The purpose of this page is to highlight problems of individual freedom in the response of too many people to the threat from Islamic Totalitarian terrorist warriors, so that my life can be sustained with greater assurance. Among my points is that:
- the error rate of security officials is far too high.
- behaviour of security officials is too often improper.
- security detection requires not getting trapped in the box of your own lifestyle and thinking.
- security detection requires vigilance and checking out leads, and use of common sense (characteristics lacking before and after September 11, 2001).
- individual freedom is fundamental to sustaining freedom, which cannot survive if compromised for expediency.
- note that the proper response to the Islamic Totalitarian terrorist efforts is to eliminate the governments that equip, fund and motivate the terrorist warriors.
- repeat part of the comments from the end of my list of prior knowledge of the probable targets and methods of Islamo-Fascist terrorists who flew airplanes into buildings on September 11, 2001, which shows that security officials had ample indication of the nature of the threat and the identity of those fundamentally behind it.
Security people have cracked down to the extent of taking pens away from pilots because
pens have sharp points. Many people urge national identity cards, elimination of many civil
liberties, and invasions of privacy, to combat the Islamic Totalitarian terrorists. But will these
bureaucratic methods work? I doubt it. Bureaucratic methods did not work before September 11, they will not work in future.
One clear and moral way to protect ourselves is to forcibly eliminate terrorists and the
governments who aid them, harbour them, and tolerate others who fund and motivate them. They made war on our friends - war should be returned to wipe many of them out and show that their killings will be met with the same but over- whelming force. We cannot appease them, as the allies did with Hitler leading to WWII and apologists urge today - that would be suicide. (The apologists sound like British Prime Minister Chamberlain in 1938: "It has always seemed to me that in dealing with foreign countries we do not give ourselves a chance of success unless we try to understand their mentality, which is not always the same as our own, and it really is astonishing to contemplate how the identically same facts are regarded from two different angles.")
[Sure, freedom versus tyranny - apparently he could not tell the difference.]
(I commend the administration of the United States of America for going a long way in the correct direction after September 11, 2001, and urge them to double the strength of those efforts.)
Another is better intelligence, distributed well.
Israelis are claiming that they told US authorities of specific operatives connected to known
enemies (Bin Laden, a known group in Lebanon, and Iraq) who were working together on a large
The CIA told the FBI of a few of the eventual hijackers - FBI people claim they thought the
information flagged IMMEDIATE was routine (odd use of words, though they did look). Apparently it was not distributed to airlines or FAA, yet they are on the front lines of spotting people who are traveling. (Most of the hijackers traveled under their own names, using credit cards in their own names.) Now Congress is writing laws to make agencies share information! (Why does it take laws to force bureaucrats to work together?)
Security authorities must think broadly. It is difficult, and we know risk is never zero, but
we don't pay them just to use textbook bureaucratic methods that anyone could think of. We
employ them in our free countries to protect freedom, not to reduce freedoms. (This person seems to make sense but I'd need details: Interview with Ronen Hakimi (Aviation Today, January 10, 2002; Hakimi has extensive experience in Israel whose airlines have long been a target of Islamo-Fascist terrorists.)
We are now seeing knee-jerk reactions by security personnel. Hopefully just a temporary aberration by people in fear of losing their jobs and companies because they let the terrorists onboard with knives on September 11. However, security gaps continue:
Airport Security Tightened Report Finds Lapses Still Remain Expected (ABC News 11Oct/01)
And the procedures used. US and Canada authorities, especially INS, already have powers that
local police don't, and have abused them. (For examples check the court rulings on seizure of
automobiles when someone in the vehicle was not admissible (a common occurrence which may be
for non-alarming non-criminal reasons) and on "expedited removal". Border procedures assume guilt (the opposite of normal justice) and do not require the full process of normal law (a process that protects individuals against errors and abuse). While law enforcement is a tough job, it is the job of those hired to do it and must be done properly and well. Due process is a fundamental requirement of free countries, in contrast with the misuse of power that the colonies revolted against in forming the United States of America. At a time of hiring of entry level employees (which the US INS' web site indicates it is doing) it is crucial that proper direction be given to them. There are indications of ignorance (such as FBI agents unaware that government lists of flight training schools could easily be obtained on the Internet) and improper behavior (such as seizure of perishable groceries from a store in the same building as a raided money transfer service - at the worst possible time for the store - just before a major feast period of its customers).
Somalian shop owners return with merchandise seized in raid
By Florangela Davila (Seattle Times November 29, 2001)
(Actions of US government agents seem incredibly petty and careless - for example, seizing shelving, throwing out food, and not delivering what they took back to the owner's location. Those agents are not people who are suitable to defend freedom.
