Commercial Pilot Says He's Victim Of Government
Robert Gray is out of a job, thanks
to the TSA and its decision to put him on a no-fly list. Gray, a
Cape Air pilot based in Massachusetts, said no-fly means no
"I haven't been involved in any kind of terrorism, and I never
committed any crime," Gray told the Boston Globe. The 35-year old
immigrant from Belfast, Northern Ireland, said he has no idea why
he's suddenly turned up on the TSA's list. "Ever since I came here
I've loved this country for what it stands for, and this goes
against everything that I've ever learned about this country and
how it treats people. This is the kind of nightmarish situation you
think happened in Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany, but not in
The nightmare is just as real for Gray's fiancee, Joy Valante.
She told the Globe the couple has now been forced to delay their
wedding and their Tuscan honeymoon.
Gray said his named first appeared
on a no-fly list when he tried to take lessons so he could obtain
ratings in bigger aircraft. But last fall, the TSA rejected his
request, saying he posed a threat to national security.
Dumbfounded, Gray sued the federal government -- and, he said, his
nightmare grew even worse.
His lawyers said the government gave them a printout showing
that the Robert Gray in question wasn't the Cape Air pilot at all.
Instead, the documents indicated, the man the government doesn't
want on airplanes is Hispanic. Still, Gray lost an administrative
appeal. Now, his lawyers are again suing the government, claiming
he's become the victim of reprisals.
An assistant US Attorney in Boston denied that allegation on
"If they can't get that right, then what else have they got
wrong?" Gray asked.