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COLUMN EIGHTY, DECEMBER 1, 2002
(Copyright 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)

FROM PORTSIDE
Portside (the left side in nautical parlance) is a
news, discussion and debate service of the Committees
of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism. It
says it aims to provide varied material of interest to people
on the Left. Heretofore , we were  under the impression that Portside  is the Internet's voice of the Left.  But it turns out to be the Internet's voice of the fundamentalist Far-Left, which, like all fundamentalist organizations, adheres to an orthodoxy and consequently refuses to post dissident or differing opinions from within the Left---such as HATE YOUR GOVERNMENT BUT LOVE YOUR COUNTRY, available to be read in SECTION ONE of COLUMN SEVENTY.  Fundamentalists, like fascists, will not tolerate any disagreements or variations from the fundamentalist orthodoxy.

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BRIEFS

THE 'NO-FLY LIST'

Subject: FBI List Screens Progressives at Airports
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 16:20:30 -0700 (PDT)
From: portsideMod <portsidemod@yahoo.com>
Reply-To: portside@yahoogroups.com
To: ps <portside@yahoogroups.com>

More Anti-War Activists Snagged by "No Fly" List

=============================================== 

from The Progressive
October 16, 2002

The No Fly list is still up and running. The FBI and the Transportation Security Administration have a list of suspicious people they distribute to the airlines, and the airlines check the names of their passengers against this list. The existence of the list was first reported here on this web site and then in the June issue of The Progressive, after a group of peace activists were detained in Milwaukee on April 19.

On August 7, two more peace activists found themselves on the list. Rebecca Gordon and Jan Adams were detained by San Francisco police at the airport there, reported Alan Gathright of The San Francisco Chronicle on September 27. Gordon and Adams, veteran peace and justice activists in the Bay Area, work on a newspaper called War Times (war-times.org).

"We get to the airport at 9:30 in the evening for an 11:30 flight to Boston on ATA," Gordon tells The Progressive. "As we go to the check-in counter to check in our baggage, the woman takes our IDs and types in our names, and then says, 'There's something wrong with my computer.' So she goes and gets another woman, who types our names into her computer. She, too, says, 'There's something wrong with my computer. Please step aside so we can check the other people in.' "

Gordon says she and Adams thought there might be a problem with their e-tickets. But it was more serious than that, as they found out a few minutes later when one of the airline employees told them, "You both turned up on the FBI No Fly list, and we've called the San Francisco police. They are coming over to talk to you. In the meantime, one of us has to stay with you, so please come along with your baggage," Gordon recalls.

Gordon says the woman from the airlines seemed bewildered. "We were standing there in the middle of the airport, and I'm sure she's thinking these are just garden-variety middle-aged white dykes," Gordon says.

"I can't imagine why this is happening," the airline employee said, according to Gordon.

"And I said, 'Well, I can tell you why. We work on a paper that opposes the war on terrorism.' Her eyes got kind of big, and she said, 'Oh.'"

Gordon says three uniformed members of the police then came, took their IDs, and called headquarters. They wouldn't let her even get a drink of water.

"After ten or fifteen more minutes, one of the officers told us, 'You aren't on the master list,' and they handed us back to the airline, Gordon says.

But the airline was still suspicious, and circled a big S on their boarding passes. "I assume it means search, and then a red S was put on it," Gordon adds. "In fact, at the gate we were selected for search and they did the usual search procedure, the wanding and the shoes.

Before I got on, I asked the ticket agent if this is going to happen every time. She said, 'I don't know, but I'd recommend that you get to the airport early.' "

For its part, the San Francisco police has little comment.

"We had no report of any of our officers stopping them," says Larry Ratti, a spokesperson for the police at the airport.

"Whenever anyone comes up on the No Fly list, we come out in one or two minutes and the situation is cleared up. Generally, they would make a police report if they detained people for any length of time."

Ratti says the department gets calls about suspicious people at the airport "maybe one a day, one every two days." Some of these calls come from the No Fly list, "but we don't differentiate," he says. "It's just a suspicious-type-person call."

I ask Gordon what conclusion she draws from this experience.

"This is harassment," she says. "It's to let us know that they've got their eye on us."

Adams agrees. "Nothing felt very threatening in the episode--except that they are doing it," she says. Adams adds that she was singled out for searching on her return trip from Boston, as well.

-- Matthew Rothschild

http://www.progressive.org/webex/wxmc101602.html  ##

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THE WORLD IS AGAINST BUSH'S UNILATERALISM

Subject: Americans will Die of Ignorance (Comment from Kenya)
Date: Wed, 09 Oct 2002 14:38:57 -0000
From: "portsidemod" <portsidemod@yahoo.com>
Reply-To: portside@yahoogroups.com
To: portside@yahoogroups.com

Americans will Die of Ignorance

By E.D. MATHEW

Comment

Tuesday, October 8, 2002

Daily Nation (Kenya)

http://www.nationaudio.com/News/DailyNation/08102002/Co mment/Comment4.html

That democracies don't attack other countries unless attacked has been a comforting norm in international relations ever since Abraham Lincoln's famous definition of democracy took root in the modern world.

That may change soon as the American juggernaut aimed at unseating Iraqi President Saddam Hussein looks unstoppable despite mounting international opinion against such a misadventure.

Democratic governments worth their salt pay heed to public opinion, especially when it comes to grave decisions such as a declaration of war which will cause unimaginable suffering to both combatants and civilians, including innocent children and women.

When the United States Government is itching to drop megatons of smart bombs thousands of miles away over Iraq which forms part of a volatile region already seething with anti-American sentiments, the public opinion it must take heed of should not be limited to the borders of the United States. Being the self- appointed globocop, the American Government should pay attention to what the rest of the world feels.

Let us start with former South African President Nelson Mandela whose moral stature few American presidents in history can match. Surely, the world, including America, should sit up and ponder when Mandela, who ranked third (after Einstein and Mahatma Gandhi) as Man of the Millennium in Time--that quintessentially American magazine--explicitly criticises America for its war-mongering and dictatorial tendencies.

There is also the recently re-elected German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder whose anti-war stance is embraced by 80 per cent of his country-people. It is not much different in the rest of Europe. France does not support a unilateral attack on Iraq. In Britain too, barring Prime Minister Tony Blair and a few of his party cronies, most people do not favour war.

Russia, China and much of Asia balk at the American unilateralism. In other words, America is out of step with the world. The looming confrontation with Iraq is the latest and gravest example of this. America's stance against the International Criminal Court, its opposition to the Kyoto Protocol, and its support to Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon for pulverising Palestine, have only helped the world drift away from America.  ##

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