terrorist watch list
matthewhpolsci at aol.com
matthewhpolsci at aol.com
Sun Apr 8 13:59:15 PDT 2007
What clerks think is the policy is what the policy is as administered, no matter what is declared or written in the manual.
Thus, your query allows me to ask specifically if anyone on this list is knowledgeable about (a) Federal administrative practice in general or (b) TSA practice specifically, and thus able to answer your question. I would like to know the answer as well. If not, can anyone suggest the route to get good, reliable answers quickly?
Matthew Holden, Jr.
Henry L. and Grace M. Doherty Professor Emeritus of Politics, University of Virginia
DIRECT MAILING ADDRESS
P. O. Box 12588
Jackson, MS 39236-2588
From: VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu
To: conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Sent: Sun, 8 Apr 2007 3:38 PM
Subject: RE: terrorist watch list
Surely putting someone on a terrorist watch list simply because
he's been in a peace march is outrageous. So would a clerk's being
instructed to say so, if it weren't true -- deliberately spreading such
rumors would itself tend to deter people's speech.
Still, I wonder whether this is indeed a real government policy,
or just a myth that the clerk picked up somewhere and was passing along
without much support. Again, if it is really the policy, it's appalling
-- but I just wonder whether it is.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
> [mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Jeffrey Segal
> Sent: Sunday, April 08, 2007 11:13 AM
> To: conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
> Cc: wmurphy37 at comcast.net
> Subject: terrorist watch list
> I pass this story along, with permission, from Walter Murphy.
> Don't know if this missive is list-worthy or not. Even tho'
> I'm the person who was immediately affected,the problem does
> pertain to basic constitutional issues with which all of us,
> of whatever political persuasion, are concerned in our
> teaching and scholarship. What follows are excerpts for a
> narrative I prepared for Sen Jeff Bingaman (D, NM). If you
> think the larger issues it raises are appropriate for the
> list, please so distribute. If not, then not. As usual I
> rely on your judgment.
> On 1 March 07, I was scheduled to fly on American Airlines to
> Newark, NJ, to attend an academic conference at Princeton
> University, designed to focus on my latest scholarly book,
> Constitutional Democracy, published by Johns Hopkins
> University Press this past Thanksgiving.
> When I tried to use the curb-side check in at the Sunport, I
> was denied a boarding pass because I was on the Terrorist
> Watch list. I was instructed to go inside and talk to a
> clerk. At this point, I should note that I am not only the
> McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence
> (emeritus) but also a retired Marine colonel. I fought in
> the Korean War as a young lieutenant, was wounded, and
> decorated for heroism. I remained a professional soldier for
> more than five years and then accepted a commission as a
> reserve office, serving for an additional 19 years.
> I presented my credentials from the Marine Corps to a very
> polite clerk for American Airlines. One of the two people to
> whom I talked asked a question and offered a frightening
> comment: Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot
> of people from flying because of that. I explained that I
> had not so marched but had, in September, 2006, given a
> lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the Web, highly
> critical of George Bush for his many violations of the
> Constitution. That'll do it, the man said.
> After carefully examining my credentials, the clerk asked if
> he could take them to TSA officials. I agreed. He returned
> about ten minutes later and said I could have a boarding
> pass, but added: AI must warn you, they're going to ransack
> your luggage. On my return flight, I had no problem with
> obtaining a boarding pass, but my luggage was lost. Airlines
> do lose a lot of luggage and this loss could have been a mere
> coincidence. In light of previous events, however, I'm a tad
> I confess to having been furious that any American citizen
> would be singled out for governmental harassment because he
> or she criticized any elected official, Democrat or
> Republican. That harassment is, in and of itself, a flagrant
> violation not only of the First Amendment but also of our
> entire scheme of constitutional government. This effort to
> punish a critic states my lecture's argument far more
> eloquently and forcefully than I ever could. Further, that
> an administration headed by two men who had had other
> priorities than to risk their own lives when their turn to
> fight for their country came up, should brand as a threat to
> the United States a person who did not run away but stood up
> and fought for his country and was wounded in battle, goes
> beyond the outrageous. Although less lethal, it is of the
> same evil ilk as punishing Ambassador Joseph Wilson for
> criticizing Bush's false claims by outing his wife, Valerie
> Plaime, thereby putting at risk her life as well as the lives
> of many people with whom she had had contact as an agent of
> the CIA. ...
> I have a personal stake here, but so do all Americans who
> take their political system seriously. Thus I hope you and
> your colleagues will take some positive action to bring the
> Administration's conduct to the attention of a far larger,
> and more influential, audience than I could hope to reach. I
> am ready to help in any such endeavor. ...
> So there we are, as the Irish would say. I wonder what would
> have happened had I been a citizen of Arab descent.
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