U.S. Reportedly Bars Entry To Leading Critic Of NSA Surveillance Programs

220px-Ilija_trojanow_by_thomas_dorn_232_KBWhile there has been little media attention in the United States, European press is reporting how German-Bulgarian writer and activist Ilija Trojanow was barred from entering the United States this week. A critic of NSA spying programs and professor at The European Graduate School, Trojanow was invited to speak at a literary conference and is well-known for his criticism of the surveillance state. He said that he was given no explanation for being barred from entry.


Trojanow was left stranded at an airport in Brazil.

In a public article, Trojanow denounced his treatment and added in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that “It is more than ironic if an author who raises his voice against the dangers of surveillance and the secret state within a state for years, will be denied entry into the ‘land of the brave and the free.’” He may have a point.

Germans are outraged and I do not understand why this is not a bigger story in the United States. This is a leading civil libertarian critic of our spy agencies. His being barred entry raises a serious question of retaliation against the critics of our government. He has invited the government to explain his being barred entry. I, for one, would like to hear it. If he is a secret spy, drug dealer or terrorist, it will come as a great surprise. Indeed, we generally arrest such people, not send them on their way. The burden is on the Administration to explain such an action taken against one of its most prominent critics. I cannot find any response from the Administration, which has not been shy in the past to release information defending itself in such stories either directly or through leaks. Of course, this is not a story that seems to register with our mainstream media even though tens of thousands of Germans have signed a letter calling on their government to take action.

It is a highly damaging story to our already tarnished image abroad. If the story is untrue, we should hear about it. If the story is true (and the government barred a critic), someone needs to be held accountable for an attack on free speech.

64 thoughts on “U.S. Reportedly Bars Entry To Leading Critic Of NSA Surveillance Programs

  1. Karl Friedrich: [political assertion that the Soviet system was a result of US/Western isolation of the Russians after the revolution] …. “These are the “historical problems” you don’t quite seem to grasp”
    *
    Whoa, that escalated quickly.

  2. The US government acting like an ostrich with it’s head in the sand will not make Ilija Trojanow’ criticisms disappear. It only serves to further expose the hypocrisy of the state.

    More from the land of enlightened debate:

    US scientists boycott Nasa conference over China ban

    Nasa is facing an extraordinary backlash from US researchers after it emerged that the space agency has banned Chinese scientists, including those working at US institutions, from a conference on grounds of national security.

    Link:

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/oct/05/us-scientists-boycott-nasa-china-ban

  3. Personanongrata,
    Thanks for the heads up on the NASA conference. I see this is a political power play by congressman Frank Wolf (R). His excuse is so thin it’s transparent.

    Let me get this straight. They are OK with bringing in unlabeled and possibly tainted food from China, but it might jeopardize national security if Chinese scientists who already work in the US attend a public scientific conference, the proceedings of which will be published.

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