Mon, Aug 23, 2004
It Ain't Easy...
After he was denied boarding on
flights between Washington and Boston five times, it took Senator
Ted Kennedy (D-MA) three weeks of calling Homeland Security
Secretary Tom Ridge to get off the government's no-fly list. So
imagine how tough it is for an average citizen to get off the watch
The Chicago Sun-Times reports it ain't easy. Pointing to
Kennedy's troubles, traced back to a terror suspect thought to be
using a similar name as an alias, ACLU spokesman Jay Stanley told
the paper, "This really speaks to just how difficult it can be for
ordinary people. The complaints reflected in our litigation are
The ACLU has filed two lawsuits on behalf of people who can't
fly because their names appear on the lists.
Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) has had similar problems. He's
filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security, saying
he can't buy electronic tickets and his luggage is hand-searched
every time he tries to fly.
It's the kind of problem that gives commercial aviation a bad
name and the government seems to acknowledge that. Passengers who
think they've been put on one of the government's list by accident
can call the TSA's ombudsman, Kimberly Walton, at (877) 266-2837.
They get a form letter in the mail asking for more information.
But, as Lewis said he was told by an airline employee in Atlanta
recently, "Once you're on the list, there's no way to get off
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