Along with philosophical qualms, McClintock said he has personal reasons to doubt the efficacy of the no-fly list. Turns out that when he was in the state Senate a decade ago, McClintock said, he discovered he couldn’t check into his flight.
“When I asked why, I was told I was on this government list,” McClintock said, calling the whole experience “Kafkaesque.”
“My first reaction was to ask, ‘Why am I on that list?’ ‘We can’t tell you that.’ ‘What are the criteria you use?’ I asked. ‘That’s classified.’ I said, ‘How can I get off this list?’ The answer was, ‘You can’t.’ ”
He said it ended up being a case of mistaken identity with an Irish Republican Army activist the “British government was mad at.”
McClintock said he soon learned that a fellow state senator also had been placed on the list, as well as the late U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy. McClintock said he at least had the state Senate sergeant-at-arms to work through to clear up the confusion – “something an ordinary American would not.”