Tuesday, March 24, 2009

EMANUEL WANTS DENIAL OF 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS TO THOSE ON NO FLY LIST

Despite its notorious inaccuracy and total lack of constitutional procedure, Rahm Emanuel in a speech two years ago called for the denial of 2nd Amendment rights - specifically the right to own a hand gun - to anyone on the no fly list.

Some past stories. . . .

Penn Live - A Gulf War veteran and his wife say they've been unfairly placed on a federal list that limits their commercial flight access and threatens his job as a commercial pilot. To fight back, the couple, who are Muslim, filed a lawsuit against a host of U.S. government agencies. "We don't know why they're on the list. They don't know why they're on the list. The government won't tell us why they're on the list," said Amy Foerster, an attorney with Saul Ewing, who is providing pro bono counsel and working with the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and the Schuylkill County couple on the case, which was filed in U.S. district court. The suit filed against the U.S. departments of Homeland Security and Justice and the FBI, among others, is "unique" because Erich Scherfen, a New Jersey native who converted to Islam in the mid-1990s, is a commercial airline pilot whose flight privileges were revoked in April, said Witold Walczak, the legal director of the state ACLU chapter.

On Sept. 1, Scherfen will be terminated by his employer, Colgan Air, despite the airline's cooperation. "My livelihood depends on getting off this list," Scherfen said. What list he is on and which government entity maintains it is unclear, Walczak said. The federal government has declined to acknowledge flight restrictions placed on the pilot.

But Scherfen says he and his wife, Pakistan-born Rubina Tareen, have been detained for hours on several occasions in airports and even border crossings and been told by airport ticket agents and security personnel that they're on a "terrorist watch list."


CNN - James Robinson is a retired Air National Guard brigadier general and a commercial pilot for a major airline who flies passenger planes around the country. He has even been certified by the Transportation Security Administration to carry a weapon into the cockpit as part of the government's defense program should a terrorist try to commandeer a plane.

But there's one problem: James Robinson, the pilot, has difficulty even getting to his plane because his name is on the government's terrorist "watch list."

That means he can't use an airport kiosk to check in; he can't do it online; he can't do it curbside. Instead, like thousands of Americans whose names match a name or alias used by a suspected terrorist on the list, he must go to the ticket counter and have an agent verify that he is James Robinson, the pilot, and not James Robinson, the terrorist.

"Shocking's a good word; frustrating," Robinson -- the pilot -- said. "I'm carrying a weapon, flying a multimillion-dollar jet with passengers, but I'm still screened as, you know, on the terrorist watch list."

The American Civil Liberties Union estimates more than 1 million names have been added to the watch list since the September 11 attacks.

The FBI, which manages the Terrorist Screening Database, disputes that figure. It says that there are about 400,000 actual people on the list and that about 95 percent of those people are not U.S. citizens.

"There's going to come a point in time where everybody's on the list," Robinson said.

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