Voices from Russia

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Do You Want to Know HOW Stupid Republicans Are? Homer Simpson TSA Goons Arrested Guy for “Arabic Flash Cards”… D’oh!

01 homer x-ray brain

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Nick George was a student flying from Philadelphia to start his senior year of college in California. However, when a TSA operative found his Arabic language flash cards, they arrested the 21-year-old. He sued and his five-year ordeal is now ending. TSA agents also found a book critical of George W Bush’s foreign policy he was carrying to be worthy of greater scrutiny. Rogue Nation was by former Reagan Administration Commerce Secretary Clyde Prestowitz and widely read in the USA.

George planned to get a jump on his Arabic class by reviewing some vocabulary. When he emptied his pockets at the security checkpoint, he pulled out the stack of flashcards. An agent inspected them. George wrote on the ACLU website (which helped George in his lawsuit), “One of them started rifling through the cards, and another took the book out of my carry-on. The minutes ticked by, and I got more confused about why I was being detained and more concerned that I’d miss my flight. One of them called a supervisor”. The supervisor took a half-hour to arrive. When she asked, “Do you know who did 9/11?” “Taken totally aback, I answered, ‘Osama Bin Laden’”. Then, the supervisor asked if George knew what language Osama Bin Laden spoke. He replied, “Arabic”. She responded, “So, do you see why these cards are suspicious?”

George later wrote, “Imagine going from being in-line at the airport to having a TSA supervisor imply you had some connection with the worst act of terrorism ever committed against your country… all over the course of a few minutes”. Then, a Philadelphia cop showed up. George recounted, “He cuffed my hands, grabbed my arms, and, in full view of the rest of the passengers, walked me through the entire Philadelphia airport and into the police substation”. The cops held him handcuffed in a cell for several hours, long having missed his connecting flight. Police never informed him of his rights or gave him a specific charge.

George says he hopes the settlement this week will make these “arbitrary arrests” outdated by requiring the Philadelphia police department to train cops to find probable cause before making an arrest. In short, they can’t arrest someone for studying Arabic or reading a book. George said, “It should go without saying that this is perfectly innocuous First Amendment-protected activity. I hope the Philadelphia police got the message”. The city also settled for 25,000 USD (1.6 million Roubles. 156,000 Renminbi. 1.54 million INR. 31,000 CAD. 31,600 AUD. 22,300 Euros. 16,700 UK Pounds) in damages.

24 January 2015

Sputnik International

http://us.sputniknews.com/us/20150124/1013555473.html

Editor:

The Department of Homeland Insecurity often attracts an unhinged rightwing lot, especially, Mormons and the woollier sort of Cuban-American. One of my friends has the family name “George”… she’s Syrian by descent… gee, perhaps Nick George was Syrian or Lebanese (I know of four families in Toledo with the name “George”… it’s a COMMON Christian Arab surname)… so, these Einstein TSA goons thought that he was a “terrorist”. Hey, he “looked Arabic”… we all know that all of those “ragheads” are terrorists! Rush and Sarah say so! This is the result of Republican hate speech spewed by rightwing pundits over the years. Anyone who attends to such shit-spewers makes Homer Simpson look like a rocket scientist. That’s that…

BMD

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