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04/09/2007 11:58 PM ID: 61671 Permalink   

Professor that Criticized Bush Added to No-Fly List


Walter F. Murphy, a top constitutional scholar and Professor at Princeton University, recently found out that he was on the Transportation Safety Administration's "no-fly" list.

When inquiring as to why he might be on the list, the clerk asked if he had ever been a part of a peace march, because they "ban a lot of people from flying because of that."

Murphy stated that he had publicly criticized the president, to which the clerk replied with "That will do it."

Murphy is a decorated Marine, a sharp critic of Roe vs. Wade, and supported the Alito nomination.

    WebReporter: elderban99 Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  All I Have To Say ........  
  by: Discarded Vet   04/10/2007 12:04 AM     
he has a beard; osama has a beard. need there be any other reason?
  by: bane39   04/10/2007 12:13 AM     
  What do you expect...  
He invaded Iraq because "Saddam tried to kill my daddy". I say Walter got off likely, Gitmo is only a special extraorindary rendition flight away ;P
  by: the_darke1   04/10/2007 12:25 AM     
All the lecturers in my department are on the Uk version of that list!
  by: DarkAngelJG     04/10/2007 12:26 AM     
  Hear, hear!  
I say, if you criticize the leader of the greatest and most awesome country in the world, you lose the right to fly. Go Greyhound, commie, and leave the driving to Osama!
  by: Volkova_Nova     04/10/2007 12:36 AM     
  History repeats itself.  
it appears we haven't learnt our lesson.
  by: redstain   04/10/2007 02:24 AM     
Watch your mouth Mister Murphy! It is strictly prohibited to talk about mein fur! (sp?) If I were placed on the no fly list I'd be scared to death cause the next step is for Lord Cheney to send me to gitmo!
  by: RyanB     04/10/2007 03:33 AM     
  Here's one scientist that Bush doesn't worry about  
  by: redstain   04/10/2007 03:39 AM     
  @RyanB: spelling  
it's written as:
mein fuhrer
  by: redstain   04/10/2007 03:41 AM     
it's Mein Führer (or Fuehrer if you can't do umlauts)

This is insane. Why is there no public outrage? *sigh* I wasn't alive for Vietnam, but I liked America's response to that. Bring back the hippies.
  by: Lois_Lane     04/10/2007 09:16 AM     
  The outrage  
is in hiding, along with the constitution apparently.
  by: ixuzus     04/10/2007 09:41 AM     
Be serious now, this is only shortnews. :)

Plus, whats the point in being outraged sure I don't agree with it but this one law you can't just ignore if you don't like it. They have a bunch of big guys with sticks and guns to enforce it.

Outrage has to give way to reality, sure it sucks but shouting about it won't get any of us anywhere.... question now is, what are we going to do about it?
  by: encorespod   04/10/2007 09:55 AM     
that attitude is exactly how dictators gain power. Your government, if elected, works for you. You can just lay on your back and let them have their rotten way with you (as America is currently doing in the majority) or you can stand up, lose the apathy and the indulgent patience and induce change in your society.
  by: NuttyPrat     04/10/2007 10:31 AM     
  i don't get it  
how can you criticise bush for constitutional violations and support the alito nomination? alito's notoriously seen as a threat to civil rights, privacy rights and religious liberty...
you'd think murphy would be one of bush's greatest fans! (maybe he's being punished for leaving the fold?)
  by: rcavi     04/10/2007 11:22 AM     
  no fly list  
is this list a good idea.seems like an old nazi list they had when they rounded up the jewish people and others.seem more offensive than secure.u.s infringes on peoples privacy inside and out.thats no b.s and no need for a list to prove that one...........
  by: flukemol   04/10/2007 03:02 PM     
We are here and we are outraged. This NAZI FASCISM has gone on long enough. Shaded of McCarthyism, bubba git yur gun and we’ll hunt down them terrorists sympathizers. I know a President that needs to be shot for high treason against the Constitution of the United States, a document he swore to uphold. All he has done with it is wipe his ass. “Peace Marchers” are being put on the “List”? WTF! Sounds like Viet Nam all over again. Root out those peaceniks, they might interfere with our war profiteering. I am only surprised I’m not on the “No Fly List” yet. This has been the most evil and corrupt regime this country has ever had to suffer through. I blame the Republicans and the Christian Right for putting this man in office twice. WTF were you people thinking? I am outraged. I have several relative that are hard core Republicans and even they are outraged by this mans behavior in office.

