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Border Breach?
September 12, 2003 3:38 AM   Subscribe

Amazing security! They’ll screen you at airports, they’ll check your emails, they’ll arrest and hold you without obvious reason. Yes, they say this is the way to make America safer. But, hell…
posted by acrobat (20 comments total)

 
Good job, ABC!
posted by Keyser Soze at 3:51 AM on September 12, 2003


Oh, I knew it, it's the Danes! We begin bombing (and printing "Axis of Aebleskiver" T-shirts) in 5 minutes. Sorry Dabitch.
posted by planetkyoto at 4:07 AM on September 12, 2003


On a related note, here in the UK, as peaceful protestors of an arms fair are searched and detained under the UK terrorism act, whilst exercising their legal rights, the arms fair itself, lets unlicensed arms dealers ply their wares.

A senior Home Office source said: "It is staggering that at a time when a terrorist attack is considered inevitable, an unknown bunch of arms dealers can turn up and flog weapons without anyone knowing a thing about them.
"Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein could be behind companies selling arms in London this week and we wouldn't have a clue."

posted by Blue Stone at 5:03 AM on September 12, 2003


But, don't you just love the way the government reacted to the whole thing after they realised they'd fucked up?
posted by acrobat at 5:08 AM on September 12, 2003


A senior Home Office source said: "It is staggering that at a time when a terrorist attack is considered inevitable, an unknown bunch of arms dealers can turn up and flog weapons without anyone knowing a thing about them."

Say what you like about the tories, but you did get a better class of source when they were in power.
posted by biffa at 5:19 AM on September 12, 2003


Can't stop the Mexicans either.

This doesn't surprise me at all. Nor will it when it is for real. With the sheer volume of cargo coming into this country, it is near impossible to stop something from entering. Look at illicit drugs.

Needle in haystack, all dumb luck when they do actually stop something imo. Drugs or otherwise. Lets not forget, the people that are in charge of trying to stop this stuff, Customs, DEA, are just people. Not Superman.

ABC can do this every year, and they will succeed. I think they should do it with maybe 3 or 4 suitcases of uranium, and see if any of them get picked up. You would hope that at least one would get snagged, but somehow, I doubt it.
posted by a3matrix at 5:41 AM on September 12, 2003


For a great article on container ships and the danger they pose, look no further than William Langewiesche's Anarchy at Sea in the recent issue of Atlantic Monthly. (Not available online, unfortunately.) It will make you vomit in terror.
posted by Ljubljana at 6:09 AM on September 12, 2003


KNIVES, TANKS, WHALES — AIRPORT SCREENERS NOW FAILING TO CATCH ANYTHING. Ave atque vale, SatireWire.
posted by jfuller at 6:24 AM on September 12, 2003


Let's start a collection. :-)

Man ships himself home 'crate class'
posted by tbc at 7:11 AM on September 12, 2003


I agree that this absolutely terrifying. Is anyone besides me, however, troubled by the fact that ABC broadcast a demonstration on how to smuggle uranium into the United States?

How does any country deal with this threat? It is impossible.
posted by Durwood at 7:36 AM on September 12, 2003


This, to me, is an excellent demonstration that "America" and "elsewhere" have enormous, gaping mutual borders that are impossible to close. Maybe instead of conducting a futile effort to seal ourselves off from the rest of the world, we might consider trying to improve the conditions that breed terrorism, drug abuse, and illegal immigration.

Just a thought.
posted by vraxoin at 8:06 AM on September 12, 2003


Durwood, I don't think terrorists wait for ABC to demonstrate how to smuggle anything into the US. They've already proven they have enough imagination by themselves. What's troubling is a) that there's no way to stop something from entering (a3matrix's post), and b) the government's reaction (to me, more troubling than ABC's little trick).
posted by acrobat at 8:11 AM on September 12, 2003


(planetkyoto: lets wear those shirts and have a rotten apple foodfight!)

and the Department of Homeland Security investigated the ABCNEWS News team ? Methinks they should have far more better things to do than swooping in on Cochran and his wife.
posted by dabitch at 10:16 AM on September 12, 2003


"I agree that this absolutely terrifying."

