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Posted: 10/20/2001 1:02:15 PM EDT
This is what you want, this is what you get. [URL]www.citypaper.net/articles/101801/news.godfrey.shtml[/URL] October 18–25, 2001 Novel Security Measures A local man was kept off a recent flight because of a book he was carrying. by Gwen Shaffer Everyone knows it is a bad idea to try and board a plane carrying a box cutter, a flight manual written in Arabic, or a sack full of mysterious white powder. But with ultra-tightened airport security, a book could also prevent you from boarding that plane. No kidding. It happened just last week in Philadelphia. Neil Godfrey arrived at Philadelphia International Airport around 9:30 a.m. on Wed., Oct. 10. His brother’s girlfriend dropped him off with plenty of time to spare before his 11:40 a.m. United Airlines flight. Godfrey was on his way to Phoenix, where his father lives. From there, the family was planning to head out for a vacation at Disneyland. It is fair to say that Godfrey — brother of City Paper webmaster Ryan Godfrey — doesn’t look unusual for a 22-year-old kid living in Center City. His outfit that day was typical: black Dockers, a T-shirt with a logo for the now-defunct Phoenix Gazette newspaper and New Balance running shoes. He has a medium build, recently dyed jet-black hair and a quiet demeanor. When Godfrey stepped up to the ticket counter, the United clerk informed him he had been selected for a random baggage search. "No problem," he replied, going through the usual motions of checking his bag and getting a boarding pass. Now toting nothing but a novel and the most recent copy of The Nation magazine, Godfrey hiked through the concourse toward his boarding gate. As he passed through the metal detector, an airport security guard furrowed his brow at Godfrey’s reading selections as they disappeared through the conveyor belt.
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 1:03:18 PM EDT
(continued) On the cover of the book, Hayduke Lives! by Edward Abbey, is an illustration of a man’s hand holding several sticks of dynamite. The 1991 novel is about a radical environmentalist, George Washington Hayduke III, who blows up bridges, burns tractors and sabotages other projects he believes are destroying the beautiful Southwest landscape. "For the first time, it occurred to me the book may be a problem," Godfrey recalls. He proceeded through the security checkpoint and sat down to read near his boarding gate. About 10 minutes had passed when a National Guardsman approached Godfrey. "He told me to step aside," Godfrey says. "Then he took my book and asked me why I was reading it." Within minutes, Godfrey says, Philadelphia Police officers, Pennsylvania State Troopers and airport security officials joined the National Guardsman. About 10 to 12 people examined the novel for 45 minutes, scratching out notes the entire time. They also questioned Godfrey about the purpose of his trip to Phoenix. The fact that Godfrey recently dropped out of Temple University and has yet to find a job may have piqued suspicion of law enforcement officials even more. "The fact that I don’t work or go to school may have contributed to them thinking I have nothing to live for," Godfrey speculates. Eventually, one of the law enforcement officials told Godfrey his book was "innocuous" and he would be allowed to board the plane. "I was pretty shaken up," he says. "But I also felt guilty that I hadn’t realized bringing this book to the airport may cause a problem." Another 10 minutes or so passed while he sat in the waiting area. A female United employee — Godfrey failed to jot down her name — came over and informed him that he wouldn’t be allowed to fly, "for three reasons." The first reason, she said, was that Godfrey was reading a book with an illustration of a bomb on the cover. Secondly, she said, he purchased his ticket on Sept. 11. (Godfrey bought the ticket on Priceline.com shortly after midnight, at least eight hours before the World Trade Center was attacked). And the final reason cited by the United employee was that Godfrey’s Arizona driver’s license had expired. The employee pointed to a date to substantiate this allegation. "No," Godfrey told her. "That’s the day the license was issued."
