The United States has issued a written apology to a jet-setting billionaire businessman with close ties to former President Bill Clinton whose name was added to the no-fly list in the wake of the attempted Christmas day bombing of an American passenger plane.
Gilbert Chagoury, 64, a Nigerian citizen of Lebanese descent, was pulled off a private jet Jan. 15 at Teterboro airport in New Jersey and detained for more than four hours after federal agents discovered his name was on the then-recently updated no-fly list.
It seems there was a tenuous connection between a Nigerian banker of Chagoury's acquaintance and the Christmas day bomber. Part of the government's explanation was this:
"Please understand that in order to detect those international travelers involved in illicit activities, we must, at times, unfortunately inconvenience law-abiding travelers," the DHS official wrote to Chagoury in April.
What's your opinion? Doesn't that make sense? Of course it does, but it brings up a disquieting concern.
If it was difficult for a politically-connected billionaire to restore his privileges to fly into the United States, what about ordinary people entangled in the enhanced screening for the no-fly list?
What do you think? Is it worth it that some people will be inconvenienced in order for the government to do its job of searching out terrorists? Aren't the stakes too high to allow everyone free movement unless they've already been convicted of terror related crimes? Don't you think it's possible to ensure this terror-list policy is not abused, short of eliminating the whole thing?
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.