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Now we know how Tuberculosis man got back into the country

A border agent let TB man in, even though he had a direct order telling him to detain him and call authorities. From the Washington Times:

A globe-trotting Atlanta lawyer with a dangerous strain of tuberculosis was allowed back into the United States by a border inspector who disregarded a computer warning to stop him and don protective gear, officials said yesterday.

The inspector has been removed from border duty.

The unidentified inspector said he is not a doctor but the infected man seemed perfectly healthy and that he thought the warning was merely "discretionary," officials briefed on the case told the Associated Press. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter is still under investigation.

Andrew Speaker, 31, was quarantined May 25, a day after he was allowed to pass through the border crossing at Champlain, N.Y., along the Canadian border.

The inspector ran Mr. Speaker's passport through a computer, and a warning -- including instructions to hold the traveler, don a protective mask in dealing with him, and telephone health authorities -- popped up, officials said. About a minute later, Mr. Speaker was instead cleared to continue on his journey, according to officials familiar with the records.

The Homeland Security Department is investigating.

"The border agent who questioned that person is at present performing administrative duties," said Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke, adding those duties do not include checking people at the land-border crossing.

Colleen Kelley, president of the union that represents customs and border agents, declined to comment on the specifics of the case, but said "public health issues were not receiving adequate attention and training" within the agency.

What training does a border agent require to simply follow an order? Ms. Kelley, you're full of it. This border agent disregarded a direct order and put other people at risk; there was nothing "discretionary" in that order, either. He shouldn't even have an administrative job at this point. He should have been fired.

Comments (29)

How many illegal aliens hav... (Below threshold)

How many illegal aliens have TB or some other deadly or contagious disease? If we are raising such a ruckuss aboutthis (and we should), shouldn't we seriously get out there and secure those southern borders?

Is it possible he was paid ... (Below threshold)

Is it possible he was paid off by the lawyer to let him pass?

There was an article in the... (Below threshold)

There was an article in the WSJ a while ago about a Guatemalan illegal who had fulminant TB and had about 40 contacts also positive for TB.

They all worked in the food industry.

As for Speaker, he's a personal injury lawyer!

What an ass!

I hope they sue the s**t out of him.

An excellent reason why uni... (Below threshold)

An excellent reason why unions ought to be banned from representing government workers. A PI lawyer who pulled this stunt is looking to get his ass sued and possibly disbarred.

Wasnt' there also something... (Below threshold)

Wasnt' there also something about how he subsequently got on a plane *back* to the states, because he wanted to make sure he got proper health care?

Putting a whole new set of travelers at risk. Arse.

Richardipus,Not true... (Below threshold)

Not true. If he wanted proper health care, he would have been trying to get to Cuba....

Engineer, thanks for the re... (Below threshold)

Engineer, thanks for the reminder. The man is stupid, but he's not Fat Ugly White Guy stupid, and his last name isn't Moore. He a typical lawyer who graduated from the failed propaganda spewing education system.

The evils of racial profili... (Below threshold)

The evils of racial profiling. That man was given a free pass not because he looked healthy but because he looked like your average white middle class dude. If you give some people a free pass because of what they look like, you're eventually going to get boomeranged.

"I'm not a doctor but he lo... (Below threshold)

"I'm not a doctor but he looked healthy"
Ok, you're not a doctor so you decide to ignore the orders given you based on the opinions of actual doctors? I'm ashamed to be associated with a government that retains workers of this level.
"I'm not a radiologist, but that glowing rock doesn't look dangerous."
"I'm not a herpatologist, but that cobra looks friendly."

You should see this man, An... (Below threshold)
Jean-Paul Marat:

You should see this man, Andrew Speaker, the despicable "personal injury" lawyer trying to spin his way out of culpability by engaging in the blame-shifting he and others in his profession so lovingly embrace. He is doing this in the national media on TV!

He is trying to blame his care givers for the very acts HE CHOSE to engage in! He deliberately engaged in a reckless act KNOWING that he would endanger the lives, health, and welfare of those he came in proximity to - including his new bride.

Do not be fooled by this pusillanimous, pompous, pride-puffed, self-justifying, excuse of a human being. We try people for murder who spread the HIV intentionally.
Jean-Paul Marat

Have you seen the photos of... (Below threshold)

Have you seen the photos of his new bride? Nothing short of death would keep most men from leaving for a honeymoon with her! Rrrrowwww!!

He needs a nickname in the ... (Below threshold)

He needs a nickname in the same vein as Tyhpoid Mary. T.B. Andy?

This guy is 'hoping' people... (Below threshold)

This guy is 'hoping' people will forgive him. He should be hoping for a lawyer with enough sense to tell him to shut up.

The bird flu over the cuckoo border.

Andrew Speaker, from what w... (Below threshold)

Andrew Speaker, from what we know here in Atlanta, appears to come from money, as well as his Ice Princess wife.