Check out the Chicago Democratic Convention 1968, that’s what we can do. I walked out of class and marched. Where are our college students in this war, they seem to be strangely silent. Maybe it’s because the draft hasn’t started….yet. I am disappointed in their complacency. They need a wake up call, and maybe a swift kick in the ass. Maybe when the EMP goes off and their video games no longer work they will wake the F up.
  by: Valkyrie123     04/10/2007 03:30 PM     
Instead of accepting this story at face value, you might want to check out (or you might not, since it makes the story seem fishy):

According to TSA, "Individuals who receive a boarding pass are not on a no-fly list." So, if he were on the TSA no-fly list, he would have never received a boarding pass. He did receive a boarding pass, so clearly he is not on the TSA no-fly list.

Secondly, the "clerk" in question seems to be an American Airlines (AA) employee serving the counter. According to TSA, "TSA doesn't have an interface at ticket counters. This would have been an airline employee who didn’t speak on behalf of the TSA." So he was an airline employee most likely. But then the AA spokesman says "Our employees don't know the criteria which TSA uses to add people to the watch lists." So assuming he was an AA employee, which makes sense since there are no "TSA" interfaces at ticket counters, the clerk wasn't qualified to make the statements he supposedly made.

Now, Murphy may have been on a watch list (also called a "selectee list"), suggests the AA spokesman. People on this list, which is NOT a no-fly list, receive extra security scrutiny when flying.

As pointed out here ( ), Bush has a lot of VERY public, sharp critics. If being a Bush critic gets someone on a selectee list, shouldn't we have heard about millions of these incidents before? Or could it be that there was something else that led to his selection...

It's much more likely that this was simply a name mix-up, or a name overlap. Hell, in 2004 Senator Ted Kennedy ended up flagged by TSA because "the name 'T. Kennedy' has been used as an alias by someone on the list of terrorist suspects." according to the Washington Post. Hardly a partisan or executive branch conspiracy.

So let's review the facts:
- Since Murphy got on a plane, he could not have been on a no-fly list.
- Assuming Murphy did hear those remarks, they were almost certainly made by an airline employee who -- as an airline employee -- would have no way of knowing the "no fly list" selection criteria. In other words, the comments should be disregarded.
- If being critical of Bush (in public) were enough to get names added to a "no-fly" list, we likely would have heard of millions of stories like this
- Given the history of "no-fly" or "selectee" selections made in the past, the simplest explanation here is that his name probably was very similar to a terrorist's past known alias

So again, the simplest explanation here is that this is a sensationalized, overdramatic name mix-up.

All that in mind, it would make sense for Congress/TSA to investigate the issue. It might lead to better streamlining of who gets flagged at airports.
  by: bobjones     04/10/2007 05:50 PM     
Maybe Bush isn't getting enough precious fluids, and it's causing his brain to act like a communist.
  by: Jediman3     04/10/2007 05:57 PM     
  Wow Bob  
That was great. Could you now explain to me why the Patriot Act is such a wonderful thing and how it is going to save me and democracy from the evil terrorists? I am old and feeble and have a bit of dementia from all the pot I used to smoke and have forgotten most of the benefits the Patriot Act has to offer.

I was going to ask for a ‘time table’ of when my ‘freedoms’ as a loyal American are going to increase but then I realized this administration doesn’t do ‘time tables’….or freedom.
  by: Valkyrie123     04/10/2007 06:52 PM     
Do I even have to say the second word?
  by: Mister crank     04/10/2007 07:52 PM     
  Anybody worried?  
The fact that a governemtnagency can at will place anybody on the "Slectee List" or "No Fly List" without accountability certainly worries me.

It is nice to know that the TSA, Homeland Security, TSIS, et al. are protecting the American public from the likes of people who participate in peace marches, and those who are outspoken of the current political regime.

Where have all those "freedoms" that are so vaunted gone?

