I Ain’t Flying Anymore

There is a circle around every individual human being which no government, be it that of one, of a few, or of the many, ought to be permitted to overstep.

— John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

Here is a tale that comes straight from a semi-official USA government appendage. The chief protagonist is Mikey Hicks, an 8-year-old frequent traveler from New Jersey who “has seldom boarded a plane without a hassle because he shares the name of a suspicious person.”

The first time our government made Mikey cry was when he 2, when he was

patted down, at Newark Liberty International Airport. [Note, in passing that for this tabloid the whole thing is a bit of a joke, Mikey was not frisked, or humiliated, but “patted down.” Note also the irony—the location is an airport miscalled liberty.]

After years of long delays and waits for supervisors at every airport ticket counter, this year’s vacation to the Bahamas badly shook up the family. Mikey was frisked on the way there, then more aggressively on the way home. “Up your arms, down your arms, up your crotch — someone is patting your 8-year-old down like he’s a criminal,” his mother recounted.

For every person on the lists, hundreds of others may get caught up simply because they share the same name; a quick scan through a national phone directory unearthed 1,600 Michael Hickses. Over the past three years, 81,793 frustrated travelers have formally asked that they be struck from the watch list through the Department of Homeland Security; more than 25,000 of their cases are still pending. Others have taken more drastic measures.

Mario Labbé, a frequent-flying Canadian record-company executive, started having problems at airports shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, with lengthy delays at checkpoints and mysterious questions about Japan. By 2005, he stopped flying to the United States from Canada, instead meeting American clients in France. Then a forced rerouting to Miami in 2008 led to six hours of questions.

“What’s the name of your mother? Your father? When were you last in Japan?” Mr. Labbé recalled being asked. “’Always the same questions in different order. And sometimes, it’s quite aggressive, not funny at all.”

Fed up, in the summer of 2008, he changed his name to François Mario Labbé. The problem vanished.

Several Web sites, including the T.S.A.’s own blog, are rife with tales of misidentification and strategies for solving them. Some travelers purposely misspell their own names when buying tickets, apparently enough to fool the system.

Reality, of course, is grimmer than the corporate media would have us believe. If that is how they treat a Caucasian toddler, how about a Muslim adult? And how about the real, bad, horrible Michael Hicks himself? If little Mikey cannot get off the Transportation Surveillance Apparat’s bloody list after seven long years, what about an adult like you and I? What kind of a hell have we created that a man must change his name to escape the tyrants’ clutches? Why couldn’t they figure out some escape route for little Mikey? Couldn’t they end this Kafkaesque horror many years ago by simply inserting a footnote someplace on every computer—do not harass proven innocents like Mikey? Is it just incompetence, red tape at its worst–or is it something a bit more sinister and deliberate?

The evidence suggests that the men in the shadows are perfectly capable of creating streamlined organizations when efficiency suits their purposes. In this case, the intractability and intransigence they created at the Transporation Surveillance Apparat is probably deliberate–getting us used to the idea that the government is everything and we are nothing.

At about the same time that the disreputable New York Times was writing about the plight of 100,000+ innocent people like Mikey Smith, and following an alleged terrorist attempt, the USA government decided that our safety demanded the use of full-body scanners in some airports, even though such scanners “would strip us naked in front of airport security, shoot us full of radiation, and possibly store our biometric information.” In its announcement, the government omitted, however, a few details:

  • Such scanners can detect some kinds of explosives, but not others. To avoid detection, a Central Institute of Assassination agent, for example, wishing to blow up his torture manual in a commercial airplane, would merely have to be a bit more selective in his choice of explosives.
  • Such scanners cannot detect explosives inside the body of a would-be suicide bomber.
  • Under the best of circumstances, for the foreseeable future, existing plans for the purchase of scanners will barely make “a dent in the total number of airports that have flights inside the USA.” Thus, a Mossad agent planning some mischief would simply fly from scanners-free airports.
  • Each scanner costs $150,000, money that could be used to save many more lives than such a scanner is capable of saving.
  • Full body scans, for me at least, fall within J.S. Mill’s “circle around every individual human being which no government, be it that of one, of a few, or of the many, ought to be permitted to overstep.”
  • The radiation used by these scanners is unhealthy. In fact, given the global scale of such proposed scanners, it is probable that their use will cause more deaths, injuries, and sufferings than the terrorism they allegedly seek to prevent.
  • Such scanners are fundamentally undemocratic: In all probability, neither David Rockefeller, nor Blankfein, nor Bill Gates, nor their top agents in the White House, Congress, Supreme Court, or the military-industrial complex, would ever be scanned. Our rulers would either fly in their own jets, or, if they must fly with us, would be simply exempt from the indignities of scanning. (To our shame, we take such inequalities for granted: Do they pay their fair share in taxes? Do they pay any taxes at all, for that matter? Do they enjoy the privilege of going bankrupt, like the rest of us? How many of their children serve in Iraq?)

