If your name is David Nelson you can expect to be hassled, delayed, questioned and searched before being allowed to board aircraft anywhere in the United States for the foreseeable future.
Since the horrific attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the federal Transportation Security Administration has, without any public announcement, created a two-tiered list of names “to protect our aviation system,” says Nico Melendez, the agency spokesman for the West Coast, who is based in Los Angeles.
The name David Nelson apparently is on one of those lists.
There is a 'no-fly' list,“ he says. “That's people who cannot fly, period,” because they've been determined to be or are suspected of being “a threat to civil aviation or to national security.”
This week 18 men named David Nelson, all residents of Oregon, confirmed they have been repeatedly delayed at airport counters and security checkpoints in the last year or so.
As David Nelsons all over the country have learned, once your name is on the list, there's no way you can get it removed. Every time you go to an airport, you're assumed to be guilty until you can prove yourself innocent.
David Nelson is a common name. “My dentist has a couple of them in his practice,” says David Nelson of Aloha, “and my boss is actually named David Nelson. He's had the same thing happen to him.”
Nico Melendez of the Transportation Security Administration will not confirm that the name David Nelson is on the “no-fly” or “selectees” list. But he does say that people who want to see if their name is on either list or who want to make a complaint, can call the agency's contact center at 866-289-9673 or send an e-mail to TellTSA@tsa.dot.gov.
But if your name is David Nelson, chances are you won't breeze through any airports in the near future. Even if you're a celebrity.
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“I suppose if I were convinced that America is a safer place because I get hassled at the airport, I might put up with it, […] But I doubt it.” – Jim Robinson (former head of the Justice Department's criminal division during the Clinton Administration, has a top-secret security clearance and a common name that he shares with someone who he believes was added to the watchlist in 2005.)
“The nation's terrorist watch list has hit one million names, according to a tally maintained by the American Civil Liberties Union based upon the government's own reported numbers for the size of the list.” http://www.aclu.org/privacy/35968prs20080714.html
Even without unaccountable process and secret lists, the war on terror is bogus.