And there are allegations of, in my words, callous incompetence and obtuseness:
ABCNews.com, January 12, 2002
(Note information about extra power that INS has over non-citizens.)
Another risk is planting contraband, whether targetted at an individual or conveniently parked there.
Yet another risk is misunderstanding the nature of documents. I've seen a government agency launch on the basis of a document that did not mean what simpletons thought it meant (the permission described expired from lack of use, as defined in the applicable laws which the irresponsible government employee did not bother to check).
Security people need to keep perspective. For example, suppose someone bought fertilizer for their large lawn, then rented a truck to help a poor friend move, then purchased a few barrels of diesel fuel for the generator at their remote cabin. At that point they fit a terrorist profile (Timothy McVeigh's). Or consider a person travelling by themselves, sleeping in their vehicle, living frugally, looking for work - who likes goat's milk. They fit the profile of Islamo-Fascist terrorist operatives in the US. (Hmm - if al Qaeda had the amount of money the anti-financial-freedom bureaucrats say they had, why did its operatives live so poorly?)
Security people need to think out of the box, think laterally.
A simple physical example is the case of a truck jammed under a road overpass that it was
too tall for. One's first thought is is to get a tow truck and pull it back. That would work,
once a large enough tow truck was obtained. But it might cause further damage to the overpass. How else to extricate the truck? Let some air out of the tires to lower the truck, then slowly move it back several feet under its own power? Less damage, faster, and less cost. Simple, but most people wouldn't think of that unless they contemplate the full picture.
Another example is the question that arosen every month or two in Compuserve discussion forums:
"I want to use my laptop computer in my car - will it run on an inverter?" (An inverter
would provide AC power, emulating a building wall outlet, from the DC power in the car - but often does not produce power of the same quality hence the question.) But before launching into a detailed look at power quality and other invertor factors, the simple question is: "why don't you buy a DC power supply meant for using laptops in vehicles?" "Oh, I didn't know there was such a thing."
That is, the questioner jumped on one solution and assumed it was the best, without looking for other ones by starting from a more fundamental position. (They began with a solution that would be worthwhile for a different device, one designed only to run on AC - whereas the laptop computer is designed to run on DC. They should ask the more fundamental question "can I power my laptop computer from my car?" - the question that begins with the objective instead of assuming a specific solution.
A security person was flapping around an office asking where a person with a Polish last name was, since he was not at his desk. (Names were on cubicle walls. She was walking through the office area checking in general.) But the person with a Polish last name was a US citizen, born in the US, whereas nearby there were three people who were not permanent residents of the US - one Canadian and two British. The incompetent security person didn't pay any attention to their names. The Canadian spoke up to say that the person with a Polish last name was probably over in another area coordinating with other workers which is a regular part of his job, and suggest he was OK. Canadians are of course difficult to detect in the US but some people notice pronunciations of particular words, the British persons would have had an accent. That is, the security person was so naiive she did not understand that names don't define citizenship.
Lack of knowledge of alternatives is quite typical of those whose mind set is to think they can forecast everything and pre-ordain reality (bureaucrats, control freaks and statists), quite typical of emotionalists.
An example in the war against terrorism is invasion of privacy to stop people from moving money through the banking system. Oh, there are networks outside the banking system? Well, make them illegal (as middle eastern countries are now doing - at the expense of workers sending money to their hungry families (good banking is not available in much of the world). Uh-oh! - now we hear that bin Laden's people used diamonds to transfer purchasing power. Stop that and gold will be used, disguised as objects for personal use. And on and on, with more complicated laws and unintended consequences at each step. (And now you find that the Northern Alliance smuggled gems out of Afghanistan to finance their war effort, which has enabled removal of the Taliban from power, which is a good result from using valuable gems to transfer wealth? Hmmmm. Perhaps forbidding something can actually work against the objective of freedom.)
Would you consider that it is the end action that must be judged, not the tools used? That people take the action, not tools?)
Another is intercepting communications. Since the Internet is accessible and fairly quick now,
bureaucrats want to spy on email. Oh, but it is easy to embed messages in pictures? We'll have
to forbid pictures (as in Iran?). Oh, there is no record kept of instant messaging
communications? Well, we'll have to forbid that. Oh, there are simple radios that can communicate over long distances? We'll have to forbid them (never mind their use by missionaries in the jungle).
Cassandra Szklarski, National Post, December 2, 2001
My point is that the usual control-freak methods will not work against terrorism, yet will hurt people trying to live life honestly.
