The Anchorage Daily News editorialized in favor of the Frontier Travel case today.
Security, yes; secrecy, no.
The Alaskans who filed suit last week against the Transportation Security Administration over CAPPS II did their fellow citizens a service. The system needs adjustment.
The Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System aims to catch terrorists and other criminals before they board aircraft. But there've been too many cases of innocent people being tagged — and then unable to get off the list.
Without giving away the store to the dark side, the government needs a swift and sure process to correct mistakes. Otherwise, Americans are subjected to the Orwellian absurdity endured by Master Sgt. Michelle Green, a 16-year Air Force veteran who is on the “No-Fly” list. When she asked how her name got there and how to get it off the list, she was told that information is classified. That's unacceptable.
Americans understand that flying changed after Sept. 11, 2001. Most take security measures in stride; most security folks just do their job courteously. But we need a swift process to put a check on abuse — or even just computer foibles.
Alaskans and Americans are right to challenge such a system, even if it's still a work in progress. Americans are rethinking some of the actions taken in the heat of the days after Sept. 11 and beginning to discern which are necessary for security and which cost us freedom but make us no safer.
The suit by Alaskans Bill Beck, Sally Huntley, John Davis and Charles Beckley is welcome. Americans want to fly safely, but not with the baggage of Big Brother.
BOTTOM LINE: Lawsuit over passenger screening will help keep Uncle Sam honest and liberties alive.