TSA searches, detains 5 year old because his name was on no-fly list

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110 Responses to “TSA searches, detains 5 year old because his name was on no-fly list”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Seems as though the “no-fly list” has become part of the current epidemic of “zero tolerance” policies, which roughly translated means “no-thought” policies. The same policies that prevent kids from bringing plastic knives to school for spreading jam on bread, or have them suspended for cocking thumb and forefinger, and firing imaginary rounds into the air. God knows what sorts of liabilities would accrue from these activities.

  2. Xodarap says:

    @15 No, no, no — Hitler commissioned the Department of FATHERland Security. Much different…

  3. EH says:

    The Department of Homeland Security has no idea what it’s doing.

  4. Mister Staal says:

    Sure they do. 5 year olds are a serious threat to the sovereignty and safety of the United States of America.

  5. msdoran says:

    The World had changed. No one said
    for the better. The towers fell, all reeled
    from the disaster. A change they said was what
    was needed after. TSA would save us all forever.

    Hiring people was what I knew. The coffers opened for us to use. A monumental project to correct the actions of the few. A brave new day for all of us to finally do some good.

    Across the country I flew, to speak and teach, and preach to the choir. Good times, new times, jobs for all. We had been hit, but stronger it would make us all.

    They came in droves to apply for their new life. Old and young, smart and dumb. Hold the mouse in the air, click and yell towards the screen,
    you have been counted, move along, continue with your dream.

    Hotel conference rooms, Inside of airports, airplanes,shuttle busses, one after another. Recirculated air brings sickness and gives no
    pleasure. On and on it went one day into the other.

    Contract ends, life moves on, my work did not seem to matter. What came then was no better than what preceded the disaster. Years had passed
    here I came with a two year old in tow off to see Orlando. I’m sorry sir his shoes must come of, for your safety, and that of others I am just doing as I am told.

  6. jimtealiii says:

    Matthew Gardner!?!? A guy named Matthew Gardner is on the no-fly list?

    Why can’t criminals have less common names?

  7. Sonja says:

    It’s true that you can strap a bomb or whatever to a five-year-old. However it’s not probable that his identity will be known by the Department of Homeland Security beforehand so that his name is put on the list. It’s really pretty evident that this was a mistake – something the airline should have realized in advance.

  8. bobg says:

    Obviously this is very, very fucked up.

    On the other hand: I have a five year old. If he were detained at the airport and I later had to explain to him that it was because there was a bad guy with the same name, and they thought it might have been him, he’d be thrilled.

    (Assuming that my blood pressure hadn’t popped the top off my scalp first.)

  9. douchrti says:

    I for one am glad we have our mighty and highly intelligent and did I mention thoughtful?,,,,
    Sorry, got to ranting.
    Dont you feel safer?
    My wife just flew in and out of there for the Holidays. Geez.

  10. Takuan says:

    As an American once explained to me: “you know how they keep people tied to their shitty jobs here ? Health insurance. If you get fired or quit on principle, who knows when you will be covered again. And getting seriously sick without insurance means homelessness. That’s how they keep people in line.”

    Would universal health care as they have in Canada and the UK help Americans find their courage again?

  11. Cowicide says:

    Common sense goes out the window again and surprisingly no one is happier… or safer.

    I can’t wait to see the FOIA induced reports down the road (if they don’t manage to “disappear” like possibly incriminating Bush Admin emails seem to do) that show how inept these programs and policies are… and heads start rolling.

    Of course, that’ll only be after American regime change… since now we have people in control where ineptitude is rewarded and responsibility has been thrown out the window a long time ago.

  12. TwoShort says:

    The No-Fly list consists of people who can’t be allowed to fly, can’t be arrested, and can be allowed to know they’re under suspicion. Under what circumstances would it ever make sense to someone on such a list?

  13. smarly says:

    The airport strip searches, no-fly lists of dubious origin with no recourse for the innocent, and draconian policies regarding bottled water, toothpaste, etc. are not about public safety. They’re about testing how far we will be pushed before we say “no more!”, and also to make it difficult for protesters and other critics of government policies to fly. Things would change in a hurry if the public simply stopped flying for awhile. It wouldn’t take long before things would change. However, as long as the sheeple in this country are willing to put up with whatever nonsense the government dishes out, things will only get worse.

  14. WizardShotTheFood says:

    People are armchair quarterbacking this one to heck.

    The no-fly list isn’t the best tool out there since it lacks photo ID. However, that’s what the screeners have.

    A 5 year old is able to be a suicide bomber/lethal weapon used by others. They can attach explosives to his clothes or any number of of other means to make him an unwitting danger to others. 5 years don’t question authority figures. They obey.

    In Viet Nam young kids were used to blow up U.S. soldiers… since they were not suspected.

    Like Bruce Schneier says, if it’s hinky, investigate it.

    Once people start investigating… anything said to deter them just makes them more suspicious. (Emotional mind overrides logic. It’s how we’re made folks.)

    A cursory search isn’t much to get worked up about.

  15. Xodarap says:

    I feel sad for the poor kid. In a world where some young children are being taught that it’s good to die for a jihad, I’m not sure anyone is free to overlook anyone’s name on a list. –I– don’t want to deal with this crap so I’m flying as little as I have to. But gosh, people are blowing themselves up and we have to figure some of them are crazy enough to use a child.

