The “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.
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