Andy, have you personally experienced any of this "way over the top" in the US or are you just parroting what you read from the web and see on TV?
Originally Posted by Andy K
I actually traveled to the UK during your country's troubles with the IRA. When I went to the airport (Heathrow) on my departure there was a tank - a goddamned TANK! - sitting on the roadway just inside the airport, menacingly facing the traffic.
While I was waiting for my flight, I was accosted by a plainclothes cop of some kind and interrogated about who I was, why I was there, where I was going, where I had been, etc., etc. He didn't throw me up against a wall or anything, but it was very clear that if I even thought about walking away that is what would happen next. This wasn't at a security checkpoint. I was just in the waiting area, minding my own business.
Now I was a normal looking businessman at the time. I was dressed well, and had nothing with me but my carry-on luggage.
You call that normal? That's never happened to me in the US.