    Why would they have to use a child? Clearly, they’ve got us all so scared (read: terrified) that they can just sit back. Why blow up anything now? Somewhere, BinLaden is laughing…

  16. wolfwitch says:

    If I were on the “No Fly List”- I’d simply commission one of the local high school students to get me a fake ID under a different name.

    I can’t believe they are still using a ridiculous list of names (which I believe is all it is- no descriptions or any other qualifying information) to provide us with “homeland security”.

    If only there were a terrorist named “Mike Smith” or some other really common name.

    TSA is a joke, and apparently the Administration isn’t getting it.

  17. MeatwadGetsIt says:

    The USA has been hijacked by those with a dual-citizenship loyalty to a foriegn land of aparthide policies and oppressions.

    The head of the “homeland-Fatherlund” security is a traitor to the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, as well as to every man woman and child, as this article clearly demonstrates. It is a certainty why this “leader” let escape those that “were here to document the event” on video tape, the attacks on the twin towers in September 11th 2001.

    Is there any option short of an armed uprising to come?

    They took away vice (*1), but I was not into vice and did nothing, then they took away the labor unions, but I was not pro-labor unions, then they placed a similar name on the list, now I can’t enjoy a simple liberty to visit relatives in far away locations,,, you gets what you gets, and a meatwad gets it.

    *1= Organized crime has paid politicians to make vice into crimes, now the profits roll on in.
    See the 18th & 21st amendments, now read the ninth amendment and wonder if anything has been “enumuerated in the constitution”, such as “intoxicating,,,”.

  18. Tom Neff says:

    Video’s probably swamped, I can’t load it, so a question: Did the kid and mom fly? The caption said they had trouble boarding. Was the trouble resolved? Is all this because they searched the kid? As far as I’m concerned they should be allowed to search a ham sandwich. They should be able to search every 38th person even if they’re the Flying Frakking Nun. If the rule is that no kid can be searched, that’s the next thing they’ll try.

  19. grimshaw says:

    Nicely done MSDORAN. Here’s my entry (already posted to the game thread – i know, I should’ve posted here first – dang):
    http://www.boingboing.net/2008/11/11/we-can-has-games-1.html#comments

    (true story)

    To whom it may concern

    I write to you
    to share in my complaint
    as I was singled out in line
    while trying to board my plane

    They said that my name
    was the same as on a list
    my identity was cleared
    but still I am rightly pissed

  20. wolfwitch says:

    To #25:

    As sad as it is- you are probably right. It’s one of the few things that have kept me at my current job. As health insurance here costs more-and-more while covering less every year- it is becoming more of a problem.

  21. Takuan says:

    watch the video again (if you did in the first place)

    if you were the screener and this child was in front of you (as well as the mother), what would YOU have done?

    common sense needs the courage of confidence in ones
    self

    bin-laden is laughing? Did you ever actually read the text of his address to America? Something about bleeding you white?

  22. Takuan says:

    again, where is the common sense. Watch the video. Look at the child. Look at the mother. Listen to them.

    The issue is not the search. The search is an acceptable nuisance.

    The issue is: Does anyone in their right mind really think that this mother and child were a danger to the flight? Does anyone think the threats and intimidation were justified?

    Use YOUR judgement. Not someone elses.

  23. Takuan says:

    here, take two whole minutes and READ the damn thing

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/worldview/story/0,,845725,00.html

  24. JG says:

    Crazy SeaTac airport, usually confusing, always silly.
    This is the B-tier US airport that is fourth in pilferage of passenger luggage after such busy international locations as NYC, LA and Miami. Go figure! Fun town, eh?
    This is also the airport that removed ALL holiday decorations when a Rabbi simply asked why there was no menorah present.
    Gouge-town Seattle as we locals call it.
    Pay more, get less.
    A beautiful city mismanaged beyond words.
    So busy thinking about the future they can’t fill last weeks potholes.
    Both Seattle and SeaTac airport’s problems are a perfect example of the foolishness of believing all the hype you read about terror or your own once attractive city.
    Seattle; like having a pretty girlfriend who’s always sick.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Bill Hicks, where are you when we most need you?

  26. Jeff says:

    “Why would they have to use a child? Clearly, they’ve got us all so scared (read: terrified) that they can just sit back. Why blow up anything now? Somewhere, BinLaden is laughing…”

    And that’s what? a good thing? We’ve had to change to some degree in America because we realized how easy it is for a sickness to spread. Americans aren’t a scared bunch, are we? I mean when you get right down to it, we don’t like to be pushed around. Why should we like it, we’re Americans, people from all over the world that have decided this is the best place to live. And if someone really does hate it here they can move or work towards change.

  27. ariadneallan says:

    About a year ago I was taking a flight home and was given the wrong ticket. The lady at the counter didn’t check my ID and gave me the ticket of someone with the same last name. I got the special search in the security that sends you into the line off to one side and lasts three times as long. No one ever said anything to me about a problem or an incongruity. I didn’t notice the problem until I was double checking the connection time on my second ticket – I didn’t have one. Real safe and efficient guys.

