...like [the] Department of Homeland Security, but with Benny Hill music.
February 2, 2011 10:29 PM   Subscribe

I imagine she put two and two together after her immigration-officer husband stopped answering his phone. "An immigration officer who worked for the UK Border Agency managed to get his wife out of his hair for three years by putting her name on the no-fly list while she was visiting the in-laws overseas [...] Airline and immigration authorities refused to explain to her why she was not being allowed to travel"
posted by rodgerd (29 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
TSA copycats in 5... 4... 3...
posted by axiom at 10:51 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Deny The Missus' Flights Already.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:56 PM on February 2, 2011 [10 favorites]


It's pretty sad that it only got caught because of a coincidence. You'd think you couldn't just add random people to the list with no explanation or evidence. I expect better from you, UK.
posted by amethysts at 11:04 PM on February 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


Just to save everyone else the trouble of those extra 3 seconds to find it,

Yakety Sax.
posted by TypographicalError at 11:20 PM on February 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


They should make the No Fly list a Wikipedia entry, it would save loads of time. After all if they people who manage it can't be trusted anyway, why not?
posted by Felex at 11:27 PM on February 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


For all we know this guy put lots of people he didn't like on the no-fly list.
posted by creasy boy at 11:35 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I want to know if they have kids and where the kids are, and if there's a custody battle. I am also wondering what's been happening with any money or property.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:44 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Yes, there is a conspiracy, in fact there are a great number of conspiracies that are all tripping each other up. And all of those conspiracies are run by paranoid fantasists and ham-fisted clowns. If you are on a list targeted by the CIA, you really have nothing to worry about. If however, you have a name similar to somebody on a list targeted by the CIA, then you are dead."
posted by cthuljew at 11:46 PM on February 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's sad to see how quickly a police-state process like the "no fly" lists becomes the New Normal, newsworthy only when there's a comic-opera twist to the story.
posted by Dimpy at 11:49 PM on February 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


Sorry, but this is hilarious. It's also really sad.

It has also reminds me of a half remembered factoid that someone told me once about a law draftsman in England slightly altering a regional authority bill he was drafting to include the line "[Local law draftsman] is hereby divorced from his wife" and got it signed into law. I googled for a bit, but I have no idea is this actually happened.
posted by doublehappy at 11:55 PM on February 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's really hard to believe this guy isn't in jail right now.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:49 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Come off it. This was reported in the Daily Mail and nowhere else. And you're all believing it? The Daily Mail is well known for just making shit up.
posted by salmacis at 12:58 AM on February 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


Come off it. This was reported in the Daily Mail and nowhere else.

Exactly. Please don't discuss this as if it were news. Daily Mail stories are largely xenophobic fantasies dressed up as fact. Until there's another source for this, just disregard it.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:50 AM on February 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Think I would rather see some other sources confirm the story before I believe it. The only place it seems to have been reported is in the Daily Mail, which is the UK equivalent of Fox News, a "newspaper" best known in the UK for reporting facts and facts alone.
posted by bap98189 at 1:53 AM on February 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


Many people are fooled by the Daily Mail’s appearance into thinking that it is something it’s not. Every week seems to bring fresh stories of people or organisations that have co-operated with it, but are then upset to find themselves misrepresented or just deliberately lied about in its pages. If they had realised that it is not a newspaper but a comic, and does not seem to be bound by any of the laws that we popularly imagine newspapers to comply with, they probably would not ever have agreed to speak to its journalists. Readers, too, are often misled by the Mail’s appearance into thinking they are reading a newspaper, which can often lead to enormous confusion on their part.
Time to change the Mail's masthead.
posted by ninebelow at 2:19 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, we could make this a traditional part of all American divorce proceedings since apparently one tip suffices to add a name to the terrorist watch list. Don't you just love that warm feeling accompanying a new family tradition?
posted by jeffburdges at 2:32 AM on February 3, 2011


You know, that suggested Mail's masthead looks a lot like the Oxford Mail.
posted by salmacis at 6:17 AM on February 3, 2011


If you are on a list targeted by the CIA, you really have nothing to worry about. If however, you have a name similar to somebody on a list targeted by the CIA, then you are dead.

Which makes me really glad my name is not Fidel Bastro.
posted by TedW at 7:46 AM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am disappointed that there are men out there with the power to do this, and that none of them has used it to teach the scumbags in charge a lesson in inconvenience.

Your wife? Maybe you should have married one you weren't scared of.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 8:01 AM on February 3, 2011


This is horrible if true, but it makes me laugh anyhow to imagine it something like Thurber's "The Unicorn in the Garden"
posted by Reverend John at 8:05 AM on February 3, 2011


Si non e vero, e bene trovato.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:37 AM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


There was Metatalk thread about the Daily Mail. My favorite comment: "For those of us who never passed the age of 12, I need only point out that Vernon Dursley is a Daily Mail reader. posted by clerestory at 1:05 AM on September 17, 2009"
posted by soelo at 8:54 AM on February 3, 2011


I am disappointed that there are men out there with the power to do this, and that none of them has used it to teach the scumbags in charge a lesson in inconvenience.

This would be awesome. Imagine the head of the Immigration Department on every no fly list. Systems like these are highly susceptible to noise. What happens when every single person is on a watchlist? Like any law or system, the no-fly lists only have value as long as everyone buys into them.

I'm a huge fan of working-to-rule and to-the-letter administration as a form of protest, but I'm an even bigger fan of using only some of the rules and letters of the law to fuck people over.

Incidentally, it's almost impossible for innocent people to get off watch lists because there are hundreds of databases used around the world and many of them mutually update. One of my best friends spent $40k getting his name (common name on the subcontinent) and details cleared from a watchlist. He carries a folder with proof that he is not the same person but still gets harassed and detained regularly because there'll be one database that's out of sync and that puts him back on the other ones. He was once told "Carrying a folder like that is suspicious in itself."
posted by doublehappy at 12:52 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's a blog post about a case in which the Mail fabricated an article.
posted by paduasoy at 4:45 PM on February 3, 2011


Fifty bucks says that poor woman STILL never gets allowed back into the country again despite it being proven that she's innocent.

Sigh. What a bastard.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:50 PM on February 3, 2011


There are some other non-Mail sources, including a skimpy Reuters article. I'd personally call this a little too thin to be 100% convincing, though.

But I'm sure this happens all the time. Given this list, with no accountability, no way to appeal, no transparency at all, then if you had access to it, why exactly would you NOT use it to destroy your enemies? Surely the sorts of people who take those jobs in the first place are the sorts of people who like to do things like "destroy enemies".

The only way to prevent this would be real penalties - criminal penalties - for the culprits. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. My theory is that the TSA in America can do whatever they like, and basically no one can stop them, and they really have no interest in protecting innocent people from their whims of their corrupt employees, because they love the fear generated by the idea that any person, no matter how innocent, can be destroyed on a whim by the lowest, most bestial TSA agent.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:10 AM on February 4, 2011


I'm pretty sure that in the US this is covered by Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242: 'Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law'.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:18 AM on February 4, 2011


> I'm pretty sure that in the US this is covered by Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242: 'Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law'.

I'm pretty sure that there are laws against this too in the UK. The question is whether anyone is ever actually charged under these laws?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:37 AM on February 4, 2011


Anyone, yes. TSA? Not so much.
posted by Goofyy at 5:35 AM on February 4, 2011


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