, I have yet to hear about it.
From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 29 August 2006 05:41 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Proaxiom:
If there's a system of government that doesn't have inherent problems, I have yet to hear about it.
So it's not just democracy that has this "inherent problem" of "general human failings" being manifested in its governments, as you said before - it's all forms of government?

You are tying yourself into knots trying to justify your defence of the idiocy of the US administration.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 30 August 2006 09:12 AM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
So it's not just democracy that has this "inherent problem" of "general human failings" being manifested in its governments, as you said before - it's all forms of government?

You are tying yourself into knots trying to justify your defence of the idiocy of the US administration.


It's wasn't so much intended as a defence than an explanation. There is a reason why these things happen. It's useful to understand why things are fucked up, not for the sake of excusing it.

Nothing is tied in knots here. Democracy suffers from the problem of entrusting the ultimate authority over governance to the hands of people who, in aggregate, haven't the slightest idea how to govern. This tends to produce ineffective and stupid governance.

Dictatorship (in all its variations) tend to be less ineffective and stupid, but suffer from lack of accountability. Its problems are not so much 'general human failings' (a dictatorship is less likely to waste time and money on ineffective security measures), but rather its tendency toward corruption and oppression.


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 30 August 2006 10:45 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence, clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.
- H.L. Mencken, 1920

Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear — kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor — with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil ... to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it.
- General Douglas MacArthur, 1957


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 15 September 2006 06:17 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
J.K. Rowling caught trying to hijack an airplane with sheets of paper
quote:
British author J.K. Rowling says she won an argument with New York airport security officials to carry the manuscript of the final Harry Potter book as carry-on baggage.

If she had lost, she said on her website, she might not have flown. "I don't know what I would have done ... sailed home probably," she wrote Wednesday.
....

"The heightened security restrictions on the airlines made the journey back from New York interesting, as I refused to be parted from the manuscript of book seven.

"A large part of it is handwritten and there was no copy of anything I had done while in the U.S."

Eventually, she added, "They let me take it on, thankfully, bound up in elastic bands."



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 19 September 2006 11:48 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Great Hair Gel and Toothpaste Scare
quote:
There seems to have been a great increase in airplane scares lately, although none seem to have been actual terrorist incidences. The most notable of those that have actually crashed seems to have been caused by an understaffed control tower and a bad runway map.

Those who see the glass half full and have a never-ending supply of rose colored glasses will tell you that even though the new regulations seem silly, it's worth it if it makes us more secure. The rest of us, including the gate attendant at the airport who tells me she can't even bring her lip gloss to work anymore, are well aware that we are more likely to die from Appendicitis than exploding water bottles and are more inclined to think we have landed in some bizarre satire version of Scary Movie, the Ultimate Episode.

I really should know better than to publish this rant. Almost guarantees a body cavity search or a travel voucher on a rendition flight to an exotic location should I ever have the temerity to fly the friendly skies again. So if I drop out of sight, you'll likely find me catching the sun on the Cuban beach.



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 20 September 2006 11:20 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Canadian air security establishment (Paranoia Canada) are trying to wipe some of the dog-shit off their boots. They stepped into it big time when they decided, quite capriciously, to ban all liquids and gels from carry-ons in Canada. Duty-free shops and other retail outlets in airports went into an immediate financial nosedive as their sales suddenly disappeared.

Now the bureaucrats who are supposedly protecting us from terrorists have hit on a plan to make it up to those retailers (whom airports rely on for some pretty hefty rental income). They are going to allow us to take liquids and gels onto aircraft again but only if we buy them at the airport from those long-suffering retailers. Bringing your own water, acne cream, or hair gel from home is still forbidden (unless you check it into the cargo hold, where apparently it's OK to put dangerous fluids).

None of this applies, of course, to flights into the USA. Not even a bottle of maple syrup bought at the airport or a duty-free icewine will be allowed into cabin baggage.

What difference the flight destination makes has never been explained. If the aim of the supposed terrorist is to blow up a plane in mid-flight, who cares whether it's headed for Winnipeg or Houston?


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 21 November 2006 05:40 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Muslim leaders expressed outrage on Tuesday after six imams were removed from a commercial airline flight in Minnesota for what they said was nothing more than trying to say evening prayers.

"They were treated like terrorists ... humiliated," said Abu Hannoud, civil rights director for the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who said the men were taken off the US Airways flight in handcuffs.

He said the men were still trying to find a flight back to Phoenix where most are affiliated with a major mosque after the carrier refused them passage following the incident on Monday evening....

