Terrorist Canned Fishes

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My fellow Americans, bioterrorists must be all around you, and your government is not doing enough to protect you. In fact, the efforts of the current administration make a sham of so-called “Homeland Security.”

Yes, America, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But I have inadvertently found a huge gaping hole in your so-called “defense” against bio-terrorism.

Let me explain and you be the judge. I will also provide you with the links to the Internet sites that were provided to me by the Japanese post office, who had this information passed on to them from the U.S. embassy here in Tokyo.

This morning I went to the post office to send a letter to my father and to send some junk my wife sold to people on Yahoo! Auction.

I usually go to the post office once a week on Tuesdays.

Upon entering the post office I saw a large official looking sign. The sign stated:

“Preparation period for prior notice needed for U.S. bound international mail food shipment…

The Bioterrorism Act took effect in the United States on 12/12/2003. Under this law, prior notice for U.S. bound international mail containing food must be confirmed by the USFDA before food is mailed.”

Every year, about Christmas time, my wife takes care of my lazy buns by sending Japanese food to our Japanese family and friends who are currently living in the United States. No, they are not poor. It’s just that Japanese are “tea connoisseurs” and excellent grade Japanese tea is basically impossible to buy in America at any price. We also sometimes send canned fish and dried seaweed.

I’m glad my wife takes care of stuff like this for me. I’m so bad about this kind of thing. I can’t even remember ever sending anyone a Christmas card or birthday card.

(Let me take this moment to say, “I’m sorry to all those whose feelings I hurt.”)

Anyhow — back to the scandal. I read this notice and started laughing. The Japanese postal clerks (who know my face) were all quite surprised. I told them that:

“America has gone mad.” The clerks failed to see the wackiness of this new American law. Japanese people are often quite lacking in humor when it comes to things the government does.

The stern-faced clerk handed me a form, written in Japanese, that explained this new law. I asked her if she had one written in English. She didn’t.

The form she gave me — which was provided by your government, America — explained this new “get tough” Bioterrorism law.

It stated that before any type of food is sent to America, you must get permission from the FDA or another important American bureau, the CBP.

What does CBP stand for? I have no idea. But that’s not important right now. I was worried about my canned “fishies” and seaweed that I was planning on having my wife take care of.

This new law made so many questions for me:

  • How will the US government know if the food I am sending is safe? Do I have to send it to them first, and then have them taste it and send it back to me with an okay?
  • And what about canned food? How do I know if that can of pickled Bonita isn’t actually some sort of dreaded Ebola virus? Do I need to check out the manufacturers of these products? Or will the U.S. government do it for me?
  • How can I actually be sure that the Japanese factory that canned those little “fishies” meet FDA standards?
  • How can I be absolutely sure that the people who work in those factories don’t hold some sort of gripe against America and Americans when they are canning that food?
  • Is chewing gum a food? What about chewing tobacco? (Just covering all the bases here — Japanese don’t chew tobacco…)
  • And, more importantly, if I send some food that is past it’s expiration date, does that make me a bioterrorist?

I had to find out the answers to these questions.

First I went to the FDA site that was written on the paper.

The I went to the CBP site listed.

Next, I went to the US embassy site for information,

Well, strike three and you’re out! None of the homepages listed on the form I received worked. Check them yourself. I have now tried each one three times and each time was unable to access the information site.

One more thing I noticed on the form was it stated that the Bioterrorism act was to be enforced starting on April 1st (I’m not making this up) 2004. This information was crossed out in ball pen on the form and someone (from the government, I presume) had handwritten “beginning August 12th, 2004.”

Nothing like passing new laws that never take effect except to waste everyone’s time and money.

“Our government failed you. Those entrusted with protecting you failed you. And I failed you,” — Richard Clarke.

Yes, America, it’s true. And I have presented here for your perusal rock-solid evidence that the government is still failing you.

But I won’t fail you. I am here to “blow the whistle.”

I, Mike Rogers, do solemnly swear, on the bible, that the events I have relayed to you did happen on this day, April 6th, 2004.

~ End of testimony

Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers [send him mail] was born and raised in the USA and moved to Japan in 1984. He has worked as an independent writer, producer, and personality in the mass media for nearly 30 years.

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