HISTORY DOESN’T REPEAT ITSELF (addendum)
Bob Harris ‘comes home,’ from Tom Tomorrow’s weblog (this is just an excerpt):
Just adding, sharing my own delightful recent experience while attempting to get on a Delta flight entering the United States:
First, routine: did you pack your own bags? Have they been in your possession the whole time? And did anyone give anything to you?Normal so far. Then, with God and perhaps 100 other passengers in line as my witness:Where did you stay on your trip, sir? What hotels? Do you have receipts to prove it? We’ll have to see those.Where did you purchase your ticket? How did you pay for it? Can you prove that?Where did you stay in Istanbul, sir? Which hotel? How many days? Can you show us a receipt to prove it? Can you show us all the receipts you have?
Furious, intimidated, embarrassed, unsure. Feigning calm. On my knees in the ticket line, going through my bags, trying to remain cooperative while being forced to produce documentation no one else was asked for, and which I had no way of knowing I might need.
The line stops, grumbles, and is re-routed around me.
No explanation as to why I alone am pulled from the line.
Red sticker affixed to my passport.
At security checkpoint, my backpack opened and inspected thoroughly, item-by-item. My camera bag opened and inspected thoroughly, item-by-item.
At the gate, quiet hostility. A criminal suspect. My backpack opened and inspected thoroughly, again, twice more, item-by-item.
My camera bag opened and inspected thoroughly, again, twice more, item-by-item.
My camera equipment taken, with no promise of return. I watch as a security
employee simply walks away with my things.
My passport and ticket taken and withheld.