    All the rest of the times I fly, and all the fuss they make over things like a tube of chapstick, I wonder when they’re just going to start handing out paper dresses.

  28. Takuan says:

    the warronterror industry might not WANT change

  29. Takuan says:

    when people lose faith in the judicial system, something fills the void.

  30. KFont says:

    For shame, SeaTac. As if Seattle didn’t have enough problems…

    Too true, JG- “Seattle; like having a pretty girlfriend who’s always sick.” I want a bumper sticker with that line.

  31. Tom says:

    Takuan @25: I’m a Canadian businessperson, and started my own company some years ago on a shoestring (debt and nerves, mostly.) My kids were quite young at the time.

    A friend in Boston was doing the same thing at the same time, and pointed out that if he’d had kids, he couldn’t possibly do it, because it would mean losing his health insurance.

    The Canadian multi-tier health care system has its problems, and some of them are severe to the point of deadly (de facto rationing of care via lethally long waiting lists, and extreme inequality of care depending on income level and political connections) but it does provide a basic level of care to everyone, and that’s actually far more business-friendly than the setup found in the nominally more capitalist United States.

  32. PMF13 says:

    I’d like to ask one of these sadistic morons what they plan to do for a job once Bush is out of office. I can’t imagine any of the realistic contenders for the job allowing this nonsense to continue for very long. One of the first steps to resuscitate America’s reputation internationally has got to be bringing Homeland Security under control. Perhaps they will all apply to work for Blackwater. They should feel quite comfortable there.

  33. Truthislight says:

    This is the reason many do not fly any longer. Government has decided that they need to keep us as slaves, I mean safe.

    We need to take responsibility for our own health care. Learn how to use natural products to cure the sickness instead of medicine which does not CURE.

    Since Enron,many have gone self employed and do not have insurance. They have found natural cures and have not used a doctor for 3 and 4 years.

    It is our responsibility to find cures and safety. It is not the responsibility of our government to take our freedoms, God given rights, away in the name of safety. Our forefathers said “never take safety of freedom – you will end loosing both.

    These are WISE WORDS.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Living history. Rise and fall of a fascist empire.

  35. tinah says:

    To Takuan: Thanks for visiting my site

    If Im the screener, this is what I would do. First you explain the mother, that the child was selected for further screening. Further screening means that the bags are going to be hand checked, after they are XRAY; both the bags of the child and the mother. If a minor is selected, the adult companion automatically is a selectee. The reason is obvious, to keep the family together.

    The child has to pass the metal detector first, so the mother can keep an eye on the child. If they dont alarm, they just get a bulk item pat down. If they do alarm, then they have to be wanded with a hand held metal detector. None of this searches can be perform if the adult companion is not present. Personally, I dont screen a child, if the parent is not looking all the time to what Im doing. I call their attention, and I tell them exactly what Im doing. I request eye contact with me, all the time. Also, to avoid disruptions, I go and get their belongings before they get screen. SO, there is no reason for the mother to worry about something that is not what Im doing.
    Im a mother, and I protect the kids privacy like they are mine. I want that somebody do the same for my daughters if they are in a similar situation.

  36. jphilby says:

    A fine example of making a mockery, but IMHO not *quite* up to the standard set with the death-tasering of the hapless immigrant in Vancouver. Now *that* was mockery.

    I’m sure Seattle can try *harder* at mockery and get back on top. Maybe fish-slapping the 5-year-old next time. Don’t you think? And perhaps the mother doing 5 laps of the airport shrieking “I’m sorry” the whole time.

  37. Explosive Amnesia says:

    I feel sad for the poor kid. In a world where some young children are being taught that it’s good to die for a jihad, I’m not sure anyone is free to overlook anyone’s name on a list. –I– don’t want to deal with this crap so I’m flying as little as I have to. But gosh, people are blowing themselves up and we have to figure some of them are crazy enough to use a child.

    The problem is perspective. The chances of being blown up by a five year old terrorist is very very slim. The chances that you will be assaulted in some way by a TSA agent purportedly preventing terrorism by 5 year olds and water bottles is much much higher. We can lose the TSA jackboots without raising the odds of the 5 year old terrorist. We don’t really decrease the odds of the terrorist by adding the jackboots.

    We’ve essentially subjected ourselves to low grade domestic terrorism on a daily basis for no good reason. It’s sad.

  38. Truthislight says:

    On another note, the government is using military, unmarked white jets, to spray CHEMTRAILS, in our skies. It has been 5 days since we have had sunshine. The sun is our main source of vitamin D. We have also awaken to colored dust all over our driveways, roofs and barns. We found plastic like web structures on the mirrors of our truck.

    Weather modification should have been put to the vote of the people. Chemtrails should never cover our skies. When the skies are cloudy, the unmarked jets are busy spraying above them.

    This just not smell right. Main ingredient is Barium, add fungus, bacteria and viruses.

  39. Takuan says:

    mockery? Nah, the death of David Dziekanski was simple police murder. They basically killed him because they could and it was fun.

    As a consequence, the Canadian RCMP is facing a storm of criticism and calls for disbandment. Huge amounts are being spent on the cover-up – I mean “inquest” and the whitewash – I mean objective findings of complete police innocence as usual.

