August 19th, 2005


Ruminations on No Fly lists

It's probably sparked by the recent attention to infants who have been detained because their name was on the No Fly List. But my thought is this: there is virtually no way to know if one might or might not be on the list (or if someone with your name is) without testing it: trying to board a plane. And then it's too late. Detained, your flight goes off without you. And you're left going "what happened here?" even if later "exonerated" of the charge that one is a potential terrorist (or worse yet, an Activist). It's the principle of star chamber information and guilty until proven innocent. And the travel restrictions that presage Bad Things to Come. (Think of the French Revolution, the plight of Jews and other target groups in Nazi countries, etc.) It's never a good sign.

Want to bet that the next names to join the list will be people too visible in the current "Peace Movement" (Ms. Sheehan comes to mind)? Perhaps the simple act of writing a blog with content like this one will be the next criteria. Remember, we are entering the era when criticism of government policy is already starting to attract labels like "treason." And I shouldn't probably even mention this, but while the Bill of Rights grants free association, freedom of transit is not on the list. The founding fathers, in a new country still mostly wilderness, where any travel took serious effort, probably couldn't even conceive of the issue, save in terms of protecting borders. And because of that wilderness issue, even that was mostly theoretical.
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