My son the terrorist

Yesterday was Friday, February 16, 2007. The day I discovered that my 8 year old son David is on the American Homeland Security Department’s “No Fly” list.

Luckily for us, we ran into Customs agents who recognized the inherent absurdity of my little boy being identified as a possible terrorist, so they let us go through. After all, he’s 8 years old.

Of course, it has occurred to me that if he were a man rather than a boy, we might have very well missed our flight. When our flight took off (an hour late due to interminable Customs delays, by the way), we could have been sitting in an interrogation room trying to convince some bureaucrat that we are not secretly working for Al-Quaeda.

I hope you Americans feel really safe knowing that these kinds of smart security measures are in place, because it’s nothing more than a pain in the ass for the rest of us, and guess what: if I were a terrorist who was known to intelligence services, do you really think I’d travel under my real name anyway?

Today’s entry in the “pointless and absurd” column has been brought to you by America’s Homeland Security Department.

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2 Responses to My son the terrorist

  1. GenericID says:

    This is a good examination of the mindset that is currently afflicting America with regards to terrorist prevention. As Schneier has said before in the past MANY, MANY times, security is a tradeoff, and absolute security is impossible.

    There’s also the fact that 911 was more an indictment of the stunning levels of dysfunctional malaise suffered by multiple branches of the US government…otherwise it might not have happened. The current state of affairs must be pleasing to whatever brand of terrorism is in opposition to America right now, because fear seems to have won out in the minds of the American general populace, because mainstream opposition to TSA hijinks seems to be very muted.

  2. I heard dozens of stories similar to yours about airport check-ins in the US. America’s war of/on terror is screwing up the works for everyone, no matter which country you happen to be in and every time on my return to the home of the free and the land of the brave there is an unreasonable(?) fear in me every time the plane is about to land in New York on a flight from Europe. Even though I haven’t done anything illegal, I’m thinking, Will I be on a list or something this time?

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