Little did Stephen Hayes, senior writer for The Weekly Standard and Fox News contributor, know his trip to Turkey for a relaxing and fun cruise would land him on Homeland Security’s terrorist watch list.
He and his wife had booked a one-way trip to Istanbul in July for a cruise and returned to the United States a few weeks later via Athens.
Unsuspectingly, he went back to routine life until he had to travel again a few weeks ago.
"When I went online to check in with Southwest, they wouldn't let me. I figured it was some glitch," he says. "Then I got to the airport and went to check in. The woman had a concerned look on her face. She brought over her supervisor and a few other people. Then they shut down the lane I was in, took me to the side, told me I was a selectee and scrawled [something] on my ticket."
"On my way back, the same thing happened," he continued. "I got pulled out, they closed down the lane, and did a full pat-down and looked in all parts of my luggage."
When he faced a similar situation a few days later, he asked a customer service supervisor if he was on the government's terrorist watch list. Imagine his trepidation when told that he was indeed on the list.
Just informed I'm on the @DHSgov terrorist watch list. Explains why I have been subject to extra screening each of my recent trips.— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) September 23, 2014
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Hayes, or anyone innocent for that matter, does not deserve this but the incident is a testament the government's paranoia.
The TSA is patting down babies and making senior citizens take off diapers while the NSA is snooping on anything an Internet user may have online. And Homeland Security is frisky enough to stamp anyone moving, sneezing, looking out of ordinary, with a terrorist label.