Paradise Turned Prison?

Paradise turned prison?

“Hawaii is a paradise for most visitors,” says The Associated Press. “But it was Wade Hicks Jr.’s prison for five days.”

As our “War on You” file continues to grow… we’re becoming a little overwhelmed. What once was a small pile in the corner of our office is now overflowing out of filing cabinets and taking on a life of its own. Here’s the latest:

After hitching a ride on a military flight to visit his wife, a U.S. Navy lieutenant, Mr. Hicks found himself on FBI’s no-fly list during his layover in Hawaii.

“How am I supposed to get off this island and go see my wife or go home?” Hicks asked a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent and bearer of bad news.

Her response? “I don’t know.”

“How could someone on a list intelligence officials use to inform counterterrorism investigations successfully fly standby on an Air Force flight?” AP asks.

How, indeed.

After confirming they had the right person and not being told why, Hicks “wonders whether his controversial views on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks played a role,” AP writes. “Hicks said he disagrees with the 9/11 Commission’s conclusions about the attacks.”

The mystery may remain forever unresolved, as AP points out, “The government doesn’t disclose who’s on the list or why someone might have been placed on it.”

“It’s scary to know that something like this can happen in a free country,” Mr. Hicks said.

“You’re not accused of any crime. You haven’t been contacted by anyone. No investigation has been done. No due process has taken place.”

Although Hicks wasn’t allowed to fly, he was able to score a hotel room at the Pearl Harbor naval base while he figured things out. A base full of submarines, cruisers and destroyers, mind you.

After considering private planes, cruise ships and even a fishing boat from Alaska, Hicks finally received a call five days later informing him he was clear to fly.

Before all is said and done, according to AP, Hicks “plans to seek to recoup his added travel costs from the government.”

Heh… good luck.

Dave Gonigam