Let’s see. You’re hassled mercilessly by airline employees, who won’t let you check luggage, won’t let you print a boarding pass, won’t let you check in, and bring cops and airport security people to confront you when you appear to resolve the situation. But under a new plan by TSA, the airline risks a $25,000 fine if they tell you WHY they are hassling you.
USA Today reports that TSA’s upset when airlines explain the hassle by telling people they’re on a TSA watch list. TSA will not tell people when they are on such a list. TSA won’t tell people when they ARE NOT on such a list. They want the airlines to do the same — keep mum, but keep harassing the public.
TSA and the DoJ counterterrorism center twice barred a Malaysian woman from flying, ordered her arrested, kept her in custody for hours, and eventually allowed her to fly out of the US only long enough for them to permanently cancel her US visa without notice, so she could not return to Stanford to finish her PhD. The victim, Rahinah Ibrahim, sued them. Even in court, TSA refuses to confirm or deny whether she was on the watch list. Idiots!
TSA’s lists are secret, just as in all good government institutions. TSA’s regulations are secret, just as in all good government institutions. Let’s hope TSA doesn’t propose new regulations next month with $25,000 fines against web sites or the press if they tell people that secret watch lists exist and that you’re being hassled at the airport because TSA suspects you of being a terrorist without a shred of evidence.
(Of course, airlines have been known to screw up, and they love to blame government regulations when it’s their own damn fault. But despite the airlines’ eagerness to check IDs so that their customers can’t resell unused tickets, it was the government that imposed the current system of harassment, and put 400,000 to 1,000,000 alleged communists — oops, wrong bogeyman, it’s not the 50’s any more — I meant “terrorists” — on these secret blacklists.)