As Valkyrie123 alluded to, is America so full of apathy that it is willing to give away any remaining freedoms becuase it might actually require an effort on their part to stop it?

  by: Zpravodajec     04/10/2007 08:00 PM     
  Apologies to Lois  
my keyboard is not blessed with the umlaut - and I was too tired to dig up the ASCII codes.
  by: redstain   04/10/2007 08:13 PM     
  @Valkyrie123 and Zpravodajec  
@Valk: To think I guessed we might have a rational, reasonable discussion about this topic but instead of addressing my factual points and logical conclusions, you respond with sensational, off-topic garbage. I guess it makes sense to distract from a good argument when you can't detract an argument's validity. Common tactic from politics -- at least I can tell you pay attention to what goes on in Washington.

@Zpravodajec: balancing freedoms with protections is difficult because those concepts are at odds with one another. That we constantly argue for more freedoms and more protection keeps the balance in check. Although right now we are higher on the "protection" side than we have been in the past, I imagine the balance will shift again consistent with popular opinion.
  by: bobjones     04/10/2007 08:48 PM     
Commendable comment. I was hoping someone would break this article down into what actually happened..since it does seem a bit extreme.
  by: luc1ddr3am     04/10/2007 10:20 PM     
  Not to mention..  
It's nice to read something other than the usual posts that are pretty void of thought. I seriously had to skip half the posts to read something with something I haven't read somehwere else before.
  by: luc1ddr3am     04/10/2007 10:22 PM     
  How about this for a crazy idea...  
...maybe if the U.S. would stop f**king with everyone else on the planet, then perhaps their citizens could have their freedoms without the fear of being attacked by some vengeful terrorist organization. It seems rather simple to me... don't f**k with other countries, then they don't f**k with you...
I never hear about Canada being high on anyone's list of terroristic threats.
  by: coldicezero     04/11/2007 06:23 AM     
talk about red herrings and strawmen!


"When I tried to use the curb-side check in at the Sunport, I was denied a boarding pass because I was on the Terrorist Watch list. I was instructed to go inside and talk to a clerk. At this point, I should note that I am not only the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence (emeritus) but also a retired Marine colonel. I fought in the Korean War as a young lieutenant, was wounded, and decorated for heroism. I remained a professional soldier for more than five years and then accepted a commission as a reserve office, serving for an additional 19 years."


You believed the TSA PR guys' claim upfront without reading the original account.

"- Assuming Murphy did hear those remarks, they were almost certainly made by an airline employee who -- as an airline employee -- would have no way of knowing the "no fly list" selection criteria. In other words, the comments should be disregarded."

Yes there was no claim that it was TSA making the claim. It was clear that it was an airline clerk. Why this means his comments should be disregarded while those from PR people not directly involved get special weight, I don't know. Maybe because you don't like what his comments perhaps?

I think that a clerk who's job it is to process people on the watch list would have a fairly good idea of the sort of people coming through.

I think it is pretty piss poor effort to mix up a decorated Marine veteran and professor of law with a terrorist because he has a name of Murphy. Is the TSA watchlist that crap? If you get too many false positives your system is broken and useless.
  by: jendres     04/11/2007 08:54 AM     
  Gee Bob,  
I compliment you on your breakdown of the “facts” and you dis me. Why? I would stay and talk more by I have a unicorn and a leprechaun arguing in my front yard and I have to settle them down before they break my rainbow. You just keep repeating to yourself, “They’re from the Government, they are here to help me”, and everything will be alright. Sieg Heil!
  by: Valkyrie123     04/11/2007 02:34 PM     
  @Valkyrie123 & jendres  
@Valk: Glad you're stuck in la la land, meanwhile I'm hanging out in this place called REALITY.

So you're saying you think he was put on a no-fly list (which he wasn't) for criticizing Bush in public (which wouldn't make an ounce of sense)? puh-lease.

@jendres: it's really not the airline clerk's job to know the selection criteria for watch lists. I agree that if this is a name mess up then the system needs to be looked into and reformed, like I mentioned in my original post. I also DID read the original account - note the title of this article and the summary say "no-fly" list. People relaying the story are relaying misinformation. My breakdown of the story reflects true facts, not misinformation - I am doing people like Valk a service, welcoming them to reality from their sensationalized fairy tail land. Given the actual facts of the story, the article title may just as well have been "Professor that ate cornflakes added to no-fly list"
  by: bobjones     04/11/2007 04:50 PM     
"So you're saying you think he was put on a no-fly list (which he wasn't) for criticizing Bush in public (which wouldn't make an ounce of sense)? puh-lease."

