from the frozen-isis dept
It wasn't so long ago that we were discussing the problems with the United States Treasury Department's list of scary names and how it was being used to prevent completely innocent folks from using online services. The ultimate point of that post was that casting broad nets in which to turn suspicious eyes without applying any kind of checks or common sense was a recipe for calling a whole lot of people terrorists that aren't actually terrorists.
Enter Chase Bank, which reported a man to the authorities and froze his bank account because he paid someone to walk his dog, named Dash.
Bruce Francis transferred some money to his dog walker to pay for services to his pit bull, and wrote the dog's name, "Dash," in the notes field. The processors at Chase Bank thought that Dash might be a sneaky way of spelling Daesh (which is the mocking, insulting nickname used by critics to refer to "ISIS"), decided that this was possible terrorist money-laundering, and stopped the payment, froze his account, and notified the Treasury Department that he was a suspected terrorist.It's hard to know exactly where to begin, but let's dig in, shall we? We can start with the fact that Daesh is a name for ISIS, chiefly used by those opposed to it. It's an acronym of sorts, but it came into being because it sounds like a couple of similar Arabic words that carry heavy negative connotations. In fact, I've heard researchers and opponents of ISIS insist that we should all call them Daesh specifically because it pisses them off so much. In other words, it's fairly unlikely that an ISIS member or supporter is going to call the group Daesh.
And it's less likely that they're going to misspell their terrorist benefactors' group name. It would be like a neo-Nazi funding a group and writing "Not-zees" on the memo line on the check. Sure neo-Nazis are dumb, but if you care enough about the group to fund it, you probably know how to spell the group's name, right? Dash being a fairly common word only pounds home the question of why didn't someone just pick up a phone and call Mr. Francis for an explanation.
Because, really, why would someone funding a terrorist group note that on a paper check? That's the stupidest part of all this. The folks over at Chase apparently thought a guy named Bruce Francis was funding ISIS, calling it Daesh but misspelling the word, and was noting that in the memo on the check. That's epic levels of dumb. Which is why I had assumed Francis would be royally pissed off about this. But, nope, we Americans have been conditioned at this point, which is how you get this:
Despite the inconvenient mix-up, Francis said he had no hard feelings.Maybe it's time we just pack this whole America thing up and try again with something new.
"I think anything we can do to stop the terrorists and the funding of terrorists, let's do it," he told KTVU. "And if it means an inconvenience to me and my dogwalker, then that's a price I'm totally willing to pay."