Stranded in Hawai'i on the no-fly list

Wade Hicks Jr. got a standby flight on an Air Force jet from Gulfport, Miss to visit his wife, a U.S. Navy lieutenant stationed in Japan. But when the jet set down in Hawai'i, he was not allowed to board it again. He had mysteriously been landed on the FBI's no-fly list, and was stranded in Hawai'i, unable to fly anywhere. Five days later, without comment, the FBI removed him from the list.

Those Feebs, huh?

From Audrey McAvoy in the AP:

"I said, `How am I supposed to get off this island and go see my wife or go home?' And her explanation was: `I don't know,'" Hicks said.

Hicks said he was shocked and thought they must have had the wrong person because he doesn't have a criminal record and recently passed an extensive background check in Mississippi to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

But the agent said his name, Social Security number and date of birth matched the person prohibited from flying, Hicks said. He wasn't told why and wondered whether his controversial views on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks played a role. Hicks said he disagrees with the 9/11 Commission's conclusions about the attacks.

Don't worry, they're on it. Oh, wait:

A Homeland Security spokesman referred questions to the FBI Terrorist Screening Center, which maintains the report. A spokesman for the center declined to comment on Hicks' case. The government doesn't disclose who's on the list or why someone might have been placed on it.

No-fly list strands man in on island in Hawaii (via Naked Capitalism)


  1. Well, if they’re not going to say anything, I guess the only thing we can do is speculate wildly.

    We already know there was that one guy who put his own wife on the terrorist watch list to keep her from flying home.  Maybe this was the same sort of thing.  Or maybe the wife did want the visit, but some other guy who was sweet on her thought he’d swoop in with a “Too bad your husband let you down by not showing up as promised.  Hey… I’m here, and have no alleged terrorist connections” move.  

        1. I’m pretty sure that Dobie Gillis tried it on Thalia Menninger long before Greg Brady used it.

  2. We, the United Sheep of America, are allowing this to happen. I don’t recall a word being spoken about this issue during the presidential campaigns. Baaaaaaa.

    1. Oh the land* of the free**….
      The home*** of the brave****

      * Land not guaranteed upon entry
      ** Freedom not guaranteed. Offer void where prohibited. Freedom conditioned on multiple factors not enclosed within.
      *** Home must be purchased separately
      **** Bravery not actually allowed

      1. O’er the land of the free…

        I know, but I have a thing with people not getting lyrics right in ways that don’t make sense when actually reading the text.  It’s something I picked up from my years in school choir, not to mention in American History we had to write out the whole song properly and there were people that got less than 50% on it -_-

        1.  Let’s see if I can manage even the third and fourth stanzas from memory:

          And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
          That the horror of war and the battle’s confusion
          A nation and homeland should leave us no more?
          Their blood hath wash’d out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
          No refuge could save the hireling and slave
          From the terror of flight nor the gloom of the grave;
          And the star-spangl’d banner in triumph doth wave
          O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

          O thus be it ever: that freemen shall stand
          Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation!
          Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n–rescued land
          Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
          Yet conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
          And this be our motto: In God is our trust!
          And the star-spangl’d banner in triumph shall wave,
          O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

          Not only are its words nearly forgotten, so are the sentiments they express. Perhaps it’s more fun to twine the myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’s vine (extra points for identifying the reference).

          1. Yet conquer we must, when our cause it is just

            I’m pretty okay with this part being forgotten.  And yes, I know the lyrics by heart, too.

      2. The formulation I like about our now more than decade-long hysterical overreaction to the tragedy of 9/11 is “Land of the ‘Fraid, and Home of the Bray”

    2.  Why would it? It’s barely a blip on the news radar and has pretty much nothing to do with Obama or Romney. It isn’t like Obama is the keeper of the list.

      1. President Obama isn’t the keeper of the list, but the department that does keep the list reports to him, and 4 years ago he promised us more transparency in government. That’s why it should be an issue in the elections.

        1. If its shown you anything it’s probably that the president doesn’t have as much power as you think he does.

          Government has power, sure, but the one guy in charge is just a puppet with ideas.  Ideas that must be crushed.

          I think the same goes for most countries – aside from those with genuine dictators.

      2. I disagree, I think Obama could cripple the TSA if he wanted to. He must have signed the portions of the budget that fund them.

        And the candidates are badgered to give their opinions on abortion which is much more an issue of the courts. I mean, a president cannot overturn Roe vs. Wade, can he?

        So I don’t see why we don’t demand a discussion of how the the War on Terror is turning the public into a herd of panicky domesticated farm animals.

        1. He could certainly cripple the TSA.  That way, Romney could say he was flinging wide the gates to terrorists of every stripe, who were coming to miscegenate our lily-white honor.  That would play well.

          1. You are right of course. But I was replying to the idea that it had nothing to do with Obama. It does – he could do something about it, only it would be political suicide. But does that mean it can’t even be discussed during the campaign?

