One of the changes included in the intelligence bill passed by Congress this week includes the identity checking of all airport and cruise ship
workers. These names will be checked against two government lists, one for people suspected of terrorism, the other for people the government says
require additional scrutiny for some other reason.
Cruise passengers, but not crews, already are checked against the lists within 15 minutes of a ship's departure. Once President Bush signs the
bill into law, it will require passengers and crews to be checked before the ship sets sail. The procedures must start within six months after the
bill becomes law.
Supporters say the changes add another layer of security for the traveling public, but critics of the lists contend they provide greater opportunity
for innocent people to be mistakenly branded.
The lists are wrapped in secrecy. The government doesn't disclose criteria for placing people on them, how many names are listed or any of the
In a number of well-publicized incidents, people with names similar to others on the lists were stopped from boarding planes. One that happened to is
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
While this is a step in the right direction, it is still flawed as pointed out above with Sen. Kennedy. One may ask if it is alright to be questioned
and thus putting a burden on your plans, I say Yes. If you do not have anything to hide, then this bothersome time may be another chance at life, so
to speak. The problem here is being able to detain the "Right" people, even when "Wrong" ones are being questioned, which I think will be put to
the test. This information comes on the heels of a British report earlier this week claiming Al-Qaeda could be looking at a Sea Attack. While this
bill may stop people from getting on these ships and planes, what is being done to protect "outside" attacks?
A problem that many people have brought up in relation to this bill, is the lack of "Border Security". This is still a huge problem that seriously
needs to be addressed with earnestness. Hundreds of thousands of people come in through our borders a year. While 9-11 has said to be in the works for
at least 19 years, what has already come in, and what will be done to stop it? Leaving these doors open only leads to more of a chance of something
occurring on US soil again.
[edit on 10-12-2004 by TrickmastertricK]