Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What if this had been really important?

Mr. TB gets married
Originally uploaded by Tidewater Muse.
So, it turns out that Mr. TB, Atlanta attorney Andrew Speaker, now safely ensconsed in a Denver hospital that specializes in tuberculosis, wasn't put on the federal no-fly list until, get this, he'd already arrived back into the good ol' US of A.

From Spencer S. Hsu and his article Bureaucratic Failings Are Cited in TB Case at the Washington Post:
The Atlanta lawyer with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis who crisscrossed the Atlantic on commercial jets last month was not added to a U.S. no-fly list until at least two hours after he reentered the country by car from Canada, according to congressional investigators.

That was only one of a series of breakdowns at the international, federal and state levels that allowed Andrew Speaker, 31, to fly to Europe on a 12-day trip for his wedding and honeymoon, setting off a transatlantic health alarm.
Well, at least Mr. Speaker had a beautiful wedding overlooking the Greek islands.
Although Speaker's name was placed on a different watch list meant to catch people who cross the border by any route, a customs inspector used his discretion to ignore an alert triggered by the lawyer's passport. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is revoking that discretion at border crossings...
Oh, that's what we need: more guards with no discretion... we'll be complaining about that pretty soon.

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