Saturday, July 22, 2006

U.S. no fly list screens Canadians evacuated from Lebanon


When you live next door to a paranoid colossus, it is hard not to get drawn into its fantasy life. Canada has for some months been pondering how to go about generating its own "no fly" list to keep dangerous people off airplanes. Canadian papers now report that the country is making progress -- though its anxious neighbor isn't likely to cheer their results.

OTTAWA (CP) - Being a member of a terrorist organization won't necessarily land someone on Canada's no-fly list, The Canadian Press has learned. Proposed criteria would limit inclusion on the roster to those who pose "an immediate threat to aviation security," say internal briefing notes prepared by Transport Canada.

Draft regulations, disclosed by a source familiar with details of the plan, confirm the no-fly list will be tightly focused and reviewed every 30 days to keep it up to date. ... The source said officials will be surprised if the resulting Canadian list includes more than 1,000 names.

The approach reflects the government's desire to avoid pitfalls experienced in the United States, where the no-fly roster features some 70,000 names.

Somehow I don't think my U.S. government is going to be happy with such a display of sanity. After all, as the Boston Globe pointed out in a recent editorial on the Bushies' "security" theater:

...the list has nabbed more members of Congress than it has terrorists.

Meanwhile, somehow the U.S. no fly list keeps extending its tentacles into Canadian life, despite the government's careful deliberations.

Now they are screening evacuees from the Israeli assault on Lebanon (which has killed 8 Canadians.) According to the Ottawa Citizen:

Canadians stranded in Lebanon are expected to face close security screening to ensure an evacuation effort does not inadvertently bring home Hezbollah militants or other terrorism suspects. ...

Although the Department of Foreign Affairs won't discuss security specifics, a source familiar with the department's emergency evacuation procedures says the names of the evacuees would typically be compared to government watch lists to ensure no one poses a threat. The names would be cross-referenced against lists maintained by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, CSIS and the RCMP, as well as names culled from the U.S. no-fly list.

Hell of a time to learn you have one of the thousands of names mistakenly included on the list as the rescue ship pulls away...

1 comment:

Nell said...

Via Chris Floyd, a related story of marshals putting people on the watch list to meet quotas.

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