First they Came for the Standby Passengers…

by Kieran Healy on August 4, 2003

… but I got a courtesy upgrade to business class, so who cares?

I’m waiting to hear why right-thinking, law-abiding folks should not be in the least bit worried about this recent discovery.

Washington has admitted the existence of a list, possibly hundreds or even thousands of names long, of people it deems worthy of special scrutiny at airports. … [This list] is entirely separate from the relatively well-publicised “no-fly” list, which covers about 1,000 people believed to have criminal or terrorist ties that could endanger the safety of their fellow passengers.
The strong suspicion of such groups as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is suing the government to try to learn more, is that the second list has been used to target political activists who challenge the government in entirely legal ways. The TSA acknowledged the existence of the list in response to a Freedom of Information Act request concerning two anti-war activists from San Francisco who were stopped and briefly detained at the airport last autumn and told they were on an FBI no-fly list.
The activists, Rebecca Gordon and Jan Adams, work for a small pacifist magazine called War Times and say they have never been arrested, let alone have criminal records. Others who have filed complaints with the ACLU include a left-wing constitutional lawyer who has been strip-searched repeatedly when travelling through US airports, and a 71-year-old nun from Milwaukee who was prevented from flying to Washington to join an anti-government protest.

(Via Nathan Newman and Electrolite.)

{ 4 comments }

1

micah 08.04.03 at 2:24 pm

Has this been covered in any U.S. papers?

2

Lorenzo 08.04.03 at 2:33 pm

I suspect this has more to do with overenthusiasm than McCarthy stile politics. Nevertheless, I can’t help but think that they naively thought that only people they don’t like would be caught in the net or list as the case may be.

3

Datanerd 08.04.03 at 4:02 pm

Micah, there was an article on Salon.com about it. That’s all I’ve seen.

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2003/07/25/no_fly/index_np.html

4

Jim Miller 08.07.03 at 12:29 am

So you think the Independent is a reliable publication? Especially on matters in which they can indulge in anti-Americanism or Bush bashing?

BTW, here’s a comparison you may find of interest. Seattle, just across Lake Washington from me, just installed both cameras and microphones in their buses. So far there has been very little reaction to this policy, perhaps because Seattle is controlled by very far left Democrats. Does this policy bother you?

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