Saturday, May 22, 2010

The No-Fly List

FishyJay sent us the link for this fascinating story about the no-fly list.

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.


  1. It seems odd gunloons would get their panties in a twist because they suffer what is, at best, a very minor inconvenience.

    And let's face it, the gunloons have foisted some very major and expensive inconveniences on the US public. Because of the gunloon reluctance to any kind of regulation, businesses and public offices are compelled to place metal detectors at doorways and entrances. We all get to pay more in terms of increased heathcare costs and economic losses because of gun violence--to the tune of about $440B annually.

    We all get to pay for increased police and LEO functions--because gunloons refuse to accept responsibility.

    Somehow, I can't get too exercised about someone being 'inconvenienced' for 3-4 hours when gun violence kills some 30K Americans annually.


  2. Also from the article: "It took Chagoury, a well-known philanthropist and an ambassador to the United Nations educational office, more than four months and thousands of dollars in legal fees to get the U.S. government to offer an apology and to give him a waiver to fly freely across U.S. airspace."

    And as was mentioned, that's was for "a politically-connected billionaire."

    That's not "being inconvenienced for 3-4 hours" -- that's being denied a Constitutional right for at least "four months and thousands of dollars."

    Constitutional right.

    There may be some who don't like that, but it's the law of the land.

  3. Jadegold: “It seems odd gunloons would get their panties in a twist because they suffer what is, at best, a very minor inconvenience.”

    The point is a lot bigger than whatever the inconvenience maybe. It is going against a cornerstone principal of our society- so yeah, it is a big deal.

    Of course someone who refuses to acknowledge any good in gun ownership will not weigh the “cost of gun violence” against the value of self-defense.

    Furthermore, I’d like to repost what I said earlier on the topic. If gun controllers don’t see this as a fair compromise, then it shows their true motivations- to deny guns to as many people as possible:

    TS: “But how about this for a reasonable compromise to the whole “terror gap” issue; we run it the same way we would if the government wants to tap the suspect’s phone line. That means you pick out people from your list of a million or so suspects, and you gather your evidence and bring it in front of a judge for her to review and then grant a wiretap/prohibit firearm purchase. Bam! Due process. How hard was that?”

  4. You guys are right that for a normal guy this could turn into a nightmare, but JadeGold described very well the nightmare we all suffer because of gun violence.

  5. Again, TS and FJ are waaay off base.

    The subject of this story isn't a US citizen. To make matters worse, he comes from a country known for widespread corruption, narcotrafficking, and money laundering. BTW, a country with a history of sympathizing with various terrorist causes.

    In short, this case isn't the same as as some goober from TN having the same name as an IRA member in Ireland.


  6. How about just adding due process to it, Jade?

  7. TS - Anti-gunners like Jade & MikeB HATE due process of law.

    They're authoritarians who hate the Constitution.