Marc Montoni: Should there be a government “No Fly” list?

mm-onrockIn 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.

Wikipedia has an excellent review of the No Fly program.

Original article here.

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About Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of Colorado, Colorado State Coordinator for the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus, as well as Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LPCO, LPRC, or LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann's goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.

6 thoughts on “Marc Montoni: Should there be a government “No Fly” list?

  1. dL

    4 years ago, Johnson was against the Patriot Act. Now he is for it. Now he is for government watch lists. Selling out the bill of rights for 5% in October.

    Johnson’s own narrative was that when he was a republican he nonetheless knew or had an intuition he was a libertarian. Then he discovered the LP. Eureka! No explanation on the repudiation of his Eureka moment. You know, the more he is hanging with libertarians the more his intuition apparently reverts back to being a Republican. Sort of the inverse Kn@appster effect(come in as a republican/conservative, exit as a radical libertarian). The Johnson effect: come in with libertarian intuition. Exit as a law and order Republican. But it does shed some light on the meaning of incremental progress: Incrementally make the LP indistinguishable from the GOP.

  2. George Dance

    dL: “4 years ago, Johnson was against the Patriot Act. Now he is for it.”

    Cite? (Let’s see if it’s as much of a stretch as the claim that Johnson is “for” the War on Drugs).

  3. George Dance

    Marc Montoni: ” the No Fly and Terrorist Watch lists maintained by the government are ineffective, counterproductive, and unconstitutional, and they must be abolished.”

    I was with Montoni until this point, when he smuggles in the Terrorist Watch list as well.

    How is it “unconstitutional” for a police agency to maintain lists of suspects?

    What is unconstitutional is penalizing someone just for being on such a list, which violates due process; not for simply making a list.

  4. Marc Montoni

    What is unconstitutional is penalizing someone just for being on such a list, which violates due process; not for simply making a list.

    The two lists feed each other.

    Being on a government list ALWAYS involves some kind of penalty. That’s why bureaucrats like to compile lists. According to the Wikipedia article on the Terror Watch List, almost 100k American citizens are on it; audits suggest ~ 40 of 100 records have serious errors, and they are slow or nonresponsive to complaints.

    If there is any “terrorist watch” list it should be maintained in the same manner as normal law enforcement investigations.

  5. Steve Scheetz

    George Dance,

    http://rare.us/story/new-york-just-approved-the-nations-first-terrorist-registry-and-the-implications-are-scary/

    This article is about what is happening in New York. there are plans for making such lists public, and there may be no way of knowing if you are on said list until people come knocking at your door wondering why you are living in their neighborhood you terrorist you! Remember, all the government needs to do is to say that you are a terrorist, and like magic, you will be branded, listed, and your name will be broadcast to the public.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

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