LIBERTIES and RIGHTS
This section is under development.....
Here are articles on the indicated subjects:
War Powers Without War (noting duration of powers) (CapitalismMagazine.com DE/01)
I note that too many people forget a well proven principle of justice "innocent until proven guilty".
Presumably their intent is good - to see terrorists brought to justice. However they overlook
the fundamental epistemological challenge of ensuring guilt. There is good reason to ensure the
accusers prove their case - it is too easy for emotion to over-ride logic. (I do not agree with many of the current court procedures that prolong proceedings and let people get off on technicalities. However, I see too many false convictions.)
EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY NOT DEPENDABLE
This article points to serious problems with eyewitness testimony:
Probe fails to find Canadian links to Sept. 11 attacks by Ross Marowits, Victoria Times Colonist, DE '01
"Faulty eyewitness testimony is the major cause of wrongful convictions; responsible for probably over half the wrongful convictions in North America," said Elizabeth Loftus, professor of psychology at the University of Washington and author of several books on eyewitness testimony.
In the 2002 case of a sniper in the vicinity of Washington DC, one person misled police based on expectations developed from incorrect reports. (The person claimed he saw a white van and a specific assault rifle, when in fact the sniper's vehicle was a car and the rifle was not seen because only the end of its barrel could stick out of the vehicle - i.e. a complete fabrication, based in part on a police bulletin suggesting a white van and in part on a type of weapon publicized in the preceding few years.)
In the last week of January 2015 someone called police saying a neighbour was cooking drugs, in the town of Skidgate on the Haida Gwai islands off the BC coast. In fact it was a lot of fish being deep fried, not a rare occurrence on the coast where many fishe are caught. Duh?
Accident investigators know they must analyze and corroborate witness reports.
One key question is "how much does the witness know about the subject?" ("Do they know what is normal and not normal?"). The case of the flight attendants who fingered a US Secret Service Officer on a flight because he had a book written in Arabic is an example of at best naivete, perhaps negligence. (They lept to the assumption that someone reading a book in Arabic was a potential terrorist, when in fact many US government and military persons learn Arabic to do their job of intelligence, working with local forces, and handling routine diplomatic matters.)
Experts advise on interviewing questions, interviewing sequences and witness risk factors that reduce chance of error or inadvertent leading of the witness. Refer for example to the Vancouver Sun of July 17, 2004 which quotes former policeman turned teacher Bob Kowan and renowned false-memory expert Elizabeth Loftus, who says "...just because somebody says something that's positive, confident, detailed and emotional, it doesn't mean its true". (The US Department of Justice has a guide for law enforcement officials on eyewitness evidence.) Are DHS personnel being trained as police are?
But even a witnesses knowledge of the context or technical field is not enough. In one aircraft accident, an experienced pilot witnessed a small airplane at the beginning of a loss of control leading to its crash. He saw it in the sky and said it was in an unusual attitude. Yet the wreckage clearly suggested a flat spin. Investigators concluded that the witness saw the aircraft against a featureless sky, without view of the horizon, while bent over a barbecue in his backyard. Having heard a change in its sound he looked up and saw the aircraft - but it was his body that was not level whereas the aircraft was. Proper accident investigation uses cross-check techniques to avoid such traps.
A related phenomenon is false accusations.
From the person who falsely claimed that his daughter had an affair with a US legislator who was a suspect in the case of a different woman gone missing, to false claims of sexual abuse by groups of people in Saskatchewan, Wenatchee Washington, and Los Angeles California, involving schools and church groups, I am amazed at the number of false claims that are taken seriously for far too long. (Ontario police say that about 10% of accusations of sexual assault are completely false - the OPP is aggressive against false accusations because they undermine prosecution of actual cases.) What happens when someone is falsely accused of activities that make them a terrorism suspect but cannot use the normal legal process to clear themselves?
Canada has had a shocking number of wrongful convictions for murder.
The reasons include sloppy police work, police and prosecutors overlooking evidence, and lying informants.
BASIC ERROR or WORSE
And basic errors:
(ABCNews.com of January 17, 2002)
and Detainee Freed (ABCNews.com of January 18, 2002)
Hotel staff incorrectly listed a radio as being from the room of an Arabian person, so the individual was arrested and held for several weeks before another guest - a private pilot - enquired about his radio. The hotel employee changed his story from finding the radio in a locked safe with the first person's passport to finding it on a table. It seems an innocent person was caught in an improbable circumstance. The frightening thing is how long it took police to figure it out. (Something is fishy here - I hope they checked the possibility that the hotel employee falsified the story. (The employee first said the radio was found in the room safe with the accused person's passport but later said it was on a table in the room - that's a rather large difference. Also note some FBI claims were incorrect. Not the FBI's finest investigative hour.) Imagine someone caught in such a situation but with a junior jackboot in charge, empowered by the new laws that reduce protections!