What, in the way that the Bush administration outed a CIA agent (Valerie Plame) because her husband (Joseph Wilson) exposed the 'yellowcake' reason for attacking Iraq as false? That makes no sense either but it happened.
  by: Flashby     04/11/2007 07:18 PM     
you can't say anything, big brother is watching. hell, fema classifies you as a terrorist if you believe in jesus christ, the second coming, the armagedon, or the constution of the united states. there are recorded cases of people knowing they are having thier constitutional rights violated and being beaten, harassed and prosecuted by military tribunals for quoting the constitution. what luck, fascism you can vote for.
  by: warchylde010176   04/11/2007 07:31 PM     
  I would strongly suggest, bob  
That you do a little more reading on this subject:

This all might seem "unlikely" to you, but the no-fly list is ineffecient at best, and sometimes clearly personally aimed at worst.
  by: Volkova_Nova     04/11/2007 07:46 PM     
  hey jedi  
i resent that, bush is giving us communists a bad name.
  by: warchylde010176   04/11/2007 07:49 PM     
Just trying to get an idea of why you hate the Patriot Act so much.
What personal freedoms have you been denied? I'd like to hear about a first hand encounter with the "Evil" Patriot Act.
I personally have not been affected. I go to work, vacation abroad, talk on the phone. In a nut shell, live my life with little interference from the goverment, other than those damn high taxes.
So what has happened to you?
  by: FreedonSupporter     04/11/2007 09:52 PM     
  @ FreedonSupporter  
"....What personal freedoms have you been denied? ....
....I'd like to hear about a first hand encounter with the "Evil" Patriot Act .....
....I personally have not been affected......."

Ugh, here we go again, the one-way thought process that brings "..if it doesn't affect me..".

Read the friggen news for christs sake.
If you can't find plenty of legitimate exapmles of accostings due to PA on the net, you have no business spouting pro-PA spweage as you do here at ShortNews.
  by: Discarded Vet   04/11/2007 11:03 PM     
  Ok discarded Vet  
How has it affected you? What if it's affected no one? You bitch and whine about things and have no instances of how it's affected people other someone was questioned at an airport.
What does this do to the normal American?
  by: FreedonSupporter     04/12/2007 12:23 AM     
  Well ......  
.... I thought I wrote it simple enough.

Awe well.
  by: Discarded Vet   04/12/2007 12:35 AM     
@Volkova: I definitely think the program needs a review, and it can be executed better. I've done much reading on it before and I've looked through the links you provided.

"This all might seem 'unlikely' to you, but the no-fly list is ineffecient at best"

I 100% agree! Especially after reading those links -- including the one about the 4-yr old who happened to have a name that was flagged -- I believe name mistakes are too common. But we don't hear about a lot of the name mistakes, because they're just not "news." We will hear about no-fly list entries, though, when said person MIGHT have taken an anti-Bush stance at some point. Or if it's a 4-yr old, because that's just whacky and ridiculous. But -- just as in the case of the 4 yr old -- in all likelihood, it's a name error or inefficiency that has an innocent person flagged instead of some politically motivated grudge entry (like some people want others to believe). If it were "hip" we'd probably see news articles about how soccer players are on the no-fly list.

What I think is reasonable to extract from this story is exactly your sentiment - that the program is very inefficient and needs to be cleaned up.
  by: bobjones     04/12/2007 01:00 AM     
Yes, the four-year-old is a great example of the sad state of affairs. And in most cases I'm sure it is a case of weepingly ineffective beauracracy. My people practically invented beauracracy, and we can smell our own kind.

That said, the timing with which some people appear on the no-fly list does raise an eyebrow, and it's easy to see how some could have ended up there due to some sort of grudge that someone had against them.

Part of the cleaning up of the system that you mentioned, I believe, includes investigating reasonable claims of being targetted. Was this one of those cases? It certainly looks odd. In any event, I think the matter deserves further scrutiny.
  by: Volkova_Nova     04/12/2007 01:11 AM     
  PatriotAct: the anti-Christ's TenCommandments  
Point 1:
"Just trying to get an idea of why you hate the Patriot Act so much."