Patrick Hogan, spokesman for the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission, said the airline asked airport police to remove the six men from the Minneapolis to Phoenix flight because their actions were "arousing some concerns" among both passengers and crew.

He said the men had been praying at the gate area but he did not know if they tried to pray once at their seats inside the plane.

He also said some witnesses reported the men were making anti-American statements involving the Iraq war, asked to change seats once inside the cabin, that one requested an extender to make his seat belt larger even though he did not appear to need it and that in general "there was some peculiar behavior."

Hogan said the men were questioned by local police, the FBI and federal security officials and released. Under normal procedures, he said, people taken off a flight under those circumstances would have been handcuffed, though he did not know if they were in this case.

[ 13 October 2007: Message edited by: M. Spector ]


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 03 December 2006 07:35 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Next time you fly to the USA (if any of you are still foolhardy enough to do so), Homeland Security will be adding the following information about you to their database:
  • The date of your reservations and your travel dates.
  • Your name and the names of your travelling companions.
  • Your address, your credit card information, your billing address, your cellphone number and email address.
  • Where you like to sit on the plane and any special services — meals or otherwise — you request.
  • Your frequent flyer points and your travel agency.
  • The number of times you have booked one-way tickets.
  • How many bags you check and their tag numbers, and whether you have ever booked a flight and not shown up.
The data will be kept in the database for 40 years, and mined by something called the Automated Targeting System to assess the risk that you may be a terrorist. That risk assessment will follow you around for the rest of your life.

Source: Toronto Star

[ 13 October 2007: Message edited by: M. Spector ]


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 03 December 2006 07:37 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Holy crap!
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 07 December 2006 04:34 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The purpose of data mining is not to check individuals' personal information against information about known terrorists, or those suspected of terrorism on "reasonable grounds" as they cross borders, send emails or access public services. The purpose of it is to predict who might be a terrorist ­ a little like the film "Minority Report," in which officials stop criminal acts before they happen by reading people's minds. However, the technology that is being used today falls far short of the technology of Hollywood fantasy.

First, the information on which data mining or risk scoring depend is often inaccurate, lacking context, dated, or incomplete. And like the ATS program, data mining and risk scoring programs never contain a mechanism by which individuals can correct, contextualize or object to the information that is being used against them, or even know what it is. Operating on a "preemption" principle, these systems are uninterested in this kind of precision. They would be bogged down if they were held to the ordinary standards of access, accuracy, and accountability.

Secondly, the criteria used to sort masses of data will always be over-inclusive and mechanical. Data mining is like assessing guilt by "Google" key-word searches. And since these systems use broad markers for predicting terrorism, ethnic and religious profiling are endemic to them.

Welcome to the national insecurity state, where our virtual identities are continually assessed for the risk we pose to the state and the normal relationship between the individual and the state in democratic societies is turned on its head. Now, the individual answers to the state and woe betide the person who is branded with a high "risk score."


Maureen Webb

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 13 December 2006 07:52 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Canada uses the same data-mining system as the US, according to the Second Arar Inquiry Report.
quote:
NRAC [Canada's National Risk Assessment Centre] receives API/PNR* information about inbound airline passengers from air carriers prior to landing. NRAC cross-references API against its internal Immigration and Customs enforcement databases to match passengers against lookout flags or identify any previous issues with arriving individuals. PNR information is fed into a risk-analysis system that risk-scores passengers using algorithms developed from a large database of information. The algorithms are designed to identify constellations of factors that the CBSA [Canadian Border Security Agency] states indicate increased risk. Passengers considered to be at high-risk for possible involvement with terrorism, as well as other serious crimes including smuggling and trafficking of drugs or people, are subject to closer questioning upon arrival in Canada. Canada and the United States use the same risk-analysis system. A similar system, the Integrated Primary Inspection Line, is used to process the movement of travellers into Canada at selected ferry, bus, cruise ship and rail locations.
*Advance Passenger Information (API) is basic identifying data about a traveller, including name, birthdate, gender, passport or other travel document information, and citizenship or nationality.

Passenger Name Record information (PNR) relates to a traveller’s itinerary and reservation, and includes any information about a person contained in a transportation carrier’s reservation or departure control records. Such information could include, for example, details about e-mail addresses, credit card billing or special health requirements.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 16 December 2006 03:48 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Somehow I missed this gem when it first came out this summer:

Arabic T-shirt sparks airport row

quote:
An architect of Iraqi descent has said he was forced to remove a T-shirt that bore the words "We will not be silent" before boarding a flight at New York.

Raed Jarrar said security officials warned him his clothing was offensive after he checked in for a JetBlue flight to California on 12 August.

