Friday, December 21, 2007

Invasion of the Viking Women

A couple of readers* urged me to blog about this story yesterday, but it's one of those things that is so depressing, so horrifying and so disgusting to someone who once loved the United States that it's really hard to do anything but let you read about it yourself and weep. It seems like we're not only to suspect anyone sounding vaguely Islamic of harboring dreams of invading and conquering or subverting the US, but our new Immigration and Customs Enforcement people are worried about an invasion of Viking Women.

I've talked to Europeans who used to maintain vacation homes in the US and have sold them because of the outrageous harassment they get every time they enter the country, including fingerprinting and examination of financial records. I read recently the story of two English entrepreneurs who wanted to bring some capital and open a business here and essentially were thrown out by ICE with no reason given and I've read about people who because of visa irregularities have been held incommunicado and without charges for years without knowing why.

No, I'm not talking about "enemy combatants" I'm talking about tourists like Eva Ósk Arnardóttir, an Icelandic woman who overstayed her visa in 1995 and went home three weeks late. She's been back without any problems, but this time she's discovered the new America, the America of secret prisons, of jack-booted officers and dungeons where ordinary and harmless people are chained and shackled and interrogated and terrorized and poked and probed and intimidated and held without charges or benefit of legal help.

*My thanks to Crankyboy and Swampcracker

Cross posted from The Impolitic


Crankyboy said...

You give me credit but no link to my orphaned blog. Hmmmm.

Buffalo said...

I don't understand why there isn't an out-pouring of protest and indignation over these incidents. Over the last year and a half I've written of several such incidents (and not written about even more) that involve both visitors and US citizens.

It is as though the American Public accepts this sort of thing as natural and normal.

Capt. Fogg said...


Why would I send anyone to an inactive blog?


They don't get the coverage from the corporate media that crime stories and illegal immigrant stories get. The public in general don't seem to give a damn about anything but making sure Halliburton or Blackwater or Dick Cheney doesn't get too much of a tax bill.

If you or I complain, it's too easy to write us off with the tired old liberaliberaliberal chant.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

Yeah, I have family members who have no desire to come visit us here in the U.S. because they don't want to go through the indignity of the immigration/customs process. I don't blame them.

mrsleep said...

Cranky. What up with Blog. Can't let some anonymous punk spoil the party.

This story left me sick to my stomach,and embarrassed to be an American.

Thanks for the reference though. I am disseminating the link "liberally" to a broad "conservative" base.

d.K. said...

And thanks for getting the ICE part absolutely accurate (as usual). An important point is understanding that one can pay the (non-refundable processing) "fee" at our embassies abroad, get a perfectly valid visa, board the plane, and then arrive in the U.S., only to be treated (often on a whim) by DHS as though one were a terrorist (as this woman from Iceland and many, MANY persons I have met have been).

It's beyond embarrassing as an American having to explain (not excuse or rationalize) this.

What shocks me is how little power the tourism industry obviously wields in this country. I've seen no real outcry??!

Anonymous said...

I have wondered if I migt have any problems when I finally return to the US to visit. Have I been tagged because of the nature of my blog? Are my and everyone else's posts monitored for anti Bush content? Will I be strip searched or denied entry?
Actually, I would prefer to be denied entry. It would be the perfect excuse to not go back and to apply for Singaporean citizenship.

Capt. Fogg said...

While America seems not to know or care, everybody else does. Yes, I'm very embarrassed to be an American once again.