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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Human Rights: Jailing Foreign Tourists

Gee, you think maybe the people in the Department of Homeland Security are just confused between terrorists and tourists, thanks to the Chimp with the Bad Texas Accent?

MSNBC reports that the Government of Iceland has asked the U.S. Ambassador to explain why one of its citizens who flew to New York for a shopping spree was arrested, held incommunicado for two days in a New Jersey jail cell in shackles, denied food, drink, or access to her telephone, and finally deported, still in shackles.

The woman, Erla Osk Arnardottir Lillendahl, had apparently overstayed a visa by some weeks over a decade ago.
On Thursday, Foreign Minister Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir told U.S. Ambassador Carol van Voorst that the treatment of Lillendahl was unacceptable.

"In a case such as this, there can be no reason to use shackles" Gisladottir said. "If a government makes a mistake, I think it is reasonable for it to apologize, like anyone else."
This is simply ludicrous. Ms. Lillendahl comes from one of the most ethnically homogenous nations in the world, a wealthy nation that has often allied itself with U.S. policy. Iceland is hardly likely to host terrorists, and was a member of the so-called "coalition of the willing" until fairly recently. Holding a citizen of a friendly nation in shackles in jail for two days, with no access to their embassy is simply unconscionable. If they had reason to deny her entrance, they could have escorted her to the transit lounge and notified her embassy to schedule the next immediate flight back. There was absolutely no need to treat her with such disrespect.

In view of our falling currency making this country a shopping stop for all and sundry, which might help prop up the tottering economy, this might be a good time to call Chertoff on the carpet and find out just why his employees are engaging in such reprehensible behaviour. Before firing him, of course.

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At 10:31 PM, Blogger Ms. Manitoba said...

Gee, I worry about my cousin who flew in last week from Quebec to Disneyland. She and I joked about "what if?" ... hope she'll be okay. Homeland Security sucks. It doesn't make any of us really feel all that safer ... does it? And, they act like fucking terrorists themselves. What a big waste of our tax dollars!!#$#%%%%$##


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