    When is the last time Americans dared to raise their heads en masse over the outraging of innocents?

  40. Anonymous says:

    They should have tasered the kid and then waterboarded him to find out the whereabouts of Obama Bin Laden.

    Way to go TSA, just like the old Soviet Union no one wishes to take responsibility. Home of the brave? LOL.

    Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.

  41. nzruss says:

    To those who are saying people are too afraid to make a common-sense decision (like assessing a 5YO as not being a risk) over fear of losing their healthcare:

    Having lived in three countries with Government provided healthcare (NZ, AUS, Great Brittian) and one without (now in the USA)…. I’ve had many discussions with Americans on the benefits of ‘universal healthcare’ (where private care is offered along-side: Best of both worlds). The VERY LARGE MAJORITY defend the current insurance system with vigorous fervor, and I have come to the conclusion that this is what the *majority* of Americans actually want.

    I truly believe that the current American medical “system” is bleeding Middle America dry. I don’t know how it will ever change, but it will probably take a true recession with thousands of deaths for the people to want the system to change.

  42. nzruss says:

    Opps:

    Spelling is ‘ Great Britain ‘ of course.

  43. bruizer says:

    What struck him most was that absolutely no one there was willing to take the responsibility of even TRYING – for fear of being blamed if it broke or didn’t work.

    My brother worked at a fast food joint and was told not to touch a customer if he was choking…sad.

  44. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    “I’d like to ask one of these sadistic morons what they plan to do for a job once Bush is out of office. ”

    I can’t imagine it getting any better when Bush leaves office. Things might get worse more slowly with certain candidates in office, but this kind of bs always ratchets in one direction — towards suckiness.

  45. Nora says:

    If the kid’s name was Jesse Fowler, that might be a good reason to detain him; otherwise it seems unlikely that he would kill the president.

  46. tim says:

    “Would universal health care as they have in Canada and the UK help Americans find their courage again?”

    Well of course not! Everyone knows that socialised medicine is the same as socialIST medicine which is COMMUNIST medicine and that my friend is TREASON!

  47. jeffman48 says:

    NZRUSS@40
    Sadly, Tim at #44 probably has the reason why so many Americans work against their own best interests concerning medical insurance. We have been fed so many scare stories on virtually every country providing coverage for its citizens that we actually believe we have the best here. Marry that with our willingness to champion everything American against anything foreign, regardless of objective merit, and you can see why we can’t extricate ourselves from this mess.
    The only way out will be when capital sees that not having universal healthcare keeps us from competing successfully in the world and it becomes more profitable to do than to block it. Globalization will get you coverage for your kids.

  48. Cowicide says:

    #25 posted by Takuan:

    … you know how they keep [Americans] tied to their shitty jobs here ? Health insurance. If you get fired or quit on principle, who knows when you will be covered again. And getting seriously sick without insurance means homelessness. That’s how they keep people in line …

    Very good point. I do wonder how America would change for the better if people weren’t so terrified of losing their health coverage if they step up and do moral things. I’m sure more than a few potential whistleblowers have considered this issue and kept quiet while all kinds of corporate malfeasances, etc. go unchecked.

  49. Antinous says:

    It sounds like a Great Twilight Zone episode, with Billy Mumy playing the little boy.

  50. Anonymous says:

    to #31
    I work at one of the major airports and it is the AIRLINES duty and responsibility to deselect minors, not the TSA’s. Once the person with a selectee pass has started going through screening, the TSA has to treat them as a selectee (extra screening). You say none of them would take responsibility for fixing someone elses mistake and let this child through. What you are really asking them to do though is to violate security regulations.

    Hard to want to take responsibility for that when it would cost you your job, and at minimum a fine.

    Also, with the selectee bording passes, that screener standing in front of you does not know why you were picked, again, that falls on the AIRLINE.

    please, next time, try and get all the information correct

  51. TanyaRyno says:

    While I truly want to laugh at this … I think I would lose it if this happened to one of my children. And, because I would be in disbelief, I would probably make the situation worse by repeatedly telling them what idiots they were.

  52. Takuan says:

    “Globalization will get you coverage for your kids.”

    no.

    When a thin crust of ultra-wealthy own everything and dwell in gated compounds, the competitiveness of the larger nation means nothing to them.

    It matters not to them if their workers are third world or domestic.

  53. Takuan says:

    how much public economic benefit has “trickled down” from the waronterror? Has it become the WalMart employer defacto? Will everyone eventually make their living from guarding each other? How much have you personally made?

  54. JG says:

    The entire security system is a paper tiger. History was changed with a box-cutter that is why we now have these foolish security measures.
    I don’t mean to think FOR the terrorists but plastic knives and sharpened wood isn’t exactly high tech or James Bond and NONE of these items can be detected in security checks.
    And that is the point, TSA would have us believe we are facing a vast, wide-spread, well-armed anti-USA terrorist army. It’s nothing of the sort. Just random nuts with hyper crazy ideals.
    They have us all living and acting like Afghani women before the invasion. Afraid to ask a question or stand up to misguided force.
    We have become them.
    Pogo was right, “We has met the enemy and he is us!”

