Your papers please…

A student from Pomona College named Nick George was recently detained for five hours in Philadelphia’s airport on suspicions that he was a terrorist – er, something (whack-job flamers, please read the above article before spewing crap here).  I guess learning Arabic and having visited Jordan, Egypt, and Sudan automatically qualifies one for ridiculous treatment.  George even admits that he would fully expect and have no trouble with a small delay, but that his explanation and the accompanying evidence – that he is a college student who happened to study abroad – ought to be enough.  Ironically, while the TSA denies some of his claims, the Philadelphia Police Department actually corroborates them.

There are a couple of interesting points about this case.  Upon reading about it in The Week, I Googled it since I didn’t recall reading about it online.  After three or four pages of Google results, the only major news outlet I could find that covered it was, amazingly enough, Fox.  Apparently this kind of overreaction – eight years after 9/11 – is so commonplace now that it no longer warrants comment.  Of course, we’re now closing in on twenty years since the downfall of the Soviet Union and the communist era and yet the FBI reportedly asked George if he had ever joined any Islamic or Communist groups on campus.  Apparently someone forgot to tell the FBI that McCarthy’s been dead for 52 years.  And, as for an Islamic group on campus, the fairly conservative Roman Catholic college I work at has a Muslim Student Association.  Our student commencement speaker this past May was a Muslim woman who wore a head scarf and spoke of her personal ‘jihad.’  She received a standing ovation in response.

And some of you had the hope these fascist nutjobs would be quieted down a bit when Obama got elected.  But, in Washington, the more things change the more they stay the same…


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