July 31, 2002

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: They may have missed terrorists, and their list of suspected terrorists may have leaked out and been posted on the Internet, but the FBI in my area is hell on asian-prostitution rings. Of course, everyone around here has known what these were all about for years, as they advertise quite blatantly on billboards, in newspapers, etc.; in fact, I know a lot of legitimate massage therapists who were happy that the “Asian Massage” fronts were so common and well-known, because it helped keep the distinction between that kind of stuff and what they do clear in everyone’s mind.

But is this the best use of resources when we’re supposed to be at war?

UPDATE: Reader Robert Crawford writes:

Asian massage parlors are unlikely to harbor anthrax. You probably won’t find them trying to poison the water supply, or build dirty bombs, or fly airplanes into buildings.

And, since they advertise on billboards, they’re easy and quick (and safe!) sources of press releases.

I’ve just about given up. I can’t imagine what the government thinks it’s doing — it’s like we’re watching people from the Bizarro Universe. Everything they do seems to be the opposite of what’s needed, especially the focus on “Homeland Security” instead of taking on the terrorists and their supporters.

Yep. I think this sentiment is hitting critical mass, too.

UPDATE: A couple of readers have emailed to note that asian-prostitution setups are often little more than slavery, with illegally imported women being kept in isolation. That would certainly put a different complexion on it, but you’d think if that were the case here the press release would mention it.