Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jillian York and the Barest Minimum of Truth

Jillian York, who as you may recall likes Hamas quite a bit and is supportive of of "armed resistance," has been called up by the Huffington Post editors for one last shot at making the laptop searches at Ben-Gurion Airport into a major story (shoved into the "Travel" section of course). So after repeating the introductory information (and leaving out the fact that when it comes to places like airports you check your "right to privacy" at the door. 
"In that particular case, the two young women -- both of Palestinian origin -- complied with officials' requests but were nonetheless detained overnight before being deported. In another, similar case, a U.S. citizen who refused access to her email was told she was probably hiding something and was refused entry to the country."
Okay first of all, why is someone saying "no" to a freaking airport security official not a problem but that same official turning around and saying "no" right back is? Ms. York also takes a page from James Zogby's playbook and pounds the race card instead of admitting that the only reason why the two women were there was to be anti-Israel activists. If the audience isn't swayed by that factoid, fine. But if this argument is dependent on telling only half the story then that should really tell you something shouldn't it?

But I can't criticize her too much because she says something shocking, at least by Huffington Post standards:
"Not unlike travelers to the U.S., travelers to Israel face serious privacy challenges at the border. ...[and at the very end of the article] Travelers should consider taking the same precautions outlined in EFF's guide to carrying digital devices across the United States border."
Yes, that's right. After not one, not two, but three articles on this very subject, only now do we learn that Israel searches laptops at the border but America does the same goddamn thing. This is particularly ironic because if you look back at James Zogby's article the entire premise was that the "rights of Americans" were being infringed upon. So much for cleaning up your own house before throwing stones, right?

Even though I appreciate that rare kernel of truth from Ms. York, she still writes an entire article raking Israel over the coals for this while America gets a free pass. But hey she answers to the Huffington Post editors the same as everyone else.

Let's conclude with some excerpts from her guide vis a vis American border control:
"Don’t LieIt’s extremely important that you do not tell a lie to a border agent. Doing so is a serious crime for which you may be prosecuted even if your lie was not told to conceal any wrongdoing.45 If you are absolutely sure that you don’t want to answer a specific question, it’s better to politely decline to answer than to give a false answer.Don’t Obstruct an Agent’s InvestigationOnce it’s clear that a border agent is going to search your device or other possessions, don’t take any steps to destroy data or otherwise obstruct that process. Like lying, knowingly interfering with a border agent’s investigation is a serious crime.46 Write down the agent’s identifying information and collect a receipt for property if appropriate. Then file a complaint or consult a lawyer about getting the item back. (For information on filing a complaint to CBP or ICE, see the Appendix to this paper.)CourtesyIt’s in your interest to be courteous to agents at all times during the border inspection process. CBP agents should also be courteous and professional while searching your belongings, detaining, or questioning you.47 If they fail to do so, you can file a complaint."
Hm. If only the ISM would not lie and not obstruct an agent's investigation. Then the Huffington Post would have nothing to write about!

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