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Commentary :: War and Militarism
Should You Be On A Government Watch List?
04 Jan 2008
Government’s words “may pose a suspected threat to national security” are so vague one can’t wonder if that could” apply to stopping individuals wanting to fly to an anti-war or environmental protest.
Case in point:
Currently, International air carriers are responsible for checking passengers against “government watch lists.” That will change in 2008.

Subsequently in 2008, under the Federal Government’s “Secure Flight Program” the Government will begin not allowing U.S. Citizens on domestic flights until the government has prescreened a passenger’s information against “government Watch Lists.” On its face—that sounds great. Everyone wants safe air travel. The Government states, “Watch Lists” will be used to identify individuals who “may pose” a known or suspected threat to aviation or national security. But what does that mean? “May pose a suspected threat—to national security? U.S. Government officials have called protesters potential terrorists and a threat to national security. The words “May pose a suspected threat…” are so vague one can’t help wonder if that could” apply to an individual wanting to fly to an anti-war or environmental protest. You can read about the Government “Watch Lists” in the “Secure Flight Program” at:
http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/secureflight/index.shtm

Note the Federal Government never defines what “may pose” actually means when they state, “may pose a suspected threat” to national security. Have Americans reached a point where Citizens need to ask their representatives to clearly explain what lawful activities “may pose” a threat to National Security. Especially because S.1959 the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act" could be passed by the Senate. That Federal bill vaguely defines "homegrown terrorism" as "any planned act" that might use force to promote or accomplish a "political or social objective." No actual force need occur. Government need only allege that an individual or organization thought about using force.

Under S.1959 anyone donating money to or attending a planned anti-war rally or gun rights meeting could be erroneously alleged to be trying to coerce a government or its people. S.1959 creates a “new government commission” that will determine and report to the U.S. Government which Americans are idealistically based toward Violence, or might or do support "Violent Radicalization; or Homegrown Terrorism. This “government commission” could report that most everyone joining a lawful protest was ideologically based toward violence should violence take place at a demonstration, which in America it frequently does.

Americans need to learn before S.1959 is passed if the bill’s vague and undefined provisions empower “a new government commission” to provide personal and other information on lawful U.S. Citizens and organizations to Federal Government Watch Lists. Determine if findings and recommendations by the “a new government commission” can be used by government to prevent lawful U.S. Citizens from using domestic air travel in their own country. Determine what the Federal Government means when they state in their “Secure Flight Program” individuals that “may pose” a threat to national security?

DHS TRIP provides a single portal for travelers to seek redress for adverse screening experiences and to resolve possible watch list misidentification issues. www.dhs.gov/trip

This work is in the public domain
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