Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Almost unbelievable...

(Thanks to Balkinization for letting this news out.) A renowned law professor (emeritus) at Princeton and Bush administration critic has been put on a terrorist watch/'no-fly' list.

The professor offered these words in concluding his statement:

"I have a personal stake here, but so do all Americans who take their political system seriously. Thus I hope you and your colleagues will take some positive action to bring the Administration's conduct to the attention of a far larger, and more influential, audience than I could hope to reach. "

As was posted in a follow-up post on Balkinization, the question is: is it because of bureaucratic incompetence, was it a mistake by the airport and airline authorities, or is the White House going (even more) mad with supposed security policy? Is Walter Murphy's inclusion on the list a mistake or another 'big brother' incident – just because he opposes the Bush administration. He is not a radical peace protester. He is a retired Marine colonial.

This is slightly similar to the Plame/Wilson affair — i.e. the outing of a CIA agent's identity allegedly because her high-profile husband was critical of the administration. It comes down to whether there was a command given for this to happen, or did a flaw in the security apparatus, in Plame's case, just a coincidence, just let it happen.

There seems to be a fine line between political dissidence and so-called national security. Of course, the people of the United States have it relatively good. Lest some of the more radical ideologues forget: the grass is not always greener on the other side.

I am skeptical — not of Murphy's story, but of whether politics has anything to do with him being listed on a 'terrorist watch' or no-fly list.

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