September 11 Digital Archive

[MAPC-discuss] in the interest of full disclosure re: Oden


[MAPC-discuss] in the interest of full disclosure re: Oden



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September 11 Email: Body

Folks -
Please read the following message before circulating any further the piece about Nancy Oden being detained at an airport in Maine.    The facts in the case are unclear - and we've decided to withhold any judgment about the case until we can get to the bottom of it.  Appearances are that the incident has been way overblown.  This said, the police riot in Hartford last week was a fairly serious incident, and very well-documented, and clearly DID target Green Party leadership in town, as well as other organizers in the local movement.
Anyway, here's an alternative point of view from Walt Sheasby, a California Green:
The Nov. 3 article from the Bangor Daily News seems to
establish that Nancy Oden was not targetted because of
having been flagged in a computer search. If that were the
case, it would have profound consequences, and the small
incident at the Bangor airport would be a harbinger of an
even worse stampede toward a police state than Bush and
the Republicrats have urged.
The exaggeration of the hassle caused by Nancy Oden's
apparent ire at being screened (something we all sympathize
with) into a case of being apprehended by a computer plugged
into the FBI's Most Wanted List of terrorists and their supporters
is indefensible, and the GPUSA owes an apology to all anti-war
groups. Crying "wolf!" in these difficult times is very irresponsible.
As far as is known at this time, no U.S. anti-war or anti-globalization
have been put on the list created by the FBI for the Patriot Act
A similar alarmist report to GPUSA's has been made recently that
the "Anarchist Faction" has been targeted on the new list. Actually,
this is a specific group in Greece which has been responsible for
bombings and assassinations. They have nothing whatsoever to do
with the anti-capitalist globalization protests. The full and proper
name of the group is "The Anarchist Faction for Subversion."
The Patriot Act must be repealed, and the left must unify in demanding
this from our representatives in Congress. But exaggeration has never
been of any help, and paranoia only serves the cause of the "terrorists"
holed up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Together we can smoke them
from their cave, and that means a united campaign for the Presidency
in 2004 by the Green Party of the United States and its supporters.
And in 2002 there must be hundreds of anti-war candidates running as
Greens. This will be our best chance to turn around public opinion and
make sure that it is the hawks of war who are targeted as Public
Viva la Causa Verde!
Walt Contreras Sheasby
In an official press release from its Chicago headquarters, the Greens/Green
Party USA, a small splinter group that opposes recognition of the Green Party
of the United States as the electoral voice of the movement that ran Ralph
Nader for President in 2000, declared that one of its leaders was stopped
from boarding a flight after a check turned up her name was on a computer
list because the organization opposes the U.S. bombing of Afhanistan. The
release said:
<Armed government agents grabbed Nancy Oden, Green Party USA
coordinating committee member, Thursday at Bangor International Airport
in Bangor Maine, as she attempted to board an American Airlines flight to
"An official told me that my name had been flagged in the computer," a
shaken Oden said. "I was targeted because the Green Party USA opposes
the bombing of innocent civilians in Afghanistan.">
The press release was relayed around the nation as a first signal of the reach
of the new draconian Patriot Act. But it turns out that Nancy Oden was
apparently not barred because of a computer check, but because she did
not comply with standard screening for weapons. While who said what is
not clear, it appears that her name was not flagged by a computer search
of potential terrorists or their supporters, according to a news report
in the Bangor Daily News on Nov. 3.
While the undue harassment of airline travelers is to be condemned, it does
not seem that this incident warrants fears of a major violation of Constitutional
guarantees of free speech, as it first appeared. The group that Nancy Oden
leads is nevertheless using the incident to draw attention and support to itself.
One member of the group's National Council urged:
<The first thing to do is to organize a committee, include spokesperson/
spokespersons. Contact civil liberties organizations including the National
Lawyers Guild, the ACLU ... Ask organizaitons to sponsor defense
committee- Seek prominent attorney who may need to have a license to