    3. Numerous people, including US citizens, while not on no-fly lists, have been “flagged” for special attention every time they cross the border and have been detained by TSA and Homeland Security without access to a lawyer, food, water, or even a restroom (just ask Jacob Applebaum). Since December 31st, 2011, Obama, or any future administration, can imprison anyone, including US citizens,  without trial or access to lawyer. Meanwhile, none of it gets mentioned during the debates, and most citizens are too busy watching reality television to care.

  3. Note this:  ” He wasn’t told why and wondered whether his controversial views on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks played a role. Hicks said he disagrees with the 9/11 Commission’s conclusions about the attacks.”

    You should immediately be suspicious of the veracity of any account of civil liberties violations by someone who has “controversial views on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.”

      1. No, we know he claims he was kept off a military flight from Hawaii to Japan.  And we can presume he is predisposed to paranoia about the government by virtue of his feelings about 9/11 which he felt the need to point out to the reporter in this case.

        1.  What are his feelings about 9/11.  He just says they are controversial? And is having controversial views enough to keep one from flying – on either military or commercial flights?

      2. Is travel really a “right”? The airline can kick you off  of a plane for a number of reasons and no one is suing because a right was violated.

        1. Yes, Virginia, travel is a right: US v Guest.

          Air travel is also a right, as stated in 49 U.S.C. § 40103.

    1.  Aren’t you kind of making wild assumptions about his beliefs? He just said he disagreed with the commission, no? Shouldn’t it be a much bigger concern that someone with no criminal record, with no public investigation ongoing (who was just able to get a concealed weapons license, FWIW) being denied the ability to travel freely be a bigger concern? I agree with Foobar that there is plenty of evidence to support his claim that he was grounded for no discernable reason (he was not allowed to fly for 5 days). If that was just because he thinks the 9/11 commission’s findings were screwy, that should concern all of us, I’d say. It starts with 9/11 truthers and ends with what?

    1. I think he was going out to see his wife, so, being stuck in paradise when you are going to see your spouse probably sucks.

      Also, maybe he hates ukuleles? 

      1. People that hate ukeleles don’t deserve our sympathy.

        Or deserve to be celebrated, I’m flexible.

  4. Clearly, we need another layer of government bureaucracy to keep us safe from the government bureaucracy that is keeping us safe… but then who will keep us safe from them?!

  5. OK, if he was stranded on some sort of Cloud City I could see how  being on the no “Fly” list would strand him. Was there no surface transport available capable of transporting a human across the pacific? I mean… the Polynesians did it with essentially stone age technology, what’s this guy’s excuse? :P

    1. A couple of native groups have redone the whole ‘canoe trip to New Guinea’ bit, but I don’t think either he or his wife would be willing to wait that long. Trip takes months. Alternate theory: guy’s seeing someone here. Being stuck at HNL isn’t that bad; we have a great bus system that’ll get you anywhere on the island within ~1.5 hours, and there are three hotels and numerous food establishments (shout out to Big Kahuna’s Pizza) within walking distance of the airport. 

    2. Read the article. He was looking at different options for leaving, including cruise ships, etc. However I imagine when you’re planning of flying to Japan, a cruise ship home isn’t exactly an ideal plan.

  6. If the list is affecting military now instead of just civilians, maybe someone with actual power or clout will make waves about the idiotic no-fly list. A girl can dream, right?

    That statement from the FBI made me think that they don’t really need to worry about plausible deniability anymore, or issuing any statements about anything. Here’s the new universal disclaimer and press release that they should use for all events or questions: “Our history of lies and lack of credibility makes the possibility of truth implausible in everything you hear from the FBI. So it doesn’t matter if we confirm or deny anything, ever again.” That would make a good chunk of their PR staff obsolete, and save a few hundred thousand. I’d be totally satisfied with a finder’s fee of $5000 for pointing out that low-hanging fruit. You’re welcome, USA.

  7. If THIS wouldn’t send up a flag for someone going to a military base, I don’t know what would.

    “and recently passed an extensive background check in Mississippi to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon.”

    1.  Really? Noone in the military or married to someone in the military is likely to want to carry a concealed weapon, or be sufficiently trained in how to do so properly?

      1.  Really! They must have some other motive. I bet he pays in cash, too!

        I’m sure being sufficiently trained in close-up salad tong combat would be enough to get on the list these days.

          1. I know it was repealed long ago, but historically, in Massachusetts, we used to be required to bring our rifles to church every Sunday.  (and could be fined if we didn’t)

            -abs isn’t sure it’s true, but he’s heard it’s because of those wicked non-Puritans down south, bloody-minded Rhode-Islanders (or maybe Conecticut-ians)

  8. It would be awfully courteous of the Homeland Security folks to warn people BEFORE they show up at an airport, if they will not have a chance of leaving that airport in an airplane.

    1. This would be silly – almost as silly as informing an actual terrorist that you’re on to them, you’re not going to let them board an airplane, but they’re free to go off and commit whatever other atrocity they can think of now that they know you’re on to them and blocking them from passenger aircraft.

      Maybe that’s why it’s so important to unjustly prevent so many other people from flying – because if we only flagged plausible terrorists, the real ones we stop would be warned that we’re on to them. Because the word has gotten out that the no-fly list abuses so many poor schmucks, we don’t tip our hand when we stop actual terrorists from flying.

