We don't know what we don't know

Posted by sepoy on July 04, 2008 · 1 min read

AP: Racial Profiling Eyed for Terror Probes: Terrorist Profile Could Single Out Muslims, Arabs, or Other Racial and Ethnic Groups.

Know Your Rights produced by the excellent Muslim Advocates.

PS: Happy Birthday Baba! And Happy Birthday, America.


aaron | July 04, 2008

"We don't know what we don't know. And the object is to cut down on that," said one FBI official who defended the plans. What I find fascinating (and disquieting) about this whole thing is the way ignorance has become the enabling factor, the way "we" can do what would otherwise be illegal precisely because "we" don't know what the heck is going on. That's the logic for torture too, of course, but extending that logic out from the relatively limited spaces of rendition-land into a wide-spread and openly advertised police tactic takes it to another level, doesn't it? Plus the opening line has a grammatical illogic that betrays the underlying narrative: The Justice Department is considering letting the FBI investigate Americans without any evidence of wrongdoing, relying instead on a terrorist profile that could single out Muslims, Arabs or other racial and ethnic groups. implying that the distinction between "American" (who have rights) and "Muslim, Arabs, or other racial groups" (who do not) is about to be officially recognized doctrine.