"For your security..."

chainsaw massacre

Carrying a bloody chainsaw? Welcome to the USA!

When I go to the airport I am made to take off my shoes and jacket. I must surrender my cellphone, small change, and any electronic devices for scrutiny in the x-ray machine. Occasionally my bags are swabbed and analyzed for traces of contraband, chemicals, or cat hair — who knows? At times I must assume a spreadeagle position for wanding with some detection device. And always I must present my photo identification. All of this for my security.

Gregory Despres mugshot
Gregory Despres police mugshot

All this heightened security notwithstanding, we learn today that last April US Customs agents allowed Gregory Despres, 22, who was carrying a sword, hatchet, brass knuckles, and a chainsaw apparently stained with blood, to cross the border from Canada into Maine.

Apart from the unusual objects in his possession, Despres told officials he was a Marine working for President Bush and was waiting for a helicopter.

Two days after he was passed through customs and immigration — Welcome to the USA! — Mr Despres was arrested in Massachusetts for the murder of his neighbors in Minto, New Brunswick. The man had been beheaded — his head was found in a pillow case under the kitchen table — and his wife had been stabbed to death.

Said US Customs and Border Protection, "It's impossible to hold someone if there is no legal recourse. What he was carrying was also not illegal."

Balderdash! I can guarantee that if Gregory Despres had been named Ibrahim Mutlak al-Shawis they would have found a way to hold him. He would have been in Guantanamo before you could say "Patriot Act."

Remember this the next time you take off your shoes at the airport.