Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
June 27, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.

Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.

What’s Next for the Bill Cosby Sex-Assault Case?

Truthdig Bazaar
You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story

You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story

Richard Schickel (Director)

more items

Ear to the Ground
Email this item Print this item

Want to Fly? Your Papers, Please

Posted on Aug 10, 2006
John Gilmore at the airport

Did you know that airline officials can’t force you to show your ID before a flight? Every sign you see at U.S. airports that says otherwise is false. Also, the regulations governing this area are being kept secret from the public. Read about the man petitioning the Supreme Court to shed light on the situation.

Does the government have the right to keep secret a law that is applied to millions of Americans every day?  That’s the question John Gilmore has asked the Supreme Court to decide in his petition to the Court, filed on the 4th of August 2006.

When John, an American citizen, decided to take a trip to Washington, DC back on the 4th of July 2002, he was told at Oakland International Airport that he had to produce his ID if he wanted to travel.  He asked to see the law demanding he show his ‘papers’ and was told after a time that the law was secret and no, he wouldn’t be allowed to read it.

He hasn’t flown in his own country since.


Banner, End of Story, Desktop
Banner, End of Story, Mobile
Watch a selection of Wibbitz videos based on Truthdig stories:

Get a book from one of our contributors in the Truthdig Bazaar.

Related Entries

Get truth delivered to
your inbox every day.

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Join the conversation

Load Comments

By wpad kmjfybh, August 20, 2006 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

jbkcrlun eusalm whrovqmd qmlosgnv rwopl pzoxheka fdjb

Report this

By Todd, August 11, 2006 at 11:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


I’m not important, I just like to think I am! 

And, yes, Capitalism does have its perks.  How else would a kid who had subsidized school lunches and deadbeat parents be able to pay for his own college tuition through work and scholarship and end up as successful as I have become?  It sure as hell wouldn’t have happened in nearly any other country on this planet.

Besides, someone has to use up all that non-renewable fossil fuel, it might as well be me!!

For the record, this posting has nothing at all to do with the accompanied article smile

Report this

By R. A. Earl, August 11, 2006 at 9:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“I fly every week for work…”

Gee, Todd, you must be IMPORTANT!

Your company is paying you all that money, and your travel is helping to use up all that non-renewable fossil fuel and produce all that nice pollution just to haul your IMPORTANT ass to wherever you must do your IMPORTANT “work.” Capitalism has such nice perks.

But I do agree with you on one point… my rant had little connection with the article… apologies… but it was on flying!

as you said…

ya right

Report this

By Mad as Hell, August 11, 2006 at 8:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Y’know, there’s a time and a place for this kind of stuff, and a time and a place NOT for it.

It has long been a principal of Constitutional Law that the Constitution is not a suicide pact. It has also been a principal that public health and safety can trump certain rights when a need is shown.

In an epidemic, in the name of public safety, officials CAN act in ways that normally are illegal.  In an honest society, they damn well better be able to show why it trumped normal rights, but it’s still OK.

I have no problem with air travel requiring us to identify ourselves and subject our belongings to examination.  Too many real incidents have occurred. Not to take reasonable precautions is dangerous to us all. I DO have a problem with the system being run by a cross between Boss Tweed and the 3 Stooges.  I DO have problem when the obvious is brainlessly overlooked: Take away nail clipper and then provide glassware, especially in first class?

I have a problem with airport security that cannot think clearly.  A truly determined person can make a weapon out of almost anything on board, and, if properly trained, doesn’t need weapons to be deadly dangerous.

Additionally, the airlines have NOT made provisions to safeguard property they remove from the cabin.  Their rotten $1200 insurance explicit EXCLUDES electronics, cameras and jewelry.  It leaves the foxes in charge of the hen-house.

How can a parent travel with an infant for 12 hours with no diapers and no bottles? Insane!

At the worst possible time, this bozo offers the right-wing yet ANOTHER distraction from the real issues.

Report this

By Todd, August 10, 2006 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I fly every week for work, and I never get hassled.  I’ve never been body searched.  I’m still not sure what the previous post even has to do with the article.  I’ve read it twice now (both the article and the posting), and am thoroughly confused.  Then again, as an American, and a CAPITALIST, you have every right to travel on a donkey for a year rather than fly.  It sounds ignorant, but that is your right.

Now, on the issue of the actual article.  Fliers have been showing their ID to board planes for years, long before 9/11.  What is this new secret law?  That would have been better know than just some nebulous statement that there is one.  Who told this man that?  When, where?  This is called journalism.

I do find it funny, however, then the man asked for to see the law that said he had to show is ID.  I’m gonna try that the next time I get pulled over for speeding.

COP - “Sir, you were speeding.”
Me - “Show me a written document that says I have to obey those signs (“let’s call them speed suggestions”, not limits)!  No, you don’t have it?  Then screw you, I’m out of here!!”

yea right

Report this

By R. A. Earl, August 10, 2006 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I used to fly all over the place until, well until 9/11 rocketed the US paranoid anal retentives to decide that a little bit of terrorist exists in all of us and therefore we should all be treated as terrorists until proven otherwise.

I haven’t flown since then and have no intention of ever flying commercially again (I hold a private pilot’s license so I’ll fly myself if I need to get anywhere in a hurry - which I don’t).

I’d sit on a bus for a week, a ship for a month, a donkey for a year before I’d submit to a body search by some surly functionary, crammed in like a sardine without food or water in some overcrowed, disease-ridden tube of death, and PAY A FORTUNE FOR THE PRIVILEGE of being treated like dung!

Report this
Right Top, Site wide - Care2
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide

Like Truthdig on Facebook