Tuesday, May 20, 2008

No buy, no fly, no sense

Everyone knows how the Bush-Cheney regime has used its supposed “war on terrorism” as a justification of all sorts of draconian, fascistic, even, anti-civil liberties rules and laws. The regime has sometimes gone out of its way to repeal fundamental human rights in its zeal to wage war—far too often—on innocent people.

There’s been a lot of publicity about its “no fly list” which is supposed to keep alleged terrorists and others off planes in the US. Reports have shown how the list was so badly put together, so poorly maintained and, in typical Bush-Cheney incompetence, that many, many innocent people have been denied seats on flights. There’s also documented evidence that the list has been used to make it harder for dissidents—opponents of the Bush-Cheney regime—to fly around the US.

Now we find out there are similar problems with a “no buy list”. The list is maintained by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and, according to America’s CBS News, “keeps track of known terrorists, drug traffickers, and proliferators of weapons of mass destruction”. That last one doesn’t include US arms manufacturers, by the way.

CBS News goes on to report that the list “has more than 7,000 names and aliases, and companies aren't allowed to do business with anyone on the list. In fact, they have to check the list before any credit transactions can take place.”

Trouble is, with typical Bush-Cheney regime incompetence, the list is administered very badly, with no guidance given to those who are forced to refer to it. CBS News reported that Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights “put out a report documenting dozens of cases of consumers who were denied homes, health insurance, even the purchase of a treadmill because of an OFAC alert.” Just like the “no fly” list, it’s very difficult to get off the “no buy” list once you’re on it.

The Republicans in Congress established the Bush-Cheney list and required that banks and other institutions refer to it. But the Bush-Cheney Treasury Department has done nothing to clarify how the list is to be used.

Add this to the seemingly endless list of reasons why the end of the Bush-Cheney regime and Republican rule in Congress can’t come soon enough. Roll on January!


lost in france said...

Have you figured if we can get our hands on this list? It might be interesting to see.

Arthur Schenck said...

No, the list is supposedly secret, meaning ordinary people can't see it (like the "no fly" list). Supposedly the only people who see are at the Treasury department (because they maintain it), and since all credit bureaus in America are required to check credit applicants against it, they have it. Since America is still a more or less open society, some freedom-loving person at one of those agencies may leak the list eventually, but I think a better hope would be to defeat the right wing and Republican cabal responsible for creating the mess in the first place.