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Digital Subscriptions > American Survival Guide > February 2019 > TRAVEL SAFETY

TRAVEL SAFETY

REDUCE YOUR TARGET PROFILE WHEN TRAVELING OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES.
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It’s estimated that more than 7,000 Americans get locked up in overseas jails every year. There are an additional 2,500 Americans serving hard time in foreign prisons at any given time for crimes they were convicted of.

So many of us assume our American rights and freedoms are somehow universally recognized. While our relative geographical and cultural isolation have allowed us and our way of life to flourish in many ways, they have also given many of our citizens—particularly the less informed and less worldly among us—a false sense of security, leaving them oblivious to the brutality, tyranny and oppression that exist just outside our borders.

“GUILT” BY ASSOCIATION

Another misconception many Americans have is that if they disagree with foreign policies of the current administration or if they announce their dislike of the current U.S. president, they will not be subjected to any anti-American sentiment those policies might attract. They might feel their opinions allow them to travel the world impervious to the prejudices and hatreds that are directed at Americans in many places. They do not seem to understand that, in reality, simply holding a U.S. passport and being a U.S. citizen can make them a target of civilian anti-American groups or government-sanctioned contempt.

What many of these folks don’t seem to comprehend is that their American citizenship can make them guilty by association, causing them to be charged with bogus espionage charges or even “war crimes” as was the case with 85-year-old Korean War veteran Merrill Newman. He was held by the North Korean government for over a month and allowed to leave—only after being filmed "confessing" to alleged war crimes the North Korean government claimed he committed while he was deployed there during the war.

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