#1 By: Mark Frauenfelder, October 22nd, 2013 20:29
#2 By: He who must not be named, October 22nd, 2013 20:57
How is a no-fly list even remotely constitutional? In the absence of some kind of criminal conviction, it's just discrimination dressed up in the form of protection from terrorism. Don't you guys have a constitution that specifically outlaws that kind of thing?
Nelson Mandela was on the no fly list until 2008
- as was a former US Army lieutenant colonel Robert Johnson
- as was Senator Ted Kennedy
...and 20,000 other schumks who happened to share a surname and first initial with anyone ever arrested in connection with terrorism.
Bonus feature: If you know someone considered a "terrorism suspect" they'll put you on the no-fly list and then offer to take you off it only if you inform against their real suspect. The Stasi would be proud.
#3 By: Rob, October 22nd, 2013 20:58
In theory, this could be a nice way to screen people... if you were smart enough to perform anomaly detection, and then investigate further based on that.
However, some min wage TSA employee digging through my personal information doesn't make me happy at all. All I see happening from this is a series of false positives and violations of privacy. Because its security theater in the hands of some sickening bureaucracy whose first goal and only goal is to grow like a cancer and protect its own institution.
Why we would expect more from a government that treats its own people as the enemy, by spying on everyone, by incarcerating more people per capita than anyone, who sells laws and regulations to the highest bidder, and whose elected representatives only job is to get reelected by garnering as many bribes as possible in the form of campaign financing, and live by a different set of rules?
Seriously. Why expect anything more? They aren't good people. They aren't honest people. They don't give a fuck about you. Your outrage is pointless. You are free until they decide you aren't... then they can just hold you in prison like Kevin Mitnick without even charging you with a crime, or bust you for a crime you didn't commit, or one of they many crimes you probably commit on a regular basis, and don't even realize it because there are so many laws. Including secret laws you don't get to know, and copyrighted laws you aren't authorized to read.
#4 By: Tim Quinn, October 22nd, 2013 21:16
Cool. I'll just get back to goofing off then. Thanks for the advice, dude.
#5 By: Rob, October 22nd, 2013 21:17
You must be referring to the constitution written by slave owners that wanted to be free.. right?
I'm pretty sure its always been just a loose guideline held in dubious regard.
#6 By: Another Kevin, October 22nd, 2013 21:25
How is it constitutional? The best answer, "because some judges said so."
The courts in recent years are careful to take the narrowest possible interpretation of individual rights. We have the freedom of speech - but we can give that away in order to be allowed to travel. We have the freedom of assembly - a freedom that requires the freedom to travel to be meaningful - but we do not have the freedom to use any particular means of travel. And the freedom to travel can be conditional upon giving up our right not to be subject to unreasonable search. Similarly, the 'administrative search' incident to flying is a search only for banned weapons - and thus ruled presumptively 'reasonable' - but anything else discovered in the search can and will be used against the traveler by the 'plain sight' doctrine: in fact, the TSA largely functions as a drug interdiction agency. We have the right not to have our rights abrogated without due process, but 'due process' consists of giving the aggrieved traveler an address to write to, without the government's being bound to reply, or even to acknowledge recept of the complaint.
Most pernicious, to my mind, is the concept that the citizen can be required to surrender one right to exercise another (keep silent,refrain from associating from certain persons, surrender due process and submit to search in order to travel, submit to search and espouse particular views in order to go armed, and so on). I think the courts have a language problem here:
Inalienable. That word. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
#7 By: IMB, October 22nd, 2013 21:39
It's getting to the point where I don't understand what we are protecting. Slowly, through "protection", we are losing everything worth protecting. They have so much manpower and resources attached to this effort, if those measures are so effective and worth investing in, via the spying, why do we need even more? Or can we just be honest and admit that we can't possibly stop all potential attacks?
Adding this because we are so incompetent where it matters, as a nation, we are going to blow our own damn selves up. Physician heal thyself:
Nuke Officers Left Blast Door Open
Twice this year alone, Air Force officers entrusted with the launch keys to nuclear-tipped missiles have been caught leaving open a blast door that is intended to help prevent a terrorist or other intruder from entering their underground command post, Air Force officials have told The Associated Press.
The blast doors are never to be left open if one of the crew members inside is asleep — as was the case in both these instances — out of concern for the damage an intruder could cause, including the compromising of secret launch codes.
