You could be a terrorist and not even know it,,,

Discussion in 'General' started by TooSicKs, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. At least according to the government.

    Cool Hand Bill: A risk to national security? Only the TSA knows for sure…

    Steve Bill Hanshew


    "What we got here is a failure to communicate." With that said, old Luke was promptly plugged while standing in a church house window by a rifle-toting chain gang captain wearing mirrored Ray-Bans. As I watched this old flick for the hundredth time, I began to feel more sympathy for old Cool Hand than when I first saw it years ago. This attachment is more keenly felt now that I'm the one under the gun.

    Old Luke was branded a criminal and a risk to society for busting up a bubble gum machine and sent off to a southern prison camp to dig ditches and spread asphalt on roads, eventually shot to death as an escapee. He was categorized as a malcontent and summarily tucked away from the sight of respectable folk. The movie buff naturally falls for Paul Newman's charm because his character isn't such a bad guy, and maybe, just maybe - deep down - we're all a little like him, or at least want to be.

    As a pilot I find myself in the unenviable position of Old Luke. No, I haven't busted up a vending machine or picked a pocket, though I would probably feel less violated if I had. I haven't even gotten a speeding ticket in the previous three years or burnt leaves on Sunday. However, I'm beginning to feel like I'm lined up for a head count under a blazing Georgia sun with the Cap'n staring intently at me through those damn mirrored glasses - rifle held at the ready.

    You see the FAA, at the behest of another three-letter bunch called the TSA, might eventually get around to seeing me as a "security risk" and immediately clip my wings, taking away my license and throwing me in the "sweatbox."

    Oh, they say if that ever happened I would get a fair hearing and due process, although that only occurs after they revoke my license, since I might be some unknown threat, better off grounded until they can figure out what my game is. So in the name of security, the agencies are commencing to look us over without provocation or period of comment. Of course you may say why am I worried about all of this blather, unless, of course, I've got something to hide.

    Well, to tell you the truth, I don't know if I do have something to hide, and that seems to be my problem with this whole affair. Just what are the Feds looking for? More importantly, do I fit some kind of hidden profile put together by a bunch of government-financed Freud-wannabes who have never flown a plane?

    They say the TSA is only making threat assessments based on reasonable suspicion. What is reasonable and what is suspicious? Nobody seems to know. I thought a joker named Abdullah, born in Jeddah, here on a student visa, and desperately seeking to learn how to take off in a Boeing jetliner, was generally a good clue and probably worth further investigation. But, unfortunately, that would be "profiling" and that, as you well know, is prohibited. So, I have to wonder how many run-of-the-mill pilots they'll have to pinch in order for them to get down to Abdullah, without making it look like they were after him all along.

    I know lots of pilots who could be misconstrued as "security risks," if I based my assessment solely on how they looked in bib overalls and abhorrent table manners. This, however, is not a valid reason to yank their ticket. We've all got skeletons. Hell, I've probably got enough to fill Woodlawn Cemetery, let alone a closet. I ghost wrote a piece for "Soldier of Fortune" once: Right-wing fanatic. I was hauled in for disturbing the peace in North Myrtle Beach when I got into a fight over a cheerleader with part of the offensive line of Clemson (thank God the cops showed up): Erratic and violent behavior. I subscribe to American Rifleman: He's right wing and has a gun. I lobbed a few training grenades over a wall when I was in the Army: Military training. Oh, did I mention that I got caught smoking in the barn when I was 14 and almost burned it down: He had a troubled childhood and smokes too!

    Now for the biggie: I am a pilot, own a Chinese warbird, and fly undetected from my personal private strip: RED FLAG, RED ALERT. Throw up a cordon around the field and put out an APB!

    If there is a secret threat assessment sheet with my name on it, it will provide ample entertainment for a host of FBI profilers, and cause many good soccer mothers to shudder. With all that said and done, I'll have to also admit to keeping my flying activity within established regulation and my airplane airworthy, which I used to think was all I had to do as a licensed pilot and aircraft owner. It seems that ain't enough.

    Maybe if I get a button-down shirt and a pair of Dockers with them funny loafers, they'll leave me be. Or, maybe that's not what they're looking for. Being a suspicious threat can come in many forms. Upon closer inspection I find a lot of suspicious characters hanging around the airport. There's the guy who wears socks and sandals when he flies his Cub, or the quirky dude wearing wraparound Serengetis who likes to sing "Low Rider" while flying his Ercoupe. Pretty damned suspicious if you ask me.

