Search

band annie's Weblog

I have a parallel blog in French at http://anniebannie.net

Date

August 18, 2008

At JFK Airport, Denying Basic Rights Is Just Another Day at the Office

By Emily Feder, AlterNet. Posted August 18, 200

I was recently stopped by Homeland Security as I was returning from a trip to Syria. What I saw in the hours that followed shocked and disturbed me.

I arrived at JFK Airport two weeks ago after a short vacation to Syria and presented my American passport for re-entry to the United States.

After 28 hours of traveling, I had settled into a hazy awareness that this was the last, most familiar leg of a long journey. I exchanged friendly words with the Homeland Security official who was recording my name in his computer. He scrolled through my passport, and when his thumb rested on my Syrian visa, he paused.

Jerking toward the door of his glass-enclosed booth, he slid my passport into a dingy green plastic folder and walked down the hallway, motioning for me to follow with a flick of his wrist. Where was he taking me, I asked him. “You’ll find out,” he said.

We got to an enclosed holding area in the arrivals section of the airport. He shoved the folder into my hand and gestured toward four sets of Homeland Security guards sitting at large desks. Attached to each desk were metal poles capped with red, white and blue siren lights.

I approached two guards carrying weapons and wearing uniforms similar to New York City police officers, but they shook their heads, laughed and said, “Over there,” pointing in the direction of four overflowing holding pens.

I approached different desks until I found an official who nodded and shoved my green folder in a crowded metal file holder. When I asked him why I was there, he glared at me, took a sip from his water bottle, bit into a sandwich, and began to dig between his molars with his forefinger. I found a seat next to a man who looked about my age — in his late 20s — and waited.

READ ON

Advertisements

Military wants to study mind-reading

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) — Here’s a mind-bending idea: The U.S. military is paying scientists to study ways to read people’s thoughts.

Scientists use electroencephalography, or brain wave-reading technology, to measure brain activity.
Scientists use electroencephalography, or brain wave-reading technology, to measure brain activity.

The hope is that the research could someday lead to a gadget capable of translating the thoughts of soldiers who suffered brain injuries in combat or even stroke patients in hospitals. But the research also raises concerns that such mind-reading technology could be used to interrogate the enemy.

Armed with a $4 million grant from the Army, scientists are studying brain signals to try to decipher what a person is thinking and to whom the person wants to direct the message.

The project is a collaboration among researchers at the University of California, Irvine; Carnegie Mellon University; and the University of Maryland.

The scientists use brain wave-reading technology known as electroencephalography, or EEG, which measures the brain’s electrical activity through electrodes placed on the scalp.

It works like this: Volunteers wear an electrode cap and are asked to think of a word chosen by the researchers, who then analyze the brain activity.

READ ON

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