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October 15, 2001 2:04 PM   Subscribe

This is exactly what I was afraid would happen to the hundreds of so-called material witnesses to the investigation of the terrorist attacks. I fear that this is simply a "quieter" internment of many innocent people of Arab descent. How can the government ask for religious and ethnic tolerance while subjecting people to morally questionable treatment?
posted by xyzzy (33 comments total)

 
I'm all for rounding up the bad guys, and suspected bad guys, and I'm more inclined to trust the Feds than most...but this is starting to spook even me.
posted by davidmsc at 2:14 PM on October 15, 2001


I trusted the Feds until I was interviewed regarding an ongoing investigation by the FBI. During this interview, the two agents repeatedly and deliberately attempted to use their knowledge of my personal life to throw me off balance. And I wasn't even in trouble.. just a potential eyewitness.
posted by xyzzy at 2:31 PM on October 15, 2001


For all who will undoubtedly defend this, ask yourselves: how would you feel if it was you? Your son/daughter? Mom/dad?
posted by mapalm at 2:33 PM on October 15, 2001


As far as the article goes, I think situations like this are inevitable right now, but certainly not acceptable.

I can't but help respond to:

How can the government ask for religious and ethnic tolerance while subjecting people to morally questionable treatment?

... because in the rigidity of relativism morals are variable and subject to perspective. I don't think tolerance is possible without some common moral ground (and practice of), and therefore I believe absolute religious tolerance is not compatible with "morals." But that's besides the point. I babble.
posted by aaronshaf at 2:35 PM on October 15, 2001


xyzzy: which investigation?
posted by donkeyschlong at 2:39 PM on October 15, 2001


donkeyschlong: I was intereviewed several years ago for something completely unrelated to terrorism. ;)
posted by xyzzy at 2:45 PM on October 15, 2001


jail bush and ashcroft NOW, before it's you and I being detained.
posted by quonsar at 2:47 PM on October 15, 2001


You go and try that, quonsar.
posted by aaron at 2:49 PM on October 15, 2001


I can't get the link to load for some reason. I assume that this is a similar article, if you're having the same problem.
posted by iceberg273 at 2:56 PM on October 15, 2001


All I'm seeing is a server error. Can someone describe how to get there from the msnbc front page? Thanks.
posted by andrew cooke at 2:56 PM on October 15, 2001


odd, as of 5.55pm EST, I can't get access to *any* MSNBC story, including this one. Just constant "Page cannot be displayed" errors...

Maybe RIAA thought the site was guilty of pirating music and did what they was within their legal rights...
posted by warhol at 2:56 PM on October 15, 2001


I'd try it but my Lone Ranger badge and Red Rifle pee-shooter hasn't arrived in the mail yet.
posted by schlomo at 2:57 PM on October 15, 2001


The link is dead now. Is there another link to this article?
posted by tpoh.org at 2:58 PM on October 15, 2001


All MSNBC's Washington Post pages are down. Must be a server thing.
posted by aaron at 3:03 PM on October 15, 2001


Could be this (the original article was from the Washington Post).
posted by andrew cooke at 3:04 PM on October 15, 2001


Alternate link.
posted by aaron at 3:05 PM on October 15, 2001


This post goes to the heart of my own fears in regard to the aftermath from the September 11th attacks. It is not that I don't agree with most of the actions taken - a controlled military strike, increased internal security, and an agressive police investigation to catch accomplises to those involved and (hopefully) stave off future incidents - it's that I don't trust those who will be in charge of carrying out those actions.

I add that I would be just as mistrustful of the administration were it under Democratic control rather than the Republicans.

Even a cursory review of history shows a disturbing pattern of government overreaction and abuse of power in the name of "national security." The risk of abuse grows exponentially greater the longer this "war" continues.
posted by theMargin at 3:12 PM on October 15, 2001


How can the government ask for religious and ethnic tolerance while subjecting people to morally questionable treatment?

One word: hypocrisy.
posted by rushmc at 4:36 PM on October 15, 2001


Look, we *haven't* rounded Arabs up randomly and taken their property like we did Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor. What the article fails to disclose is that none of these people are American citizens. And, from Press accounts all of these people have definitive links to terror groups. Many are in the country illegally.

And, Pearl Harbor actually resulted in fewer deaths than the infamy done to the Twin Towers. Furthermore, Japanese-Americans were far more supportive of America than Muslim-Americans have been in this war. And yes, it is a war.