    Maybe I should drop a dime on one of them - or on myself. Wait a minute! Am I the only one who thinks it's insane that our government is assessing its own law-abiding citizens by varying levels of risk? Am I a risk? Am I a threat? I don't know. Better ask the FAA or TSA.

    For now, I'm standing in front of that busted out church window with a pair of truck lights glaring at me, conversing with the Big Boss, while some implacable Fed holds me in his imaginary crosshairs, wondering just what the hell I did to get into this mess. "Yeah, what we definitely got here is a failure to communicate - big time!"


    General Aviation News - 800.426.8538
    P.O. Box 39099
    Lakewood, WA 98439


    As you can see it's a few months old, and this is only one of the examples of many similar things that are happening in the aviation community, as well as other special interest groups in the name of national security.

    When will america wake up and realize that a silent political coup has taken place in the country? Probably never, as long as americans are blinded by patriotism and shoveled bullshit disguised as freedom into their capitalist prison cells.

  2. News

    Are you a threat to national security? Are you sure?

    Janice Wood


    On Jan. 24, a chill went over the pilot community. That's the day a new rule was released that allows the Federal Aviation Administration to yank a pilot certificate on the say-so of the new Transportation Security Administration if the pilot is deemed a threat to national security.

    The only way to appeal the TSA's decision is to file an appeal - with the TSA. And TSA officials don't have to reveal the evidence used in making their determination, guarding it "in the interests of national security."

    Dubbed the pilot insecurity rule, the rule is so new that mounting a defense against it is akin to staking out new territory.

    "We have no case history, nothing as lawyers to analyze," says Phillip Kolcyznski, a Santa Ana, Calif., lawyer.

    Following in the footsteps of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the new rule's foundation is in emergency powers. And while the entire aviation community is decrying the lack of due process in the new rule, "not much due process is required" when emergency powers are invoked, Kolcyznski explains.

    So what should you do if TSA flags you as a security risk? "If the TSA is going to yank your certificate, you need to hire an experienced aviation lawyer immediately," he advises.

    And that doesn't mean a lawyer with a pilot's license, he warns. You want to find someone who has worked for the FAA in the past, someone who knows the system. Have that lawyer call the TSA to try to find out why you are considered a threat. Then the lawyer can write a letter refuting those claims. "If they won't tell the reasons, then the lawyer will have to make a best guess and send in a letter explaining why you are not a threat and see if there is an alternative solution available, such as re-examination by the FAA, surveillance by the FAA or an in-person interview with the FAA, accompanied by your lawyer, of course."

    All these tactics buy time, creating the opportunity for the TSA to change its decision, he says.

    Because the law is so new, you'll want to find an attorney who can "think outside the box," according to J. Michael Loomis, a Fort Wayne attorney who is in the midst of defending a commercial pilot who was flagged by the TSA following a background check by a private company. "It's still pending, but the TSA has been very helpful to my client," says Loomis. "We adopted a couple of creative approaches," he adds, declining to name those tactics as the case is still pending.

    What else can you do to keep the TSA at bay? Never engage in a strong argument with an FAA or NTSB official, advises Kolcyznski. "That will bring more wrath to bear on you," he says. "It might make you fit the profile of someone who is a threat to national security. If the official is trying to do something you feel is against your rights, get a lawyer and solve it later."

    But perhaps the most important thing we all can do as pilots is to cooperate in every effort to make the skies safer, Loomis says. "The worst thing we can do is disregard TFRs," he says. "It hurts all of us."


    If the TSA tells the FAA to yank your pilot certificate, what does that mean to you?

    Realistically it's not something you need to worry about. After a review of 1.3 million pilot records, only 11 certificates were revoked. But what if you are one of those 11? Or flagged later on down the road?

    Much has been made of the fact that TSA can keep its evidence against you secret in the name of national security. "But if someone is singled out, they probably will know why," says Ron Golden, a partner with Yodice Associates, a Frederick, Md., law firm that handles the legal plan for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

    But what if you don't? What if you are wrongfully singled out? Then you are faced with appealing the decision to the very agency that made that decision. "You then have to convince an agency that has already decided you are a problem that they are wrong," Golden says. "The process is stacked against you."

    And while many attorneys understand the need for emergency powers in the name of national security, they also question whether this law will stop any terrorist. "As a practical matter, denying someone a pilot certificate and thinking that will save the day – well, I'm not sure that process would have stopped the Sept. 11 hijackers."

