Many people have blogged the New York Times's account of the would-be pilot who can't fly because the government has put him on a secret list he can't get off. But none of the blogs I read has noted the most insidious and evil aspect of the story in With Watch List, Pilot's Career Is Stalled.
Yes, it's very very evil that this man has been denied not just due process, but any process at all to remove this serious impediment to his chosen career. His freedom is compromised.
And the article paints him as a nice, sympathetic guy, a victim, who just happens to have helped a 9/11 terrorist by giving him a ride to flight school, and also helped him move some furniture one day. I have no reason to doubt that Juan Carlos Merida is innocent of any crime, and is as nice as the quoted people say he is.
But look at what the circumstances of being trapped in this Kafkaesque vise did to Mr. Nice Guy:
In his eagerness to prove his loyalty and win over the F.B.I., Mr. Merida said, he readily agreed to agents' requests last year to supply confidential information on other flight school students. But that has gotten him nowhere, he said.
That's right. Mr. Nice Guy was so desperate to get off the US government blacklist that he became an informer on his fellow students. And even that wasn't enough.
So we have secret arbitrary blacklists that make you berufsverbot. We have people crawling to the secret service offering to be informers to save their careers. Will the next step will be secret denunciations. Almost certainly. If it goes on long enough then, in time, stoolies will have to meet their quotas for denunciations or get in trouble. Yes, I've seen this movie before. It wasn't pretty. But last time the actors had Russian and East German accents.