01/06/2006: The No-Brainer-Fly List...
Crooks and Liars is reporting on this ABC-13 News story about a 4yr old Houston boy who's name is on the No-Fly List:
"...But one thing he's not...is a terrorist.
It all started on a recent flight out of Bush Intercontinental. That's when mom, Sijollie Allen, was stopped at the ticket counter and told she couldn't board the plane.
"They just said, 'You're on the list' and that's why I had to get clarity," she said. "I asked if we're both on the list. They said, 'No, you're not on the list. He (Edward) is.'"
It turns out the name Edward Allen popped up on the TSA's 'no-fly' list. Unbeknownst to his parents, the little four-year-old was a wanted man. Well, sort of.
"First off, the individual was not on the no-fly list. It's a name that on the no-fly list," said IAH Federal Security Director Jim Marchand. "We have many, many people who have common names and a lot of times, that's what happens."
TSA says in some rare cases, passengers with names similar to those on the list are sometimes stopped. In those cases, passengers are instructed fill out paperwork to get special clearance But the Allens showed us that paperwork. On it, it asked for at least three forms of identification. It's ID the Allens say, four-year-old Edward simply doesn't have.
"Anytime he has to travel, he will always be stopped and he might not be able to travel, not until you get him special clearance," said Sijollie.
Continental Airlines, the carrier the Allens flew on, sent us a statement saying in part, they were just following procedure and regret any inconvenience to the family. In the meantime, the Allens are debating whether to file the paperwork, considering their child has no identification other than his birth certificate.
The reason for the emphasis highlighting this simpleton TSA *excuses* is that the Watch-List has been mis-used to target people for political motivations, like the case of Author James Moore.
Via Discourse.net is this story from Huffington Post about the facts of a "Writer writes book critical of Bush. Author then finds self on No Fly List." As Mr. Moore tells the tale:
"Mam, I'd like to know how I got on the No Fly Watch List."
"I'm not really authorized to tell you that, sir," she explained after taking down my social security and Texas driver's license numbers.
"What can you tell me?"
"All I can tell you is that there is something in your background that in some way is similar to someone they are looking for."
"Well, let me get this straight then," I said. "Our government is looking for a guy who may have a mundane Anglo name, who pays tens of thousands of dollars every year in taxes, has never been arrested or even late on a credit card payment, is more uninteresting than a Tupperware party, and cries after the first two notes of the national anthem? We need to find this guy. He sounds dangerous to me."
"I'm sorry, sir, I've already told you everything I can."
"Oh, wait," I said. "One last thing: this guy they are looking for? Did he write books critical of the Bush administration, too?"
I have been on the No Fly Watch List for a year. I will never be told the official reason. No one ever is. You cannot sue to get the information. Nothing I have done has moved me any closer to getting off the list. There were 35,000 Americans in that database last year. According to a European government that screens hundreds of thousands of American travelers every year, the list they have been given to work from has since grown to 80,000.
And we know it included folks like Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy too.
Karen on 01.06.06 @ 04:37 PM CST