A clock 12 minutes off:
Bank's faulty security camera portrays artist as theft suspect
(Victoria Times Colonist, January 25, 2002, article by Jody Paterson, with several other examples.) In that case authorities accused an individual of theft because surveillance video recordings showed her using a bank machine at a certain time - but the recorder and bank computers were not synched in time.
And from that article, a memorable quote:
"One of the business leaders in Kelowna said he saw nothing different with having cameras everywhere and having a police officer on every corner," said Radwanski, who has now asked the federal government to intervene. "The answer to that is yes, there are places where there are police on every corner, and they're called police states."
And a case of a naive citizen mistaking a wallet for a weapon:
Who looks suspicious these days? Maybe you (Erik Lacitis, Seattle Times, January 27, 2002)
(Seems irresponsible of the flight attendant.)
Plus the case of a mob:
At the beginning of August a woman pushed a teenager into the path of a transit train in Calgary Alberta, on August 1, 2007.
Two days later, friends of the dead person incorrectly identified someone then on the train station platform as the woman and rushed to grab her. Someone called police who quickly arrived. She was not the person, only vaguely resembling the perpetrator.
The problem with such people is they do not see the big picture. For example, the badly behaved US Secret Service agent who looked to be of Arabian genetic background was observed by a flight attendant to have a book that appeared to be in an arabic language. But if I were the Secret Service I'd like to have such an employee studying hard to learn the language, so he would fit in with a crowd when key people were overseas visiting more risky locations such as Pakistan. is this a duplicate mention?
A case of not understanding dynamics of a business and its customers, combined with guilty-until-proven-innocent approaches of a government agency, and lack of responsibility for its incompetent actions:
USDA drops case against embattled Somali grocers (Seattle Times, July 17, 2002)
While the US INS did not terminate the program making it unusually easy for Saudis to get visas until long after September 11 (11 of 19 hijackers were Saudi, most of the hard-core terrorists in the US prison at Guantanamo Bay are Saudi), it hassled spouses of persons they killed:
The upside down world of the INS (Mark Steyn, National Post, July 30, 2002.
The article is primarily about spouses of persons killed in the September 11 attacks who were in the US on work visas. Mere days afterward INS informed the spouses that their qualification to live in the US was no longer valid (because it was based on their spouse's visa) thus they were liable to be arrested and deported. Class, real class - from the agency that let the hijackers into the country. (And negligence, harassing widows instead of looking for terrorists.)
And the combination of media frenzy and security authority mishandling of cases, exemplified in the case of Richard Jewell, the Atlanta security guard who was a suspect in the 1996 Olympic Park bombing and who became a household name even though he had done nothing wrong. (Many examples are available, including the cases of wrongful conviction in Canada as listed in the Vancouver Sun of November 29, 2003.)
As well, police are not exempt from sloppiness or worse.
- Ontario Provincial Police in Wasaga Beach launched a full search for a child's body after a "tiny human hand" was found on the beach. 24 hours later they woke up to the reality that it was made of plastic. It was from a doll. (Source Victoria Times Colonist of June 20, 2004, page D2. Second prize to the sheriffs in Ontario County NY who thought that a human foot had been found in garbage - it was a bear paw. Source National Post of August 8, 2009.)
- An article in Discover magazine titled "Reasonable Doubt" discusses accuracy of DNA evidence. It tells of errors in the Virginia Department of Forensic Science circa 2000-2004 and in the Houston police department's forensic lab.
- Police in the Victoria section of Australia are re-examining 7,000 cases after a mistake was found in DNA evidence in the case of Russell John Gesah who had been charged with murder (per Reuters, early August 2008). Early media reports indicate the problem was cross-contamination because something was not cleaned adequately, given the ability of test equipment to detect tiny traces of material - in my words, evidence was contaminated with other material (a DNA sample from the accused). That is a fundamental error, well known as not acceptable (for example, drugs, chemicals, and flora material from a crime scene all may be compared with samples from a suspect or their belongings or residence to establish a correlation). There's also a potential issue of many people mis-representing the accuracy of DNA testing. The claimed certainty of a match, due to the uniqueness of an individual's DNA, is an illusion because of the sloppiness in handling the input samples.
- Unreliable facial-recognition software leads to improper action against drivers.
