Saturday, April 30, 2011

Application for the no-fly list

Cover Letter

April 30, 2011

Janet Napolitano, US Secretary of Homeland Security
John Pistole, Administrator US Transportation Security Administration
ATTN: No-fly list
601 South 12th Street
Arlington, VA 20598-600

Dear Ms. Napolitano, Mr. Pistole,

I would like to commend you for your efforts in keeping the public safe. As part of my duty as an American citizen, I would like to contribute to the safety of Americans. In keeping with the spirit of the “See Something, Say Something” campaign, I would like to inform you of suspicious activities in which I have participated. I am requesting that you add me to the no-fly list, in the interest of the safety of the American public. You will find enclosed my résumé detailing my experience as an extremist (or at the very least, suspicious), both domestic and foreign.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must inform you of my personal motivation in applying for the no-fly list. In addition to the concern for the safety of my fellow citizens, I would benefit directly from being placed on this list. While I agree that Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) and enhanced pat-downs at airports provide a deterrent for the alarmingly increasing number of potential terrorists attempting to board planes daily, I personally do not wish to experience these screening procedures. The difficulties I have experienced trying to communicate these sentiments to family and friends, who view the AIT and enhanced pat-downs as “no big deal”, have exhausted me. If I am placed on the no-fly list, explaining to my circle of friends and family that I simply cannot fly, because DHS forbids me from flying, will be much simpler.

However, in spite of my albeit selfish reasons for wanting to be on the no-fly list, I believe you will find in my résumé significant experience to justify adding me to this list.

Safety first!

Thank you for your consideration,



Carmen - Domestic and foreign extremist
Over 20 years of experience in suspicious and extremist activities, both on domestic United States soil and abroad.

2010 – current : Anti-government policy, alternative media


  • While operating from a foreign base, employed alternative media (blogs, social networks, e-mail, online videos) to communicate anti-United States government policy sentiments. Complained and provided arguments against the following non exhaustive list of policies, often citing the Constitution:
    • DHS and TSA airport screenings involving AIT and enhanced pat downs.
    • Internal citizenship and drug checkpoints by border control
    • Department of Transportation internal DUI and drivers license checkpoints
    • Current drug policy
    • “Nanny state” actions including forbidding parents to provide lunches for their children at school
    • Treatment of Bradley Manning and motivation to prosecute Julian Assange
  • Listened to and viewed multiple podcasts and shows from conspiracy theorists, including Alex Jones and Jesse Ventura
  • Possessed multiple cell phones, a GPS device, and multiple hotel receipts

Justification as extremism:

December 2010 : Airport protest


Actively protested against TSA screenings at an airport in the United States. The protest consisted of messages on my body and clothes referring to the fourth amendment, including an image of the American flag upside down. When confronted with a TSA officer, I was nervous.

Justification as extremism:

2006 – 2010 : Travel


Travelled to multiple countries

2004 – 2006 : Association with Muslims


Worked in an office outside the United States, with individuals of the Muslim faith, from multiple Arab countries, including Tunisia, Algeria, and Lebanon.

Justification as extremism:

I have not actually found any documents stating that an association with people of the Muslim faith may be an indication of extremism, but perhaps this could be considered at least suspicious?

2001-2002 : Foreign language


Learned a foreign language other than Spanish

Justification as extremism:

Incident of a man missing his flight, being reported as suspicious for speaking a foreign language.

2000 : Consumerism protest


Participated in a subversive protest with the Cacophony club. The demonstration took place during Buy Nothing Day, during the weekend after Thanksgiving, and consisted of protesting against the American culture of consumerism.

Justification as extremism:

The Domestic Extremist Lexicon includes protests.

1999 : Drug war policy


Discovered problems with the United States drug policy. Spent a significant amount of time viewing controversial alternative media such as the website and communicating anti-drug war ideas to my circle of family and friends. In more recent years, believed that, according to the tenth amendment, this should be under the jurisdiction of the states, if at all.

Justification as extremism:

The Rightwing Extremism document states that extremists include (among others) groups “that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.”

1992 : Abortion protest


Participated in anti-abortion protest, in the United States. While today I would be more likely to be on the “other side” of such a protest, the important thing to highlight here is the activity of protesting.

Justification as extremism:

The Domestic Extremist Lexicon addresses both the anti-abortion movement and protesting. Proud to have accomplished both in one day. The Rightwing Extremism document states that extremism may “include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

1970s to current


Being a human being

Note: While this note will essentially kill the mood of this publication, I feel obligated to inform the reader that this is SATIRE. I do not really want to be on the no-fly list.  I do think it would be easier to just tell people "I can't fly" instead of trying to explain what I believe is wrong with the violation of our rights at airports, but I would like to reserve the possibility to fly to or in the US, if I do ever decide that I want to again :)  The point of this blog post is to highlight how more and more people may be classified as “extremists” or “suspicious” by DHS, TSA, or local law enforcement, as the definitions of these behaviors become broader and broader.

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