No, it's obvious. No one with a clue ever thought we would be able to stop a determined group from shipping whatever they wanted into the US.

It's silly to think any of the crap we've done - watering down the Bill Of Rights, encouraging us to spy on each other, profiling and screening, etc - are going to have any effect.

What country has the highest number of terrorist attacks? Israel.

What country has the most elaborate anti-terror policies? Israel.

Unless we change our policies and build closer ties to other nations all the money we spend on preventing another 9/11 just goes down the toilet. A bored and badly paid civil servant is no match for a well trained religious zealot who isn't afraid to die.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:49 AM on September 12, 2003


Unless we change our policies and build closer ties to other nations all the money we spend on preventing another 9/11 just goes down the toilet.

All or nothing, right? My way or the highway. You and your partisan, one-tracked mind politics are just as silly as your arch-nemesis', 111. You sit there and yell "troll", but allow yourself one-liners with absolutely no real value except the fluffy "current administration bad" theme.

FWIW, I read the article Ljubljana linked from The Atlantic. Absolutely great article, if a little verbose and scattered. And it's true, our borders are not well-guarded. But the only way to have a fool-proof border is to destroy our right to privacy, completely. Otherwise, our government must make small steps to ensure tighter security. We're new to this game. We've never been overprotective of ourselves, mainly because the US populace assumed that it was untouchable. They now know otherwise.

Of course, if we take y6y6y6's advice, we'd stop trying to beef up security and simply appease every dictator that hates what the US stands for.
posted by BlueTrain at 11:13 AM on September 12, 2003


Yeah. Fair enough. But that's the way I feel about it. What am I suppose to do? Shut up?

And 111 isn't my arch-nemesis. I admire the bastard. He's one hell of a troll. Better than me. No, it's the idiots that fall for him that bug me.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:03 PM on September 12, 2003


BlueTrain wrote with some indignation:

You sit there and yell "troll", but allow yourself one-liners with absolutely no real value except the fluffy "current administration bad" theme....

Followed rather abruptly by:

"Of course, if we take y6y6y6's advice, we'd stop trying to beef up security and simply appease every dictator that hates what the US stands for."

Nice, nonpartisan, um....well....one liner, BlueTrain.

And of course, we all really apreciate, BlueTrain, that you didn't use anything like the fluffy "anyone who criticizes this administration" is just an "appeaser" theme.

Hypocrisy never fails to amuse.

~chuckle~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:17 PM on September 12, 2003


But the only way to have a fool-proof border is to destroy our right to privacy, completely.

Even this extreme measure would not provide the US a fool-proof border. There is no perfect defense.
posted by moonbiter at 2:16 PM on September 12, 2003


...and anyway, there are just as many fools inside the border as outside.
posted by mmoncur at 3:32 PM on September 12, 2003


"On Saturday morning, two U.S. Customs agents showed up unannounced at the Washington, D.C., home of nuclear physicist Cochran, blocking his driveway as he and his wife were about to go shopping, Cochran told ABCNEWS.

"They pulled up and blocked my driveway so that I couldn't pull the car out," said an angered Cochran. "They didn't call me up, they didn't knock on my door, they just swooped in and stopped my exit from the driveway.""

What this tells me is that the Patriot Act and Homeland Security have taken away your freedom. You are considered guilty till proven guilty.

From the center for constitutional rights and electronic frontier foundation, as a reminder what Americans [and Blue Train] have given up.

Guarding borders is one thing, but it's the threat from within is what concerns me. What if it wasn't ABC News or a nuclear physicist? Who's next?

The police state is already here, in your "homeland".

When the coffee takes effect, it'll be too late, if you don't know by now.
posted by alicesshoe at 10:56 PM on September 12, 2003


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