    _____

  55. entheo says:

    Takuan @25 & Wolfwitch @30, are you even sure American Health care is worth it?
    The latest study from Commonwealth Fund (published in the journal Health Affairs) shows that the US healthcare is the worst in a group of developed nations surveyed.
    Perhaps it is time for you to move to France, Japan or Australia?

    “The 19 countries, in order of best to worst, were: France, Japan, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.”

    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hGPrKA627R1svhAL7yih15Ap-bFg

    “Had the United States performed as well as any of the top three industrialized countries, there would have been 101,000 fewer deaths per year, the researchers said.”

  56. WhiterWitch says:

    thnk t’s vry smpl:
    mrcns, nd myb wstrnrs n gnrl, r ddctd t trvl nd th rlns knw t.

    Thy hv n ncntv t b nc t s nd nthr d th rprts bcs n mttr hw bnxs nd rd thy r, w’ll kp gng bck fr mr. s nyn cnclng thr trp t tly vr ths? s nyn gng t drv frm Clfrn t Flrd rthr thn fly? T fw ppl r wllng t gv p r trvl.

    Lst tm wnt t th rprt t pck p frnd cldn’t fnd th cll phn wtng r. Th sgns kpt sndng m n crcls. bvsly thr ppl hd th sm ss s ln f wtng crs ws frmng n th rghtmst ln nr th trmnl. gt n ln nd wtd thr t. Sm scrty gy cm t nd YLLD t th ldy n th cr n frnt f m. Sh lkd t b bt 60 nd by hrslf. Sh mst hv rspndd t th yllng by skng whr th cll phn wtng r ws bcs hs ylld nswr ws, ” cn tll y t’s nt hr!” Dd sh sk y f t ws hr, jckss?

    H ws ttl sshl fr n rsn. Wht ws wrng wth, “xcs m mss, y cn’t prk yr cr hr”?

    nd ‘m sr h ddn’t gt tht wy nd kp tht jb ll by hmslf. Hs bss pprvs, bt. Hll, hs bss prbbly tld hm t b mr lk tht! wldn’t b srprsd f hs bss frd th lst scrty gy fr bng t nc!

    Whrs f bmb gs ff, thy mght b hld lbl, s thy hv lts f ncntv t prb, pk nd yll nd n ncntv t b nc t cstmrs.

    nd s lng s w’r ll ddctd t r trvl, tht wn’t chng. Thy cn shv snffrs p r pprs t chck fr xplsvs n r clns ( hp TS dsn’t rd ths!) nd w’ll jst kp cmng bck fr mr bcs n n ndstry whr dmnd s mssv nd ltrntvs r nn-xstnt, cstmr srvc s dd, kckd, brd nd frgttn.

    f y rlly wnt t prtst rln nd rprt rdnss, t’s sy.

    Stp flyng.

    Hv y rlly sn vrythng thr s t s n yr r? Hw mny f yr nghbrs hv y nvr mt? Wht lndmrks xst wthn sy drvng dstnc tht y’v nvr gn t, vn thgh y’v sn lndmrks n Jpn nd Frnc?

    Tk th tm t mt yr nghbrs nd xplr yr lcl r nd snd th sgnl tht f rlns nd rprts cn’t b lttl ncr t s, w cn fnd bttr thngs t d tht dn’t nvlv flyng.

    Brk yr rpln ddctn nd brng bck th cncpt f “lcl cmmnty” tht hs sdly bn llwd t d t.

  57. Porori says:

    I have a feeling this sort of thing happens MUCH more often than the news picks up.
    My 1 year old son was considered suspicious, strip-searched, and taken away from me…. Apparently because his name “greatly resembled” that of a known threat – not to mention it was also suspicious that I am a US citizen and he was not. Why he fell under more suspicion than me (an adult) is a complete mystery.

    They eventually gave him back, after I literally broke down crying, and we got out of the country… ASAP. But not before they threatened to put me on the no-fly list for “resisting”, as apparently, arguing that a tiny medically needy 1 year old could not possibly be hatching a terrorist scheme.

    It was such a horrifying and traumatic experience that I will NEVER visit the US again. Family will just have to come over here to visit me. For all I know, they could have stuck me on their list, and I could end up trapped there. Nope, nothing is worth the risk of being cut off from my family.

  58. ill lich says:

    Lots of good points made here, not much for me to add except “Look around, pay attention, keep track– this kind of thing is going on everywhere in the US, there are probably many smaller incidents that we don’t hear about. You thought a girl with blinking LEDs getting detained in Boston/Logan Airport was unreasonable? Now it seems perfectly reasonable when compared to a 5-year-old being a terror threat, or an Icelandic woman imprisoned for an old (and minor) visa infraction. What I want to know is : what can be done to reverse this trend? OR, at what point will this silliness have run its course?”

  59. Takuan says:

    St. Heinlein wrote: “If This Goes On..”

  60. larisa0001 says:

    Why isn’t this child abuse, and why isn’t the security worker in question being prosecuted for child abuse?

  61. Takuan says:

    because worker-units being processed through State transportation are not technically human – and neither are their spawn.

  62. raisedbywolves says:

    Whiterwitch:

    Umm, it’s a very nice – and considerably more carbon-neutral – idea to propose, that we all just stay home and explore our local communities.

