Statement of Michelle D. Green

ACLU "No-Fly" Lawsuit


Michelle Green
Age: 36
Nationality: U.S. Citizen
Occupation: Master Sergeant, United States Air Force

I am joining this ACLU lawsuit today because I have been publicly humiliated and ostracized due to the government's gross mistake about my identity placing me on the No-Fly list. As someone who has served her country in the United States Air Force for nearly 16 years and who obeys the laws of the land, I was shocked to discover that I am on this list. I am even more disturbed to find out that there is no way to get off the list.

Since early January 2004, while traveling on official government orders, I have been unable to board flights without repeated significant delays. I also have been publicly embarrassed and have experienced the added humiliation of being subjected to further screening procedures, including a search of my luggage and my person.

On a flight from Fairbanks, Alaska to Seattle, Washington, there was a delay in processing my ticket. When I attempted to check in, the ticket agent indicated there was a computer problem. The agent requested a copy of my travel orders and wanted to know my date of birth and middle name. After calling the airline's corporate security office in Chicago and verifying my identity, I was issued a boarding pass, but not without a 45-minute delay.

The following day I was scheduled to fly from Seattle to Honolulu. When I tried to check in, the agent asked me if I had experienced any problems the previous day. I told the agent that there had been a computer glitch that delayed my boarding. The agent began laughing in full view of other passengers and explained that the reason I had been delayed was not due to a computer problem, but rather because I was on the No-Fly list. He indicated that I was likely to experience problems every time I flew.

On my return from Honolulu to Fairbanks via Seattle, the situation grew even more uncomfortable for me. The ticket agent was unable to print out my boarding pass for Seattle to Honolulu and therefore I had to check in again in Seattle. In Seattle, the ticket agent was unable to print out my ticket. In front of my work supervisor and the other passengers waiting to check in, the agent announced I was on the list and would have to be cleared by security. I was told that I had to accompany the agent to another area to be cleared. This was yet another extremely humiliating experience for me.

As an Air Force career non-commissioned officer and the mother of three children, being humiliated and stigmatized because I have mistakenly been placed on the No-Fly list has been a very difficult experience, so much so that I felt compelled to join this lawsuit. I am not seeking monetary damages, but a fair and transparent process to remove my name from the No-Fly list. No innocent American should have to go through such a humiliating experience.

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