Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Homeland Security

I was watching the bonus features on the Farenheit 9/11 DVD, and there was some spectacular footage from outside Abu Ghraib prison and some of a morning raid to round up suspected insurgents. Most of the suspected insurgents rounded up did not have EXACTLY the name of the person that they were looking for, but they were taken in anyway...and imprisoned.

This was a little disturbing to me as I remembered a visit that I had had from the Dept of Homeland Security about a year and a half ago. They were looking for a woman with a similar name and were directed to my apartment by my then apartment manager. It didn't seem to matter that they were looking for a slender Latina - they still stood outside my door and questioned my about my "boyfriend, Rene" for several minutes and asked to look into my apartment.

I finally told them that I really didn't date men (at the time I didn't) and I let one of them step into the hallway to look a bit. It shook me up very badly...I ended up taking all my therapy training tapes because I was afraid that my client's confidentiality would be breached, if they decided that they wanted to search (under the Patriot Act the government can search your apartment and not tell you they have been there). They had announced that they were from Homeland Security, and they were, but it was the Immigration and Naturalization Services (which has now changed names to something else).

I guess what's disturbing is that I think that most people think that if the government or the military snatch someone up for questioning, then they have done something wrong. But I wonder, if as in my case of simple harrassment, they don't just grab, based on incorrect or sketchy information, and ask questions later. In my case, I suffered anxiety. In the case of these folks in Iraq, they are suffering imprisonment and worse.

Okay, I'm getting off my soapbox now.


Flash said...

I'll sort 'em out for I am Flash - the sweet superhero!

Glad you're on the mend.

Aravis said...

Feel free to stay on that soapbox. I have one just like it! It's more comfortable for people to believe that our government always arrests the right people and does the right thing. But it simply isn't true and burying our heads in the sand won't make it so. Thanks for sharing your story.

LavaLady said...

Healthy suspicion is a good thing. I don't believe so much I hear/read.

It frightens me that people are so reticent to question things.

Glad to hear you are feeling better.