USA well on way to becoming police state

26 April, 2007

LSD as Therapy? Write about It, Get Barred from US

The Blaine border guard explained that Feldmar had been pulled out of the line as part of a random search. He seemed friendly, even as he took away Feldmar’s passport and car keys. While the contents of his car were being searched, Feldmar and the officer talked. He asked Feldmar what profession he was in.
When Feldmar said he was psychologist, the official typed his name into his Internet search engine.

He was told to sit down on a folding chair and for hours he wondered where this was going. He checked his watch and thought hopelessly of his friend who was about to land at the Seattle airport. Three hours later, the official motioned him into a small, barren room with an American flag. He was sitting on one side and Feldmar was on the other. The official said that under the Homeland Security Act, Feldmar was being denied entry due to “narcotics” use. LSD is not a narcotic substance, Feldmar tried to explain, but an entheogen. The guard wasn’t interested in technicalities. He asked for a statement from Feldmar admitting to having used LSD and he fingerprinted Feldmar for an FBI file.

This is the story of a psychology professor barred from entering the USA for drug use 30 years ago. Note that he is fingerprinted even though he has not been allowed to enter the country. A lawyer comments: “all the tools for an authoritarian state are now in place; it’s just that we haven’t yet adopted authoritarian methods. But in the area of drugs, maybe we have.”

But it’s not just drugs. Under the “ideological exclusion provision” of the Patriot Act, all sorts of people can be kept out. Singer Cat Stevens (AKA Yusuf Islam); Bolivian human rights leader and lawyer Leonida Zurita Vargas, who had planned a speaking tour on Bolivian social movements and human rights – her visa had been revoked because of alleged links to terrorist activity; Professor John Milios, who is a member of a left-wing political party, active in Greek national politics and has twice been a candidate for the Greek parliament, who had planned to present a paper at a conference; Professor Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss academic intending to accept an offer to teach at the University of Notre Dame; Dora Maria Tellez, a Nicaraguan scholar who had been offered a position at Harvard University; Cuban Grammy nominee Ibrahim Ferrer, 77, who came to fame in the 1999 film Buena Vista Social Club, was blocked by the U.S. government from attending the Grammy Awards, along with a number of fellow musicians.

If things continue in this way, more people will be excluded or arrested because of “links” to terrorists or subversives – or links to people who have links. And judging from the above examples, exclusion or arrest will be based not on assessment of threat but on “subversive ideology”, i.e. they disagree with the government. Look at this beside the Bush administration’s corrupt persecution of law-abiding citizens who happen to disagree with their incompetent and violent behaviour, and you can see where things are going.

The new Nine Inch Nails album “Year Zero” seems less a prophecy than a weather report.

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