Making Light has a post about the Canadian sci-fi author Peter Watts who was beaten and jailed overnight without access to a lawyer by US border guards because he asked what they were doing . Apparently one is supposed to cringe in fear whenever questioned by authority in the US, so much for “land of the free“.
In 12 hours time I will hopefully have got past the security police and be boarding a flight out of the US and it will be a great relief.
On a practical note, if al Quaeda was a serious threat, if anyone really cared to stop the importation of drugs, of if any of the other reasons for having security on borders were taken seriously then this sort of thing really wouldn’t help to achieve such goals.
One of the purposes of a justice system is to encourage cooperation from the population. If a suspect will be treated fairly and considered to be innocent until proven guilty then there is no reason not to report suspicious people to the police. If however a suspect will be summarily beaten and denied access to a lawyer then no decent person can make a police report unless they are certain of the suspect’s guilt beyond all reasonable doubt.
When Barack Obama was elected the majority of the world’s population was greatly relieved, we expected some significant changes in the way things are run. It doesn’t seem that he is living up to our expectations.