Josh Fulton concludes:

The truth of the matter is that we do have a crisis, but it is not what the people in charge of the government and the media tell us it is. It is not … Islamic fundamentalism, and it won’t be solved by turning our country into a police state. Our crisis is that our leaders try to pump us full of fear in order to make it easier for them to achieve what they want, even if that comes at the expense of the country. Once we realize that is the real crisis, then we finally will be one step closer to truly becoming safe.

It would appear then that it is not our well-being that concerns our rulers, but getting us accustomed to the roles of flunkeys in their new world. One might surmise that a sudden fascist coup, the type that has been tried in 1933 by Banker Prescott Bush and a few other oligarchs, is insufficiently backhanded for their taste. With Reagan, Prescott’s son, Clinton, Prescott’s grandson, and now Prescott’s disciple Obama as their agents and willing collaborators in the White House, and with congress, the judiciary, the media, schools, and other centers of power in their hands, the bankers’ plan seems to have changed. Better, their actions imply, getting us used to fascism one step a week, so that, like a dying frog in a gradually heated tub, we’ll be mesmerized into servitude.

The whole terrorism scare is such an obvious fraud, it only serves to underscore Bertrand Russell’s pessimistic conclusion that “there is no nonsense so arrant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action.” What a thin, laughable, excuse this is, “saving lives.” How many lives have been saved by scrapping our constitution and creating such monstrosities as the new Alien and Sedition Act (otherwise miscalled “the Patriot Act?”). And please remind me: Wasn’t Bin Laden a collaborator of the Central Institute of Assassinations? This vast intrusive bureaucracy of the transportation apparatchiki: is there any evidence that it has saved a single life? And how many lives could be spared by using the Transporation Surveillance Apparat’s budget for other, more useful, purposes, e.g., slowing down environmental degradation of the entire planet? Or how about providing real, French-style, health insurance to every American (not the joke put forward by the current occupant of the White House, that shameless recipient of A 20 million dollars bribe from health insurers; for a thorough indictment of this particular scam, click here) and saving, every year, 45,000 American lives?

Here are the words of Representative Dr. Ron Paul, spoken on the house floor, on January 8, 2010:

Could it all be a bad dream or a nightmare? Is it my imagination, or have we lost our mind? … An empire, replacing the republic. Slavery sold as liberty. … A government out of control, unrestrained by the constitution, the rule of law, or morality. … We’ve broken from reality, a psychotic nation. … We need to quickly refresh our memories, and once again reinvigorate our love, understanding, and confidence in liberty. … We ought to prepare ourselves for revolutionary changes in the not too distant future.

From Dr. Paul Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration:

The “war on terror” is a far greater threat to Americans than all the terrorists in the world combined. This is so because the “war on terror” has destroyed the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. American citizens are now helpless in the event someone in government decides that some constitutionally protected behavior, such as free speech, or a contribution to a children’s hospital in Gaza, where Hamas, a U.S.-declared “terrorist organization,” happens to be the elected government, constitutes aiding and abetting terrorism.

How realistic is it that al-Qaida, an organization that allegedly pulled off the most fantastic terror attack in world history, would in these days of heightened security choose for an attack on an airliner a person who is the most conspicuous of all? Umar Farouk Mutallab had a one-way ticket, no luggage, no passport, and his father, reportedly a CIA and Mossad asset, had reported him to the CIA and Mossad. Does anyone really believe that al-Qaida would choose as an airliner bomber a person waving every red flag imaginable?

This obvious question has escaped the US media, a collection of salespersons marketing full body scanning machines for airports.

Would al Qaida, with its extensive knowledge of explosives, have armed Umar with a “bomb” that experts say couldn’t have blown up his own seat?

There is little doubt that those interested in leading the U.S. deeper into a police state and deeper into a “war on terror” are active in adding orchestrated events to whatever real ones real terrorists manage to accomplish.

The sacrifice of the Constitution and rule of law to a hyped “theorist threat” has destroyed the heart and soul of America herself.

It is time to stop feebly protesting this criminal syndicate’s each and every act of treason and robbery and embark instead on meaningful actions. Until then, I shall not be “patted down” by petty officials, nor would I consent to being irradiated by my government. If I must get from point A to point B within the USA, I’ll walk, bike, drive, or use a hot air balloon before I subject myself to our rulers’ airport goons. Under no circumstances will I fly to or from incipient police states like the USA, UK, or Israel.

When the USA was expropriating by brute force vast tracts of Mexican land, Henry David Thoreau asked: “How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day?” His answer: “He cannot without disgrace be associated with it.” For my part, I begin my disassociation with these Machiavellians, their incipient police state, their betrayal of every ideal Franklin, Jefferson, and Paine stood for, with a trivial, comparatively painless, symbolic act of defiance: I ain’t flying anymore.

Moti Nissani is in the process of writing License to Kill: The Decisive Role of Political Murders, Scandal-Mongering, and False-Flag Operations in American Politics. This book, in turn, will form a vital part of his A Revolutionary's Toolkit. Read other articles by Moti, or visit Moti's website.