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When homeland security order Indian food...

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posted on May, 4 2003 @ 11:54 PM
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www.indymedia.org...

more on site...

(sorry for the big link but I don't think they will mind)

A month ago I experienced a very small taste of what hundreds of South Asian immigrants and U.S. citizens of South Asian descent have gone through since 9/11, and what thousands of others have come to fear. I was held, against my will and without warrant or cause, under the USA PATRIOT Act.
While I understand the need for some measure of security and precaution in times such as these, the manner in which this detention and interrogation took place raises serious questions about police tactics and the safeguarding of civil liberties in times of war.

That night, March 20th, my roommate Asher and I were on our way to see the Broadway show "Rent." We had an hour to spare before curtain time so we stopped into an Indian restaurant just off of Times Square in the heart of midtown. I have omitted the name of the restaurant so as not to subject the owners to any further harassment or humiliation.

We helped ourselves to the buffet and then sat down to begin eating our dinner. I was just about to tell Asher how I'd eaten there before and how delicious the vegetable curry was, but I never got a chance. All of a sudden, there was a terrible commotion and five NYPD in bulletproof vests stormed down the stairs. They had their guns drawn and were pointing them indiscriminately at the restaurant staff and at us.

"Go to the back, go to the back of the restaurant," they yelled.

I hesitated, lost in my own panic.

"Did you not hear me, go to the back and sit down," they demanded.

I complied and looked around at the other patrons. There were eight men including the waiter, all of South Asian descent and ranging in age from late-teens to senior citizen. One of the policemen pointed his gun point-blank in the face of the waiter and shouted: "Is there anyone else in the restaurant?" The waiter, terrified, gestured to the kitchen.

The police placed their fingers on the triggers of their guns and kicked open the kitchen doors. Shouts emanated from the kitchen and a few seconds later five Hispanic men were made to crawl out on their hands and knees, guns pointed at them.

After patting us all down, the five officers seated us at two tables. As they continued to kick open doors to closets and bathrooms with their fingers glued to their triggers, no less than ten officers in suits emerged from the stairwell. Most of them sat in the back of the restaurant typing on their laptop computers. Two of them walked over to our table and identified themselves as officers of the INS and Homeland Security Department.

I explained that we were just eating dinner and asked why we were being held. We were told by the INS agent that we would be released once they had confirmation that we had no outstanding warrants and our immigration status was OK'd.

In pre-9/11 America, the legality of this would have been questionable. After all, the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution states: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized."

"You have no right to hold us," Asher insisted.

"Yes, we have every right," responded one of the agents. "You are being held under the Patriot Act following suspicion under an internal Homeland Security investigation."



[Edited on 5-5-2003 by Netchicken]




posted on May, 6 2003 @ 08:17 AM
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I saw this one, and in spite of the confirming details (well, the name DOES appear on the Doctors Without Borders website), there are things that are just WRONG. I'd intended to turn it over to Snopes for investigation.

For one thing, the INS checks Green Cards and not drivers' licenses. For another thing, the last I'd heard, the Dept of Homeland Security has not been funded yet. So they couldn't have had trained agents.

And nobody takes laptops along on raids. Wireless networking via laptop is notoriously unreliable.

There are some other points, too, but those were the biggies.

[Edited on 6-5-2003 by Byrd]

[Edited on 6-5-2003 by Byrd]



posted on May, 6 2003 @ 08:49 AM
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Originally posted by Byrd

There are some other points, too, but those were the biggies.



Ok, but as far as i see it, those weren´t important, the important thing is the way to get into the restaurant, the respect and so, i don´t care about wireless networking with laptops, or if they ask driver licenses or passports, the stuff is that nobody has rights now, and it´s getting worst, and even the Patriot Act just makes
rational people understand what is this all about....
Be aware The police state and military are coming ...



posted on May, 6 2003 @ 12:45 PM
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I see you farting hard on this one Byrd , two edits
it gets harder and harder for dogmatic deniers to deny everything




Originally posted by Byrd
I'd intended to turn it over to Snopes for investigation.



Byrd, you and snopes could make a wonderful sitcom



posted on May, 7 2003 @ 05:10 PM
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Originally posted by CoLD aNGeR
Ok, but as far as i see it, those weren´t important, the important thing is the way to get into the restaurant, the respect and so, i don´t care about wireless networking with laptops, or if they ask driver licenses or passports, the stuff is that nobody has rights now, and it´s getting worst, and even the Patriot Act just makes
rational people understand what is this all about....


That's just the point, though -- if the major details are wrong, then the story is most likely a fake by someone who just wants to get people riled up.

As it turns out, Homeland Security didn't have any money for agents. They finally got a budget on April 30, 2003 but haven't actually hired agents yet. Early last week was the first time that states could apply for grants to hire and train agents: www.whitehouse.gov...

Now, you might not believe the White house site, but this info is backed up by a lot of news reports that have talked in the past about how Ridge has been upset at the lack of funding for the department... they couldn't even do their basic job beyond setting up some websites and doing some basic information.

As you can see from this BBC article, Homeland Security was supposed to have a $37 billion funding and 170,000 agents as originally conceived. news.bbc.co.uk... -- however, that didn't happen until this year.

So that leaves the question of how did an agency with no money and no personnel stage a raid with laptops that could mystically connect to secure networks no matter what situation they found themselves in?

That's why I think it's a piece of alarmist fiction.




(note on the laptops -- you know how fragile they are and how heavy they can be. There's no way they could take them on a raid, haul the people over to the laptop, have the laptop connect over a wireless connection to a very secure database to do searches to see what outstanding warrants the people had against them or if they were legal immigrants. You can't just wave your laptop in the air and acquire a wireless connection, you know. And the pain of connecting them through cell phones is just horrible. Last weekend we worked on getting a Mac to do that very thing and it took a lot of tries and effort to get it to work -- and the two of us working on it were geeks and this had been pre setup and worked with that phone before.)






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