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Old 08-15-2005, 09:22 PM   #1
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Terrorists Could Be Your Next Door Neighbor...

Hell, they could even be your newborn. Have you asked your toddler lately whether or not (s)he has pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden?

http://www.cnn.com/2005/TRAVEL/08/15....ap/index.html

Quote:
'No-fly list' keeps infants off planes

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Infants have been stopped from boarding planes at airports throughout the United States because their names are the same as or similar to those of possible terrorists on the government's "no-fly list."

It sounds like a joke, but it's not funny to parents who miss flights while scrambling to have babies' passports and other documents faxed.

Ingrid Sanden's 1-year-old daughter was stopped in Phoenix, Arizona, before boarding a flight home to Washington at Thanksgiving.

"I completely understand the war on terrorism, and I completely understand people wanting to be safe when they fly," Sanden said. "But focusing the target a little bit is probably a better use of resources."

The government's lists of people who are either barred from flying or require extra scrutiny before being allowed to board airplanes grew markedly since the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Critics including the American Civil Liberties Union say the government doesn't provide enough information about the people on the lists, so innocent passengers can be caught up in the security sweep if they happen to have the same name as someone on the lists.

That can happen even if the person happens to be an infant like Sanden's daughter. (Children under 2 don't need tickets but Sanden purchased one for her daughter to ensure she had a seat.)

"It was bizarre," Sanden said. "I was hugely pregnant, and I was like, 'We look really threatening.'"

Sarah Zapolsky and her husband had a similar experience last month while departing from Dulles International Airport outside Washington. An airline ticket agent told them their 11-month-old son was on the government list.

They were able to board their flight after ticket agents took a half-hour to fax her son's passport and fill out paperwork.

"I understand that security is important," Zapolsky said. "But if they're just guessing, and we have to give up our passport to prove that our 11-month-old is not a terrorist, it's a waste of their time."

Sanden and Zapolsky would not allow their children's names to be used in this story because they fear people who prey on children.

Well-known people like Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, and David Nelson, who starred in the sitcom "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," also have been stopped at airports because their names match those on the lists.

The government has sought to improve its process for checking passengers since the September 11 attacks. The first attempt was scuttled because of fears the government would have access to too much personal information. A new version, called Secure Flight, is being crafted.

But for now, airlines still have the duty to check passengers' names against those supplied by the government.

That job has become more difficult -- since the 2001 attacks the lists have swelled from a dozen or so names to more than 100,000 names, according to people in the aviation industry who are familiar with the issue. They asked not to be identified by name because the exact number is restricted information.

Not all those names are accompanied by biographical information that can more closely identify the suspected terrorists. That can create problems for people who reserve flights under such names as "T Kennedy" or "David Nelson."

ACLU lawyer Tim Sparapani said the problem of babies stopped by the no-fly list illustrates some of the reasons the lists don't work.

"There's no oversight over the names," Sparapani said. "We know names are added hastily, and when you have a name-based system you don't focus on solid intelligence leads. You focus on names that are similar to those that might be suspicious."

The Transportation Security Administration, which administers the lists, instructs airlines not to deny boarding to children under 12 -- or select them for extra security checks -- even if their names match those on a list.

But it happens anyway. Debby McElroy, president of the Regional Airline Association, said: "Our information indicates it happens at every major airport."

The TSA has a "passenger ombudsman" who will investigate individual claims from passengers who say they are mistakenly on the lists. TSA spokeswoman Yolanda Clark said 89 children have submitted their names to the ombudsman. Of those, 14 are under the age of 2.

If the ombudsman determines an individual should not be stopped, additional information on that person is included on the list so he or she is not stopped the next time they fly.

Clark said even with the problems the lists are essential to keeping airline passengers safe.
I know the next time I see an infant on a plane, I'll always be wondering: is that pacifier explosive?

Melon
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Old 08-15-2005, 09:36 PM   #2
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Hey, the stuff in those kids' diapers could be deadly!
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Old 08-15-2005, 09:46 PM   #3
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babies are very sneaky



we need to keep rubber bands on their little legs

if they try any thing

we can snap em'
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Old 08-15-2005, 10:53 PM   #4
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You cannot profile on the basis of race, sex, age and religion! It would be wrong.
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Old 08-16-2005, 12:12 AM   #5
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100,000 people on the no-fly list?


Could someone somewhere be adding names at random to see just how ridiculous this will get before idiot Americans have had enough?
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Old 08-16-2005, 12:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha
100,000 people on the no-fly list?

100,000?

there has got to be more than 100,000 liberals left in america
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Old 08-16-2005, 02:21 AM   #7
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I have a 2.5 year old who can fuck up any civilised environment. I'd not be surprised if she one day takes a water pistol to the cats and holds them ransom.
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Old 08-16-2005, 02:22 AM   #8
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Crikey, ok, maybe not. She has brought out her drum kit as I type and I fear it is psychological warfare she is planning.

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Old 08-16-2005, 04:51 AM   #9
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The first time I had to fly after they started that list I was so paranoid that my name would be on it, mistakenly of course

I'm still paranoid that one day it will be, after all they probably just keep adding names
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Old 08-16-2005, 04:58 AM   #10
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There will be no room for common sense in the war on terror.





Also found this part interesting:
Quote:
Not all those names are accompanied by biographical information that can more closely identify the suspected terrorists. That can create problems for people who reserve flights under such names as "T Kennedy" or "David Nelson."
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Old 08-16-2005, 05:01 AM   #11
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Maybe a bit of religious profiling could do the job a lot better; or at least sex and age ~ males aged 15 - 50. It's all well and good to look at something plain stupid like this and say that they should fix it; you may wind up with a system that you would consider unjust.
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Old 08-16-2005, 05:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Maybe a bit of religious profiling could do the job a lot better; or at least sex and age ~ males aged 15 - 50.
So my sweet and loving boyfriend who just happens to be a Muslim male aged 26 should automatically be suspect and harrassed? Just for existing???? Reasoning like that will turn the so-called "free world" into a joke before much longer.
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Old 08-16-2005, 05:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
you may wind up with a system that you would consider unjust.
You mean like the one we have now?
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Old 08-16-2005, 05:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


You mean like the one we have now?
I think that the current system is more inept than unjust, not like it makes that much of a difference anyway, nobody could hijack a plane today ~ passengers would probably jump a team of hijackers before they had a chance to cause any real damage. Mass transit and carbombs ~ they are the soft spots of any metropolis.
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Old 08-16-2005, 05:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4


So my sweet and loving boyfriend who just happens to be a Muslim male aged 26 should automatically be suspect and harrassed? Just for existing???? Reasoning like that will turn the so-called "free world" into a joke before much longer.
As opposed to wasting time checking out little Suzy, dear old Aunt Gladys or Ted Kennedy ~ as I said there are any number of factors, sex and age could significantly slash the fluff, religion would be the furthur degree ~ race is more or less useless.
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