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Wednesday, July 17 2024 @ 06:58 MDT

U.S. Tourism Industry About to Take a Hit.

US Politics It's happening faster than I thought. The American slide into despotism is well on its way, if the statements of a US Justice Department lawyer are taken into account. The lawyer, arguing in the Maher Arar case, has stated that foreigners on US soil have no rights. No right to due process, no rights under the US constitution and certainly no right to not be tortured by the US or any other country. I can see the US tourism adverts now: Come for a week, stay detained for a lifetime without charge.

Given the apparent callous disregard for the human rights of foreign visitor to its soil the US government is now stating, it's not hard to imagine what this will do to the American tourism industry. I'm not to keen on visiting a country where you can be detained indefinitely without trial or even exercising your rights under international law to access counselor services from your embassy and I suspect others aren't either. This doesn't even go to the point of the Arar case where he was shipped off to a country so that he could be tortured by professionals (though the statement implies that US officials can torture you, they're not pros at it since they've only had a couple of years of experience).

It's only a matter of time before the US government starts treating its own citizens the same way. I suspect that the conservative factions that now control the US government hold the constitution in contempt, since it limits their actions and will do everything they can to invalidate the 230 year old document. I would suspect that in the near future that even US citizens will be starting to disappear for “questioning” using “extreme duress”.

As a side note, in legal briefs written by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the Justice Department has defined torture to mean "pain consistent with major organ failure or death.". Which means, in the eyes of the US government at least, that prying off your fingernails, or getting punched in the face aren't torture. Nice group of people running the place.

All I can say for me is that now, instead of taking my train trip around North America next summer as I had planned, I'm now looking at doing the same trip around Europe. Of course I will not be using an airline that flies through US air space. It's just not worth the risk to enter the US for anything anymore. I see this as yet another sign that the terrorists are winning.

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