I'd have thought that by these objective standards even self-loathing liberals would concede that America has *improved*.
posted by Real9 at 5:01 PM on October 15, 2001


"What the article fails to disclose is that none of these people are American citizens"

- just about sums up everything doesn't it.
posted by gxc at 5:21 PM on October 15, 2001


And, Pearl Harbor actually resulted in fewer deaths than the infamy done to the Twin Towers. Furthermore, Japanese-Americans were far more supportive of America than Muslim-Americans

So your point is that internment camp is to good for the bastards, right?
posted by signal at 5:41 PM on October 15, 2001


to = too

damn, I hate typos when I'm being all snarky
posted by signal at 5:41 PM on October 15, 2001


Just keep in mind that "links to terror" are by no means substantial. I don't doubt that many of those arrested have friends or associates involved in terrorist groups, but I am equally certain that many of them have "links to terror" that involve no more than an aberrant relative or youthful arrest for protesting or something of the like. I'm not sure exactly how to react to the article, but I do smell injustice-- which isn't surprising given the size and scale of the terrorist attacks. My hope is that it doesn't become 'infinite injustice'
posted by chaz at 5:54 PM on October 15, 2001


gxc, its a matter of fact that citizens have enhanced rights relative to aliens, legal or otherwise.

signal, no I'm afraid that you're out there all alone with "internment camp is to (sic) good for the bastards"

chaz, you smell injustice? You must be downwind of the twin towers.
posted by Real9 at 6:03 PM on October 15, 2001


real9: How do you know none of those people are aren't Americans. I am a student in the U.S., here on a student visa, is it legal to throw me in a 8X9 prison for days on end without providing me basic liberties because I wasn't born here? Sure I have less rights than you, but there are still some basic rights I should be afforded. And the connections to the terrorists are in some cases tenious (and regardless that still doesn't justify the treatment of the prisoners).

"Furthermore, Japanese-Americans were far more supportive of America than Muslim-Americans have been in this war."

God, please explain and justify this statement with examples, because right now I am too shocked to respond. If you give me some logical reasons why you think this then I'll be able to respond to it without getting emotional.

I actually am upwind of Ground Zero. I see it and smell it every day. I hate whoever did it. I just don't let that hate cloud my intellectual judgement.
posted by samishah at 8:04 PM on October 15, 2001


chaz, you smell injustice? You must be downwind of the twin towers.

I hate posts like this.

The WTC attack is inexcusable, unjustifiable, and unimaginable. However it does not trump every other wrongdoing past, present, or future.

Or will you look me in the eye and emphatically state that the US is the bastion of all that is saintly?

...without qualifiers?
posted by ethmar at 9:25 PM on October 15, 2001


The Sept. 11 incident happened cause more care was taken by Britain , USA and many more European countries in the name of Human Rights; as to not hurt the feelings of the many who would be questioned about their integrity; ignoring the few who had none.............the few that were enough to cause such damage.

How do u think one can catch the wolf in sheep skin, without first going among the sheep and pulling on the skin of each.. Yes pain would be felt by one and all But all this to won't be in vain, lest there be any sheep left at all.
posted by xxx--xxx at 9:40 PM on October 15, 2001


I could be completely insane.. but aren't illegal aliens human beings also?

Or are only citizens of the U.S. human?
posted by xyzzy at 9:51 PM on October 15, 2001


I think the point that Real9 is trying to make is that citizens of a given country have a different legal standing in that country than non-citizens. It may or may not be right, but it is the case.

Having been totally unable to load this article and the others posted in the thread, I can`t really offer further comment.
posted by chiheisen at 10:34 PM on October 15, 2001


I am a student in the U.S., here on a student visa, is it legal to throw me in a 8X9 prison for days on end without providing me basic liberties because I wasn't born here?

Under certain circumstances, yes it is. If this is not something that you're prepared to deal with, your options are steering widely clear of any taint of widescale criminal activity or studying in your own country. This is a harsh reality, but reality nevertheless.
posted by Dreama at 12:21 AM on October 16, 2001


It's very easy for Western governments to criticise others over human rights abuses. We can look down on countries such as Syria, Chile, Turkey, etc etc and say, "well at least that sort of thing doesn't go on here, because we're civilized.

And yet even our supposedly progressive governments seem to resort to type at the first hint of domestic trouble. The British government has done it over Ireland. The Spanish government over ETA, and now the American government. If terrorism was a serious and ongoing threat, how long do you think it would be before torture was an accepted practice as well?
posted by salmacis at 1:04 AM on October 16, 2001


Geez, being held in detention for a week or two with limited access to the outside world. I know that I'D definitely rather face imminent death and be crushed into dust and never found than to have to go through THAT turmoil!
posted by HTuttle at 1:11 AM on October 16, 2001


I think the point that Real9 is trying to make is that citizens of a given country have a different legal standing in that country than non-citizens. It may or may not be right, but it is the case.

But he hasn't a clue whether it applies here, particularly in the 450-odd cases that aren't explicitly immigration-related. Real9 is claiming superior knowledge, whereas the whole complaint with these cases is the lack of disclosure as to the circumstances of those detained, and the reason for their detention. Either s/he's a Fed, which is unlikely, since s/he's citing "the Press" -- or s/he's spouting ignorant bullshit. I suspect the latter.
posted by holgate at 2:22 AM on October 16, 2001


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