Wednesday, June 8

Let's play Spot The Killer!

The man on the left is Cat Stevens, singer of such well-known songs as "Morning Has Broken" and "Here Comes My Baby." Last year he was on a plane that was forced to make an emergency landing in Bangor, Maine, because his name sounded like one on a terror watch list. Stevens was detained by authorities once the plane was on the ground.

The ray of sunshine on the right, the one even Marilyn Manson probably wouldn't want to sit next to on a crowded subway, is Gregory Despres, who arrived at a U.S.-Canada border crossing in Maine last month "carrying a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a chain saw stained with what appeared to be blood." Border officials fingerprinted him, took his weapons, and sent him on his merry way. The very next day, cops in Despres's New Brunswick hometown found one of his neighbors decapitated on his kitchen floor -- the dude's head was stuffed in a pillowcase nearby -- and the neighbor's common-law wife stabbed to death in the bedroom.

Now, maybe Cat Stevens had a bloody chainsaw on that airplane that nobody told us about. (Or maybe he was found with a pair of fingernail clippers -- God help you if you try to bring one of those onto a plane.) And maybe Gregory Despres didn't have that slightly craven cult-member stare or Hitler-Youth-meets-Nine-Inch-Nails haircut when the border guards sized him up in Maine last month. But I'm still gonna have to believe that homeland security in this country is still royally screwed up.

Your thoughts?


Ellen said...

Stopitstopitstopit!!! First CNN, now you...that picture is making my stomach turn over, literally. I'm not going to sleep for days.

Hello? Border agents? Hello? Anyone here?

Michael said...

you can't judge if someone is stable or crazy by appearance. Everytime I go through an airport I get searched. I think my appearance is the basis, being a large man who at the time had his head shaved and a goatee that was about 3 inches.

My point: there are vast numbers of people out there who "don't look normal." I'm one of them. I am also no threat to anyone. Going by someone who "looks the part" isn't going to work. It sounds exactly like what a bible thumping neo-con would suggest.

Now, as far as him showing up with weapons and a bloody chainsaw... no way in hell the guy should have been let across. I don't care if it was an 87 year old woman with a walker, if they have a bloody chainsaw its a sign that there IS a problem.

Kevin said...

You bastard! I was working on a way to work this one onto MY blog..and you beat me to it. Damn you Doug Gillett...DAAAAAMN YOUUU!!!

But in all seriousness (or not), doesn't Mr. Despres look a little bit like the lead singer of Live?

Ellen said...

I wasn't insinuating that his appearance was what the border agents should have been concerned about. I personally am concerned about his appearance because even if the headline next to his picture read "Nice Guy Gives Little Kids Bunnies and Saf-T-Pops While Helping Old Ladies Cross the Street," I'd still be scared he'd JUMP OUT OF THE PICTURE AND KILL ME. It's his eyes, not the silly hair. I don't think people are criminals based on silly hair.

That and being irritated by the obtuseness of the border agents in the face of his things-that-are-or-could-be-used-as-weapons cache were two separate thoughts. You inferred what I didn't mean to imply.

If border agents are letting folks come across with suspiciously stained sharp instruments, I'm irritated.

Anonymous said...

What part of this do we disagree with???

Bill Anthony, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said the Canada-born Despres could not be detained because he is a naturalized U.S. citizen and was not wanted on any criminal charges on the day in question.

Anthony said Despres was questioned for two hours before he was released. During that time, he said, customs agents employed "every conceivable method" to check for warrants or see if Despres had broken any laws in trying to re-enter the country.

"Nobody asked us to detain him," Anthony said. "Being bizarre is not a reason to keep somebody out of this country or lock them up. ... We are governed by laws and regulations, and he did not violate any regulations."

Kevin said...

Riiiight, because US citizens could NEVER be terrorists. Hey, has anyone seen Tim McVey, I'm sorry, I meant Ted Kazinski?

Don't get me wrong I don't hold the guards fully they did seem to do everything they's the system that's been put in place that allows these people through our boarders (a.k.a.-if they aren't brown or wearing turbans...they're ok).