Tuesday, July 5, 2005

US Crack Security

I'm not at all suprised by this story, and I hope this gets a little more press.

It's about time the American Public sees how the Federal Government continues to completely disregard the Constitution in the name of 'security', and treat people who have not comitted a crime, who are not suspected of comitting a crime as if they are already guilty of being terrorists.

The last time Rahman, 32, drove over the border, guards in Detroit stopped the Chicago man, handcuffed him to a chair, and grilled him for six hours about whether he has terrorist connections, Rahman said. Officials detained his wife and two children in a small, dirty office while Rahman was questioned, he said.

He has been stopped five times.

''I really need to find out what's going on," Rahman said last month at a news conference in the Illinois ACLU offices in the Loop. ''I can travel to any country -- Canada or otherwise -- and get through in a few minutes, but coming back home . . ."

On Tuesday, lawyers from the Illinois chapter of the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Homeland Security department officials, saying Rahman's Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights were violated when he was allegedly seized and searched with excessive force, then not allowed to make phone calls.

''They're using a very, very crude screening system," said Harvey Grossman, legal director for the Illinois ACLU. ''There are thousands and thousands and thousands of names on various watchlists our government keeps. We don't know whose name he is similar to."

In a letter to Rahman, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement department stated Rahman's name is a ''near match" to another person in the National Crime Information Center list maintained by the FBI.

A near match. Perfect.
The problems began in spring 2004, when Rahman, the owner of a computer software company in Chicago, was detained for two hours at Los Angeles International Airport, Rahman said. He was born in the United States to parents who emigrated from India, ACLU spokesman Edwin Yohnka said. Rahman and his parents are US citizens.

In August 2004, Rahman was again detained for two hours, this time at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Agents told him they were trying to identify him, though he carried his driver's license, passport, and Social Security card.

Rahman said he then wrote six or seven letters to government agencies to find out why he was being detained. In the meantime, he was stopped twice more. In April, he received a letter from the Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency of the Department of Homeland Security. It states Rahman's detentions resulted from an ''unfortunate misidentification scenario."

Of course, this is the direct result of the Feds not telling anyone who is on these lists, or how they get on the lists in the first place. This is disgusting.
Grossman said Rahman's name in Arab-speaking countries is similar to ''John Smith" in English-speaking countries -- and the government is apparently looking for someone connected with terrorism with a name similar to Rahman's.

The letter also states that the government corrected databases but advises Rahman to carry several forms of identification.

Rahman said he was carrying his passport, Social Security card, and Illinois driver's license when he was stopped May 8, this time at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel coming back from visiting family in Canada.

Yes, since we can't seem to get our act together, we need you to prove to us you are not a danger, even though you've never been accused of or convicted of any crime. Those pesky 4th and 5th amendments, bah!
Two other agents took his wife and two children to a room by themselves. Rahman and his wife, Moosada, didn't see each other again for six hours, Rahman said.

Akif Rahman said the agents took him to a room and took his cellphone. He was asked to empty his pockets, then face a wall and spread his feet.

''An officer yelled at me to spread my legs further," Rahman said. ''Before I could do so, the officer kicked my legs apart with great force. He then demanded that I take my shoes off. Before I could complete the request, he kicked one of my shoes off my foot."

From there, he was led to another room and handcuffed to a chair. Then, he said, agents asked him if he knew any of the Sept. 11 hijackers and if he had ever given money to a terrorist group.

''This made me feel like a suspect," Rahman said, ''not an American citizen returning home."

We are now all suspects, first. It starts with sobriety checkpoints. It ends with 'your papers, please, Comrade'

I really hope some of the obscene stuff we've seen this year (if I see the President talk about 'Liberty' as he fights to renew the 'Patriot' Act one more time I'm going to vomit) really gets people motivated to make some noise.

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