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 1:04:08 PM EDT
(continued) The woman then pointed to another date on the card, Feb. 17, 2000, contending it was the expiration date. Godfrey countered that the date identified him as "under 21" until then. "Too bad, it’s too late," the flight attendant informed him. A defeated and disappointed Godfrey reclaimed his luggage and was escorted out of the airport. When he got home, Godfrey did what a lot of guys do when they need consoling — he phoned his mom. Godfrey’s mother offered to call United and attempt to straighten things out. A central reservation clerk assured her that her son was not banned from ever flying United again. She booked him on a different flight to Phoenix, this one departing Philadelphia at 3:04 p.m. that same afternoon. Godfrey scurried back to the airport, leaving the Abbey novel at home. He exchanged it for a seemingly benign novel, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. When Godfrey arrived at the airport around 1:15 p.m., his luggage was again searched. But as Godfrey passed through the metal detector, a police officer recognized him from the commotion just a few hours earlier. The cop pulled Godfrey aside and made a few phone calls. Ultimately, he declared that everything checked out fine. But a National Guardsman standing nearby vetoed that decision. "This time, they took my Harry Potter book and about four people studied it for 20 minutes," Godfrey says. Finally, at about 1:45 p.m., officials apparently felt reassured that Godfrey was not a security threat. They told Godfrey he would be permitted on the plane, but that he couldn’t pass through security until 2:30 p.m. At the appointed time, an escort took Godfrey through security, while at least 15 law enforcement officials looked on. Rather than taking Godfrey directly to his gate, however, he was ushered into a private interrogation room. "They patted me down and found nothing," Godfrey says. But when he emerged from this room, Burt Zastera, supervisor of airport operations for United, told him he would not be allowed to fly.
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 1:04:38 PM EDT
(continued) "He told me he didn’t know the reason why, that he was ‘just conveying the information,’" Godfrey recalls. Zastera gave Godfrey a contact number he could call for a full explanation. Godfrey’s father called that number and was told his son was banned from flying United because he cracked "a joke about bombs." "That is totally false," Godfrey says, pointing out that no one at the airport ever mentioned this to him. Plus, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations stipulate that any passenger who jokes about explosives be arrested on the spot. By contrast, Godfrey was never charged or even accused of breaking the law. In fact, Philadelphia Police officers didn’t even file an incident report, according to department spokesman Cpl. Jim Pauley. Other airport and law enforcement officials have very little to say about Godfrey’s treatment. Zastera says he is "not allowed to comment" on what happened because it is a security matter. United Airlines spokesman Chris Bradwig says he is "unaware" of the Oct. 10 incident. "Even so, we don’t comment on security matters," he says. A supervisor with Aviation Safeguard, the company United contracts to man security checkpoints in Philadelphia, denied responsibility for detaining Godfrey. "The only ones who determine who can’t get on a flight is the airline," says an Aviation Safeguard supervisor, who refused to provide her name. "We don’t stop any books." Philadelphia International spokesman Mark Pesce agrees that only individual airlines determine whether to permit a passenger to fly. "When a passenger passes through security, it is under the jurisdiction of the airline. We don’t get involved," he says, adding that stories like Godfrey’s are likely to become increasingly common. The FAA has no policy regulating "specific types of reading material," says spokeswoman Arlene Salac.
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 1:17:24 PM EDT
JBT National Guard tactics WTF are you talking about? Who got knocked in the head and had a gun waived in their face? Nobody! This story is just to excite the sheeple, it seems that it has. The underlying message here is that extra security is not really nessicary, and furthermore we should not be fighting a war against terrorism. There are always going to be media members ready to criticize LEO and Military for doing their jobs. They jump at a chance to point out when innocent people are detained, but always seem to miss reporting about all the bad guys that get caught. And as for you jumping on the band wagon and calling the National Guard JBT's, get a life. You are no better than the liberal media that is spreading these bogus stories. Next you will be quoteing stories of how we don't need guns, and guns are bad.
