In a recent interview with Reason Magazine, Gary Johnson voiced his support for the continued existence of the federal “no fly” list.
This is problematic for many reasons.
Perhaps Mr Johnson does not realize that all it takes to get on the No Fly / Terrorist Watch List can be something as simple as angering a Flight Attendant? And once you’re on there, there is no defined procedure for getting off of it: You’re hosed — and by what standards nobody can say — until some bureaucrat feels like removing you.
If they can do that for the 2nd Amendment, they can do it for the 1st.
This is one of many issues that sounds simple. Certainly, we must have security in the air. But since when has any government program ever worked as advertised?
With government, nothing is simple.
The real-world effect of giving government money and power — in this case, air travel — is actually quite disturbing. You can end up on the no fly list for just about any reason, and no justification is necessary: mistaken identity, or by angering a flight attendant, or perhaps annoying a government official for something completely unrelated to flying.
Let’s put it this way: If Chris Christie will shut a whole bridge down in retaliation for one guy’s refusal to support him, imagine what games officials play — or might play — with the no fly list.
Now Clinton and Trump are talking about stripping you of other Constitutional rights if you’re on the No Fly or Terrorist Watch lists?
Johnson said he wants accountability in the process; and fast recourse for those who are on the list who shouldn’t be. But there will never be accountability; there will never be transparency, and there will never be recourse. That’s not how things work with government; there is no incentive to make them work that way.
The actual Libertarian position is: Yes, there *should* be a no-fly list. Two of them, actually:
1) If the airline doesn’t want to sell you a seat, they shouldn’t have to; and
2) Incarceration. If you’ve committed a crime so egregious that you can’t be entrusted with a gun, or to be on a plane, then you should be in prison or otherwise prevented from hurting others in peaceful society.
If you like Clinton, would you trust Trump with protecting your right to travel (and your freedom of speech)?
If you like Trump, would you trust Clinton with protecting your right to travel (and your freedom of religion)?
If you’re suspicious of either one, consider that if you grant the government the power to do what *you* want, one day that same power that you gave it will be used to take everything you have.
So, No, Gary — the No Fly and Terrorist Watch lists maintained by the government are ineffective, counterproductive, and unconstitutional, and they must be abolished. Instead, Finking Feddie should concentrate on strengthening the ability of security firms and local law enforcement to get truly dangerous individuals off the street, and allow people and airlines the freedom to decide whether to associate with them.