FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

No Fly Lists

 

You have heard about the Transportation Security Administration’s “no-fly” list? That is the black list of persons who are supposed threats to airline safety. If you name is like anyone the government has ever had on a terrorist-watch list, you are on the list. No, you cannot get your name off the list. Don’t even ask. In fact, it will neither be confirmed or denied that you name is even on the list. It will be obvious to you, because you will be turned away at the gate. But the government won’t say you are on the list.

Now, there is another list. Actually, I found out about it recently when talking to a friend who works for a contractor who works for TSA. I get searched every time I fly. Pulled out of the line and ordered to a chair on the sidelines or to a room, my bags are emptied. I am “wanded” over and over. My shoes are searched. I am sent on my way.

My friend said there was a code embedded in my boarding pass that alerted security to pull me out of line. She said, “It’s your writing. It’s got to be.”

Lo and behold, CounterPunch writer David Lindorff broke the story in an article for Salon on the TSA list for politically incorrect people, containing thousands of names.

Kept secret until its disclosure last week by the TSA after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by San Francisco anti-war activists, it is supposedly entirely separate from the relatively well-publicized “no-fly” list, which covers about 1,000 people believed to have criminal or terrorist ties that could endanger the safety of airline passengers.

It is impossible to know for sure who might be on the list, or why. The ACLU says a list kept by security personnel at Oakland airport ran to 88 pages. More than 300 people have been subject to special questioning at San Francisco airport, and another 24 at Oakland, according to police records. In no case does it appear that a wanted criminal was apprehended.

It is not just left-wingers who feel unfairly targeted. Right-wing civil libertarians have spoken out against the secret list, and at least one conservative organization, the Eagle Forum, says its members have been interrogated by security staff.

There is something true conservatives and civil libertarians can agree on. The Fourth Amendment that is supposed to protect us against unreasonable searches and seizures has been abandoned for madness in the name of airline safety. The government is getting its revenge on citizens who criticize the Bush regime. It might get lucky and find a nail file or two that will allow them to arrest a “dissident” and charge them with a federal crime.

Though it is not yet a federal crime to criticize the government (unless you are an Arab or a Muslim), Bush plans to shut you up one way or the other. My libertarian friends have been telling me that I should rejoice when the government does “stupider and stupider” things. It means a “change is gonna come.” Americans won’t stand idly by for ever, they promise. Meantime, the ACLU is suing the government to try to learn more about the list that targets political activists who challenge the government in entirely legal ways.

As for the list, I hope it grows to hundreds of thousands of names. If you’re not on it, you ought to be.

ELAINE CASSEL practices law in Virginia and the District of Columbia, teachers law and psychology, and follows the Bush regime’s dismantling of the Constitution at Civil Liberties Watch. She can be reached at: ecassel1@cox.net

More articles by:
September 25, 2018
Kenneth Surin
Fact-Finding Labour’s “Anti-Semitism” Crisis
Charles Pierson
Destroying Yemen as Humanely as Possible
James Rothenberg
Why Not Socialism?
Patrick Cockburn
How Putin Came Out on Top in Syria
John Grant
“Awesome Uncontrollable Male Passion” Meets Its Match
Guy Horton
Burma: Complicity With Evil?
Steve Stallone
Jujitsu Comms
William Blum
Bombing Libya: the Origins of Europe’s Immigration Crisis
John Feffer
There’s a New Crash Coming
Martha Pskowski
“The Emergency Isn’t Over”: the Homeless Commemorate a Year Since the Mexico City Earthquake
Fred Baumgarten
Ten Ways of Looking at Civility
Dean Baker
The Great Financial Crisis: Bernanke and the Bubble
Binoy Kampmark
Parasitic and Irrelevant: The University Vice Chancellor
September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will There Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail