Monday, April 09, 2007

"Do you think this is the first six-year-old we've arrested?"

Oh, it's bad. Bad. On the fourth anniversary of the "fall of Baghdad" (thinly noticed in U.S. corporate media, kind of a big deal in the Middle East), two news notices that make me wanna weep.

First, a respected professor emeritus, from Princeton no less, is refused a boarding pass on American Airlines for being on the "Terrorist Watch" list-- not for participating in a peace march (the airline clerk's first guess), but for lecturing on Dubya's many abuses of the Constitution.
One of the two people to whom I talked asked a question and offered a frightening comment: "Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that." I explained that I had not so marched but had, in September, 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the Web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the Constitution. "That'll do it," the man said. "
And second, and just jaw-droppingly, gut-wrenchingly sad, courtesy of Bob Herbert, comes a report from "a small, backward city in central Florida" of the arrest, handcuffing, fingerprinting and booking of a six-year-old child!
"The student became violent," said Frank Mercurio, the no-nonsense chief of the Avon Park police. "She was yelling, screaming — just being uncontrollable. Defiant."

"But she was 6," I said.

The chief’s reply came faster than a speeding bullet: "Do you think this is the first 6-year-old we’ve arrested?"