Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Liberty Watch - TSA Guarding the Nation

Here's the beginning of the story of an Icelandic visitor who was chained and handcuffed at JFK held without sleep or food and very delayed phone contact, then taken to a jail in New Jersey. I found a number of other sites carrying the same story, but not futher corroboration of the story. It appears from the story that her crime was having overstayed a visit by three weeks in 1995. So let's withhold judgment at the moment, but put it into our Liberty Watch file as we watch Naomi Wolf's ten steps to dismantling democracy take place. This seems to fit 5. Arbitrarily detain and release citizens. Although this is not a US citizen, would American citizens expect this sort of treatment when visiting other nations? The whole story is at this site.

[Note: Later stories say it is Erla, not Eva]

The story of Eva, [Erla] Ósk Arnardóttir:

During the last twenty-four hours I have probably experienced the greatest humiliation to which I have ever been subjected. During these last twenty-four hours I have been handcuffed and chained, denied the chance to sleep, been without food and drink and been confined to a place without anyone knowing my whereabouts, imprisoned. Now I am beginning to try to understand all this, rest and review the events which began as innocently as possible.

Last Sunday I and a few other girls began our trip to New York. We were going to shop and enjoy the Christmas spirit. We made ourselves comfortable on first class, drank white wine and looked forward to go shopping, eat good food and enjoy life. When we landed at JFK airport the traditional clearance process began.

We were screened and went on to passport control. As I waited for them to finish examining my passport I heard an official say that there was something which needed to be looked at more closely and I was directed to the work station of Homeland Security. There I was told that according to their records I had overstayed my visa by 3 weeks in 1995. For this reason I would not be admitted to the country and would be sent home on the next flight. I looked at the official in disbelief and told him that I had in fact visited New York after the trip in 1995 without encountering any difficulties. A detailed interrogation session ensued.

I was photographed and fingerprinted. I was asked questions which I felt had nothing to do with the issue at hand. I was forbidden to contact anyone to advise of my predicament and although I was invited at the outset to contact the Icelandic consul or embassy, that invitation was later withdrawn. I don't know why.

The rest of the story is at this site.

[12/26/07 See related/follow up story here.]

1 comment:

  1. Oh my oh my... having just finished our festive celebrations [just wait until new year when we Scots really celebrate with festive inebriations ;)you won't get a sensible word out of me then... well you might]I only had time to give this a cursory lookie see.

    I have to say I find this type of behavior on the part of the USA very disturbing, especially in the land of the free. You are still in the land of the free aren't you? I'm surprised she was not sent to Guantanamo, even without a beard.

    Anyroads neocons seem to hold great sway in the USA of late and have the added advantage, of which they take full advantage, to do whatever they like because of the terrorist threat, this seems almost like a case in point, due to the time scale. An excuse to do what the hell they like because they have the fallback position of said terror threat.

    And [ooops I started a sentence, oh and a paragraph with an and oh my grammar ;0]I am amazed and disturbed at how vociferous commenter's are on other blogs and how down right nasty they are if anyone has the audacity to put over a liberal point of view. The worst part is we, as your poodles, are following you lead!

    Anyroads luckely for you it's 2:30 am and I have to go now or I could go on for ever... great post.


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