The Elecktronick Tyger Roares
24 January 2006
  Oh, yeah, of course they do...
So the ACLU has gotten a settlement of $200,000 from the FBI and the TSA to cover their legal expanses incurred in forcing the two agencies to do what the law -- in this case the Freedom of Information Act -- said they were required to do.

Anyhone who creebed about the "arrogance" and "high handedness" of federal agencies under the Clinton Administration who isn't practically frothing at the mouth about it here in the Shrub's second term (a) has been struck blind in the intervening years, (b) has died in the intervening years, or (c) is a Republican.

In general, my money's on (c).

According to AP, the "no fly" list secretly maintained -- well, maintained in secrecy, since its existence has been pretty broadly publicised by this and similar suits -- had 16 names on it on the morning of 9/11... and now has thousands.

And they aren't real careful about making sure whether you're the person whose name is more-or-less supposed to be there or just another Greek by the same name -- so far Ted Kennedy and David Nelson (right -- Rick's brother, Ozzie and Harriet's son) have been stopped from boarding flights because their names turned up.

The ACLU got involved when a pair of peace activists who had aparently committed the Ultimate Sin when they criticised George Bush -- right out in public, in a newsletter they publish -- who were stopped from boarding a flight three years ago.

Anyway, one apparently makes the list by two high-precision "primary" principles: Whether various intelligence agencies view an individual as a "potential threat to U.S. civil aviation," and whether the agency requesting a listing has provided enough information to identify the person to be flagged at check-in.

So, apparently, if they're not confident of being able to ID you at the airport, you're not supposed to be on the list?

That, of course, explains the detentions of Kennedy and Nelson.

According to the AP story on Wired,
The documents [heavily "redacted"*], disclosed that people are regularly removed from lists if the FBI is convinced they are not a threat."
And if you believe, on their own say-so, that they do that, me and my friend the Tooth Fairy want to talk to you about some excellent bargains in New York City infrastructure...


*"Redacted" is the governent's current euphemism for "censored" as applied to what are supposed to be public records under FOIA; "redaction" sounds less ominous and sinister than "censorship" -- same principle as calling bombs, mines and booby traps "improvised explosive devices"... But an "IED" will kill you just as dead as a "bomb" (which has nearly happened at least once to my son-in-law, when an "IED" threw the Bradley he was driving thirty feet end over end. I'd call that a "mine".), and "redaction" keeps you in the dark just as effectively as censorship.
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My interests are broadranging -- comics, music, movies and good ol' science fiction mostly dominate. My Five Most Favouritest Films are (this week) Once Upon A Time in the West, Dark Star, O Lucky Man, Day for Night and Whatever I Watched Recently That Was Good. Currently that's Day for Night.

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Name: mike weber
Location: gainesville, Georgia, United States

Latter fifties, married, out of work (had knee surgery and haven't gotten back to work); my (step) son-in-law is back from Iraq, but a lot of boys are still over there. Support our troops -- throw the Republicans out!

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / February 2007 / August 2007 /

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