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I feel safer by the minute

Love my country; fear my government.

Apparently, that quixotic fourth amendment to the US constitution only serves to empower terrorists nowadays. Best to illiminate the threat now before something really bad happens.




We will have devalued the currency of American moral authority to the vanishing point. We will have turned America, long the hope of the world, into the most feared and hated of nations. We will have traded our national capacity to inspire for a mere capacity to intimidate.

And for what?

-John Perry Barlow


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 17th, 2004 03:57 am (UTC)
I'm sure you've seen this story:


About how the guidelines and the law authorizing searches in airports is "secret" and can't be shown to anyone that asks for it.
Dec. 17th, 2004 04:15 am (UTC)
sprry to spam your post, but...
There was a blogger that went to the trial and blogged a huge amount of content relating to the case:


It's a little biased, and makes some assumptions that are unsopported, but there is meat in there.

Most interesting to me, is what an aviation screener from another country said about how to search for explosives:

"First follow-up question: If you think a bottle contains an improvised explosive device, is it appropriate to shake it?

No, that's almost the worst thing you can do.

Second: Is it appropriate to open the bottle?

No, that's the worst thing you can do.

The defense then argued that Ms. Ramos could not really have believed that the ibuprofen bottle in question contained an improved (sic, probably meant to be improvised) explosive device, because she had testified that, on removing it from Barlow's bag, she became suspicious of it, then shook it, and then opened it. These actions were the most dangerous actions she could possibly have taken if she really believed that the bottle might contain explosives (as she testified) -- they were the actions most likely to get her and her co-workers killed. Therefore, she must actually have believed that the bottle contained drugs (not what she was searching for) rather than explosives. "

In legal terms, when a searcher can be demonstrated to have abandoned the search for the items they are authorized to search for, and moved on to looking for another type of item that exceeds their authority, they call that "fruit of the poisoned tree" and normally it would be enough to throw the whole search out. So if your screener doesn't expect to find explosives in the bottle, she shouldn't legally open it.

But further clarifying quesitions "are you trained to shake suspected explosive devies?" were stricken by the judge after the US objected on the grounds that revealing how screeners are trained could jeopardize our national security.
Dec. 17th, 2004 08:42 am (UTC)
Not to worry
You didn't spam my entry. I appreciate the links. I haven't read or heard anything more about the JPB incident than what I posted. I first heard about it on NPR yesterday. I look forward to exploring the links you provided. Thanks for providing them.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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