18, 2000 (Thursday) THE
US Immigration service has, it turns out, a
computer called Tecs II. It makes sure that the wrong
people do not get into this country, and that only
the right people do. Tecs II. I first saw that acronym in November
1992, when I was held in a Canadian
immigration cell, thanks to the machinations of
the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the other global
true friends of Free Speech: a friendly immigration
official told me that Tecs II would have recorded
automatically the number plate of the car in which
I was driven across from British Columbia into the
USA at Blaine and back. Of Paranoia:
18, 2000 (Thursday)
THE US Immigration service has, it turns out, a computer called Tecs II.
It makes sure that the wrong people do not get into this country, and that only the right people do.
Tecs II. I first saw that acronym in November 1992, when I was held in a Canadian immigration cell, thanks to the machinations of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the other global true friends of Free Speech: a friendly immigration official told me that Tecs II would have recorded automatically the number plate of the car in which I was driven across from British Columbia into the USA at Blaine and back.
Which journey would therefore have complied with the idiotic requirement that I depart Canada by a stipulated time and date: except, mysteriously, that the computer print-out produced to the court by the Crown showed a later crossing that day as the driver returned home to the US side, but it did not show the crossing that mattered. Wonderful what people can do with computer print-outs. But that is another story.
When I tried three days later to cross from Canada to the USA, at the other end of the continent, at the bridge across the thundering Niagara Falls, just before that midnight deadline on November 1, 1992, the US officials were bothered by something on their Tecs II screens, and they told me to "try again the next day": Which meant that I had technically failed to comply with the deadline: Which meant that Canada could now deport me in manacles back to England: Which meant that . . . well, the rest of that is history.
What was on that US computer file? I never found out.
A few months later I found out what data were on its Canadian equivalent: using the Canadian Access to Information Act, I discovered that a Canadian immigration official, Harold Musetescu, -- later dismissed -- had been bribed by officials of the Canadian Jewish Congress (or alternatively by the Toronto arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center business-empire) to deposit phoney data about me on the Canadian Immigration intelligence files, in a conspiracy to prevent me from making further visits to Canada. I obtained actual print-outs of the data, showing when Musetescu planted the data, and what they were.
Computer print-outs like these are the best evidence, but you can seldom lay hands on them.
EVEN so, luck does occasionally shine on us fighters for Free Speech, and if we drill down deep enough we do bring up to the light of day, dripping with the poisonous sludge which is the natural habitat of these people, fragmentary evidence of how our wealthy and powerful enemies use the immigration services around the world to try to prevent any historical debate which they find "dangerous".
My far-flung legal actions have turned up some surprising data in this connection, including secret letters written in 1991 and 1992 by Mr Neville Nagler, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, to the German security service, the Austrian ambassador, and the like, demanding my arrest, imprisonment, and general harassment as I went about my lawful lecturing engagements. During my recent London action against Lipstadt et al., Judge Gray discouraged me from publicly reading out these documents, holding, no doubt quite properly, that they bore little direct relevance to the Lipstadt libels.
In December 1992, a few days after that Canadian deportation, I flew from London to Miami which is -- Elian Gonzalez and Joe Carollo notwithstanding, still a part of the USA. This time I entered the country without difficulty, though the INS official at "primary" -- the first line of desks where passports are checked -- seemed to do a bit of a double-take as he viewed the computer screen.
The next time after that was not so easy, and this brings me back to the US Immigration Service's Tecs II computer again: It was April 18, 1993 and I was flying in to Dulles airport at Washington DC. This time I was detained for two or three hours and my baggage was searched in front of me. After two or three hours the senior INS official on duty reappeared and this fortunately very conscientious officer apologised that what had taken so long was that he had had to apply for clearance to check certain facts with the RCMP and Ontario authorities:
"Mr Irving," he revealed, "somebody has planted a yard-and-a-half of garbage about you on our INS computer. They claim that you're wanted for arrest in Canada, and elsewhere. It's all untrue, we've checked, and that's what took the time. Somebody doesn't like you, and they've put this stuff on our computer. You're going to have trouble every time so long as that file is there. I have marked it as being spurious, but you'd better apply to the US embassy in London to have that garbage removed."
The embassy's legal attaché, Mr Gottlieb, wrote me in June 1993 apologising for the inconvenience and assuring me that I would have no problems in future. I carry that letter with me each time I go through US immigration now. And, just as well.
BEING a curious kind of fellow, I did apply under the US Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) for access to the spurious file to try to identify who had planted the fake data about me on the Tecs II computer, and when he had done it; after a year of persistent trying, which drew just blank written responses of "nothing found" -- perhaps because the INS file had indeed been wiped blank at my request -- I gave up.
