Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The US, Flawed But Home

Let's not throw stones here in the good ol' U.S. of A. The Justice Department recently conducted a study of the FBI's terrorist watch list. Per the New York Times, they concluded that, "The Federal Bureau of Investigation has incorrectly kept nearly 24,000 people on a terrorist watch list on the basis of outdated or sometimes irrelevant information, while missing people with genuine ties to terrorism who should have been on the list..." This disturbs me a bit more than England's list because the US has previously sent suspected terrorists to CIA black sites where they were tortured, sometimes to death. The US government also sent agents to infiltrate, harass, and arrest left-wing protest groups preceding the 2008 Republican national convention. The American public, to its credit, did vote out he party that was responsible for most of the abuses and elect Obama who has ended the CIA's black site and torture policies. But to use this incident as evidence that the US is superior in some way is absurd.

Assuredly, this is an uncommonly silly policy that will only bring attention to the people that are selected. But you have to remember that speech is not protected as much under English law, and that many of these people probably could be convicted of crimes or successfully sued in England. It seems pretty similar to numerous practices here. There is, to my knowledge, no law on the books stopping the US government from publishing a list similar to this one. Sure, you'd have to remove the American citizens and residents, who would be protected by the Constitution, but the others could be kept out. They could also be strip searched, detained for hours, and forced to defecate into a bucket without any probable cause. American citizens who attended an Islamic religious conference in Canada could also be strip searched at the border without probable cause. I read about both of these situations for school.

Ninquelote, you say, "And wouldn't this also mean you should be rounding up citizens now living in Great Britain and kicking them out of the country? You think there aren't racist, skin-heads living and hating in England? You think there aren't religious nuts or Muslim extremists living amongst your population?" The answer is no, citizens and residents are treated differently than non-resident aliens in most(all?) nations.

"...the other half are Americans that are extreme in one way or another (except for left wing extremists, they're okay)" What does their ideology matter? If your objection to the policy stems from free speech concerns, shouldn't that be immaterial? I'll admit, seeing Micheal Savage on that list is a bit surprising. He's a pathetic blow hard, who promotes a culture of white, middle-class victimhood to make money, but to put him on that list makes him out to be a bit more important than he actually is.

Consider "Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky, the former leaders of a violent Russian skinhead gang which committed 20 racially motivated murders." It seems perfectly reasonable to me that a country would decide to keep such men from entering. What say you?


ninquelote said...

I fear you missed the tone of my post, dear Yoggoth. The main point I was trying to make was why only 16. Doesn't that seem a little odd to you? Are the customs people there so dense that they can only keep track few people at a time. Personally I think some people in America piss her off so she made up this list and had to put a few terrorists on the list too to make it look legit.

My secondary point, and really the sentence that prompted me to write the post in the first place, was the quote I started the post with. This is a country where young Muslims stood on street corners and called for the death of Tony Blair and little was done about it. Some of the thugs and killers on this list are exactly the kinds of "rules" and "values" that they live by in England. At least half the country anyway.

Now I know what you're going to say, there are people like that in America too. Yea there are. But we protect speech in this country, they apparently don't in England.

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