12/17/15 No Fly List

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There’s been controversy over the No Fly List.

Lets examine this list.

It had about a dozen or so names before the 9/11 attacks. Then it grew dramatically.  To hundreds, to thousands, to tens of thousands.

The FBI says it’s a subset of the larger Terrorist Watch List.

How does a name get on the list? There’s no published criteria.  But for a while TSA used credit card records and newspaper clippings.

Really?

If you’re on the list you can’t fly into, out of or around the country.  There’s no administrative hearing.  Or court proceeding.  You don’t need to have been found guilty or even accused of anything.  Some bureaucrat places your name on the list.  And you’re banned. You’re punished without any due process. And there’s no formal procedure for you to protest.

It’s kind of un-American. And perhaps unconstitutional.

According to the FBI, the No Fly List consists of “known or suspected terrorists.” Here are some who’ve landed on the list: military, veterans, law enforcement, elected officials, attorneys, college students, surgeons,  entertainers, and other innocent Americans.

Senator Ted Kennedy was on the list. Nelson Mandela was on the companion Terrorist Watch List.  Congress passed a law to remove Mandela from that list.

Internal TSA documents state that aggressive checkpoint screening and hardened cockpits make it impossible to hijack an airliner.

So, why is there even a No Fly List?  There shouldn’t be.

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