Mr Jarrar said he was shocked such an action could be taken in the US.
....
Mr Jarrar's black cotton T-shirt bore the slogan in both Arabic and English.

He said he had cleared security at John F Kennedy airport for a flight back to his home in California when he was approached by two men who wanted to check his ID and boarding pass.

Mr Jarrar said he was told a number of passengers had complained about his T-shirt - apparently concerned at what the Arabic phrase meant - and asked him to remove it. He refused, arguing that the slogan was not offensive and citing his constitutional rights to free expression.

Mr Jarrar later told a New York radio station: "I grew up and spent all my life living under authoritarian regimes and I know that these things happen. "But I'm shocked that they happened to me here, in the US."

After a difficult exchange with airline staff, Mr Jarrar was persuaded to wear another T-shirt bought for him at the airport shop.

"We Will Not Be Silent" is a slogan adopted by opponents of the war in Iraq and other conflicts in the Middle East. It is said to derive from the White Rose dissident group which opposed Nazi rule in Germany.



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 11 April 2007 09:43 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
On 1 March 07, I was scheduled to fly on American Airlines to Newark, NJ, to attend an academic conference at Princeton University, designed to focus on my latest scholarly book, Constitutional Democracy, published by Johns Hopkins University Press this past Thanksgiving.

When I tried to use the curb-side check-in at the Sunport, I was denied a boarding pass because I was on the Terrorist Watch list. I was instructed to go inside and talk to a clerk. At this point, I should note that I am not only the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence (emeritus) but also a retired Marine colonel. I fought in the Korean War as a young lieutenant, was wounded, and decorated for heroism. I remained a professional soldier for more than five years and then accepted a commission as a reserve office, serving for an additional 19 years.

I presented my credentials from the Marine Corps to a very polite clerk for American Airlines. One of the two people to whom I talked asked a question and offered a frightening comment: "Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that." I explained that I had not so marched but had, in September, 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the Web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the Constitution. "That'll do it," the man said.

After carefully examining my credentials, the clerk asked if he could take them to TSA officials. I agreed. He returned about ten minutes later and said I could have a boarding pass, but added: "I must warn you, they're going to ransack your luggage." On my return flight, I had no problem with obtaining a boarding pass, but my luggage was "lost." Airlines do lose a lot of luggage and this "loss" could have been a mere coincidence. In light of previous events, however, I'm a tad skeptical.


Walter F. Murphy, professor emeritus, Princeton University

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 13 October 2007 09:10 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
American Muslims required to pass political correctness tests on returning home
quote:
In a post-9/11 world, returning from an overseas trip could mean a serious ordeal at the port of entry for many American Arab and Muslim travelers, especially those returning from the Middle East or a Muslim country.

Many recount harrowing experiences of unfair treatment, rude behavior, unnecessary and humiliating interrogations, unprofessional conduct by DHS officials and long detentions for little or no reasonable cause. For many, the striking similarities between their stories and the frequency of occurrence point to one inevitable conclusion: profiling.
...
Fazaga said he experiences similar treatment with regards to the questioning. He said he is asked questions such as, “What do you think of Bukhari (a ninth century Muslim scholar of Hadith)? How come you are not dressed as an imam? What are your thoughts on the Shia? What are your feelings on jihad?”



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 14 October 2007 12:37 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
Next time you fly to the USA (if any of you are still foolhardy enough to do so), Homeland Security will be adding the following information about you to their database:
  • The date of your reservations and your travel dates.
  • Your name and the names of your travelling companions.
  • Your address, your credit card information, your billing address, your cellphone number and email address.
  • Where you like to sit on the plane and any special services — meals or otherwise — you request.
  • Your frequent flyer points and your travel agency.
  • The number of times you have booked one-way tickets.
  • How many bags you check and their tag numbers, and whether you have ever booked a flight and not shown up.
The data will be kept in the database for 40 years, and mined by something called the Automated Targeting System to assess the risk that you may be a terrorist. That risk assessment will follow you around for the rest of your life.

And now Canada's New Government™ is set to negotiate an agreement with US Homeland Security whereby airline passenger data will be submitted to the US agency 72 hours in advance of any flight taking off from Canada that will pass through US air space to destinations in Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, etc.

If the US objects to your travelling, you will not be allowed to board your flight.

If they don't object, they will simply keep the info about your little vacation trip to Cuba on file and use it to harrass you next time you try to get into the US.

Or they could change their mind and object 72 hours before your return flight, effectively stranding you in Cuba, and forcing you to fly home via Europe.