    But what if my current local community is *across the Atlantic* from my family?? Or if I have to travel for business?

    Sorry, it’s just not feasible that I – and the thousands and thousands of other migrants and expats around the globe stop flying. Nor can my friends refuse to travel to the States for business meetings.

    Sadly enough we’re all hostage to the TSA’s wrongheadedness, and that’s the truly ridiculous part of this story.

  63. Takuan says:

    I disagree.

    People travel too much. Just as they freely waste energy and water because they have been cheap- up til now.

    Use the web.

  64. raisedbywolves says:

    uh – no offense –

    but discussing with you, although massively entertaining, still loses out to having dinner with my parents or hugging my grandma or going out on the town with my best friend from high school.

    web contact is not the same as in person contact. not to me anyway.

    notice i’m not talking about tourism, it *has* become flamboyant and wasteful. but it also bears mentioning that a true understanding for foreign cultures is unlikely to develop without visiting them, unless you have a truly amazing empathetic mind.

    so i’ll be flying till the oil runs out. then i’ll build a damn sailboat.

  65. Takuan says:

    http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/22225

    a new golden age of sea travel. Gracious living, green footprint, a more human pace, getting there half the fun.

    The artificial requirement for speed is a self-fulfilling condition.If sea travel becomes the norm again, then two month instead of two week holidays will become the norm. Again.

  66. Crash says:

    No offense, Takuan, but if I owned a business, and one of my employees took a two month vacation, I would tell him not to bother coming back. If many of them all took a two month vacation at once, there would not be a business for them to come back to.

  67. Takuan says:

    If everyone does it, where is the problem? Norms are agreed by humans – they are not laws of nature.

  68. Anonymous says:

    Really lets you see just what a shitty fucked-up country America is becoming!

  69. InsertWittyNameHere says:

    Anyone with a lick of common sense knows the TSA isn’t contributing anything to national security. Agents at my (small) home airport don’t bother enforcing the most rudimentary of TSA rules, such as requiring you to toss your quart-sized ziploc baggie containing liquids into a bin for them to scan. On a recent trip, I forgot to do so, left the ziploc in my luggage, and wasn’t so much as questioned about it.

    The return flight (from a much busier airport) was a different story. My husband was briefly questioned because he erroneously placed his jacket atop his laptop in one bin. (Innocent mistake; we don’t fly much.) The obvious inference was: failure to know and comply with the rules makes you suspect. This principle flies in the face of the 4th amendment!

    Meanwhile, I graciously asked each TSA agent how it felt to be a traitor to the U.S. constitution. It’s an easy civil disobedience tactic to employ, and the TSA agents can’t detain you for this, specifically, as long as you smile and ask the question in an earnest, I-really-am-interested-to-know manner. Although every TSA agent I asked immediately became flustered and red in the face, I was not subjected to any additional illegal searches as a result of my insolence.

    Interestingly, Teller (half of the magician duo Penn and Teller) recently was singled out by TSA agents for carrying a prop knife in his carryon bag: http://www.pennandteller.com/03/coolstuff/tellerspeaks/telleressayendtrip.html (scroll about 2/3 of the way down to the last entry). Does anyone really think a 59-year-old magician is a terrorist? Give me a break!

  70. Anonymous says:

    What strike’s me as hilarious is how this is hidden in plain sight. We have a “Terrorist Watch List” and a “No Fly List.” There are 400,000 names on the “Terrorist Watch List,” which has nothing to do with the “No Fly List.” The “No Fly List” is simply used to harass legal, law abiding citizens in this nation; very reminiscent of McCarthyism (Red Scare). You will all wake up, but when you do you will find yourselves without the ability to to do anything about it. When will we, as a nation, call this for what it is: Communism. So many write, “not to my child; they’d try to do that to me; I’d stop them.” Time, and exposure, has proven each of you to be nothing more than coward’s as not once, not once, have you stood against it by denying said search, either against yourself or those you love. It will continue to escalate is invasion and you will not stand against it.

  71. Takuan says:

    a “mat” knife is a box cutter. Not a “prop” knife.
    This story makes Teller’s inquisitors look good.

  72. Archier1954 says:

    It’s very important that employees of TSA be medically guaranteed to have a brain before they are hired otherwise you get the contents of this article.

  73. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Takuan: Yes, of course the fear of being caught without insurance turns would-be entrepreneurs into immobile wage slaves. It’s the same way that fear of turning up pregnant (no contraceptive method is 100% effective) makes women less likely to pursue highly competitive professions or management positions. Social Security retirement plans also make workers less fearful — they’re not risking a miserably impoverished old age.

    Meanwhile, the existence of the internet lets all kinds of little nobodies start their own businesses. Getting rid of net neutrality would handicap their ability to do that. Same goes for making it harder to fly: business travel is a form of communication. (This is why “stop flying” is not a complete solution. The bad guys aren’t going to stop doing it, and sometimes they’re your competition.)

    Innovation and entrepreneurial start-ups are an affront to the ruling class. We’re not supposed to think in those terms. We’re supposed to give them or sell them our hot new ideas, and let them start and own the businesses. Our glass ceiling is their glass floor.

