United States Diverts French Flight Due to Presence of a “No-Fly” Passenger: An Author Critical of the United States

240px-tsa_-_logoThe “No Fly” list of the Transportation Security Administration has long been ridiculed for showing little sense or scrutiny in putting people on the list. Despite years of criticism, the TSA shows little concern about the use of the list for arbitrary or capricious actions. That seems to be the case in a story this week of how the TSA allegedly refused to allow a French flight to pass through (not land but pass through) U.S. airspace on the way to Nicaragua because one of its passengers was Hernando Calvo Ospina, who is an author and journalist critical of the past policies of the U.S. in Latin America. He is not the first journalist to find himself on the list.

The flight was diverted to the French Caribbean island of Martinique.

Ospina writes for Le Monde Diplomatique and is the author of several books critical of the United States. Why would an author like this be on the “no fly” list to begin with?

If he is on the list, the government needs to supply answers to Congress and the public. If we are putting critics on the no-fly list, we need to take corrective action. More importantly, we need to determine who precisely put this name on the list. What seems missing in this continual string of ridiculous stories about the list is the failure to identify the responsible listing party. It would be a particular concern if the CIA put this name on the list given his criticism of that agency.

For the full story, click here.

11 thoughts on “United States Diverts French Flight Due to Presence of a “No-Fly” Passenger: An Author Critical of the United States”

  1. AY,
    I still say investigate and prosecute. Torture would not even be right for those who tortured. Secondly, clean up the do not fly list and put all Bush administration officials on it.

  2. Rafflaw,

    Why waste the money to have a trial and prosecute the ones that have already admitted to Permitting Torture. That seems like a waste of money and taxpayer dollars. we could save that money and use it in the following ways.

    How about we have them flogged and quatered or pulled slowly across an asphalt road during 100 degrees weather or tied down in the desert with honey dribbled on them and a water bucket just out of reach while the ants are swarming.

    Now those that survive then they are hung.by their feet while being forced to watch the movies of others being tortured.

    I believe that this would save taxpayer a lot of money. What would you suggest?

    Then we take care of the no fly list?

    Sent from my windows based phone=

  3. 1 million entries means a lot more than 1 million people. Names are not unique in any way, for example there are 18 “Frank Smith” or “Frank Smythe” listed on Wikipedia, and more “John Smith”s than I care to count. A real example from the no fly & watch list is that it’s reported that there are over 7000 Americans who match the entry ‘T Kennedy’. One of those who was stopped was a certain Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy.

    The whole no fly / watch list is nothing but security theatre.
    The majority of terrorist acts are performed by previously unknown people, who have no previous terrorist activity, that includes almost all of the 9/11 hijackers, as well as Timothy McVeigh & Terry Nichols.

  4. Can I say, without Offending anyone: McCarthyism at its finest hour.

  5. The airlines are provided the watch list names, and obviously the airline submitted their manifest to the US for review, since the US refused to allow the aircraft into its airspace. Sounds to me like the airline screwed up and suffered the consequences.
    And as for Jill’s post of her “source” saying there are 1 million names on the government’s watch list – according to public sources and government statements, there are around 1 million ENTRIES on the various watch lists – but there are MULTIPLE versions of many individuals’ names due to variations in translationof non-western names as well as intentionally falsified names used by some individuals.

  6. Oh, oh, JT, better be careful yourself about what you might publish or say on one of your TV appearances, unless of course you are prepared to give up air travel for Amtrak. 😉


    Entries on the government’s terrorist watch list:

    May 2005: 288,000

    May 2007: 755,000

    March 2009: 1 million

    Source: Justice Department; Government Accountablity Office” (USA today) also see the ACLU’s terroist watch list counter:


    We are facing a test as a nation. We are allowing our govt. to restrict our civil liberties, we allow our govt. to mistreat detainees, we allow our govt. to ignore war crimes,. To bar someone who actually acts as a journalist should by investigating agencies known for going outside the law is an outrage. The only danger this man poses is to govt. secrecy about CIA wrong doing. We have to face what is going on. We have to face it squarely. Tyranny flourishes when people refuse to look at the truth.

  8. No… malignant stupidity never dies; like a virus, it pops back up when a society’s health gets bad. The Bush Administration: viral host.

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