My FBI Story
I was walking 'round in my robe. We had slept all morning, being on vacation. My husband, Usama (a.k.a. habibi) was getting ready to meet up with superstar filmmaker Shawn Durr to make dubs of one of his tapes.
The doorbell downstairs rang, so habibi thought it was Shawn and ran down to greet him. He darted back up the stairs and said "It's the F.B. I. !!!!"
"You're kidding right?" I said, knowing his sense of humor.
The look on his face answered my question. He was half smiling, half astonished "No," he said, "I'm not."
I went into the bedroom to put some jeans on and from behind the door I listened to their conversation as they came up the stairs and into the apartment.
"You live alone here?" an unfamiliar male voice asked.
"No, my wife Kristie is here," I heard habibi say, possibly motioning to the bedroom.
"Actually, she's the one we want to talk to," said one of the agents. I stopped. I searched my brain. Me? Why would they want to talk to me?! Habibi is the Arab boy! Wait, internet porn is legal, right?!
Habibi expressed his surprise and spoke with them a little longer. I hastened to pull on a button up shirt, bypassing the bra and walked out. Two suited agents were standing in the kitchen. I was surprisingly not at all nervous. I mean, why should I be? I have nothing to hide. I was more amused than anything. Me! They want to talk to me!
We shook hands and sat down at the kitchen table.
In the meantime, Shawn Durr showed up and habibi invited him upstairs to witness my interrogation.
I say interrogation, but really it was nothing like that at all. They were extremely friendly and following up on stupid hysterical anonymous tips is par for the course for them. They treated me with respect.
"You run a web site, correct?" One of the agents asked, looking through a folder full of papers, on which my social security number and various other stats were printed. "Art....."
"Artvamp dot com," I replied.
They explained that someone reported that I had written on my web site (in my journal I presume) something about the next suicide bomber being a white female because no one is expecting that. They asked me to explain my statement. As I answered the agent's questions he wrote the word "okay" over and over on a notepad.
They just wanted to make sure I didn't intend any violence -- that I wasn't planning on being that white female suicide bomber. And as a matter of course, they had to ask whether I knew anyone who might be planning on committing any violent act against the U.S. or Israel.
Sheesh. How many times do I have to state clearly that I abhore violence for the idiot reactionaries out there to get it? I AM NOT VIOLENT! I DO NOT CONDONE VIOLENCE! VIOLENCE IS WRONG! Clear enough for you?
Anyway, except for being nearly naked when they showed up, it was not at all an unpleasant experience. The agents were super nice and polite. They took down my work address and phone number (Yes, sir, I do work in the Hancock - the second tallest building in Chicago. No sir, I have no plans nor any desire to blow it up.). Satisfied that I'm just a girl with strong political opinions, they left.
They stressed that my and my habibi's political views are not being questioned. We live in a free country and we are entitled by virtue of living here to express anything we damn-well please, just so long as we are not committing violent acts against anyone. It's called FREEDOM OF SPEECH y'all.
So THERE! We can say what we like, and you, you who think reporting us to the FBI will shut us up, can't do ANYTHING about it. Got it?! So fuck you!
Anyway, that was interesting. When they left Shawn was all impressed, 'cause he likes drama. He said he was proud, and so glad he got to see it. He wished he could have video-taped it. :)
What a weird morning. They are watching. BUT freedom of speech still reigns!
- Kristie Alshaibi (artvamp.com)