Haddad”s hearings resemble tribunal

To the Daily:

In her article “Local Muslim man may be deported for visa violations,” (1/07/02) Jacquelyn Nixon pays little attention to the significance of the secrecy surrounding Rabih Haddad”s court appearances.

Both of Haddad”s hearings were held behind closed doors denying him the basic right of a public trial. More alarming was the fact that Congressman John Conyers, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, was barred from observing Haddad”s court proceedings.

In a Jan. 3 letter from Conyers to Attorney General John Ashcroft, the congressman asks, “how is it possible for members of Congress to oversee our executive branch if we are denied access to immigration hearings?”

Though Haddad is not facing a military tribunal, it appears that the government is trying its best to mimic one.

Amer Ardati

Medical School

Traveler muses on airline security

To the Daily:

I traveled by air for the first time since the September 11 attacks over this holiday season. I flew on five different airlines, either into or out of eight different airports (don”t ask). It was interesting to observe how the security measures varied from airport to airport, just the basics that everyone was subjected to, not the random stop and searches. (Which really did impress me as random. I didn”t expect to see the luggage of so many middle-aged white ladies being turned inside out.)

My belt buckle tripped the metal detectors at JFK and the Las Vegas airport, but not at Detroit Metro or LAX. Everyone”s shoes were searched in Las Vegas, but not at JFK, although random searches forced me to remove my shoes at both the security check-in and at the gate. At LAX, they only made people with metal visible on their shoes remove them. Some places x-rayed my watch, others didn”t require it. Some passed my jacket through the machine, others let me carry it through the metal detectors.

How do airports decide what kind of search is necessary? Is there an industry standard that is not being uniformly applied or are there competing manuals or is there no standard, just an arbitrary free-for-all? And will this change when the feds take over airport security?

Jesse Janetta


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