Wednesday, January 24, 2007

5 Years Late, Relief Arrives For Banned Travellers

Word from the Department of Homeland Security is that it will review the terror watch list for travelers and would probably cut it in half. In addition, an appeals process will be put in place as of 20 Feb 2007, so people can appeal their inclusion on the list.

That's great. The people on the Do Not Fly List will FINALLY be able to beg the Government for the right to travel and assemble freely. Neato.

I note that it doesn't say ANYTHING about the "Hassle When They Fly List" which the DHS admitted existed. Maybe those of us with big mouths will just have to get used to to being hassled.

Still, it's a fine step for the DHS to be taking, what, almost six full years after the 9/11 attacks? I'm thrilled that the Bush Administration has finally managed to realize that babies with names similar to those of suspected terrorists probably aren't those terrorists.

Sadly, the DHS just can't manage to do one single good thing without simultaneously adding an additional inconvenient "security" measure:

Passport Requirement for Air Travel Now in Effect

January 23, 2007 — Citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda are now required to present a passport to enter the United States when arriving by air from any part of the Western Hemisphere.

The department expects a smooth transition to the new passport requirement based on the current numbers of travelers arriving at U.S. airports with passports. Over 90 percent of U.S. citizens, 97 percent of Canadians, and virtually 100 percent of Mexicans and Bermudans flying to the United States over the past week arrived with passports.
Ha ha, have fun flying to see your friends in Canada and Mexico with your passport at hand, something that has NEVER been required before today. Sucks to be one of those American tourists, filmmakers, students or any number of other innocents who happen to be in Canada right now who don't know about this obscure rule change... have fun getting back into our Free Country™ you filthy terrorist scumbags!