FC: Green Party official refused security check, airline says

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Sun Nov 04 2001 - 12:08:59 PST

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    This Bangor Daily News article tells a different story about the incident 
    involving Green Party activist Nancy Oden at a Maine airport last week:
    The article, by Jeff Tuttle, says:
    >[Oden] was grounded at Bangor International Airport on Thursday after 
    >reportedly becoming uncooperative when she was targeted for additional 
    >screening... "She was uncooperative during the screening process," said 
    >American Eagle spokesman Kurt Iverson, who added that Oden reportedly 
    >would not stand still when security staff tried to wave a metal-detecting 
    >wand over her. "Obviously if they can't submit to screening, [Federal 
    >Aviation Administration] regulations require that they not be allowed to 
    >board the plane."
    The Green Party has put out a press release, which contains no evidence to 
    buttress Oden's claim that she was singled out before even arriving at the 
    airport for her political views:
    Previous Politech message and interview with Oden:
    From: Glenn Reynolds <gharlanrat_private>
    Subject: More on Nancy Oden
    Date: Sun, 04 Nov 2001 10:34:21 -0500
    Seems she's got a background of association with ecoterrorism.
    Glenn's above URL says:
    >NANCY ODEN UPDATE:  Turns out there's good reason for Nancy Oden to be 
    >suspected of terrorist links -- ecoterrorist links, that is.  See this 
    >item from the Bangor Daily News, pointed out to me by reader Paul 
    >Zrimsek.  Oden denied any linkage with the ecoterrorism in question, but 
    >in a very bin Ladenesque "I didn't do it but I approve" kind of way.
    >Given that ecoterrorism is, in fact, the most prevalent and widespread 
    >form of domestic terrorism, and has continued since 9/11,  her presence on 
    >a watch list doesn't seem especially unreasonable in light of heightened 
    >security concerns and fears (though probably wrong) that the anthrax 
    >mailings were masterminded by domestic groups, and her presence on such a 
    >list is likely to be on that basis, and unlikely to have anything to do 
    >with the Green Party's positions on Afghanistan.
    From: Mqrhoadsat_private
    Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 14:08:55 EST
    Subject: Re: FC: Maine National Guard bars Green Party leader from flying
    To: declanat_private
        It is possible that this story happened exactly the way Nancy Oden wrote
    it up, but I would be very surprised if there is not another side to this
    story as well.  Most National Guard enlisted soldiers have barely heard of
    the Green Party let alone would know who a Maine party leader was, what she
    wrote in a local paper, or would care.
        The National Guard units of Maine, like National Guard units in every
    other state, are on a very steep learning curve regarding how to manage
    airport security.  It is not a duty that National Guard units routinely
    trained for before Sept. 11 except for those Guard and reserve units involved
    in Civil Administration.  The National Guard soldiers will make plenty of
    mistakes, including big ones, along the way.  Members of Guard units come
    from all civilian occupations and it is not impossible that a few might have
    voted for Green Party candidates in 2000.  But to start a myth that every
    local activist is being targeted by the National Guard for his or her
    political views is just plain silly.
        As long as they are not carrying box cutters or pose a threat to other
    passengers, no one cares if Green Party officers fly to their heart's content
    from Bangor to Bute.  But one wonders if riding a bike would not be more
    environmentally friendly than those polluting planes.
    Mark Rhoads
    U.S. Internet Council,
    and, for the sake of full disclosure,
    a former MP in the DC National Guard
    Forwarded by Anonymous:
     > HASSLE
     > In an official press release from its Chicago
     > headquarters, the Greens/Green
     > Party USA, a small splinter group that opposes
     > recognition of the Green
     > Party
     > of the United States as the electoral voice of the
     > movement that ran Ralph
     > Nader for President in 2000, declared that one of its
     > leaders was stopped
     > from boarding a flight after a check turned up her
     > name was on a computer
     > list because the organization opposes the U.S. bombing
     > of Afhanistan. The
     > release said:
     > <Armed government agents grabbed Nancy Oden, Green
     > Party USA
     > coordinating committee member, Thursday at Bangor
     > International Airport
     > in Bangor Maine, as she attempted to board an American
     > Airlines flight to
     > Chicago.
     > "An official told me that my name had been flagged in
     > the computer," a
     > shaken Oden said. "I was targeted because the Green
     > Party USA opposes
     > the bombing of innocent civilians in Afghanistan.">
     > The press release was relayed around the nation as a
     > first signal of the
     > reach
     > of the new draconian Patriot Act. But it turns out
     > that Nancy Oden was
     > apparently not barred because of a computer check, but
     > because she did
     > not comply with standard screening for weapons. While
     > who said what is
     > not clear, it appears that her name was not flagged by
     > a computer search
     > of potential terrorists or their supporters, according
     > to a news report
     > in the Bangor Daily News on Nov. 3.
     > While the undue harassment of airline travelers is to
     > be condemned, it does
     > not seem that this incident warrants fears of a major
     > violation of
     > Constitutional
     > guarantees of free speech, as it first appeared. The
     > group that Nancy Oden
     > leads is nevertheless using the incident to draw
     > attention and support to
     > itself.
     > One member of the group's National Council urged:
     > <The first thing to do is to organize a committee,
     > include spokesperson/
     > spokespersons. Contact civil liberties organizations
     > including the National
     > Lawyers Guild, the ACLU ... Ask organizaitons to
     > sponsor defense
     > committee- Seek prominent attorney who may need to
     > have a license to
     > practice in Maine- Send releases out every day. Has
     > Ralph Nader been
     > contacted? What about Phil Donahue CONTACT TALK SHOWS.
     > TRY
     > Organizations in
     > Maine who know Nancy and will back her up.>
     > If the incident had taken place as Nancy Oden
     > described it, it would mean
     > that other Green activists and leaders of other
     > anti-war groups would also
     > be on computer lists and barred from flying, which
     > reportedly has not been
     > the case. The exaggeration of her victimization may
     > only serve to discredit
     > opposition to the Bush Administration's attack on
     > civil liberties.
     > It may also further isolate the Green Party USA, which
     > saw a majority of
     > delegates at its July 20 National Convention leave to
     > form a new Green
     > Alliance, which has its first convention in New
     > Orleans January 18-21.
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