Sunday, September 18, 2022

Security in a Bureaucratic State

 From American Greatness:

Matar, a Shiite of Lebanese descent, had apparently been radicalized during a three-week séjour in Lebanon in 2018, roughly the same amount of time I spent abroad during my last trip. He has since become vocal in his support for the mullah regime online, which apparently went unnoticed by the state security panopticon.

Despite hundreds of billions of dollars spent every year on the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the National Security Agency, none of them saw a terrorist threat in Hadi Matar. Yet they continue to insist on dragging me to the room in order to extract sensitive information vital to national security interests, like the exact address of my mother, a retired high school teacher.

Back to the dreaded room, it has probably caused more delays for incoming tourists than it has deterred terrorist plots. Once slated for an interview there, one would usually witness a throng of brown and otherwise dark-skinned people patiently waiting their turns to be questioned by agents who had a look of someone resigned to a perpetual fate of repeatedly asking questions designed to lead them nowhere. After all, how many terrorists were ever caught because they answered “yes” to the surreal question of “Do you or have you ever belonged to a terrorist organization?” To the uninformed, this is an actual question that applicants to a visa or a permanent residency have to answer in their application forms.

In the past, just to quell suspicions of racial profiling, there would always be that one unlucky Asian who was also “randomly” selected to be sent to the room. The ratio of yellow to brown, however, has been steadily increasing in recent years, with the growing threat of Chinese infiltration. Unsurprisingly, and probably in the institutional spirit of diversity and inclusivity, we now also see a random white individual sitting frightened among us in the room. (Read more.)


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