I have received and ignored since the Lipstadt trial a number of hate-messages from the more malevolent enemies of free speech, threatening to have me denied entry to the United States. I posted some on this website, ignored the rest. I hear that a Congressman Tom Lantos, a Jewish immigrant who fled from Hungary, no doubt with good reason, in 1956, had tried, but failed, to get Congress to enact a law under the one-minute rule, permanently banning me from the United States, his current homeland. These enemies of free speech never give up, and it is for its First Amendment that we Europeans particularly value this great country.
Which brings me almost to the present day. At San Francisco international airport on May 18, 2000 I find I am for the second time in my life taken out of the shuffling line of visitors, and given the same run-around as at Dulles. The Immigration service officer peers at the computer screen, taps it, wipes it clean, peers again, calls over a colleague, and I catch the words of one to the other, "... the one we've been told to look out for." I see my passport tucked into a plastic couvert, and I am sent to a desk marked IW4. The new officer studies the file and questions me: "You have been arrested here in the USA several times, haven't you?"
At this I burst out laughing, and exclaim, "Never once!"
Perplexed, he sends for a superior. What has happened is clear. The devil has again given unknown hands work to do on the Tecs II computer files. Quite apart from one stray item on my file referring to a somewhat different and far younger person, a thirty-six year old "David Irving" who has been denied a visa in 1993, and one can't help speculating on why?, (I have a permanent and fully operational US visa) the other entries are of some interest.
Yes, they have been expecting me here today at San Francisco. Virgin Atlantic Airways, like British Airways, Continental, United, and all the other airlines I have flown on during my seventy or so crossings of the Atlantic, have telexed advance warning to the INS that I am on my way. On this May 18, 2000, a "one-day lookout" has been posted on the computer, stating:
"Subject arrives 051800 on VS019, please refer to INS secondary. Subject has been arrested in several other countries, therefore, if applying under VWPP [Visa waiver protection program] is ineligible for admission. Visa refusal in 1993. See extensive PAU file."
Just about everything in this entry is terrifyingly wrong, but a handwritten addition reads: "Suggest luggage search!!"
The file is indeed extensive. It goes back to earlier visits I have made to the USA (a handwritten notation reads: "extensive travel since 1992", so perhaps everything prior to 1992 was indeed deleted in 1993).
THE same busy hands have been entering spurious material on my INS dossier as early as 1993. The words appear to have been entered by persons unschooled in the privileges bestowed by the First Amendment and the free-speech provisions of the UN Charter of Human Rights.
On October 21, 1993 somebody enters this helpful paragraph:
"October 21, 1993 (DRP/BUN) Subject is a White Supremacist and is known as a revisionist. He believes the Holocaust never happened and gives speeches around the world concerning this subject. Irving has had problems with authorities in Canada, Germany and Australia. He was deported from Canada in 1992 and his deportation was recently upheld by their Federal Courts."
[In fact my illegal deportation was never tested by the Federal Court in Canada; a Judge Rothstein having issued a one-line refusal to permit any appeal, without vouchsafing any reasons].
"Irving was in Niagara Falls, NY on October 13, 1993 where he gave a speech to a large crowd at the Days Inn. In attendance was an individual from Germany (see correlations) who is described as being the new Führer. [This mystery-man is not identified in the file] Irving was refused admission into the US in 1992 but has since been told he is admissible and has filed a FoIA in London. Irving has been seen with Ernst Zündel in Toronto, Ont.
This rubbishy information is still being quoted in INS reports in March 1996.
MY DIARY reminds me that from late 1994 to June 1995 I am writing in Key West: no speaking engagements, just relaxing with Benté and little Jessica, just a year months old, as I complete the final version of the biography of the Nazi propaganda minister Dr Joseph Goebbels. In March 1995 I make a flying visit back to London to fetch more WW.II documents and photographs from my files. On March 28, 1995, as I return to Key West, Virgin Atlantic airways "loses" my bag -- a big unlockable green trunk, an ex US-army footlocker. Unusually, I am informed of this "loss" as soon as I step off the plane. Now that's odd. Seven days pass before the trunk is returned to me.
At the time I put this down to bad luck, but it now seems that something more purposeful is behind the loss.
Of course, things could have been worse. People might have planted stuff in the baggage, a not unknown practice in North America. What has in fact happened this time is that when the bag arrived on a later flight a Virgin representative has escorted it to Customs. A Customs Inspector Esposito has opened it, assisted by a Special Inspector Cavendish. "Examination revealed materials that there were pro-Nazi and Right wing propaganda," the official US files reveal (evidently not spotting that they are all dated prior to May 1, 1945, the day that propaganda minister Dr Goebbels committed suicide!). Bartie phones the local INS officials in Orlando; they tell him to contact the Immigration Command Center in Washington DC. Customs now holds the bag until it is decided whether these materials are admissible.
