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Terrorism, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

By sleepin'dawg ·
Terrorism, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. And if you look in the mirror, you just might behold a terrorist.

"Surely you're joking," you're thinking. Alas, no...

Consider the saga of Walter Soehnge, of Providence, R.I., who found himself under suspicion of being a terrorist because he paid off his credit card bill. A few months ago the balance on Mr. Soehnge's credit card had risen to the point where he decided to bring it down to save on interest payments. So he sent in a payment for $6,522.

Shortly afterward, Mr. Soehnge checked his account balance. The payment hadn't been credited. He contacted the bank to find out what had happened. He was told that the amount he had sent in was much larger than his normal monthly payment. And that raised a huge red flag - one that had to be reported to the federal government's Department of Homeland Security as a potentially "terrorist-related transaction."

The irony is that at least some of the 9-11 hijackers reportedly ran up large credit card bills that they never paid off. In other words, paying off your credit bill makes you a terrorist suspect - and so does NOT paying it off.

Nuns are also potential terrorists. Last November, checks written by the nuns at the Holy Name Monastery in St. Leo, Florida, began bouncing. The nuns contacted their bank, a local branch of Wachovia, and were informed that their account had been frozen in an anti-terrorism investigation. There was no warning from Wachovia - the bank simply refused payment on 22 checks, returning them to the monastery with the mysterious message "refer to maker" stamped on them. Wachovia also deducted a fee for every bounced check.

After some digging, the nuns learned that the problem was that an 80-year-old nun at the convent who is a signatory to the account didn't have her Social Security number and photo ID on file. That fact obviously made her a potential comrade-in-arms to Al Qaeda and its ilk, so Wachovia froze the entire account, without bothering to notify the nuns.

After considerable inconvenience, both Mr. Soehnge and the Holy Name Monastery were able to regain access to their financial accounts. However, buried deep within the bowels of the Homeland Security Administration, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and perhaps even the National Security Administration, there almost certainly exists a record of the investigations that will be shared with other government agencies, such as the Transportation Security Administration (which is itself a division of the HSA).

Will Mr. Soehnge and the good nuns from the Holy Name Monastery be permitted to board an airplane next time they wish to travel? Or have their names been added to the secret watch list of suspected terrorists maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center that now numbers 325,000 names? If they have been swept into the net cast by the nation's anti-terrorism laws, they may not be permitted to board.

Other than persons who pay off (or fail to pay off) their credit card bills, and nuns, who else might be considered a terrorist?

* Babies are potential terrorists. On at least 14 occasions, babies in their mothers' arms have not been allowed to board flights because their names showed up on a terrorist watch list. Naturally, the babies are detained pending an investigation.
* Catholics are potential terrorists, too. Besides monasteries, the FBI's counter terrorism unit has targeted the Catholic Workers Group for investigation because of the group's "semi-communistic ideology."
* Vegetarians are potential terrorists as well. FBI agents in Indianapolis were so alarmed by the announcement of a "Vegan Community Project" that they called in the agency's counter-terrorism unit to investigate it.

Obviously, anyone who engages in any kind of civil disobedience is a potential terrorist. Indeed, the USA PATRIOT Act states that any act that has the potential to damage property and that "appears to intended" to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion constitutes "terrorism." Just think. You're marching down the street, protesting abortion (or perhaps to support abortion rights). Someone in the crowd throws a rock that breaks a car window. Since the USA PATRIOT Act targets not just individuals, but entire organizations, that single act converts not only everyone involved in the demonstration, but your entire organization, into a "terrorist organization."

What happens next? We only need to look at the example of the Holy Land Foundation, a large Muslim charity. When the US Treasury Department declared Holy Land a "terrorist organization" in December 2001 and froze its assets, the charity went to court. However, in March 2004, the Supreme Court ruled that Holy Land had no right to challenge its designation as a "terrorist organization." This decision by the highest court in the US means that the government can designate any business or group as a "terrorist organization"- perhaps yours - and seize its assets, with no right of appeal.

Are you a potential terrorist? Look in the mirror. If you see a face gazing back at you, the answer is "yes."

If you think this situation is ridiculous - and threatening - you should take two steps that I consider essential for all persons wanting to protect themselves from an out-of-control government, ASAP:

FIRST, establish an offshore nest egg. An offshore bank account is a good start, but since you can be forced to repatriate the assets in an offshore account, an investment like a Liechtenstein insurance policy that provides statutory asset protection under (Swiss) Liechtenstein law is even a better idea.

SECOND, investigate places to live outside the United States. Austria, for instance, is a lot different from the US, and you might have to make some major adjustments, but there are no terrorist watch lists and no charitable organizations having their assets confiscated without a court hearing. Some other popular destinations are Panama, Australia, France, Nicaragua and Switzerland.

There's no time to waste. It's just a matter of time before another terrorist incident in the US emboldens our leaders to crack down even harder against anyone who can see their reflection in the mirror: perhaps even you. At least think about it.

Just a little schit disturbing for a lazy Monday before National Drunkards Day er, I mean, St. Patrick's Day.

Dawg ]:)

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you do know..

by dawgit In reply to Terrorism, like beauty, i ...

... That would be funny if it weren't so true.
(by the way, did you know the Irish were terrorists also, at least in England, and they're allies with the USA, maybe you should check the list for your name ;-) ) or have a Happy St,Paddys Day.!.

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Thankfully I'm not Irish but my grandfather had an Irish grandmother.......

by sleepin'dawg In reply to you do know..

and I don't think that's enough to qualify me as Irish, besides, if I were going to celebrate anything, it would be July the 12th; I'm a Scot and I enjoy having a joke on all the bog trotters.


Dawg ]:)

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