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 1:20:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 1:32:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/20/2001 1:29:36 PM EDT by Matt_S]
Doorkicker, I can't tell if you this story is true or not. The point Imbro is trying to make is that the price of security is freedom. We are supposed to be a free country. If this is true, it really means that we are on the way to a police state, in which a mans freedom can be restricted just on a whim. That is not freedom, and IS NOT what America is about. I understand the need for more security to a point. But when we must all show our papers everytime we want to leave town, we are no longer free are we. If we are supposed to have the freedom of speech, why is what we read subjected. Theoretically, by the standard of his book having a bomb in it disqualifying him from flying is applied to everybody. Anyone that ever saw Passenger 57, or Lethal Weapon, or turned on their darn TV has seen the same violence. Imbro's point is just that there are those among us(in America, not necessarily on this board) who will sacrifice all of their freedom so they can feel safe. These are the same people that will complain about the lack of freedom later. He his telling them this is what they will get. I bet they let people get on with pens and pencils.... Far better weapons than a book.....
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 1:45:28 PM EDT
Hey man Hielo beat you to this one a couple of days ago. It still sucks though.
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 1:45:53 PM EDT
Congress has not yet voted to declare war and until they do, the use of U.S. forces overseas is nothing but another police action.
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 2:09:21 PM EDT
Vicky Weaver, Donald Scott, it is all just law enforcement.
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 2:42:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By brouhaha: It's not nice to insult Imbro
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But it is fun...
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 2:43:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Imbroglio: Congress has not yet voted to declare war and until they do, the use of U.S. forces overseas is nothing but another police action.
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Congress doesn't have to declare war...Bin Laden already declared war on us.
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 3:10:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 3:21:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/20/2001 3:16:20 PM EDT by Imbroglio]
ATF has already determined, as stated in the Waco search warrant, that the Shotgun News is a "cladestine gun magazine" and since the Davidians had a subscription to the publication, it was a factor in the decision to raid Mount Carmel.
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 3:28:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DoorKicker: Who got knocked in the head and had a gun waived in their face? Nobody! This story is just to excite the sheeple, it seems that it has. The underlying message here is that extra security is not really nessicary, and furthermore we should not be fighting a war against terrorism.
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Sorry, but if you can't find the stupidity of keeping someone off of a plane because of a paperback novel, you need more help than most on the board can offer. They searched his baggage and found nothing. They patted him down and found nothing.
There are always going to be media members ready to criticize LEO and Military for doing their jobs. They jump at a chance to point out when innocent people are detained, but always seem to miss reporting about all the bad guys that get caught.
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Yes, with those horribly dangerous [B]PAPERBACK NOVELS![/b] God Bless Texas
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 3:32:19 PM EDT
If you really feel the need to take a certain book along to read, why not just make a book cover for it, like we used to do in grade school? I think that openly flaunting a copy of one of Hayduke's "Make Them Pay" revenge books is asking for trouble... let's use a little common sense here and be just a bit more discrete. FITTER out
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 3:54:31 PM EDT
Imbroglio, tightening down on reading material allowed on flights is something that should have been done LONG before 9/11. Not just the fact that there is a lot of disturbing reading material out there that could disturb people, but the mere idea that Americans can,...keep and bear if you will any of these "books" and just walk around with them when it is completely unknown to those around them what their content (written or pictorial) might be. Yes just this idea that we take our freedoms so cavalierly and flaunt them could be a bit more than a little offensive and if you will, thumbing our noses at visitors we might have from the world community who might not have these freedoms.
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 4:06:37 PM EDT
ALERT !!! go out and buy as many copies of any book which might be considered "inappropriate" and put them aside, because soon they will all be PREBANS !!! BTW, Doorkicker and Fitter....just remember, we are talking about books here, nothing more. Think about it, detaining or refusing service or access to someone based upon what they are READING !!!! Can anyone name some other times where a government or regime has done this type of thing ??? (china,ussr,nazi germany,muslim countries,etc etc
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 4:21:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 4:31:48 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 4:35:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: In this case, airport security clearly over-reacted. Still, reasonable, intelligently applied security measures are needed. Or should we opt for the other extreme, unlimited freedom? This would mean no x-raying of luggage, no sniffing dogs, no metal detectors, etc. That's total freedom. Does anyone want that?