How much do you want to bet that there was a quiet exchange of money just prior to this idiot border inspector completely failing both his job as well as all 300 million US citizens?

Every health care professio... (Below threshold)
Ziggy in JC:

Every health care professional in the USA knows that TB is HUGE problem. I had TB 10 years ago after working in a resturant with with illegals from Guatemala.

"TB Man"? Governm... (Below threshold)

"TB Man"?

Government agents ignoring their orders?

A strange disease no one can cure?

Hey everybody, the "X-Files" are back!

Is the guard a Union member... (Below threshold)

Is the guard a Union member? He acts like one.

"Lessee here, this paper says you got TB. Don't look like TB to me. Nice tan, next please!"

Hopefully this isn't the level of our work in Iraq.

The Homeland Security De... (Below threshold)

The Homeland Security Department is investigating.

That's the Department of Homeland Insecurity Kim.

Sadly, I don't remember whe... (Below threshold)

Sadly, I don't remember where I found this tip, but TB Andy kept a blog. It's down (imagine that) but the cache still exists on google:

HMMMMM? A "discretionary o... (Below threshold)

HMMMMM? A "discretionary order", isn't that what the DNC has given us, meaning anything that is makes sense and promotes secure borders and support for the current administration is to be completely up to discretion, meaning it is not to be followed.....

A copy of the warning order... (Below threshold)

A copy of the warning order that the border agent received ought to settle the question of how definite (or equivocal) it was.

The most alarming aspects o... (Below threshold)

The most alarming aspects of this are that:

1) The "detainee" was stopped at the border
2) The border patrol agents had immediate access to a database that would instruct them as to what to do
3) The "detainee' apparently persuaded the agent to let him through or,
4) The agents ignored explicit orders from DHS

What does episode tell our terrorist enemies?

I'll tell you what it reveals:

1) Mr. Speak conducted an apparently unwitting "dry run" that will be studied extensively by our enemies.
2) The DHS is seriously, and possibly criminally, negligent.
3) It is an indisputable example of how unsecured our borders are and how catastrophically vulnerable our nation is to attack.

I hope the passengers exposed to Mr. Speak's illness do not fall ill; I hope Mr. Speak recovers (albeit to face any charges that may be appropriate). However, this incident should ring the alarm for ANYONE concerned about border security.

Unlike our southern border (and perhaps the southern border), Mr. Speak showed and announced himself to our authorities, only to be let through. Does anyone seriously believe that we can secure our borders given this incident?

DHS can not cure this problem in just a few years given our current political environment. It will require decades of vigilance or an act of war. Unfortunately, our great country has demonstrated decades of vigilance against only one particular threat....the former USSR.

The Speak matter should be seen as a watershed event in our time.

(and perhaps the sout... (Below threshold)

(and perhaps the southern border),

should read "northern"

Lay off the guard, he's onl... (Below threshold)

Lay off the guard, he's only following the orders of the new congressional leadership. No terrorist exist, so none can possibly cross the border, and there is no dangerous diseases in the world worth stopping an American citizen for five minutes to check them out. If it kills thousands they'll all get into their BDS mood and blame President Bush. TB is one of the easy to spread diseases that is, or should be, classified as a WMD. Several are because people with a brain know the Religion of peace (joke) will use them soon. What was the democrats best friend Usama working on? BIO terror weapons? If the lawyer is a democrat, no doubt really, he was probably on a test run. Today democrat and terrorists are interchangable.

A huge scandal is about to ... (Below threshold)

A huge scandal is about to disrail Fred Thompson's presidential dreams.

He is associated with a criminal and con man. He just announced that he is doing paid radio ads for a company called Lifelock. A story about Lifelock just broke (see http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2007-05-31/news/what-happened-in-vegas/full) that tells a shocking story about this company that has Fred Thompson in their pocket.

Fred time to get out and quick. Kill the ads and give back the money. Before you turn into the Don Imus of the 2008 race.

Protector,I'm shocke... (Below threshold)

I'm shocked, SHOCKED, that this could be going on in my Party. Arrest the usual suspects!
Claude Raines

Good luck firing him, he's ... (Below threshold)

Good luck firing him, he's a union member. NACIH

Speaker's toast, and I don'... (Below threshold)

Speaker's toast, and I don't mean an after dinner one; he's 'after the fall'. There is an easily identifiable class, there are damages, he clearly evaded his duty, and there is direct cause between his derelictions in directions, and the ongoing damages. He flu the wrong way if he was looking for safe harbor.

The border inspector should finish his career in the border inspector academy lecturing on infectious diseases.

acroso:Bush is... (Below threshold)


Bush is as dumb as a pencil eraser

Not as dumb as someone who would use the case of an isolated border guard failing to do his job as a snide remark about Bush.






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