Mini Guantanamos In U.S. Airports? Permission to Fly?

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women aviation.jpgNo major patriotic accomplishments this week -- unless you consider losing sleep productive. Finding out that there are Guantanamo-like no-man's lands on U.S. soil scared the shit out of me.

Australian-born U.S. citizen Anne Summers recently had trouble entering and leaving the U.S.:

Summers was detained by armed agents for FIVE HOURS each way in LAX on her way to and from the annual meeting of the board of Greenpeace International in Mexico, and her green card was taken away from her. `I want to call a lawyer', she told TSA agents. `Ma'am, you do not have a right to call an attorney,' they replied. `You have not entered the United States.'

Apparently a section of LAX just beyond the security line is asserted to be `not in the United States' -- though it is squarely inside the airport -- so the laws of the US do not apply.

What?? Who approved this? Is there a list of regions in the U.S. where the law doesn't apply so, you know, we can avoid them if we want to?
Due to my own troubles I haven't flown since March (I literally flew 20+ times last year so this has required a significant personality overhaul). Now the idea of turning myself over to the airport security apparatus is even scarier. My rights have been violated to such an extent in my own home where U.S. law supposedly still applies -- what happens when I cross that invisible territorial marker?

And also? By February we may need to apply to travel. I had read that all international travelers will soon need permission to enter U.S. air space. But having to seek permission from our own government for a weekend in Cabo? Wolf says in the original post that in "fascist shift" terms, this takes us from 1931 to 1934 if we're in the mood to compare ourselves with Nazi Germany. (One commenter recommends we read They Thought They Were Free, about Germans during the Nazi rise.)

Please -- write to your Senators and Representatives and ASK about this. Guantanamo should not be allowed to spawn! And flight should remain a symbol of freedom in our imaginations -- not yet another indicator of the ways we've allowed the terrorists to win.


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nobody said:

Hi Kyeann,

I agree with your concern over all this.

Also I have to inform you that all international airports (the part behind customs) are in no-man's land, comparable to international waters.
So legally they are right when they say that Anne Summers never entered the US.

Of course withholding rights like done in the recent past and at this moment is a large disgrace, the people who had put all this together are war criminals that need to be brought to the international court in The Hague.

Kyeann said:

Hi nobody,

Thanks for your comment. I am interested in these legal intricacies and need to become more schooled.

I can see how it would have made sense for a variety of immigration-related reasons to have a sort of neutral zone in the air ports. However, using these zones as a means of detaining U.S. residents and denying them their rights does fit in with the disturbing pattern you allude to. Especially when it can be seen as a way to intimidate and harass environmental or other activists.

It seems like we citizens should have a full understanding of what we are opening ourselves up to when we decide to take international flights.

On the other end of the spectrum, who has dominion over these areas if not U.S. law enforcement? Can we say that the military and police have no jurisdiction in those zones if we are being harassed?

sfHeath said:

Hi Kyeann!

"Can we say that the military and police have no jurisdiction in those zones if we are being harassed?"

Sure, you can say that, but they have the guns. In the immediate situation, I'd have to say you'd be out of options. What's the amount of tourism dollars we've lost because of the hostile travel environment in the U.S.?

Oh yeah, $94 billion.

P.S. Excellent blog. Stands up well next to the other fifteen-or-so I read.

Kyeann said:

Thanks, sfHeath! That's a great link -- weird that we don't focus more on the harm that we ourselves are doing to, well, ourselves.

Yeah. I guess the only thing declaring yourself sovereign in the air port's no-man's-land would be good for is comedy.

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Six Hours A Week Is:

A coping strategy, advocacy outlet, and form of protection. My life has been nearly destroyed by the unconstitutional practices of politically/socially-motivated private intelligence contractors and the corruption and cronyism that allow them. Apparently because I speak out in ways that prioritize the little guy and human and environmental health above gargantuan profit margins, and believe that facts are as important as PR spin, I was someone who had to be completely discredited. In 2007, after a few months of a surreal and relentless invasion of privacy and dignity, I started to spend six hours each week researching, communicating about, and advocating legal and ethical responses to assaults on our shared democratic and republican ideals. For most of that time I was writing from the perspective of someone whose life was manipulated into a constant state of terror and emergency. In 2010, many of the array of entrapment attempts seem to have failed and it seems no longer possible to get away with such excessive, obvious harassment and overt interference. As we take more practical steps to address what has been allowed to happen to my family, we do expect to see some more harassment and intimidation. But I should be able to chronicle it from a more measured perspective, rather than that of someone in constant fear. Part of me would like to go back and delete earlier posts, because even I find them hard to relate to in some ways. But this blog has been one of our only forms of protection as everyone in any official capacity ignored the truth and tried to spin and frame us into the troublemakers and perpetrators of one form or another. So I leave it up as a form of protection, a record of what has occurred, and (with luck) the account of our way back to credibility and some form of legitimate justice. All content on this site is property of Kyeann Sayer. All rights reserved.

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This page contains a single entry by Kyeann published on November 16, 2007 3:18 AM.

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