2006/12/01

What's Your Terror Score?

Here I was all ready to do something light and topical for Friday afternoon, and what happens...THIS! F*ck! "Light and topical" will have to wait. M-MM-MUS-ST-BB-B-LOGGGG!!!!

So you're probably aware that the US forces foreign government's to grant access to overseas databases in order to profile you when you fly internationally. You're probably also aware that if you pay a fee, you can get cleared for express passage through security--a sort of "No I'm not a terrorist. Really!" certification. But what you may not know is that over the last 4 years the feds have been compiling a huge database of travelers, each of whom are assigned a "terror score" that can be used to single them out for extra scrutiny or to deny them passage. But, as if that weren't enough, the so-called (A)utomated (T)argeting (S)ystem has these other delightful aspects:
  • You don't get to see your score (in fact they won't even tell you if you have a score)
  • You don't get to challenge your score
  • The feds intend to keep the scores around for the next 40 years
  • The feds have asserted that they can, and will, share this information with...state, local, and foreign governments, law enforcement, the courts, Congress, and government contractors
  • The feds have even gone so far as to suggest that the data be used when making hiring decisions, contract awards, licensing decisions, or for granting clearances
Mother puss-bucket! This is as bad as Secure Flight. Hopefully it will meet the same fate.

25 Comments:

I haven't flown in a couple of years and never internationally. I kind of feel left out that I don't have a score. Maybe they have other programs where I am rated.
Oops... Just found out that my terror score is over the limit! I'm an 89! There goes my trip to Estonia!
It just keeps on keeping on. Disgusting.
Get this. My 5-year-old grandson was on the no-fly list. FIVE YEARS OLD.
The insane are running this country.
Me4Prez...not to worry, I'm sure you haven't been left out! ;-)

TPM, "89" sounds like a score from the The Wine Spectator, you sure you're not allowed to go to Estonia? Not ever for those fine Estonian vintages?

HillCountryGal, too true. It's almost as if when one program is exposed, they come up with another...double quick.
I don't travel by air much. So, I wonder if Me4Prez and I have terror scores that are suspicious because we don't have one.

"He hasn't flown in over two years. There can be only one reason he is getting on an airplane today...."

I think we need to expect to do a lot more long-distance walking.
I've been wondering what sort of meal order would get you a high terror ranking. I'll wager vegetarian meals are on the list because we all know that patriotic Americans only eat beef.
I have now come to the conclusion that the Rethugs should never get to figure out laws involving security or sex.
I am on the No Fly list- have been for awhile....but I should be able to fly again when I am 80- oh goody....insane...
As I read this, and other documented cases of the trampling of our constitution, I sit here wondering: Will the next Congress do away with these outrages, or will they quietly keep them? Once laws are made, the cancellation rate is very, very low.

And as I read these things, I fear those who have promised there will be no impeachment. What can we possibly lose by impeachment? This kind of stuff?

The silence emanating from the DP on these issues scares me as bad as this stuff.
What Country Is This?

Tortures prisoners

Spys on it's own citizens

Arrests people and holds without charges, without benefit of counsel and holds them incommunicado secretly

Actively works to control the media

Considers anyone who disagrees to be a "traitor"?

(a) USSR
(b) USA
(c) Lichtenstein
(d) Both A and B
I fly as seldom as humanly possible, but crikey, what a stupid idea this is!
I was suspicious about the food as part of the score. I thought, hmmmmm, vegetarian? There are not many choices on the food business, so it must be the vegetarian.

On the bigger picture, this is flat out scary and I agree with the comment about the silence from the DP being really scary. They should be flexing their muscle now, while they have a chance.
I'm Irish and look it. I suspect I only make the terrorist list if they're looking for IRA bombers.

That's always bothered me that a few WoT hawks on the right have never understood the truly disturbing fact that this administration has made brown people who "look like terrorists" disappear for a few years into Gitmo or render them to Egypt to be tortured - simply because they're brown people.
KnightErrant, I speculated on our being forced back to covered wagons, but walking would be just as good. As for the meal...right on! Only un-American wackos eat stuff like turkey. Eat lamb? Then you're sure to be a terrorist.

Peacechick, in fact the GOP and GOP proposals have become so ridiculous that I have a hard time working up the energy to waste keystrokes on them.

E4E, not sure you're missing much. Flying has become such a trial (and not just because of security) that I sometimes question the necessity of a trip.
TFWY, I sure hope so. I know Dems are making some moves to institute oversight on some of the more egregious stuff, but "do away with,"? Probably not.

Sewmouse, Betty, sad isn't it. Everytime one program gets exposed another comes along. It's neverending.

Karena, see what I said above to the KnightErrant, and...don't go and order the tofu!
I'm Irish and look it. I suspect I only make the terrorist list if they're looking for IRA bombers.

R-bE, funny you should mention that. My last name once showed up on a British watch list (for suspected IRA terrorists). The Frogette actually got stopped and held at Heathrow because of this. But ironically, the name is actually English!
How do you find out if they're surfing your blog. I have a site meter on granny but I don't think WA does on Is America Burning.

