When the U.S. government strands those wrongly put on no-fly lists
The September 11, 2001, terrorist acts have led to extraordinarily disproportionate, extensive and intensive grants of power to the United States president and government to combat terrorism, with civil liberties repeatedly trampled as a result, and with rampant warmaking, killing with drones, rendition, U.S. government sponsored torture, and the list goes on.
After September 11, the United States government has maintained no-fly lists, constantly updated with the virtually or totally unbridled discretion of the executive branch, ripe for mistakes and abuse and damage to those on the list.
A case in point is the multi-day ordeal of Wade Hicks, Jr., who boarded a plane in California without incident, to go to Japan, but learned during his layover in Hawaii that in the interim he had been added to the federal no-fly list. He was stranded for days until he was removed from the list as mysteriously as he was added. Was Hicks added for hsi disagreement from the September 11 commission’s conclusions? If so, that would be a violation of Hicks’s First Amendment right of free expression, which opinion hardly suggests a terrorism risk.
Sadly, neither Romney nor Obama seem to have any interes in running on a platform of reversing the abuses of the U.S. government’s war on terrorism. Tweedledum and Tweedledee.