Thursday, December 11, 2008

Time To Revisit The No Fly List

On November 4th a majority of Americans believed they changed our government for the better so I propose we test that belief by demanding that the No Fly List be drastically reformed within the first 90 days of inauguration day if not sooner. If we cannot radically reform the No Fly and Slow Fly practices of the Bush administration, then we will have to resign ourselves to the fact that the continuing systematic slow motion repeal of the Bill of Rights of the Bush regime will be continued by the incoming President.

Think of the No Fly List as the 21st century version of a canary in the coal mine of the 1800s.

James Moore, an Emmy-winning television news correspondent, co-author of Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential, political activist, and outspoken critic of the Bush administration, was placed on the No Fly List.

Walter F Murphy, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton, reported that the following exchange took place at Newark on 3-01-2007, where he was denied a boarding pass "because I [Professor Murphy] was on the Terrorist Watch list." The airline employee asked, "Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that." "I explained," said professor Murphy, "that I had not so marched but had, in September 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the constitution." To which the airline employee responded, "That'll do it.

It is also time to revisit the Slow Fly List. Naomi Wolf was told she was put on the Slow Fly List. People on the Slow Fly List can still fly but they just have to get to the airport a couple hours earlier than everyone else. She is most recently famous for her lecture on the Ten Steps To Fascism. Other than reading heavy books on the airplane Naomi Wolf would not seem to put her fellow passengers at risk. Please take a look at the Ten Steps To Fascism and see how many giant steps to canceling the Constitution and repealing the Bill of Rights you can find.

1)Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy.
2)Create secret prisons where torture takes place.
3)Develop a thug caste or paramilitary force not answerable to citizens.
4)Set up an internal surveillance system.
5)Harass citizens' groups.
6)Engage in arbitrary detention and release.
7)Target key individuals.
8)Control the press.
9)Treat all political dissidents as traitors.
10)Suspend the rule of law.

Can you think of any legitimate reason why Naomi Wolf should be on the Slow Fly List? Can you imagine any legitimate reason why Professor Murphy should have been put on the No Fly List for demanding that the government abide by the Constitution?

We are Americans and deserve to have a government that is guided by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We do not need overgrown fraternity pranksters picking and choosing who can get on a plane.

Before we begin a campaign to repeal the Slow Fly List and to very seriously revise the No Fly List, we will need to get a little more detail on the two programs. The No Fly List was originated by the FBI bur is now maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.) The Slow Fly List is called the Selectees by the government which thinks some of us need to be selected for closer scrutiny whenever we board an airplane. There is a dispute as to exactly how many of us are on the two lists. A lot of people have either been delayed or denied flights because they had names similar to people on the No Fly List.

A medical doctor who was campaigning for a congressional seat was denied a flight because he had the same name (Robert Johnson) as an insane felon in Toronto. When Senator Ted Kennedy became a false positive and was delayed in boarding flights, he was able to clear his name after a couple of weeks. But then he is a Senator and was able to call the Secretary of Homeland Security personally. Even federal air marshals who are supposed to protect us have been denied service. The quickest way to cut false positives is to eliminate the Slow Fly List and to drastically cut the number of people on the No Fly List. A smaller list should be more manageable no matter how we finally decide to reform the system.

As I previously said, the No Fly and Slow Fly Lists are the 21st century version of a canary in the coal mine. In the 19th century a dead or dying canary warned the miners that their lives were in peril. In 2009 if we cannot get some substantial positive reforms on these two Lists within 90 days of January 20th, then we know that neither the Congress nor the President are serious about defending the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

My personal test of the success of this reform will not be if Naomi Wolf can get through airports in less than three hours. She is a well known author who campaigned for Obama. My test will be if Cat Stevens is allowed to perform in the United States again. I have seen Cat Stevens on YouTube performing Peace Train at the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony. I will refuse to ever understand why I cannot see him perform in America because he is a Muslim.

It is time for us to take a stand and say we will no longer accept any dilutions to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

References: You can begin by looking at the Wikipedia entry for the No Fly List here:

You can hear Cat Stevens perform Peace Train at the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony here:

You can listen to Naomi Wolf's lecture on the Ten Steps to Fascism here:

If you are offended by Naomi Wolf's lecture on the Ten Steps To Fascism or by Cat Stevens performing Peace Train at the 2006 Nobel awards ceremony, please move to the city formerly know as Rangoon located in the country formerly known as Burma. There are many people in the government there who would love to hear your views.


Blogger Rodman said...

Was definitely intrigued by your bio history - your entries on your blog are to few and far between though - I'm all about hearing more about ur vision about the end though - I check ur blog regularly - if you're feeling something, for God's sake put it in your blog plz - thanks - Rodman

8:18 PM  

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