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article imageOp-Ed: Neo-con Stephen Hayes placed on DHS Terrorist Watchlist

By Ken Hanly     Sep 25, 2014 in Politics
Washington - Stephen Hayes is an unlikely candidate to be on the Department of Homeland Security's Terrorist Watchlist. As a senior writer for the conservative Weekly Standard and a regular commentator on Fox news he seems an unlikely terrorist sympathizer.
Hayes, as well as contributing to conservative media, has been on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, even C-Span as well. His conservative neo-con credentials include being picked as the official biographer of former vice-president Dick Cheney.
The Weekly Standard could be called the home base of the neo-cons. The Weekly Standard has never made money but depended upon subsidies from prominent conservatives and the owner billionaire media magnate Rupert Murdoch until 2009 when it was sold to the Clarity Media Group. That company is also owned by a billionaire entrepreneur Philip Anschutz ranked by Forbes at 38th richest person in the US worth about $11 billion in 2014. Murdoch claimed he was not interested in selling the Weekly Standard but after he purchased the Wall Street Journal he seemed less interested in the Standard. Since the Anschutz group has taken over paid subscriptions are said to have increased by 39 percent between 2009 and 2010.
The Standard is described in Wikipedia: The Weekly Standard is an American neoconservative opinion magazine published 48 times per year. Its founding publisher, News Corporation, debuted the title September 18, 1995. Currently edited by founder William Kristol and Fred Barnes, the Standard has been described as a "redoubt of neoconservatism" and as "the neo-con bible."
Given Hayes' stellar credentials as being a bona fide conservative rather than a potential terrorist how is it that he ended up on a DHS terror watch list? Apparently, it is easy to get on the list. Hayes' big mistake was to buy a one way ticket to Turkey. Everyone should know that the DHS probably thinks that anyone who buys a one way ticket to Turkey is on the way to join the Islamic State or the Nusra Front rebels in Syria. Both groups are on the US terror list. Hayes' describes his experiences in a podcast at the Weekly Standard.
Hayes and his wife booked a one-way trip to Istanbul. However, they then went on a cruise and ended up in Athens. They flew back to the US from Athens. Hayes thinks that his being placed on the watch list resulted from his purchase of the one-way ticket to Istanbul. He told POLITICO: "I'd be concerned if it was anything more than that." I find it strange that he is not concerned about that. Should buying a one-way ticket to Turkey be sufficient grounds for placing a person on a terror watch list? There could be countless reasons for buying a one-way ticket to Turkey as his own case shows.
Hayes describes what happened when he tried to check in for a flight from Minneapolis a few weeks later: "When I went online to check in with Southwest, they wouldn't let me. I figured it was some glitch. 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. I got pulled out, they closed down the lane, and did a full pat-down and looked in all parts of my luggage."
Hayes later contacted Southwest. A customer service representative told him he was on the watch list. At the time Hayes talked to POLITICO he was attempting to fill out forms on the DHS website in an attempt to clear his name. He is finding out that the process has built in snags. Hayes reports: "Not surprisingly, it's confusing. The first time I did it, the whole site froze. Now it's asking me for my passport number and a bunch of other information. Then I think I'm supposed to submit an actual copy of my passport, which I obviously can't do electronically."
Perhaps some enterprising terrorist came across the biography of Stephen Hayes and decided that "Stephen Hayes" would make a great alias and now the rest is history with Hayes being the victim. Then again, maybe this is all Obama's fault along with everything else bad that happens. Actually, in this case, Obama may be partly to blame since both the no-fly list and watchlist have expanded during his time in office.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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