#8 By: Sarge Misfit, October 22nd, 2013 21:42
Isn't the terrorist goal to destroy our Freedoms? Looks like they are smarter than the gov't thinks because we are doing it to ourselves. The terrorists just sit back and laugh
#9 By: BillyB, October 22nd, 2013 21:53
I flew into BWI today and while waiting in the security line at my departure airport, a passenger behind me was telling his co-worker he'd been selected for reduced screening. He was kinda surprised by the whole thing, thinking initially he'd been selected for the more invasive screening. He indeed did not have to remove his shoes, belt, or jacket. I heard a mention of a past trip to Frankfurt Germany, so no doubt the airline had his passport information.
Also I noticed the TSA is now electronically scanning boarding passes. I guess they've finally gotten around to closing the huge vulnerability where you could get past the checkpoint with any easily Photoshopped boarding pass. It really slowed down the line as the response time was rather slow on the scanner.
#10 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, October 22nd, 2013 22:20
Nelson Mandela was also on the Terrorist watch list, as a known leader of the ANC, a terrorist organization(classified as such by St. Ronald Reagan himself, as part of our glorious and principled support of the apartheid government as an convenient proxy against the commie menace) , until both were declassified as such in 2008.
So, while it's plainly arguable that that is fucked up, Mandela is actually an instance where the 'no-fly list' was merely following an existing decision, rather than sneaking around in the weeds and tagging random people for secret reasons.
#11 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, October 22nd, 2013 22:24
Would this be a good time for a rousing round of "The Lighter Side of Global Terrorism" with Jello Biafra and the Melvins?
#12 By: FoolishOwl, October 22nd, 2013 23:44
I sometimes get the impression that even security apparatus officials can't figure out why there isn't any significant popular resistance in the US.
#13 By: Bosco Hearn Jr, October 22nd, 2013 23:47
Let's all change our names to Winston Smith and be done with it.
#14 By: Shlomo Goldstein, October 23rd, 2013 00:28
So now when I travel (which is very often), the TSA officers will have my home address, travel itinerary and probably much more? It was bad enough when all I had to worry about was them stealing my cameras from my carry on.( I am out more than 10K in cameras so far) I guess I can now look forward to my house getting burglarized every time I go to Asia. With enough information, they could take out loans in my name before I even land. I just find this incredibly depressing.
#15 By: He who must not be named, October 23rd, 2013 00:37
yeah there was that incident in North Carolina in which a pair of nukes fell off a crashing B52. One of those megaton nukes went through the whole arming sequence, deployed the parachute to optimise the burst height, charged the capacitors to fire the explosive detonators, and the only reason we don't have a crater instead of North Carolina today is that there was one single toggle switch still in the "off" position. I can't think of a more depressing job than being the guardian of a minuteman missile silo. Your job is to be ready to end the lives of 10 million russians, and then half an hour later be incinerated yourself. The whole thing is absurd on too many levels.
Why do we keep a system designed to annihilate life on earth in a state of constant readiness? It's wrong that we are putting people in that situation where they can leave a silo door open. The answer isn't an administrative sanction. The answer is to get sane again.
#16 By: Stephen Frost, October 23rd, 2013 01:27
How much longer before the US has a household registration system like China?
#17 By: Thecorrectline, October 23rd, 2013 01:28
Let me know when they get to social media so I can spam post terrorist word salad on every Republican member of congress' Facebook page.
#18 By: David Emigh, October 23rd, 2013 01:42
Princess Bride reference FTW! Also, it pleases me that the character who continually used the word that did-not-mean-what-he-thought-it-meant died, suddenly and without self-awareness, due to o'er weening pride (hubris).
Of course, this is all a fantasy. But I keep donating to EFF, DemandProgress, and other such organizations, and keep preaching to everyone I know...
Dammit, this democracy thing is hard when the other players aren't participating in good faith.
#19 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, October 23rd, 2013 02:04
You just need to maintain a sense of humor about it:
#20 By: robulus, October 23rd, 2013 02:22
Apparently there aren't any 'Black Mirror' clips on YouTube. Which is a shame, because I would totally link to the airport screening scene in "Entire History of You", and everyone would be like "Whoooa, that's like a very appropriate and also quite cool reference, you are totally awesome!" and I'd be all like pretend casual about how awesome I was.
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