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December 13, 2004

Dear Afshari Family: If There's Anything Else We Can Help With, Just Let Us Know! Signed, The US Government


Via Doug Henwood's mailing list, here's a story about the federal government firing a married Iranian immigrant couple from their OSHA jobs. Aliakbar and Shahla Afshari are 18-year residents of the US with three children (one born here), and both worked for OSHA for almost a decade. They were told they'd failed new "secret background checks":

No explanations were offered and no appeals allowed... They have been told they were fired for national security reasons that remain secret. When their lawyer requested the documents used to justify the action, he was told none existed.

Okay, the US is taking on the tinge of a Kafka-esque nightmare. So what else is new? Well, my eye was caught by this:

Robert C. Creese, a professor of engineering who was Mr. Afshari's doctoral adviser at West Virginia University, described Mr. Afshari as a pacifist who was appalled by the devastation wrought by Iran's decade-long war with Iraq. Mr. Afshari's younger brother was killed by mustard gas in that conflict.

Wow, we've really done right by the Afsharis! First we give Saddam Hussein a green light to invade their country (talking point #5 here), later on we fire them, and in between we help Saddam kill Aliakbar's brother. Hopefully we can draft the Afshari children soon, then make them invade Iran and kill their own grandparents.

No need to thank us, Afshari family, we will say modestly. We're just doin' our job.


Posted at December 13, 2004 04:58 AM | TrackBack

This is federal assholery of almost Olympic dimensions.

Posted by: oyster at December 13, 2004 03:30 PM

Maybe Bush should have used one of his secret background checks on Bernard Kerik.

Posted by: BLT at December 13, 2004 03:34 PM

Nah, the background check was "can I pronouncicate them funny fureners name?"

Posted by: jeff at December 13, 2004 04:43 PM

Nahh... it's business as usual in the DSA... the Divided States of Amerika.

I hope at least they can get unemployment.

It's bullshit like this that keeps me working in Japan. I mean, I must be on someone's black-list somewhere for accessing web sites like this one.

Posted by: umijin at December 14, 2004 07:59 AM

Hi, I am in the process of reading this novel about early Stalinism called "CHildren of the ARbat" and blacklisting people and stuff like that really rings a few bells. It's more grim reading although it is also an entertaining novel. I hate this. Why do I get ahold of these books? Also Jon, way to go telling me about yet another grim novel re the Congo. I really need more evidence that Africa was raped by colonialists. Thanks buddy, you're doing wonders for my positive attitude.

Posted by: Anna in Cairo at December 14, 2004 08:11 AM

Just for accuracy's sake, it was not OSHA, but NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). NIOSH does the research, OSHA does enforcement and sets standards (or did at one time).

Oh, and by the way. You are clearly a bunch of ignorent fellow-travelling pinko lackeys of Michael Moore. The Afshari's were obviously national security risks. The NY Times says that "Mrs. Afshari, 43, who has a master's degree in occupational health and safety, worked in a laboratory that researched allergic reactions to common items like latex gloves and hand cleansers. "

Clearly our next move in Iraq is to repeatedly spray latex powder over "anti-Iraqi" forces, hopefully inducing severe fatal allergic reactions. But we had to get rid of the Asfhari's first.

Posted by: Jordan Barab at December 16, 2004 04:58 PM

You all don't know what you are talking about. The guy was truly a national risk. He most probably worked for Iranian (now taken over by Molas who terrorize Iranians as well as Americans)secret agency and I know it since he was a suspected person even among his collegues in Esfahan Nuclear Technology Center. Your are kind, you are compassionate, and you are American...but please leave a chance for your government which is comprised of people like you that they have the best interest of America in heart. God bless all good people in the whole world and may God forgive me if I am wrong but I did what I thought is my duty to do.

Posted by: X at January 3, 2005 04:26 PM