This Patriot Act allows - without going into specifics - hands extensive powers to a government body which itself has no checks or balances. This power is vague enough to allow reinterpretation of it's mandate which far exceeds what it claims to on paper.

It has been universally accepted that the organisations benefiting from the Patriot Act have time and time again pushed the envelope of it's authority to further it's goals. As an illustrative analogies go, it's like handing a telescope to a stalker who has been caught time and time again, but never been held to account.

Point 2:
"I personally have not been affected."

These legislative system relies heavily on the principle of 'precedence', and the process is cumulative. You cannot give an authority extra-executivce powers and then remove it again without a fight. In essence:

Every law that attacks civil liberties is a One-Way path to a more draconian law in the future.

I am glad you're unaffected by it. But we're talking about having the moral fortitude to stand for what is right, and not what is selfish.
  by: redstain   04/12/2007 01:26 AM     
  Anti-terror laws misused  
This happened in the UK but it's a great demonstration of misuse of powers:

An 82 year old man heckled an MP and got detained and searched using an anti-terror law. No-one thought he was a terrorist; it was just the easiest way to stop him from embarrassing the government. It's sad when powers granted to the police to protect the public are used to persecute the innocent.
  by: andy68man   04/12/2007 01:45 PM     
  Interesting Reading

Doesn't seem to be all that big a problem.
  by: FreedonSupporter     04/12/2007 02:53 PM     
  Wasnt there  
An american citizen who was arrested, taken to solitary confinement and subjected to six years of torture, he was refused legal council, access to his family, the government even refused to confirm they had him, all made possible by the patriot act?

Joe P something I think?
  by: Gogevandire   04/12/2007 03:04 PM     
  Are you..  
Referring to Jose Padilla?
  by: StarShadow     04/12/2007 04:05 PM     
That would be the one
  by: Gogevandire   04/12/2007 04:10 PM     
  There Ya Go FreedonSupporter  
Tantanmount to using the Bible as the proof of God.

You just keep those blinders on good and tight.
  by: Discarded Vet   04/12/2007 04:12 PM     
  You know how you can tell...  
Know how you can tell when you should worry about a computer virus? When it's in the news. Death, destruction, and viruses sell newspapers.
I don't seem to be hearing about people having their lives ruined by the PA everyday.
Gunned downed in the street, yea, but PA offenses, not so much.
I know, the goverment is forcing the news agencies to be quiet, blah, blah, blah. Go ahead and give me some more conspiracy theories.
  by: FreedonSupporter     04/12/2007 06:35 PM     
  @ FreedonSupporter  
And you won't see it because you refuse to go look, or listen to anyone else.
Instead, you repeat the same drivel that "you don't see it" for two more subsequent posts.

Can you be any more close-minded?

  by: Discarded Vet   04/12/2007 06:48 PM     
  As someone once said before on SN  

Pot meet Kettle.
  by: FreedonSupporter     04/12/2007 06:51 PM     
Care to post a sensible comment?
  by: Discarded Vet   04/12/2007 07:00 PM     
  good grief  
how about we get back on topic - none of the above last few posts have anything to do with the article summarized here.
  by: bobjones     04/12/2007 08:15 PM     
  @ bobjones  
God enough for me.

With that, a question for anyone ......

Does anyone know how to get OFF a terror watch list, if they are in fact just a normal Joe Amerka?
  by: Discarded Vet   04/12/2007 08:19 PM     
  @Discarded Vet:  

"Does anyone know how to get OFF a terror watch list, if they are in fact just a normal Joe Amerka?"

The same way everyone eventually gets off that list .... eventually.
  by: redstain   04/13/2007 04:10 AM     
  In this case  
See the light and praise Bush....
  by: Gogevandire   04/13/2007 09:17 AM     
  @ FreedonSupporter  
"Know how you can tell when you should worry about a computer virus? When it's in the news."

Seriously? (I hope you don't work in IT)

When do you worry about the fluids in your car? After it breaks down?

When do you start to worry about cancer? After it's diagnosed?

When do you worry about your civil liberties? Not until you personally have lost them?

  by: johnnypanic13   04/13/2007 04:45 PM     
  @Discarded Vet  
Good question, I'm not sure. I imagine it takes lots of jumping through hoops, tho...
  by: bobjones     04/13/2007 05:41 PM     
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