Have a look at the kind of personal information they collect and keep about airline passengers.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
kropotkin1951
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posted 15 October 2007 12:21 PM      Profile for kropotkin1951   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So will one flight to Cuba get you on the American no fly list? How about a flight to Havanaa followed by a vacation in Venezula?

I will put money that the US will strand some Canadians in Cuba after their new system comes into play. They will not be able to stop themselves. I can imagine having to fly to Europe first to get home because the US has decided you cannot fly on a Candaian airline over their country.


From: North of Manifest Destiny | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 15 October 2007 01:58 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
So will one flight to Cuba get you on the American no fly list?
I don't see why not.

Conversely, if you're already on the US no-fly or "pull aside for extra screening" lists (along with 118,999 other people), not only can you not enter the US freely, you can be prevented from travelling to anywhere in the Western Hemisphere, unless you go via Europe.

Except for travel within Canada.

So far.

And that's even if you're not on the slightly shorter Canadian no-fly/harrass-this-person lists.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
peacenik2
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10286

posted 16 October 2007 02:48 PM      Profile for peacenik2        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW:

October 16, 2007

Dear Fellow Cuba Travelers,

President George Bush, without so much as a squeak of protest from the Democratic Party presidential candidates or the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Canada, is planning to enact regulations requiring that all Canadian airline passenger manifests -- from flights to the Caribbean region and Central and South America -- be reported to U.S. Homeland Security, the FBI, CIA, etc. The regulations are set to go into effect later this month, unless you act today!

HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOU AS A CANADIAN?

As a Canadian, it affects you dramatically. Let's say you visit Cuba, which is ludicrously listed as a "terrorist state" by G.W. Bush, or even if you visit Venezuela, Bolivia or Ecuador (seen as "emerging terrorist nations" by the U.S.). The next time you travel across the border, you could be held up at U.S. customs or worse. You could be stripped and body cavity searched, detained or imprisoned; your automobile and its contents could be confiscated; or you could be turned back to Canada without explanation or recourse.

More than 600,000 Canadians visit Cuba every year to explore the island or renew ties with friends and family. This could change soon unless you take action.

Many Canadians also have friends and family in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, or decide to visit because of the exciting political developments occurring in these countries. If you go, your travel itineraries could be on permanent file in the many sinister agencies of the U.S. government -- all of which are hostile to the multicultural needs and aspirations of the Canadian people. Please take action now (see below). Don't let Bush and his little brother Prime Minister Stephen Harper impose police state regulations on us!

HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOU AS A RESIDENT OR CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES?

Residents and citizens of the U.S. who travel to Cuba via Canada will be reported by the Canadian government to U.S. agencies, if these regulations go into effect after October 22. A bilateral police state reality will further limit the rights of U.S. citizens to travel.

We at Cuba Education Tours appeal to our friends in the U.S. to take action today to stop Bush's draconian plans. Your letters and emails will be extremely effective. Be brave. This is a noble cause. Our staff and friends have all sent messages of protest and we stand with you in solidarity. You have much to lose: your right to freedom of association guaranteed by the U.S. constitution.

DEADLINE FOR ACTION IS OCTOBER 22!

Here's the minimum information the U.S. security agencies get if these regulations go into effect:

* Full name, as the name appears on his/her passport
* Date of birth
* Gender
* Known traveler number (if applicable), identifying someone who the U.S. government has already screened and ruled not a security threat.

Canadian carriers would also be encouraged to transmit further details about passengers, including their itineraries, with a listing of their departure airport codes, airlines, departure/arrival times and arrival airport codes.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW

Send an email or fax message TODAY to the Canadian regulatory body in charge of whether to agree to this regulation. Address it to:

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Tower C - 330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N5 Canada
Telephone: (613) 991-0700
Fax: (613) 995-0327
Email: mintc@tc.gc.ca

Protest this proposed policy in the strongest possible terms. The conservative Bush-loving regime of Stephen Harper is a minority government. So your passionate messages of protest will have a big impact. Any message you send will be read and noted.

In solidarity,
Marcel Hatch


From: Nova Scotia, Canada | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 17 October 2007 09:23 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Jesus! It's a damn police/national security state. I hate those bastards. And I hate our weak and ineffective stoogeocrats for not standing up to them. Damn grovelling Dubya's-boot licking lap dogs anyway!

[ 17 October 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8273

posted 04 June 2008 04:44 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post reported last year that since 2003, a database that stores names of "individuals that the intelligence community believes might harm the United States" has quadrupled from 100,000 to 435,000. I am sure the numbers now are much higher. If the US has these many "terrorists" or "dangerous people," then we have a real and huge problem that cannot be solved by a watch list that selectively targets people.
....

