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"America's Tiniest Terrorist"?

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April 21, 2010

Sometimes, it feels like we at the ACLU are fighting an uphill battle when we try to draw attention to just how bloated and ineffective the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) airline watchlist is. We’ve pointed out that dead people, heads of state, U.S. senators, and little kids are on the list.

Well, add 6-year-old Allison Mosher to that unfortunate group.

The Boston Herald reports that when Allison’s father Peter tried to print out boarding passes for their family’s vacation to the Grand Canyon, he was unable to print out Allison’s. When he called the airline, the employee told him that Allison “had been flagged by TSA security,” and that she’s on the No-Fly List.

Peter Mosher has reached out to Sen. Scott Brown’s office for assistance in getting Allison off the watchlist to prevent future impediments to Allison’s travel. But we think Peter’s final comment to the Herald pretty much sums up what we’ve been arguing all along:

“It’s not just an inconvenience,” he said. “It makes us less safe because they’re spending time investigating a 6-year-old, instead of actually going after real terrorists.”

It’s worth noting that it can take an act of Congress to be removed from the watchlist. That’s the only way Nelson Mandela was able to get off. But for little Allison Mosher, that’s not a likely option.

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