As for me, I don’t feel particularly safe. TSA grouping and X-rated X-rays are no longer news. Few who travel to or from the USA are feeling any safer as a result of these airport hijinks. But there is much more to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) anti-terrorist security measures. Simon Black, via LewRockwell.com and his own blog Sovereign Man has a different slant to consider and I am left with a different question all together.
Simon Black makes a compelling point that aside from the humiliation that travelers are subjected to in the United States, these security tactics are having a detrimental effect on our economy. His point is why would turist or foreign investors want to come and spend their money in a country where they are shown nothing but disrespect. He backs-up his argument with two stories that are probably all too common.
Maria C., the Chilean lady who owns the apartment I’m renting in Providencia told me yesterday about her most recent– and last– trip to the United States.The Department of Homeland Security decided that, instead of being a well-respected Chilean national attending her Harvard reunion, she was a suspected Colombian drug trafficker. DHS detained her for over 12-hours, confiscating her purse, her passport… even her shoes.
She was continually interrogated by DHS officials who played good cop/bad cop mind games, and when she was given ‘permission’ to use the bathroom, it was under close-up video surveillance. They finally released her without so much as an explanation, let alone an apology.
And then this:
It involves a Canadian woman, Lind Bird, who was stopped, searched, and relieved of her $2 Kinder Surprise egg by US border patrol agents.Kinder Surprise eggs are a type of European chocolate candy, and they’re considered illegal in the United States because the FDA has deemed them a choking hazard for children.
The eggs are perfectly legal in Canada, and Bird had one in her vehicle as she was crossing the border. After a stern talking-to by agents, Bird’s egg was confiscated by the United States government, who subsequently sent her a 7-page letter demanding that she authorize the ‘destruction’ of the egg.
How absurd is that: a 7-page letter demanding that she authorize the destruction of the egg? I have to agree with Simon. This type of so-called security measures are not conducive to tourism or foreign investment and are surely having a negative impact on our economy.
But, I have what I think are much more serious questions. If the function of the DHS is to improve our protection from potential terrorist, does the DHS believe that terrorist would only enter our country legally? What about all the people who enter our country illegally? If you were a terrorist would you try to enter by a door with high security or would you enter by a door that is wide open with minimal security?
We have thousands of miles of boarders with Canada and Mexico and thousands of miles of coast line where people can and do enter our country illegally. Yet our DHS seems only interested in those that enter our country legally. So, I ask the question: How safe do you feel knowing DHS is on the job?