    Instead, it is one more liberty taken away from us, he notes. "It's the government approach to pass another law to take away our liberties because one person did something. We all lose our rights and that's not a pretty sight."


    General Aviation News - 800.426.8538
    P.O. Box 39099
    Lakewood, WA 98439
  3. surely national security could only be better served if those reasons were more readily publicised. the only "security" that could be jepordised in such an occurance is that of the individual in question. surely. did i miss something? *Sniffs the air* OH! I see. I smell the familiar stench of a corrupt extreme authoritarian facist police state.

    i'm no pilot, but no doubt i think i'd be percieved of as a threat to the authoritarians favourite buzz word "freedom" which they spin out at a moments notice regardless of how appropriate. and why would I be considered a terrorist? because as GeeDubya said himself... "If you're not with us you're against us." with such a narrow scope of definition, i guess that makes me a "terrorist". even though i'll never terrorise anyone. never take violent action. never side with religious fanatics. never endanger the lives of others. never seek to cause political change or social upheival with anything more threatening than logic & love... but none the less... I too, by their vague definitions, am a terrorist.
    and not only that, but thanks only to "they", I fund terrorism too!

    .... i wonder where young George gets his coke from.
  4. Digit, to them we are terrorists. Not brick and mortar terrorists, but idelogical terroists. We point out the obvious and threaten to destroy the programming they spent as many years and dollars implementing as they spent building brick and mortar buildings. We use knowledge and set off bombs in the minds of those who at least take the time to logically consider wjat is REALLY happening.

    Yes, pilots and potheads share something in common. We are at completely different ends of every spectrum and are probably the most divergent example of extremes that comprise the total demographic spectrum of america, yet each group is still under the thumb of the federal government. Just as cannibis users violate laws while participating in the activity, pilots do the same. There are now so many contradictory laws and regualtions in aviation that any time you fly an aircraft you are guaranteed to be breaking at least one law. These are used similar to how probablr cause laws work. The system creates laws that only a very dilligent minority of the population can ever hope not to violate, these are the "good" people that the gov't doesn't have to worry about because they'll trust the government to shovel them bullshit by the truckload. They're the ones who get on the phone to their congrsspeople and reps (they're the ones that are ALLOWED to talk to their reps) and commend them on how their police actions removed "all the smelly tree huggin hippies" from their "public" park, etc.

    This puts a vast majority of the population is some kind of violation of the law, meaning that any of these people are legal "fair game" if they need be. Especailly in the new era of "national security" with things such as the patriot act take this a step further. Not merely are we criminals, but now we are all "potential terrorist threats" which gives the government free reign for anything they deem "in the interest of national security".

    Meanwhile the typical properly programmed american (mostly)republican redneck hypocrites are sitting in front of their TV's watching CNN drinkin' a beer or 30 wondering why THEIR government even allows such things as the ACLU to even exist. They wonder why "those damn dope smokin' hippie commies" haven't all been thrown in prison yet so the "good" people like him/herself can live in their perfect little red white and blue gun totin' militant fascist concept of "freedom, democracy, and capitalism" without being disturbed by such things as having to see "hippies" in public.

    Hopefully this and other mindbombs will detonate in the right minds and help topple the reinforced concrete-like thought structures that have been built by institutions such as public schools, mass media, athourity, etc. and maybe, just amybe, in enough generations cause a little bit of change, enough to shift the balance of power a bit more towards the people as was originally conceptualized and away from the group of rich drunk angry white assholes who run things now.

  5. oh yeah, i'd bet ya 2 bucks and an angry warthog that Dubya gets his coke from his own private plantation down in third world somewhere, maybe Peru, as cocaine is legalized there, and while he's at it, makin' a few bucks on the side slangin' what don't go straight to tha head.


  6. Reading your posts is the high pont of my day.

    the only way thats gonna happen is if the gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen enough. Thats the funny thing about capitalism; It ulitmitely destroys itself. In the meantime we need to esablish an educated prolitariet class.
  7. I saw recently an article in a local newspaper here, it said that in USA people who are suspected of terrorism will not have their name cleared even if official investigation shows that they were innocent. Some US government official was quoted in the story, he said something like "in a matter like this we cannot take any chances".

    So if any of you should become a suspected terrorist, your life is fucked up forever. Suspected terrorists are not allowed to get a job anywhere and never go to school and many other things. Now that Patriot Act II is coming and every crime is counted as terrorism....

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