      If, that is, we ever stop actual terrorists from flying. I’m not aware it’s ever happened, and I’m highly dubious. I do know that, given my druthers, I’d rather have a terrorist who’s been screened for weapons and is trapped in a pressurized aluminum tube than a terrorist who’s just walked out of an airport nervous and paranoid.

      1. Given that the number of actual terrorists stopped by the no-fly list is approximately zero, I don’t think its effects would be as dire as you predict.

        1. The actual number of ter’rists hindered by the no-fly list is *exactly* zero.  Let’s not give DHS any credit where none is due.

      2. Not really – if you warn an actual terrorist that they won’t be able to fly, they probably wouldn’t be particularly effective for that kind of operation and therefore would go and blow something else up.

        Call out a terrorist in a passport line and if he’s got more than 1 brain cell between his ears he’d blow up the entire check point.

        I think we’re all smart enough here to know that you can’t ‘stop’ terrorism – so fuck it, ye, lets avoid inconveniencing the 99.999% of people on that list that actually aren’t terrorists.

  9. I’m so torn. I love to see bad things happen to 9/11 Truthers, and I hate to  see government power stupidly and unjustly used, as seems to be the case whenever the “No Fly List” makes the news.  

    Still, the No Fly List story I’m most fascinated by is Abousfian Abdelrazik.

    1. Does it say somewhere he’s a truther?

      And what’s wrong with not trusting the US government? As an outsider I can assure you that none of us believe a word they say.

      1. Is that your solution to every problem in the world?

        Don’t most of us think that the solution to every problem in the world is to cast the ring into the fire?

        1. And it’s pretty easy too, just ride some giant eagles into Mordor and toss the damn thing down the volcano.  Nothing even a bit rough involved.

          -abs is pretty sure that given how easy it is to fly into Mordor no one could possibly be stupid enough to try any other method . . . . 

  10. Wouldn’t it be interesting if everyone here was a paid disinformation agent of some kind?

    Except me . . . of course.

  11. Has no one else thought to google for Wade Hicks Jr.? In addition to the widely-spread story–dependent almost entirely on the word of Wade Hicks Jr.–I’m seeing mentions of him being active in the Tea Party. Gee, you don’t suppose that there’s any ulterior motive here, do you?

  12.  Okay, dude… if you say so.  The government never lies, never does anything bad, never has trampled on civil liberties of anyone ever, especially not after a major event like Pearl Harbor or 9/11. They have never overthrown governments or lied to the American people, and we have no reason what-so-ever to think they would do it now.  Afterall, the current government is the most transparent government in history(TM).  We should just accept whatever they say and shut the hell up, because they clearly have the best interests of everyone in America at heart, especially those with unpopular and minority opinions…

  13. If anything I think your defense of the US Government is comical at best.  Also, you can’t say someone is being paranoid about something when that something is actually happening.  It’s just like those stops in NYC that were brought up in a video.  The guy was constantly stopped by police, so he was cautious when they were around, so they stopped him again. 

     As for why he brought up 9/11, that was probably the only possible thing he could think of that could possibly land him on such a list.  You see, normal people, you know, most people in general, don’t go around making bomb threats, death threats, or actuallly going on homicidal rampages.  Most people tend to be what some would call “normal.”  You see, to a lot of these “normal” people, when they get put into completely batshit insane situations they tend to latch on to something that could be possibly related.  What’s related to the no-fly list?  I’d guess questioning the veracity of a report that had to possibly deal with two big bloody airplanes flying into two tall towers.  But hey no, he was obviously on the list because he was looking at someone the wrong way, or *gasp* the government thinks he’s a terrist.

    I also like how the article pointed out that this only happened after he left California and landed in Hawaii, so he had already flown, and then they let him stay on a Naval base.  You know, the kind with all that military grade hardware like a little thing called a Destroyer.

  14. He was told he was on an FBI list.  That was what they told him, despite the fact it was a military flight.  FBI.  Not a military organization. EDIT: presumably, he could not get on a commercial flight for those 5 days as well, or he might have done so…

  15. Err — the linked article certainly reads as though he was banned from ANY flight, not just military ones (US ICE told him he was on a no-fly list).

    Do you have other information to suggest that this is not the case (other than his views on the WTC attacks, which clearly prove he must be making the whole thing up)?

  16. You’re right, we should accept what the person with “controversial views about 9/11″ says at face value.

  17. FTFA: “A spokesman for Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s office said passengers who fly standby on military flights are screened against the FBI’s list only on international flights. Domestic passengers are screened only through an internal military system, not the Advanced Passenger Information System run by Customs and Border Protection.”

  18. Many members of the government, including those who make up the no-fly lists, have what could be called “controversial views about 9/11,” views which they put into practice in the assembly of no-fly lists. I agree with you that we should not accept their assertions at face values.
    Incidentally, your baseless ad-hominem arguments won’t fly. In fact, you could say that that strategy for framing an argument has been on the “no-fly list” for a few thousand years at this point.

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