- Canadian border guards couldn't recognize motor oil, so an individual spent 12 days in jail while the government took its time analyzing the oil.
- During the night of October 29, 2013 a small airplane was flown by a drunk pilot from Windsor ON to Nashville TN and may have circled the airport for some time before crashing onto the runway. The wreckage was only discovered by another pilot at 8:45 am. How can even a small airplane cross the border and fly well south without detection? Terrorist commandos could fly in several small aircraft from different directions, etc.
GOVERNMENT NOT DEPENDABLE
A key reason for good procedures to protect individual rights is the undependability of
government. Current government people will of course protest that they have no intentions of
doing [whatever the bad thing is]. But who will be in their shoes of power tomorrow? We've seen
a US president lying to citizens about his own behavior (which violated his instructions to staff as to how they must behave), and a Canadian government lying to citizens about the seriousness of a known amateur terrorist group (in order to justify reducing liberties - the case of the FLQ terrorists in Quebec). In the US and Canada we saw mistreatment of persons of Japanese genetic background during WWII, including theft of their property. Right here in the two freest countries!
And wasn't a key complaint fueling the revolution that founded the US one of the government of England not following its own rules?
Here is an example of alleged coverup:
A Petty Tyrant's Coverup at Columbine (Capitalism Magazine January 2002)
"There are good cops and there are bad cops. Sept. 11 has not changed that fact."
A US explosives expert said "Even though I just delivered an hour-and-a-half presentation to several directors and bosses within the ATF, I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them." (The Vancouver Sun, November 21, 2003, by reporter Larry Pynn quoting Rus Hart of Rapid Entry Systems Technology Corp.)
And the case of Australian prosecutors telling a court that a person's phone card was found in a vehicle that suspected terrorist plotters crashed at an airport in Britain. In fact it was at the home of one of the suspects, a second cousin, where it was left a year earlier when the person went to Australia to work. (Note phone cards are often only usable locally thus not worth taking with a person moving away.) While the Australian prosecutors woke up and dropped charges, Australia's immigration bureaucracy stonewalled instead of re-instating his work visa. (Yes, he may have been unwise as to who he associated with in Britain, perhaps falling into the trap of thinking that relatives were OK - a common belief.) Source the Victoria Times Colonist of July 30, 2007.
Local police in Sydney Australia incorrectly told security authorities that a cousin of UK airport and nightclub bomber had a photograph of him with another suspect in the case. But it took almost a month for the local police to accept their mistake despite extreme doubt by the security authorities and a call from British authorities. Earlier another security authority had incorrectly claimed that the cousin's cellular phone card was found in the bomber's vehicle. (Article "Metropolitan Police 'wrong' linking doctor in Australia to bombing", Times of UK of December 23, 2008. Fortunately for the wrongly accused, he wasn't immediately shot and eventually got his day in court. Memo to investigators: some people have very different content of character than their blood relatives.)
Here is yet another case of a police person simply having a bad attitude, and a police
department arrogantly refusing to make reasonable amends:
Sorry seems to be the hardest word (Vancouver Sun Internet edition, Saturday, July 06, 2002, Barbara Yaffe
And note the problems within government agencies. While the occurrence rate might be low, the consequences are great for the affected individuals. Examples:
- Michelle Malkin claims that a key figure in an INS scam to fool headquarters personnel regarding the level of activity in an office in Florida was later promoted to a security-related position in headquarters (as published in CapitalismMagazine.com).
- Several INS employees including supervisors and managers shredded tens of thousands of documents to reduce a backlog of unprocessed applications. The documents included certificates and passports submitted by applicants. (According to AP, datelined Santa Ana California as printed in the Times Colonist of February 1, 2003. Clearly INS employees had a callous attitude to their effect on the lives of individuals forced to deal with them - and were fundamentally dishonest.)
While police extrapolate anti-terrorist laws to other crimes and minor suspicions. (Such as Canadian RCMP trying to use laws intended to temporarily counter Islamo-Fascist terrorists against those perennial home-grown bad guys, the Hells Angels, and Canadian banks mistreating people who finally smartened up to want to put their under-mattress savings into the safety of a bank deposit.)
Note as well that bureaucracies err. For example, initial threshold levels for drug testing of airline pilots were so low that a couple of poppy seed bagels would put a person over the threshold (so don't eat those hotel bagels before your flight ;-). My point is that a common food could cause failure of a serious test - imagine if retest procedures and prompt access to the justice system were not available, as is the case with many government agencies.