  74. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    JimTealIII (23), care to estimate how many Matthew Gardners there are out there?

    TomNeff (29), they should be able to search anything it’s reasonable to search. They shouldn’t be wasting their time, resources, and public good will by strip-searching five-year-olds.

    NZRuss (39), I don’t know who you’ve been talking to. In decades of conversation, I can’t remember anyone who’s thought our medical insurance system is a swell idea.

    JeffMan (48), American capitalism sees perfectly well what it does to not have a reliable health care system. They’re fine with that.

    Whiterwitch (52), see my earlier comments — flying isn’t just an amusement or convenience. In some businesses, it’s a necessity.

    Tigerbomb (71), that was another world.

  75. Tomas says:

    A year ago I needed to visit relatives in Florida (I live in Washington state). I had neither the time nor money to drive that 5000 mile round trip, stay in a dozen motels, eat an untold number of overpriced, oversalted, fatty meals, so I flew down and back.

    Not all needed trips are local, not all needed trips are “time no object” and not everyone has an essentially unlimited budget to make the trips.

    Oh, a sailing ship would not have helped, either.

    ====

    Back to the topic — I would hope that the “no fly lists” would at LEAST say something like “Smith, John; Age:40-50″ or “Jones, Jane; Age:adult” if they couldn’t get any closer. If such were the case, looking at Matthew Gardner, age 5 and looking at the list of a potential suspect “Gardner, Matthew; Age:30-50″ a minimally intelligent Homeland Security Trooper could simply check him off as wish him a good day.

    We need to get as many politicians names on the list as possible – maybe that would help. “Pardon me, uh, Senator Jones, would you step this way please? No, you can leave your carry-on where it is, they will be inspecting it separately. Excuse me…” [to radio] “Ann, would you get me a fresh box of rubber gloves, please – security room 16.”

    ====

    BTW, does anyone know how many actual terrorists the several million man-hours of security searches have actually found? Were any of them on “The List?”

    Didn’t think so…

  76. Anonymous says:

    I alwyas got special screening whne I was working on Air Trafic Control equipment. You would think that whne you give them FAA ID you would not be looked upon as a high risk passenger.The more time the spend screeing some one who is CLEARLY NOT A THREAT the more likely someone that is can get by.

  77. owza says:

    >Hitler commissioned the Department of FATHERland Security. Much different…

    Does that mean if you can fly your name is on Schindler’s List?

  78. remmelt says:

    > but it also bears mentioning that a true understanding for foreign cultures is unlikely to develop without visiting them

    Obviously, you’ve never met any American tourists.

    *SSCHHHWWINNNGGGGG*

  79. Takuan says:

    YAY! YAY!

    27 February 2008
    ACLU: U.S. Terror List Now Exceeds 900,000 Names

    NINE HUNDRED THOUSAND!! GO GO !!

  80. Lone says:

    Common sense, o ye in thy cold grave.

  81. David D. says:

    I’m glad the mother has a sense of humour about it, but this is about as appalling a story as you can get.

  82. jimh says:

    Where is “Kindergarten Cop” when you need him?
    Get that juice box! Get that juice box!

  83. Dave X says:

    I’d be damned if they told me I couldn’t comfort my child. They probably still took that flight, though, didn’t they?

  84. Takuan says:

    In the aftermath of Hurricane Katerina, a friend (Canadian) told me of his adventures in the rescue and clean-up efforts. A hospital he ended up at was without power. No one could operate the emergency generator. He volunteered and got it going. What struck him most was that absolutely no one there was willing to take the responsibility of even TRYING – for fear of being blamed if it broke or didn’t work.

    This became a common theme in his experiences,even military personnel were willing to take orders from him, a foreigner, so long as they were assured they had no responsibility.

    American culture has somehow inculcated this mentality at the most basic levels of service workers. The five year old a the airport was searched because no one dared take responsibility at even the lowest,simplest level. The recent stopping of an ambulance carrying a heat patient emergency (at the Canada/US border) because the guard was afraid to take any responsibility is another example.

    America, you have made yourselves cowards. You. Not bin-Laden.

  85. mujadaddy says:

    Try that crap* in the London Underground, you’ll get 5 dum-dums in the head!

    * ‘that crap’ = having a name

  86. w000t says:

    “You know, if you wanted to systematically discredit the idea of a Department of Homeland Security, if you wanted to make an utter mockery of aviation safety, you could not do a better job than this.”

    Well, I probably couldn’t, but they’re professionals – they’ll think of a way to top this.

  87. Crunchbird says:

    Does anyone know exactly how much information is included in a “No Fly List” entry? It sure seems like a simple list of names would be nearly useless, without other identifying characteristics like age, height, etc.

    This case is clearly ridiculous, since it was based on the kid seeming to be on a list he clearly couldn’t have been on. That doesn’t mean that kids (and little old ladies, and other “obviously harmless” individuals) should be exempt from the normal (and somewhat more rational) search and security protocols, though. As soon as it became obvious that certain categories of people aren’t being searched, that loophole would be all too easy to exploit.

  88. The Life Of Bryan says:

    If this administration had been in charge of The Holocaust, they would have killed all the juice.