I'm going to copy and paste this one. (with proper credit of course).

Astounding.

My net was down for most of 3 days and I've fallen behind - again.
Oh Good Heavens! What next? Due to my handicap it is difficult for me to tolerate long automobile rides (too painful to sit so long) so flying is the best option if I need to travel any distance.

My (now ex) husband has lived and worked in several Arab countries, including Iran and in predominately Muslim Indonesia. I have accompanied him on some travels and also lived in an Arab country. I corresponded with Arab friends for many years and had them visit me here in the States. And once even wired money to an Arab friend in an Arab country (as repayment of a quickie loan to buy a carpet in another Arab country). I have Arabic artwork in my home. Ye gods! Does that look bad for me or what?

Does my walking cane qualify as a weapon? Would they allow it on the plane? It is a hollow aluminum one; would it be seized for examination to determine if it contained bad stuff? Would I be dragged off to detention, sans cane, while it was examined and they ran investigation on me? Would my anti-bush, anti-war, anti-fundie rhetoric on my blogs label me a terrorist?

If I come up missing over the holidays.....
Worried! lol not to laugh at your possible 'demise' for disappearing but I actually have the same sentiment..I'm a green card holder and have lived in Saudi Arabia and well, tsk tsk, the blogs I frequent and the books I read from the library, it'll probably all add up in some point system or secret file!!
But talking about flying Kvatchie, let me tell you, we have new neighbours two houses down and they're originally from Yemen. The men, an elderly doctor in his 6os, has been in the US for 15yrs and has become American. He is not a practicing Muslim (wife is), and can't stand extremists. When he wants to buy a plane ticket over the internet, it will allow him to do that, but he cannot get a seat assigned until he gets to the airport. He also is not allowed to do curbside check-in. He has to go inside to check in. When he lived in South Texas close to the Mexican border, he and friends (before he got married, he just got married) would cross the border for dinner from time to time. All of the sudden, he would be held at customs for 45minutes or so. When he would ask why, they'd apologize and tell him that they 'have to do that'. He's even gone so far to go the FBI HQ in TX to complain and say, hey, what do you expect me to do? Take me off this list.
To no avail.
Well, I guess 'we're in it together aren't we,whether we know it or not..
Ingrid
and Worried, you better not be missing!!
Granny, I check my stats pretty like an obsessed voyeur. So if somebody interesting comes by, I usually catch it.

Worried, I feel for you. The Frogette was on some watch list for a while. At every checkpoint she and her bags would be searched, even just before boarding a plane. Then it stopped, somewhat suddenly, about a year later. And about your cane. I think you're safe. I mean steel knitting needles aren't considered a weapon, right?
Ingrid, your story makes me heartsick. We have a Yemeni mosque a couple of blocks from our flat, and the looks passersby give the men going to and from prayers, makes me want to lash out. Such ignorance! Here...in Sodom by the Sea. Disgusting.
Well now I know why I get twenty questions everytime I come to the states.

I'm just waiting for the day when they turn me back.

This will not meet the same fate as "Safe Flight" because only 25% of Americans have passports. That is to say, us international travelers just don't carry enough political weight to make this go away.
I am probably on a list from when I was in the Army and said that maybe we should focus more on training to do our jobs well instead of just looking good. I also owned a copy of the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf. Room inspections were always fun because there are a lot of stupid people with rank
I'm probably on their list of "persons of interest" for having protested against the Reagan administration at U of Oregon in the early 80's; for having been a subscriber to magazines like Mother Jones, The Progressive, and secular humanist stuff over the years; for having gone to see Michael Moore movies and for having bought and read his books; for having been seen frequenting a leftist bookshop in Hood River when I travel to or from Portland; for writing left-leaning letters critical of Bush to our local newspaper; for having bumperstickers critical of Bush on my cars; for participating occasionally in local peace rallies; for wearing a Union County Democrats t-shirt in public once in a while; for not having gone to church in about eight years; for expressing my disgust with Bush in numerous phone calls and e-mails to friends, or loudly expressing such opinions in public; for being seen ordering foods like falafel and hummus and going to Middle-Eastern restaurants whenever I can because I love that kind of food; for being seen cheering enthusiastically at our local college when Dennis Kucinich came to speak; for crying for and speaking up for Martin Luther King when I was 9 years old when a redneck adult told me he thought the assassination was a good thing; for donating money to the Democratic Party; for becoming a member of the Green Party; for driving hybrid cars; for showing a public radio decal on my car because I donate money each year to Oregon Public Broadcasting; for being a member of a teachers' union; for listening to and playing rock and roll music; for dancing; for being happy (the puritans don't like that, and they seem to think that if someone is happy they are up to no good); for writing left-leaning opinions on my poor little left-leaning blog... there are just too many offending things I've done in the past to be counted.

I was allowed to fly during the summers of 2004 and 2005, so I'm really probably not on any lists... but one never knows. If it can happen to Hillcountygal's five-year old grandson, it can happen to anyone.
Oh! I forgot to mention wearing Birkenstocks. That MUST count for some points somewhere on their freaking scale! 8-)>

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