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You bring up a valid point, but without all the security stuff, we would prolly all carry on the plane. Can you imagine the look on the hijackers face when they hijick a plane of AR-15.comers. yeah, the plane may go down, but it won't be turned into a bomb! You do make up a good point, there is a very fine line. We just need to make sure the line doesn't keep advancing to the point where we have NO freedom!
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 4:41:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 4:44:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/20/2001 4:39:14 PM EDT by libertyof76]
Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Originally Posted By Imbroglio: Congress has not yet voted to declare war and until they do, the use of U.S. forces overseas is nothing but another police action.
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Congress doesn't have to declare war...Bin Laden already declared war on us.
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Yes they do. Read the Constitution, Art I, Sec 8. For proper use of the military, regardless of whether a country declared war on us, Congress is REQUIRED to declare war on them. Of course emergency action by the military might be necessary in the case of a sudden attack, but that cannot last long(a day or so). If a PERSON declares war on us, then the proper response is for Congress to issue letters of Marque and Reprisal. Seems somebody needs to read a little more about the Constitution.
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 4:48:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raf:In this case, airport security clearly over-reacted. Still, reasonable, intelligently applied security measures are needed. Or should we opt for the other extreme, unlimited freedom? This would mean no x-raying of luggage, no sniffing dogs, no metal detectors, etc. That's total freedom. Does anyone want that?
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I do!! Let me ask you something: Did ANY of that stop the deaths of 6000 Americans? No. What would have? More freedom!(such as guns on planes.) Giving up freedom is NEVER the answer. It ALWAYS results in LESS security than we had before! And the price is less freedom!
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 5:12:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/20/2001 5:26:18 PM EDT by raf]
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 7:33:26 PM EDT
They still sound like JBT's to me. I'm not sacrificing anything for freedom, those who do are the real sheeple!! ColtShorty GOA KABA COA JPFO SAF NRA "I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I require the same from them."
Link Posted: 10/20/2001 7:58:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raf:So, Liberty, we should discontinue the use of various security measures which will then give us the freedom to carry bombs onto planes, or to place timed or remote detonated devices in airplane lugage/cargo? You may not be old enough to remember the bad old days when these things, and more, were done, but I sure do.
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Hmmm, let me clarify my statement a bit: Yes, abolish all of the security measures mandated by the feds. Let the airlines go totally private, and let them implement what security measures they want. When that happens, we can discuss whether those measures are appropriate. Right now I am unsure of whether I fully support my original statement. That will require more thought on the matter. As a side matter, those who did bring bombs on the plane, as far as I know(I could be wrong) were disgruntled members of countries who were terrorized by the US's foreign policy.
Personally, I see the unrestricted RKBA ON AN AIRCRAFT as posing more problems than it solves, but that is a side issue.
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Why? What problems could it cause? None that couldn't be eliminated
Libertarians advocate almost unlimited personal liberty, but forget that some individuals taking advantage of those liberties are not as rational or law abiding as others.
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As is off said: That is the price of liberty. And any government intervention to prevent those people from taking advantage of liberty would only excacerbate the problem. I can cite many examples, but I give one that you know all to well: Gun Control. You just gave one of the reasons that anti-gunners support their arguments. Care to revise you statement?
Sometimes freedom, like Libetarianism, must be alloyed with common sense. Pure Libertarianism, like its antithesis, Pure Communism, cannot survive contact with reality without being altered.
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I disagree. Communism is based on a false idea. It doesn't even work on paper. It is easily demonstrated that it will fail. Libertarianism, however, has a clear track record of working when it is allowed to. The so-called failure of libertarianism is usually the result of gov't interventionism. BTW, libertarianism is what the Founders believed. Care to revise you statement?
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