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SECURITY and Loose Canons

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"East Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah and Jenin. I am an Internet reporter and you can read all about my journey on my website," I replied as I handed him my card.

He looked at it carefully, smiled and replied, "Very nice, very interesting."

"Thanks. I hope you will read what I have to share."

"Oh, I will. May I keep your card?"

"Of course, it is yours and please tell all your friends at SECURITY to read me too."

"Thank you for your cooperation. There was a problem with your bags; they must go back through the x-ray machine."

"OK," I said and returned once again to where I had just been.

After the bags came back out, the young man in the suit informed me, "Your bags need to be further examined."
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He led me to the next phase, a large rectangular space of tables with x-ray equipment in the middle and delivered me to station number 9, where three females were waiting for me. They asked me to open up all my bags and with plastic gloves on their hands; they swabbed and examined every surface and every article. My sunscreen lotion and Pink IPOD shuffle caused them much concern, but what really got them nervous was a stain on an old suitcase and they wanted to know, "How long had it been there?"

I had no clue as I borrowed the bag from my daughter and hadn't even noticed it until they brought it up. It took another 35 minutes for them to go through all my stuff and all my careful packing had been for naught. They were all pleasant enough, but nobody responded to me when I stated, "All of this happens just because I have been to occupied Palestine? Oh well, every experience is writing material."
After they were satisfied I had no explosives in my luggage, one of them offered to help me repack, but I declined. As soon as I was zipped back up, one of them told me without making any eye contact, "Now I have to check you for metal."

"OK, sure, but I think you mean a strip search?"

She didn't respond and led me to the examining room where my shoes, belt, and jewelry came off and she told me to sit down and she would return soon. After my shoes and belt passed the x-ray inspection, she told me to extend my legs so she could pat them down. Then she instructed me to stand up and hold my arms out so she could wand me all over. The wand kept alarming in the vicinity of the metal buttons and rivets on my jeans. She said, "Have a seat; I must get my supervisor."

She returned with a young woman, who never made eye contact with either of us as she commanded, "You need to drop your pants around your knees."
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I complied and after she wanded me all over, she turned and exited as I spoke to her back, "Did I pass the inspection? Can I get dressed?"

She never responded but my first 'companion' said "Yes."

I was then led back to my luggage and another female; one who did make eye contact and smiled a lot said, "Come with me," and I did.

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Eileen Fleming,is a Citizen of CONSCIENCE for US House of Representatives 2012 Founder of Staff Member of, A Feature Correspondent for Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu" (more...)

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