Worse, politicians can warp classification of persons. For example, a 2009 report by the Department of Homeland Security includes those opposed to immigration in the category "rightwing extremism" when in reality that is a common view, one often held by leftwing supporters such as trade unions - it is essentially protectionism, a common belief among voters in the US. (And Canada, the UK, etc.) ( Source National Review Online, April 17, 2009, Andrew C. McCarthy.)
POLICE BEHAVIOUR and INDIVIDUAL CONCERNS
People are accustomed to protecting themselves while travelling. A major concern is losing their money and identification. How are they to react when a junior jackboot demands their belt-loop wallet? The interchange cannot be expected to be pleasant conversation. The official's behaviour in that case is similar to untrustworthy officials in parts of the world. (And the the border agent in Blaine WA who used a Taser on an individual who would not get out of his vehicle until the agent said "please" in his orders.)
RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE
Police have many resources to find terrorists. Among them are "signature" aspects (as publicized in the case of the anthrax laden letters for example, different from "MO" which changes to suit effectiveness (airplane bombs instead of truck bombs, for example). Unskilled agents do not do well at signature detection - note the actions of inexperienced port of entry agents, for example (though in part due to their lack of broad experience in or knowledge of human life). We must expect police to do their job well at minimal impact on the life of individual persons (though we expect individuals to help police).
An example of police work that gave some indication all was not well, but was too little too late, was a local FBI office noticing that many Arabs were taking flight school lessons. As a result of spreading that information, FBI acted when someone in a training facility in Minnesota became concerned that a student was unusually eager to only learn air maneuvers rather than the normal progression including takeoffs and landings. But headquarters did not act promptly on the information.
Agent Warned ABCNews.com, May 03, 2002
One FBI official believes local law enforcement is very important to spotting terrorists.
Washington an easy target for terrorists, FBI says (Seattle Times, June 27, 2002)
""Terrorists are kind of at the fringes of society and it's not like they're out there with a banner saying they're terrorists. So the people who are likely to have contact with these people are not the FBI but the patrol officers and the cops on the beat."
And security people can act sensibly. The March issue of Airport Business magazine commends Paul Hackenburg for his efforts in security at Jacksonville Airport (JAX) - recognizing the economic impact and working with airport people while getting the security job done well.
"Profiling" is a misused word. To interview someone just because they fit one set of
criteria not connected to the specific case, such as visible genetic background, would be wrong - and foolish police work (because it wastes resources and time, both very limited). However, to not narrow the scope of investigation when there is clear and pertinent information on quickly identifiable characteristics of suspected terrorists would also be foolish.
However, at all times police must remember that being worth interviewing does not mean guilt. And it is not their job to punish suspects in any way, such as by mistreatment.
(Here is a good article on profiling:
Profiling is an inherent part of police work
(Seattle Times September 2001, Mindy Cameron column on page B10)
"If there was no specific reason (that could be reasonably articulated by the cop) for the stop, or the cop was overtly disrespectful, there is probably reason to look at the incident. Bear in mind that being ordered out of a car, and searched for weapons is not inherently disrespectful, if the person(s) fit the profile of armed robbers."
"The question is, was there some form of explanation, and civil apology on the part of the cops, once it was determined that they were not the bad guys. Cops should offer some reasonable explanation in such incidents, and attempt to leave the person(s) with some understanding of why they were stopped and questioned. It is just common decency and common sense to do so." --- Bud Hansen, experienced sheriff.
Profiling (CapitalismMagazine.com December 2001)
Meanwhile, euphemisms are found to avoid the "profiling" term. According to ABCNews.com of May 10, 2002 "a spokesperson [for the US Customs Service] concedes certain drivers are "targeted" based on their nationalities." (The context was checking trucks moving from Canada to the US, and an Algerian driver's truck being searched because Algerians have been active in terrorism.) Uh, what is the difference between "targetting" in that context with the criteria used and "profiling" in the context of greater scrutiny to prevent a crime? Both selected a person based on their presumed cultural and familial background. In both cases the person might have rejected the culture and family they came from and adopted a pro-freedom individualist philosophy such as Objectivism - but the proportion of persons of Algerian background who cling tenaciously to a culture common in Algeria (Muslim terrorist) is presumably of enough concern that they are given more scrutiny (especially when entering from the country that terrorist Ressam entered from).
And in the many "if only" hindsight stories after September 11, 2001, this one shows a government loan official was too tolerant of inconsistent, threatening and fraudulent behavior to even report an applicant to security - one Mohamed Atta, who organized the hijackings in the US. IOW, the official put up with unacceptable behavior.
Interview with Johnelle Bryant (ABCNews.com, June 6, 2002).
