Mikey Hicks, 8, Can’t Get Off U.S. Terror Watch List - NYTimes.com.
"Meet Mikey, 8: U.S. Has Him on Watch List "
That's the same brilliant government watch list that did not contain the name of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear airplane bomber now in custody.
TSA - Terribly Stupid Actions
I urge you to read the article to appreciate the full flower of bureaucratic idiocy yet again displayed by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA).
In short, since he was a two-year-old baby, Michael Winston Hicks, (left, now eight-years-old), has been repeatedly hassled, detained, questioned, patted down and generally harassed by TSA child molesters because someone with his same name is on the official government no-fly list.
"Up your arms, down your arms, up your crotch — someone is patting your 8-year-old down like he’s a criminal," Mrs. Hicks recounted. "A terrorist can blow his underwear up and they don’t catch him. But my 8-year-old can’t walk through security without being frisked."
The Hicks have done just about everything they can to get Mickey's name off the list, or at least recognition that he is not that Michael Hicks -- to no avail.
Over the past three years, 81,793 frustrated travelers have formally asked that they be struck from the watch list through the Department of Homeland Security; more than 25,000 of their cases are still pending.
Mrs. Hicks said the family was amused by the mistake at first. But that amusement quickly turned to annoyance and anger. It should not take seven years to correct the problem, Mrs. Hicks said.
Several Web sites, including the T.S.A.’s own blog, are rife with tales of misidentification and strategies for solving them. Some travelers purposely misspell their own names when buying tickets, apparently enough to fool the system.
Mr. Fotenos, the T.S.A. spokesman, promised improvements in a few months, as the agency’s Secure Flight Program takes full effect. Under the new system, airlines will collect every passenger’s birth date and gender, along with their names. The T.S.A. will cross-check all that with the watch lists. Previously, the airlines cross-checked the lists themselves, using only the names.
Certainly, Mikey’s date of birth, less than a month before 9/11, should prevent him from being mistaken as a terrorist.