Thursday, July 7, 2005

Re: Who's watching the watch list?

In the U.S. the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) has famously taken over security all airports around the country. Ostensibly this was to keep us safe from future terroristical attacks. It was certainly better than stationing National Guard troops with their M-16's (maaan, that was scarey, seeing machine guns in the airport), maybe.

One of the things the TSA has done is compile lists of suspect people, and those lists of suspect people are then used to deny boarding priveleges. Presumably the dangerous people would then be unable to commit their nefariousness.

But ...

Who's Watching the Watch List? (By John Graham, AlterNet. Posted July 7, 2005.)

This is the story of a former Washington insider, who once held an official government top-secret clearance, and was thus highly vetted by the FBI, who has an Anglo-Saxon name, and who conducts his life as an open book. Yet, he found himself denied airplane travel because he's on the TSA list.

I'm embarrassed that it took my own ox being gored for me to see the threat posed by the Administration's current restricting of civil liberties. I'm being accused of a serious--even treasonous--criminal intent by a faceless bureaucracy, with no opportunity (that I can find) to refute any errors or false charges. My ability to earn a living is threatened; I speak on civic action and leadership all over the world, including recently at the US Air Force Academy. Plane travel is key to my livelihood.
He's working the TSA process to be evaluated - but appears that once you're on the list, you can't get off. At the best you'd appear on a section of the list reserved for people who'd been cleared.

This is galling, to have people accused by a secret process of some kind, and no recourse for challenging the accusation.

And, it's that this is happening in America.