That can be our new tourism tag line...
During the last twenty-four hours I have probably experienced the greatest humiliation to which I have ever been subjected. During these last twenty-four hours I have been handcuffed and chained, denied the chance to sleep, been without food and drink and been confined to a place without anyone knowing my whereabouts, imprisoned.
This woman foolishly thought she could come and spend some Euro in New York. A little shopping trip. Unfortunately she hadn't realized that a computer somewhere said she overstayed a visa years ago. She's a dirty foreigner so... hilarity ensued...
I was photographed and fingerprinted. I was asked questions which I felt had nothing to do with the issue at hand. I was forbidden to contact anyone to advise of my predicament and although I was invited at the outset to contact the Icelandic consul or embassy, that invitation was later withdrawn. I don't know why.
I was then made to wait while they sought further information, and sat on a chair before the authority for 5 hours. I saw the officials in this section handle other cases and it was clear that these were men anxious to demonstrate their power. Small kings with megalomania. I was careful to remain completely cooperative, for I did not yet believe that they planned to deport me because of my "crime".
When 5 hours had passed and I had been awake for 24 hours, I was told that they were waiting for officials who would take me to a kind of waiting room. There I would be given a bed to rest in, some food and I would be searched. What they thought they might find I cannot possibly imagine. Finally guards appeared who transported me to the new place. I saw the bed as if in a mirage, for I was absolutely exhausted.
What turned out was something else. I was taken to another office exactly like the one where I had been before and once again along wait ensued. In all, it turned out to be 5 hours. At this office all my things were taken from me. I succeeded in sending a single sms to worried relatives and friends when I was granted a bathroom break. After that the cell phone was taken from me. After I had been sitting for 5 hours I was told that they were now waiting for guards who would take me to a place where I could rest and eat. Then I was placed in a cubicle which looked like an operating room. Attached to the walls were 4 steel plates, probably intended to serve as bed and a toilet.
I was exhausted, tired and hungry. I didn't understand the officials' conduct, for they were treating me like a very dangerous criminal. Soon thereafter I was removed from the cubicle and two armed guards placed me up against a wall. A chain was fastened around my waist and I was handcuffed to the chain. Then my legs were placed in chains. I asked for permission to make a telephone call but they refused. So secured, I was taken from the airport terminal in full sight of everybody. I have seldom felt so bad, so humiliated and all because I had taken a longer vacation than allowed under the law.
She didn't know it but they were trying to 'break' her. It wasn't by accident that she was not allowed to rest, and that they kept telling her she would be able to eat and sleep any time now. Instead her physical situation got worse. This is all technique. Its part of the process that every Gitmo detainee would recognize right away. Isolate, Shock, and Break. Luckily Icelanders are made of stern stuff. Although If they had more time, she would have broken. Everyone does. Someone should send her one of those Limbaugh T-Shirts, "Experience Club Gitmo". She did.
This is the kind of treatment that any visitor to the U.S. can now expect. Imagine your skin is brown and you are traveling with your children.
Lets see how low the tourism industry drops now. I wonder which airline is going to fail first?