Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Could be a hard sell

The pr campaign to increase tourism to the US didn't work on at least one person:
Dear Discover America,

I find via the Financial Times that the US government has a plan to "launch a tourism charm offensive in the UK, to persuade holidaymakers to take advantage of sterling’s strength against the dollar and make the US their next holiday destination".

I first visited the US in February 1995. I stayed two weeks, visiting friends in Baltimore, California, and Washington, and had a wonderful time. Between 1995 and 2004 I visited the US multiple times, and enjoyed each visit very much. I've been to California, Arizona, Illinois, and New York: I've loved the country and enjoyed meeting Americans.

I haven't visited the country since US-Visit was set up in 2004, and I will not be back. I will not even change planes in a US airport when I make a long-planned visit to Canada next year.

The US government's tourist campaign was especially badly timed: on 30th June a federal Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that no crime was committed when U.S. officials arrested a non-US citizen changing planes in a US airport, locked him up for a fortnight, refused to let him have access to a lawyer and a court, and then sent that non-US citizen to Jordan and then to Syria where he was imprisoned and tortured for nearly a year.

If the US government claims the right to arrest any non-US citizen, lock them up, deny them due process, and ship them to another country to be tortured, then the US government must be insane to think that any non-US citizen should take the risk of entering such a country.

I loved visiting the US. I'll never go back.
Seems perfectly understandable to me. It's probably risky enough for US citizens to continue to reside here now that the whole "unitary executive" theory is taken as orthodoxy.

Hat tip, The Sideshow.

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