Sunday, March 19, 2006

A tale of two countries

I found out I was on the U.S. no fly list when the San Francisco police detained me while they checked with the FBI. We sued.

If I'd been a Canadian, I might have been invited to a focus group to consider whether and how such a list should be developed.

According to a report commissioned by the Canadian Transport Department:

[P]eople "had difficulty conceptualizing how such a list would work and how it would be developed."


— Who will assemble the list? A government agency, a judge, the police, an independent third party?

— What criteria will be used to place people's names on the list? That is, how will "terrorism" and "suspicion" be defined?

[Focus group p]articipants were "involved Canadians" — people who regularly read newspapers and have at least a high school education and income of $40,000 or more. Half were frequent flyers, having flown at least five times in the last year.
It is nice to know that Canadians, apparently uncoached, ask the same questions we asked our government.

Generally it was a bad weekend for the Theater of Fear that masquerades as airport security:
  • Irish Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams was held by airport security long enough so he missed his St. Patrick's Day gig in Buffalo. Earlier in the day he had been among a group that met with President Bush.
  • Meanwhile MSNBC reported that TSA screeners at 21 airports across the country failed to catch "bomb materials" smuggled through their gates.
As the ACLU has insisted, this charade is not keeping us either safe or free.


Zak said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zak said...

I believe the bulk of all smuggling in the US is via airports and ports?

mikevotes said...

I love that cartoon!!!!

And did you ever find out how you got on "the list?"


janinsanfran said...

mikevotes -- nope, we never got an answer. "National security" dictates they won't tell you how you get on the list, how (or if) you get off the list, etc.

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