On March 30 the crestfallen officials are told that under the law the materials are admissible, and George Waldrop, of ADD, Miami, orders the trunk released to immigration under Title 8, section 235.1 of the CFR. The bag is now held however while Immigration determines my own "status."
Being a law-abiding person, I like to think that it is entirely coincidental that a few days later I find that a note has been fastened to the blind side of my P O Box in Key West, directing that all my mail is to be held for a week; and that the number of strangers walking up and down past our isolated cottage multiplies, of whom the least suspicious is a Hassidic gentleman in heavy black Lubavitcher rig who makes the trip three times in one day. Although they do say that a nun's uniform makes the best camouflage for surveillance -- nobody gives nuns a second glance -- I assume that this gentleman's is hardly a clever camouflage designed to melt him into the 90-degree scenery.
I read further into the INS dossier on David Irving. A fuller summary has been solemnly compiled, somewhere in the innards of the INS:
"On 28 March 1995 a rush bag arrived from England via Virgin Atlantic flight 015 & was opened by an airline representative. CI [Customs inspector] Bartie was present and upon examining the contents, determined the bag to contain Right Wing neo-Nazi material belonging to a David Irving. Newspaper articles found in the bag revealed that Mr Irving has been arrested in Germany, Canada, England, and Australia."
[These arrest-allegations are untrue; they bear a curious similarity to libellous statements by the Australian prime minister Mr John Howard that Mr Irving has been "convicted" in these same countries. Evidently the same organisation has briefed them all.]
"Subject has been either deported or excluded from entering above named countries as well. CI Bartie called the local immigration office and was directed to call the Immigration District Command Center in Miami. CI Bartie spoke to a Mr George Waldrop who conference-called other country officials concerning this matter. A Mr Romi Gyergyak, an Australian official, was contacted and stated that the subject had been excluded from Australia, but was not 'wanted'. Additionally, the Simon Wiesenthal Center was contacted and awaiting response. It seems that most countries involved do not want the subject admitted into the country due to his right-wing, neo-Nazi extremist lectures and publications. Material in subject's baggage was dealing with doubting of the Holocaust and pro-Nazi propaganda. Continued contact with all above mentioned parties continues. Baggage was determined for determination of admissibility. RAC Orlando advised at onset and is in contact with all outside agencies, RAC Key West and all other participants. Publicity to be kept at a minimum."
The last sentence in this 1995 document is yellow-highlighted in the Tecs II computer file.
It can not be stated for certain now what that footlocker did contain in 1995: what is certain is that it contained not a single sheet of "neo Nazi" material -- only Nazi documents. As said, I was writing the final chapters of the Goebbels biography, Mastermind of the Third Reich. The most innocent explanation is that to Mr Bartie, raised perhaps on a diet of Hollywood films and Madison-Avenue books, this may have seemed like "Nazi" materials. He does not list the documents, so we don't know. The trunk and its vital contents finally arrived at the little cottage in Key West, looking -- literally -- crushed, dishevelled, and confused after their week-long adventure. Virgin Atlantic, I am bound to say, compensated me handsomely, awarding me a thousand dollars' compensation for the inconvenience.
ALL OF this brings me to what happens here, on my arrival in San Francisco from London in May 2000. The officers are scrutinising this mystifying file. They go away, they consult, they make print-outs, they return.
I am taken to another waiting room, where some rather down-at-heel Asians and South Americans are sitting. And among them, invisible, is sitting my Glücksgöttin too. The final INS officer, the top banana, the one who makes the decisions, turns out to be an Irving-fan.
"I've got some of your books," he says proudly, and volunteers that he owns Hitler's War, though only in the cheap paperback edition. What rotten luck for the traditional enemy, the senior officer on duty, is somebody who knows the truth about what I write. Just as it is rotten luck for Judge Gray, that while hundreds of young journalists have laboriously copied out the gratuitous slime in which he has marinated his (in my view) perverse Judgment in the Lipstadt case, there are literally millions of wiser folks around the world who have my actual books in their shelves and have read them -- like this American officer in front of me, five thousand miles from my writing desk in London.
Here in San Francisco, I have meanwhile fished out of my case that letter written to me by the US embassy in 1993 -- the letter apologising for the "little problem" at Washington's airport, and promising that now that the computer file has been purged of the spurious entries I shall not have any further problems.
This letter proves doubly useful now. Irving-fan goes away, studies the Tecs II print-outs with his back to me, scratches his head, comes back again; questions me some more. After ten or fifteen more minutes of questioning, he stamps the passport and waves me through, handing back to me the letter and my sheaf of other papers as I leave, and wishes me a nice day. I am finally through around 4 p.m. I pick up an Avis rental car and head south down 101 to Stanford, where I am going to work for a few days in the archives of the Hoover Institution on War and Peace.
As I unpack my things, I find a little surprise: Irving-fan has given to me the entire confidential print out of my Tecs II dossier. God Bless America, land of free speech.