THE JAPANESE CASE
During World War II, large numbers of people of Japanese genetic background were removed from their property and put in concentration camps. Many if not the majority were citizens of Canada or the US, and many of their children were in the military forces of Canada and the US. These people had a reputation for being hard-working residents of Canada and the US. In many cases their property was not kept up for them, nor returned to them after the war. In at least some cases government benefitted directly, deliberately, from taking their property.
Here is some history. (The Densho site. I have not checked the balance of this site for bias - I provide it at this time only as a source of clues for further research. Most of the founders had ancestors who were interned, but I need to check the beliefs of the newer staff members.)
As well, Canadian history of the ghost towns in the Slocan area, of the RR town of Lucerne (in the Yellowhead pass west of Jasper AB), and the Okanagan settlement of Naramata (near Penticton) provides clues.
Note that the many immigrants from Germany who arrived in Canada after World War I were not interned, despite Canada having been already at war with Germany when the Japanese government attacked the US. Note also that the US military in the Hawaiian islands avoided public hysteria and there were no incarcerations there - despite Hawaii being a more reachable target and an attractive one for takeover. (Even J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI director often maligned by the left and - in his position - having a responsibility for internal security, was against incarceration of persons of Japanese ancestry.)
The Japanese case shows what government in democratic countries is willing to do, egged on by those who cry "lock up all [persons of some perceived collectivist connection to current enemy, such as genetic makeup or ancestry]".
(During or around World War I, Canada interned 8,579 Eastern Europeans including 5,000 Ukranians, and required another 88,000 to report to police. Some were deported or lost their right to vote. Reference Vancouver Sun of August 13, 2002, page A5. At least some of those internees in Canadian forced labor camps did not have proper clothing for the cold weather.)
The fundamental questions in the case of how the Japanese were treated are:
- what proportion of persons of Japanese genetic background were likely to be agents for the current Japanese war-mongering regime? Factors might include when they immigrated - many came several decades earlier.
- how to effectively identify them? (Obviously the US government found themselves able to identify some who could be trusted, those admitted to the ranks of the US military.)
- once it was determined to corral persons of Japanese genetic background, whether justified or not, what was proper treatment? In the event, the governments of Canada and the US did not secure their property and did not house them well enough for their health.
WHO IS LOYAL?
"No other country in the world would let an immigrant like me become an officer in its military."
(Pakistani-born Muslim serving in US Marine Corp., according to the Seattle Times, June 4, 2002 which said: "Afghan and Pakistani Americans are crucial to anti-terrorist campaign.") Describes value of US soldiers who speak the local languages in Afghanistan. In other words, acceptance of individuals into the military regardless of their genetic background and even of their birthplace.
Yet some people in the US wanted to "lock up all Muslims"? That is Ignorant and Irresponsible!
A related problem is the bureaucrat/statist notion that everyone is "from" somewhere - i.e. they belong to a city/state/country/family. But the only concrete thing today is citizenship - sort of.
Let's look at an example:
A man and woman, age 50, work at driving a truck as a team.
Their parents are dead or unknown (perhaps they were orphans, but at their age the probability is substantial that their parents died of natural causes).
They have a network of friends across Canada, the US and Mexico, and try to visit them when work takes them close.
They drive company owned trucks, over borders between the three countries - they are respected, trusted, capable drivers used for special cargo.
They sleep in the truck, as truckers commonly do to save money and for security of their special cargos.
They might have extra belongings in a storage unit somewhere, but they can remotely have someone ship those belongings to another location. (They carry CDs with their papers, records, reference books, and favorite movies in one suitcase - viewing all on a laptop computer. Their truck has entertainment equipment, communications equipment (for company operations, truck maintenance, and emergency assistance), first aid equipment, and a variety of clothing for the different climates they drive into. If they park the truck and take a small vehicle or aircraft for a vacation, they put the truck in a secure facility or temporarily put their few belongings, other than their bodies and minds, in a secure storage unit (as others might use the truck or it may undergo extensive maintenance due wear out of key parts).
Where are these people "from"?
The closest they have to a fixed place is the country they are citizens of. (Assuming for their special work and wide area they are citizens of one or more of the three NAFTA countries they work across, rather than just "permanent legal residents" with citizenship elsewhere. (Dual citizenship is allowed of citizens, formally in Canada and effectively in the US.) They carry passports to cross the two borders for work. They support the principles of freedom exemplified by the founding principles of the U.S.)
Face it - these people are "individuals", employed and trusted on the basis of their individual reputation.
WHO IS NOT?
