From: Subject: Date: April 21, 2005 3:53:51 PM CDT Hankblog

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Where is the nation headed?

The Goddess tipped me off to this story on Slate:

Last week a British reporter was detained by immigration officials and then expelled from the United States for traveling here without knowing that the visa rules had changed. More precisely, she didn't know that a decades-old unenforced rule was suddenly being enforced against friendly tourists long accustomed to entering the country without a visa at all.


What's wrong with requiring foreign journalists to have a special press visa, you ask? Why shouldn't they have to show that they are here for good and benign reasons? Well, for one thing, we don't require most tourists from these friendly nations to obtain visas. Indeed, some of the reporters locked up and deported from LAX had already been allowed through immigration as tourists and were only nabbed later when they or their colleagues copped to being journalists.

This is behavior that would inspire Soviet Cold War era manipulations and restrictions, were there still a Cold War going on. I think it's just one more example of how out of touch the current administration is in the way it's trying to fight the war on terror.

Give the whole thing a read when you have a chance. Chilling stuff. The last paragraph will have you banging your head on your desk.