Washburn is on the government's no-fly list. He doesn't know why, and the government won't tell him. Nor will it take him off. He's much like Franz Kafka's Gregor Samsa, who wakes up to find he has turned into a bug. There is no accounting...
One thing most people don't realize is that there is also a "no ride list" that prevents people from taking Greyhound or AMTRAK across borders. TSA now controls access to all mass transit in the United States. I happen to be on the "no fly" list, but discovered a year ago, that I cannot return to the U.S. via Greyhound either. My U.S. passport turns on a red flag at all border crossings and TSA will not allow entry.
Flying commercial can be a terrible hassle these days, but not for Steven Washburn. The people in charge of airport security have decided to spare him all the inconveniences. No taking off his shoes and belt, no putting his liquids in a plastic bag, no enduring a naked body scan. Oh, and one more thing: no flying.
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