Friday, December 01, 2006

What is a terrorist meal?
This shouldn't surprise us:
Without notifying the public, federal agents for the past four years have assigned millions of international travelers, including Americans, computer-generated scores rating the risk they pose of being terrorists or criminals.

The travelers are not allowed to see or directly challenge these risk assessments, which the government intends to keep on file for 40 years.

The scores are assigned to people entering and leaving the United States after computers assess their travel records, including where they are from, how they paid for tickets, their motor vehicle records, past one-way travel, seating preference and what kind of meal they ordered.

This is fairly typical for this administration: wholesale secret intelligence gathering, indiscriminate surveillance of everyone, possibly illegally interlinked databases, co-opting corporate America to supply information for a covert law enforcement program, no oversight, no appeal, no due process. But what's this about the meals? What do terrorists typically eat? Are they more likely to drink Pepsi than Coke? Could it be that anyone who orders a halal or kosher meal is flagged and diet is a surrogate for religious profiling?

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