  89. dculberson says:

    Oh, but obviously the 5-year-old provoked it. It was his fault! His and his terrible mother. For being alive and … trying to fly?

    Takuan, that is actually pretty insightful.

  90. Tom Neff says:

    I have not seen any other mention of this incident in any news source – have you? Neither the Seattle P-I or Seattle Times mention it. No other Seattle TV station mentions it. The only other mentions of it on the entire web seem to be blog postings pointing to anchorwoman Mimi Jung’s KING5 video (or to each other). Although KING5 lists this “featured video” from two days ago, there is no corresponding news item in the feed from KING5′s own news desk.

    Ironically “Matthew Gardner” is very much in the Seattle news – he’s a prominent local real estate honcho. You think he flies when he wants to?

    This “story” is flying around the blogosphere almost hourly. How much basis in fact it has, I’m not sure.

  91. GuidoDavid says:

    If natural medicine is so good and medicine does not cure and yadda yadda, why the life expectancy is so high in countries with advanced technology and good healthcare?

    Concerning 5 years old, then everybody is a possible terrorist, then nobody should fly. Reductio ad absurdum works both ways.

  92. pennydreadful says:

    Sometimes I wonder if it’d be more feasible to get as many names as possible on the list as to make it useless than it would to get rid of the list.

  93. David says:

    Quick question: If your name was on the list, would you travel using it?

  94. midknyte says:

    Sometimes I wonder if it’d be more feasible to get as many names as possible on the list as to make it useless than it would to get rid of the list.

    I think we’re there…

  95. Takuan says:

    oooh, sounds like a lawyer that works for the TSA maybe… tell me if I’m wrong

  96. nzruss says:

    The USA would be much safer if nothing was allowed in OR out.

    (‘safer’ in the same way an electrical outlet is safer if you cover it?)

  97. Tigerbomb says:

    When people used to emigrate, there was no expectation you’d see your family ever again – never mind every other weekend.

    I suppose the only positive is that when all our financial centres are six feet under the ocean, business people won’t need to scoot around the world on a whim or nip home to give granny a hug.

  98. wynneth says:

    It’s a good thing I already don’t fly due to the incredible fascism, because it that was my son and they told me I couldn’t touch him there would be some seriously injured TSA workers. It sure sounds to me like there are terrorists in this country right now, they call themselves Homeland Security (sounds a bit Hitler-esque doesn’t it?) and TSA!

  99. Jeff says:

    I feel sad for the poor kid. In a world where some young children are being taught that it’s good to die for a jihad, I’m not sure anyone is free to overlook anyone’s name on a list. –I– don’t want to deal with this crap so I’m flying as little as I have to. But gosh, people are blowing themselves up and we have to figure some of them are crazy enough to use a child.

  100. tinah says:

    I work as a airport security screener in one of the busiest airport of the nation.
    The “additional screening” that some passengers are sent is stamped on your boarding pass. The four SSSS mean that you are selected for additional searches.
    The two big categories are: WHEN, HOW or WHY you got your ticket and the second one is, if you are in the NO FLY LIST

    The first one breaks down like this:
    * the ticket is buy 24 hours in advance
    * a one way ticket
    * the ticket is paid cash
    * last minute changes of schedule

    The reasons are obvious. Is somebody do something wrong and wants to disappear, the chances that the person opt for one of the above are high.

    The second category is based on a list that the airlines have. If you buy your ticket and your name pop out like a selectee, there is nothing they can do, to deselect you. If you have a second name, my suggestion is that you use it.

    Now, once you pass through security, the rule is that minors will never be separated from their adults companions. All screening procedures have to be performed in front of the adult and we are not allowed to comment about the reasons the person is there nor that we know either. There are comments cards in every airport and if you file a complain with legitimate information, it will be followed up. I know co-workers that have been written up and even fired after a passenger complain that was verified. Remember, there are cameras everywhere.

    http://www.screenersconfessions.com

  101. OM says:

    …JimH asks:

    Q: “Where is “Kindergarten Cop” when you need him?”

    A: Who do you think they hired as the TSA Nazi, especially in this case?

    …This country is getting closer and closer to a revolution. The irony is that it won’t be against the Government, but against the hire-a-pigs. They’ll actually go up against the wall *before* the lawyers!

  102. Lizzle says:

    I am stuck between laughing and howling with outrage. It’s very uncomfortable.

  103. Takuan says:

    love your website Tinah!

  104. Patrick Dodds says:

    This is great news! Almost as good as the half a million people (or was it ten million, I forget) on the USA’s watchlist. Seriously, this is perfect. Just as soon as everyone is as scared of terr’sts as Dubya and cannot distinguish between five year olds and bomb-laden fanatics then all is done for in the Land of the *cough* Free.
    (That said, if he was carrying a bottle of water then the kid was clearly asking to be tasered).

  105. mego says:

    Regarding Takuan’s comment..

    I work for a large corporation and everything takes forever to get done because nobody is willing to take responsibility for anything. So, every decision has to go through a committee of some sort so that nobody in particular will be blamed if something goes wrong.

    It really sucks that the most basic decisions and changes, processes that could be changed in a minute, take months to change due to the spinelessness of ‘exempt’ employees here.

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