Discussions of the legal status of prisoners related to war seem unreal. They sound like a view of war as Medieval European armies in splendid uniforms shooting arrows at each other across a field, to settle some old perceived insult, after which they'll send prisoners back to fight in the next skirmish.
People seem not to grasp the fundamental purpose of war (to beat the other side into submission) nor its fundamental nature (nasty, horribly nasty - war is violence, otherwise it is only "politics").
The operatives of war might be in uniforms with identification of their afiliation (but they may be in false uniforms), bush gear, or whatever clothing disguises them (fancy or rags as suits their purpose).
Their clothing is irrelevant - their actions define their allegiance and their culpability. Be caught in a fight, shooting at me alongside the identified enemy, and I won't have much doubt who you are. (I'll figure out if you are hostage or warrior.)
Another problem is restrictions on use of tools that might be used by bad people, in ignorance of their use by good people. For example, the current attacks by polemicists, politicians,
and government officials on bank accounts held by persons who are not US residents. In addition
to the normal legitimate use of such accounts by a great many people who are just living their
honest individual lives, those accounts help the cause of freedom - individuals can have
property outside of the government control or the insecure environment they live in.
But the do-gooder control freaks don't think that broadly, and of course tend to attack things
not bad individuals. (A result of their collectivist philosophies.)
Cries for national identification cards are popular. But:
- there already is a citizenship identification card accepted around the world (called a "passport") and a residency identification card for non-citizens with permanent US residency (popularly known as a "green card", it includes the person's photograph (Canada has been deficient in that area, but is now introducing such identification (albeit slowly).
- visitors usually have passports (except for Canadians and perhaps Mexicans, who are hardly the people of terrorist concern and probably have a driver's license with photograph (Saskatchewan being one exception - its driver's license does not have a photograph, at least until recently)
- as far as I have heard, the airplane hijackers of September 11 were who they said they were, and they booked and boarded the flights under names and with identification they had been using in the US. How would more identification help prevent their actions?
- identification cards don't help once a person is already in the US, except in the unlikely event police have reason to ask for identification, thus do not help with any problems of over-staying visas (unless we go to what an uncle noted when visiting Communist Czechoslovakia with his son's US-college hockey team: a soldier on every street corner).
- and note US INS check people well away from the border).
Frankly, calls for national identification cards seem to be at best naive from persons with a mind set that everyone should be controlled and that bureaucratic methods are a panacea - but lacking the guts to do meaningful things while maintaining freedom (they may "feel good" in the short term - at someone else's expense).
As I note elsewhere, I see the solution to the Islamo-Fascist terrorism as:
- eliminating it's motivation and support at the source: the Islamic governments that support it.
- recognizing it comes from bad ideas, not only overseas but supported in countries like the
US and Canada by government funding of universities and of garbage art (and seen in the
nihilism of the anarchist street protestors and the high school killers).
John David Lewis chronicles in "Nothing Less Than Victory" history's proof that defensive measures do not work.
IDEOLOGY VERSUS ACTION
Here is an attempt to clarify respect for individual's right to hold views with the moral position that they do not have a right to act on them if it means initiating force against others, especially to destroy the way of life in Canada and like countries:
The Ground Zero mosque ... and how America should deal with such efforts.
As well, John David Lewis' book contains excellent rules for the US Military occupation of Japan following the defeat of Imperial Shinto Japan - essentially that there is no prohibition against private churches and holding of beliefs but Shinto must not be required for anything (remember that the tyranny of Japan that led to World War II in the Pacific came from blind obedience to a state in which Shinto, monarchy in the form of the Emperor, and military were inseperable and taught a death-worshipping culture).
VISION based on reality:
If countries that can produce such abundance and improvements in human life, as a result of the freedom they foster, cannot solve this problem in a way that maintains individual freedom then they have no future - because they will destroy the foundations of that success. Eliminating the Islamo-Fascist terrorism is difficult but far from impossible.
"...we need to err on the side of freedom. I have seen up close and personal the other way of doing things."
---- A participant in an online discussion forum, who had lived in Eastern Europe under Communist control.
"Transparent government, private citizenry."
---- Stephen Bassett, candidate for congress, quoted by John Nahay in IEEE Spectrum of September 2004
I say we should keep in mind how the Taliban gained power thus were able to host and help bin Laden - by offering security. But it was the wrong kind of security - oppression.
"There are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people
by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."
---- James Madison, 18th century, key figure in developing the Constitution of the US
A Story of freedom.
Comment on the scheme to "lock up all Muslims" in the US.
Never Again (poster from Cox and Forkum)
Copyright Keith Sketchley - page version 2015.01.31.
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