[pcductape] America land of the free? Or maybe less so than you thought and believed

  • From: "Victor Firestone" <vlfll@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <SAYQ@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <pcductape@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 04:16:32 +0200

Folks, your thoughts - especially you Beth !!!
This one amazes me if it is 100% - which at this stage is what it seems

>The Independent (London)          August 03, 2003
>US anti-war activists hit by secret airport ban By Andrew Gumbel in Los 
>03 August 2003
>After more than a year of complaints by some US anti-war activists that 
>they were being unfairly targeted by airport security, Washington has 
>admitted the existence of a list, possibly hundreds or even thousands 
>of names long, of people it deems worthy of special scrutiny at 
>The list had been kept secret until its disclosure last week by the new 
>US agency in charge of aviation safety, the Transportation Security 
>Administration (TSA). And it is entirely separate from the relatively 
>well-publicised "no-fly" list, which covers about 1,000 people believed 
>to have criminal or terrorist ties that could endanger the safety of 
>their fellow passengers.
>The strong suspicion of such groups as the American Civil Liberties 
>Union (ACLU), which is suing the government to try to learn more, is 
>that the second list has been used to target political activists who 
>challenge the government in entirely legal ways. The TSA acknowledged 
>the existence of the list in response to a Freedom of Information Act 
>request concerning two anti-war activists from San Francisco who were 
>stopped and briefly detained at the airport last autumn and told they 
>were on an FBI no-fly list.
>The activists, Rebecca Gordon and Jan Adams, work for a small pacifist 
>magazine called War Times and say they have never been arrested, let 
>alone have criminal records. Others who have filed complaints with the 
>ACLU include a left-wing constitutional lawyer who has been 
>strip-searched repeatedly when travelling through US airports, and a 
>71-year-old nun from Milwaukee who was prevented from flying to 
>Washington to join an anti-government protest.
>It is impossible to know for sure who might be on the list, or why.
>The ACLU says a list kept by security personnel at Oakland airport ran 
>to 88 pages. More than 300 people have been subject to special 
>questioning at San Francisco airport, and another 24 at Oakland, 
>according to police records. In no case does it appear that a wanted 
>criminal was apprehended.
>The ACLU's senior lawyer on the case, Jayashri Srikantiah, said she is 
>troubled by several answers that the TSA gave to her questions.
>The agency, she said, had no way of making sure that people did not end 
>up on the list simply because of things they had said or organisations 
>they belonged to. Once people were on the list, there was no procedure 
>for trying to get off it. The TSA did not even think it was important 
>to keep track of people singled out in error for a security grilling. 
>According to documents the agency released, it saw "no pressing need to 
>do so".
>It is not just left-wingers who feel unfairly targeted. Right-wing 
>civil libertarians have spoken out against the secret list, and at 
>least one conservative organisation, the Eagle Forum, says its members 
>have been interrogated by security staff.
>The complaints by the ACLU form part of a pattern of protest since the 
>11 September attacks, with the Bush administration repeatedly under 
>fire for detaining people on the flimsiest of grounds in the name of 
>the "war on terror". Many Muslims have had a hard time, especially if 
>they have a surname such as Hussein.




"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and 
the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics 
and endure the betrayal  of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to    find
the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy
child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life
has breathed easier because you have lived.


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