Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


No fly list

A man with an expired passport got onto Air France flight 26 on Saturday, November 19th:

Flight 026 from Paris to Washington Dulles International Airport was diverted to Bangor, Maine, after U.S. officials discovered that the man was listed on the government’s no-fly list. The man’s name also was on the State Department’s terrorist watch list and visa revocation list, a Homeland Security official said Sunday.

(USA Today’s ‘s Kathy Kiely was on the plane and wrote a story, and their main story.)

However, since he wasn’t wearing a “suspected terrorist” button, he was allowed to board.

[Update: On reflection, this is a fascinating light to shine on the no-fly list. If this Moroccan fellow is such a danger, why not lock him up as a material witness? We’ve locked up thousands that way. We don’t even have an accurate count. But no, they just sent him home, because even the TSA understands that the lists have become a one-way process: People get added, never removed. No one will risk their career to protect David Nelson or Johnnie Thomas or even a congressman by removing a name. This anonymous fellow is enough of a threat that he can’t get on a plane in the US, but we don’t care to arrest or detain him. Hmmm.]