6.19.2007

are we safer yet?

I feel so much better now that Canada's no-fly list has been implemented. How has the country managed to avert disaster all this time without it?

What's that you say? Terrorists don't fly with their own names and passports? Civil what? That's so pre-6/19/07 thinking!

Well, it can't be pre-9/11 thinking. We've been managing without it since then.

16 comments:

James said...

You know, I wouldn't really have a problem with a "known, convicted offenders who can be unambiguously identified" no-fly list. Of course, this is probably much more like the "names that at least sound like the names of people we think might be naughty" list of the US, which made the news recently when it was revealed that it had topped half a million names.

L-girl said...

Yup, it's just names, not unique identifiers. And it's not made public. And it's a presumption of guilt.

Anyway, convicted offenders should be able to fly, if their crimes had nothing to do with terrorism and they've served their time. How many people convicted of terrorist-related activity are going to be flying under their own names anyway?

Scott M. said...

Apparently our list is a list of Names and Dates of Birth.

While I disagree with the list, that's at least better than the states...

redsock said...

Didn't every one of the 19 9/11 hijackers fly under their own names or at least names that were easily identifiable with them?

It didn't take very long for the US to produce pictures and names for all of them.

Two of them -- strongly suspected by the CIA to be terrorists close to two years before 9/11 -- were listed in the San Diego phone book under their real names (... where they lived with a FBI informant).

L-girl said...

Didn't every one of the 19 9/11 hijackers fly under their own names or at least names that were easily identifiable with them?

It didn't take very long for the US to produce pictures and names for all of them.


Your point?

L-girl said...

While I disagree with the list, that's at least better than the states...

There's also an appeals process. There's none in the US.

Sometimes it seems like Canada is trying to be Canada and the US at the same time.

redsock said...

Your point?

You said: "How many people convicted of terrorist-related activity are going to be flying under their own names anyway?"

While the 9/11 guys had not been previously convicted, many were strongly suspected to be terrorists. The two San Diego guys I mentioned were put on a US no-fly list in August 2001 ... and had no problem getting on a plane a few weeks later.

L-girl said...

Yes, I got that part.

But your first comment sounded like - if I didn't know better - you were arguing in favour of a no-fly list. Because terrorists apparently do fly under their own names...?

M@ said...

Well, frankly, I'm surprised the obvious solution hasn't already been suggested: make up a no-fly list consisting of millions of fake names. Simple.

Sometimes it seems like Canada is trying to be Canada and the US at the same time.

I absolutely agree with this. At least the result tends to be something that's half-baked and ineffective, but not dangerous; in the USA it's half-baked, ineffective, and extremely dangerous.

Naturally, I'd prefer the optimum case of effective-and-not-dangerous, but that's me, the bleeding heart leftard.

L-girl said...

At least the result tends to be something that's half-baked and ineffective, but not dangerous; in the USA it's half-baked, ineffective, and extremely dangerous.

This brough another analogy to mind: Democrats who try to be Republicans, vs real Republicans.

redsock said...

But your first comment sounded like - if I didn't know better - you were arguing in favour of a no-fly list.

No. Though I am in favour of a no-fly list for noisy kids, cellphone users, loud talkers, and general morons (i.e., I want to fly on a private plane).

The no-fly list often does no good, because even known terrorists who are flying under the names they are known as terrorists by are not stopped. (I'm pretty certain that if an Evil Doer (TM) was prevented from flying by the US, we'd have heard about it.)

Instead, it has been used more often for stuff like keeping peace activists from travelling to anti-war rallies.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it seems like Canada is trying to be Canada and the US at the same time.

I strongly suspect that Canada's having a no-fly list is due at least in part to bullying, erm, encouragement from TGNOTFOTE.

James said...

How many people convicted of terrorist-related activity are going to be flying under their own names anyway?

Well, that's where the "unambiguously identified" bit comes in. Names alone aren't enough -- they're worse than useless.

The no-fly list often does no good, because even known terrorists who are flying under the names they are known as terrorists by are not stopped.

Not to mention that there can thousands of non-terrorists with the same name as any given terrorist.

L-girl said...

Though I am in favour of a no-fly list for noisy kids, cellphone users, loud talkers, and general morons (i.e., I want to fly on a private plane).

Now you're talking.

(I'm pretty certain that if an Evil Doer (TM) was prevented from flying by the US, we'd have heard about it.)

All day, every day.

Instead, it has been used more often for stuff like keeping peace activists from travelling to anti-war rallies.

I'd like to think that won't be the case in Canada.

Anonymous said...

Hmm . . . I wonder what the odds are that some drunken white stockbroker who assaults a flight attendant who cuts him off will end up on the no-fly list. After all, wouldn't he then constitute a "threat to air security"?

redsock said...

Not to mention that there can thousands of non-terrorists with the same name as any given terrorist.

I've read stories of guys with names like "Mike Johnson" being on no-fly lists and being told the the US has no way to ever tell which "Mike Johnson" is the alleged terrorist -- so every "Mike Johnson" will always be questioned every single time "he" flies.

What a system.

Ted Kennedy was on a no-fly list. (Presumably, he got his name removed, though.) There are also very young children (2-3 years old) on the US's lists. One wonders if they will be stopped at airports for the next 80 years.