practice in Maine- Send releases out every day. Has Ralph Nader been
contacted? What about Phil Donahue CONTACT TALK SHOWS. TRY
TO GET POLITICIANS TO SUPPORT, Barbara Lee. Organizations in
Maine who know Nancy and will back her up.>
If the incident had taken place as Nancy Oden described it, it would mean
that other Green activists and leaders of other anti-war groups would also
be on computer lists and barred from flying, which reportedly has not been
the case. The exaggeration of her victimization may only serve to discredit
opposition to the Bush Administration's attack on civil liberties.
It may also further isolate the Green Party USA, which saw a majority of
delegates at its July 20 National Convention leave to form a new Green
Alliance, which has its first convention in New Orleans January 18-21.
From the Bangor Daily News, Nov. 3, 2001:
Green Party activist denied Chicago flight
BANGOR â¤" Green Party activist Nancy Oden was grounded at Bangor
International Airport on Thursday after reportedly becoming uncooperative
when she was targeted for additional screening.
Oden, who said she believed she was singled out for extra scrutiny because
of her activist past and public opposition to the current war effort, was
on her way to Chicago to attend a Green Party USA meeting when airline
personnel told her that she had been selected to undergo added security
screening before boarding.
â¤oeI was treated if I were guilty just because Iâ¤(tm)m a dissident and I speak
out,â¤? Oden, a middle-aged woman who sits on the partyâ¤(tm)s national
coordinating committee, said from her Jonesboro home after she had
abandoned her travel plans. â¤oeTheyâ¤(tm)re looking at me like Iâ¤(tm)m a terrorist and
Iâ¤(tm)m just a peaceful person trying to go to a meeting in Chicago.â¤?
Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, security has been tightened at all
the nationâ¤(tm)s airports â¤" including BIA, where armed National Guardsmen
monitor the screening area and passenger lists are checked against the
FBIâ¤(tm)s terrorist watch list.
Officials at BIA and American Eagle Airlines have a much different account
of Odenâ¤(tm)s afternoon run-in with the added security.
â¤oeShe was uncooperative during the screening process,â¤? said American Eagle
spokesman Kurt Iverson, who added that Oden reportedly would not stand
still when security staff tried to wave a metal-detecting wand over her.
â¤oeObviously if they canâ¤(tm)t submit to screening, [Federal Aviation
Administration] regulations require that they not be allowed to board the
Oden said that while she asked security staff not to touch her with the
wand, she did allow them to complete their search of both her person and
her baggage. Oden said that she did pull away from a National Guardsman
when he grabbed her left arm and asked her if she â¤oeknew what happened on
September 11,� she said.
While acknowledging that Oden was singled out for added extensive
screening, authorities said it was more likely due to the manner in which
she purchased her ticket than for her activist past. Under newly adopted
FAA regulations, more passengers â¤" either randomly or based on a
computerized profile â¤" are being targeted for more intense screening
during the boarding process.
While industry officials were unwilling to release the criteria under which
they would profile a passenger, they said the criteria did not include
federally protected characteristics such as race, religion, age or sex.
Without providing details, interim airport director Rebecca Hupp said that
the FAA guidelines â¤oehave more to do with the ticket than the person.â¤? For
instance, one airline official said, a passenger who pays cash for a ticket
the day of the flight would likely undergo added scrutiny. Oden bought her nonrefundable ticket online, she said.
While an FBI spokeswoman would neither confirm nor deny the presence of
any name on the terrorist watch list â¤" another trigger for added security
response â¤" one law enforcement source said it was â¤oeextremely unlikelyâ¤?
Oden was on the list of potential terrorists because her name is unknown to
the FBI.
After the incident, Oden was told she could not take her scheduled flight
to Chicago, and that she could not travel on any other airline at the
airport that day.
â¤oeIf I had done something wrong, they should have arrested me instead of
denying me my right to travel,â¤? an upset Oden said Friday. â¤oeWeâ¤(tm)re losing
more of our rights and people donâ¤(tm)t realize it.â¤?

September 11 Email: Date

Saturday, November 03, 2001 5:04 PM

September 11 Email: Subject

[MAPC-discuss] in the interest of full disclosure re: Oden


“[MAPC-discuss] in the interest of full disclosure re: Oden,” September 11 Digital Archive, accessed April 3, 2020,