"The ‘war on terror' has created a culture of fear in America," opined Zbigniew Brzezinski in a Washington Post OpEd. "Such fear-mongering, reinforced by security entrepreneurs, the mass media and the entertainment industry, generates its own momentum...The atmosphere generated by the ‘war on terror' has encouraged legal and political harassment of Arab Americans (generally loyal Americans) for conduct that has not been unique to them," he added. A case in point is the fact that an astronomical number of Americans, mainly Muslims, who are placed on the government's watch list and are subjected to unwarranted delays and detentions while traveling or crossing US borders.

While the proponents of the policy that led to the establishment of the watch list argue that it is in place to protect national security, facts indicate that it used as a tool to punish dissenters.

"I was denied a boarding pass because I was on the terrorist watch list," said Walter Murphy, a renowned constitutional scholar, a lecturer at Princeton University, and decorated Marine veteran. Why? Because "in September 2006, (he had) given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the Web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the Constitution."


Ahmad Al-Akhras

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8273

posted 06 June 2008 11:33 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Airport security staff were following regulations when they threw out 1½ litres of breast milk a passenger tried to take on a plane with her, says Canadian Air Transport Security Authority spokesman Mathieu Larocque.

Nina Brewer-Davis was going through security at Vancouver International Airport on Tuesday to board a plane to her home in San Diego when she had to surrender the breast milk she had pumped while away from her baby. She said she had a cooler containing 180-millilitre bags - 10 of them, most of which weren't full.

Even though some of the bags contained only 60 millilitres of milk, they weren't allowed through because their capacity exceeded the 100-millilitre limit, Mr. Larocque said. They would have been permitted if Ms. Brewer-Davis had her seven-month-old daughter, Laura Mae, with her.

"The regulation doesn't look at the content; it looks at the container," Mr. Larocque said.


The terrorists have officially won

[ 06 June 2008: Message edited by: M. Spector ]


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
laine lowe
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 13668

posted 06 June 2008 07:16 PM      Profile for laine lowe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I guess Nina Brewer-Davis should count herself lucky. At least she wasn't taken down by Taser toting RCMP agents.
From: north of 50 | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8273

posted 19 July 2008 02:58 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Clearly, the security program is not about protecting the flying public, or the nation’s tall buildings. That could be done much more cheaply by putting air marshals on all flights, the way they do at El Al, the Israeli airline that has never had a successful hijacking.

No, this is all about heightening the fear level of the American people, to routinize us to living in a police state.

The truth is, nobody is really interested in trying to hijack planes anymore. First of all, the “crash into buildings” tactic is dead. Pilots are now flying armed in armored cockpits that cannot be easily entered, and would not accede to a terrorist’s demands any longer, knowing what happened last time. And passengers would not sit passively in a cabin takeover attempt, either. As a result, we don’t have to worry about such things any longer.

The ease with which security could be breached, and the fact that it hasn’t happened now for seven years, is evidence enough that nobody is even trying to do it.


Dave Lindorff

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8273

posted 24 October 2008 08:26 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Helen [a Muslim who wears the hijab] was traveling through JFK airport security when she was flagged for further screening. She says she's gotten used to this kind of treatment. However, the usual security treatment then took a strange turn. A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employee asked to see Helen's I-Phone.

Helen tells me she was hesitant to hand over her new $400 phone, and she was unclear as to why she had turn over her private property in order to board a plane.

"He said it could be used as a weapon," she explains, shrugging. The shrugs says: So what was I supposed to do?

Helen gave the TSA employee her phone, and he proceeded to search through her list of contacts. Explaining the incident, Helen still squirms in her seat, and I can tell how violated the treatment made her feel.

The TSA employee then explained he would have to take her phone for further inspection, and that Helen could reclaim it later at the airport help desk. At this point in her story, Helen throws up her hands in exasperation.

When Helen went to reclaim her phone, the airport employees claimed they couldn't find it.

"I said, 'No, no, no. Look, I have his name! I was just here!' They looked at me like I was crazy. They said, 'Sorry, your phone isn't here.'"

This kind of story isn't uncommon. Understandably upset and furious, Helen went home to vent to her friends. To her surprise, many of her Muslim friends said they too had experienced this kind of airport theft.

"Items get stolen at the airport all the time by TSA staff," says Udi Ofer, the New York Civil Liberties Union's advocacy director.

In the United States, the Fourth Amendment protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures. But there is a big loophole, Ofer explains, "On the issue of the Fourth Amendment, the biggest obstacle is that the courts have held that, by voluntarily flying, passengers waive their rights."


Allison Kilkenny

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged

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