It's Not Easy Being Green

by Edgar J. Steele

November 8, 2001

More on that Green Party functionary denied the right to fly the other day...

 
A newspaper account is making the rounds and being held up as proof that the initial Internet report was flawed.  I disagree - at least, as regards what I view as being the significant point to be made.
 
Taken at face value from just the Bangor Daily News account below, there is recited a clear and unequivocal violation of the fundamental right to travel enshrined within the US Constitution.  The founders felt so strongly about this right that they didn't even have to add it back via an  amendment in the Bill of Rights, as they did the right to free speech and religion.
 
This airport case represents a far more significant shift in the posture of the US government vis-a-vis its citizenry than most realize.
 
Even the below newspaper account (I view all mainstream newspapers as being part of the controlled media, by the way, therefore see their reporting as being highly suspect) reflects this shift.  This newspaper report appears to me to be mere spin.  Regarding the constitutional issues raised, it does not differ fundamentally from the original Internet account.  
 
A time-honored principle in the field of law holds that a "declaration against self-interest" carries its own indicia of credibility, therefore even hearsay exemplars of such statements can be admitted into evidence at trial.  This newspaper account is similarly credible as evidence of our country's shift into NWO status.  Normally, editors cleanse their stories better than this.
 
This is the sort of news that normally never makes it beyond a local paper, by the way, which is the way news primarily seems to be controlled in America today.
 
Many consider this to be an isolated incident involving a borderline nut, but I can attest from personal experience (flying every week for years, now) that there has been a radical change in outlook and attitude on the part of the FAA and its minions.  Enter a US airport today and the Constitution ceases to exist, just beyond the parking lot (where they demand to look in your trunk just to let you park).
 
And the minions don't have a clue, either.  They think this is just the way it should be.  Most of us lemmings are vaguely disturbed by much of what is going on, but can't quite put our fingers on what is wrong. 
 
What is wrong is that personal freedom is draining away at a record pace these days. 
 
There is an adage involving another green creature which seems appropriate:  Place a frog in a pot of boiling water, they say, and it will hop right out.  Put it in a pot of cool water, then slowly apply heat, and the frog will contentedly sit there, blissfully unaware of its plight, right through its demise.
 
Used to be, our rights were chiseled away, a piece at a time, such that we just didn't notice.  Today, things have quickened so much that change seems apparent, from one week to the next.  I shudder to think what things might look like next year at this time.
 
It's not easy being green these days.


-ed

"I didn't say it would be easy.  I just said it would be the truth."
            - Morpheus

Copyright © Edgar J. Steele, 2002

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-----Original Message-----
From: Lark C xxxxx  [mailto:lark@ xxxxxx ]
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2001 8:29 AM
To:  (list deleted)
 
Subject: more on the Green Party detention story

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********

 

On 11/3/01 at 11:16 PM Dave Butcher wrote:

 

>Subject: More on the Green Party USA member denied seat on flight ...

>

>

>> It turns out that the story about the Bangor, Maine Green Party USA leader

>> who was detained before boarding a plane yesterday was not accurate, here

>is

>> an alternate view of what happened.

>>

>> --------------------------------

>> Bangor Daily News

>> November 3, 2001

>>

>> Green Party activist denied Chicago flight

>>

>> BANGOR - Green Party activist Nancy Oden was grounded at Bangor

>> International Airport on Thursday after reportedly becoming uncooperative

>> when she was targeted for additional screening.

>>

>> Oden, who said she believed she was singled out for extra scrutiny because

>> of her activist past and public opposition to the current war effort, was

>on

>> her way to Chicago to attend a Green Party USA meeting when airline

>> personnel told her that she had been selected to undergo added

>> security screening before boarding.

>>

>> "I was treated if I were guilty just because I'm a dissident and I speak

>> out," Oden, a middle-aged woman who sits on the party's national

>> coordinating committee, said from her Jonesboro home after she had

>abandoned

>> her travel plans. "They're looking at me like I'm a terrorist and I'm just

>a

>> peaceful person trying to go to a meeting in Chicago."

>>

>> Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, security has been tightened at all

>the

>> nation's airports - including BIA, where armed National Guardsmen monitor

>> the screening area and passenger lists are checked against the FBI's

>> terrorist watch list. Officials at BIA and American Eagle Airlines have a

>> much different account of Oden's afternoon run-in with the added security.

>>

>> "She was uncooperative during the screening process," said American Eagle

>> spokesman Kurt Iverson, who added that Oden reportedly would

>> not stand still when security staff tried to wave a metal-detecting wand

>> over her. "Obviously if they can't submit to screening, [Federal Aviation

>> Administration] regulations require that they not be allowed to board the

>> plane."

>>

>> Oden said that while she asked security staff not to touch her with the

>> wand, she did allow them to complete their search of both her person and

>her

>> baggage. Oden said that she did pull away from a National Guardsman when

>he

>> grabbed her left arm and asked her if she "knew what happened on September

>> 11," she said.

>>

>> While acknowledging that Oden was singled out for added extensive

>screening,

>> authorities said it was more likely due to the manner in which she

>purchased

>> her ticket than for her activist past.

>>

>> Under newly adopted FAA regulations, more passengers - either randomly or

>> based on a computerized profile - are being targeted for more intense

>> screening during the boarding process.

>>

>> While industry officials were unwilling to release the criteria under

>which

>> they would profile a passenger, they said the criteria did not include

>> federally protected characteristics such as race, religion, age or sex.

>>

>> Without providing details, interim airport director Rebecca Hupp said that

>> the FAA guidelines "have more to do with the ticket than the person." For

>> instance, one airline official said, a passenger who pays cash for a

>ticket

>> the day of the flight would likely undergo added scrutiny.

>>

>> Oden bought her nonrefundable ticket online, she said. While an FBI

>> spokeswoman would neither confirm nor deny the presence of any

>> name on the terrorist watch list - another trigger for added security

>> response - one law enforcement source said it was "extremely unlikely"

>Oden

>> was on the list of potential terrorists because her name is unknown to the

>> FBI.

>>

>> After the incident, Oden was told she could not take her scheduled flight

>to

>> Chicago, and that she could not travel on any other airline at the airport

>> that day.

>>

>> "If I had done something wrong, they should have arrested me instead of

>> denying me my right to travel," an upset Oden said Friday. "We're losing

>> more of our rights and people don't realize it."

>>

>>