Wade Hicks was en route to a US Navy base in Japan to see his wife when armed military guards informed him that they had other plans. Hicks, an American citizen with no criminal record, had just been put added to a federal no-fly list.
After being escorted off his plane during a routine re-fueling stop on the Pacific Island of Oahu, Hicks, 34, was left stranded in Hawaii this week. In an interview, he suggests that his opposition to a newly-created law that allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens at military prisons without charge or trial could be to blame for his mistreatment.
"I was very, very vocal about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and I did contact my representative” about it, Hicks tells talk show host Doug Hagmann. "I do believe that this is tied in some way to my free speech and my political view."
According to Hicks, he has little reason to believe otherwise. He tells Hagmann that he formerly worked as a contractor for the US Department of Defense and has undergone extensive background checks in order to obtain an enhanced license that allows him to carry a concealed firearm. Hicks says he also holds on to a special identification card issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the US Homeland Security Department sub-agency that administers pat-downs and screenings at airports across the country. An investigation carried out by Hagmann has led him to locating no criminal history for the man whatsoever.
In fact, the only “dirt” the host has managed to dig up on Hicks, he writes, is his occasionally vocal identification as an American patriot.
Hicks, says Hagmann, “appears to be a law abiding member of society.” He adds, however, that preliminary research has led him to link the man as being “an outspoken ‘patriot’” who is “openly critical of the NDAA,” a bill US President Barack Obama signed into law on December 31 despite openly acknowledging that he had “serious reservations” about provisions that allow the military to indefinitely detain anyone on mere suspicion of ties with terrorists. Hicks also tells the radio host that he is critical of the government’s handling of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and says, “I think the evidence I've seen warrants a new investigation, and I'm very vocal about it as well,"
“He is a former talk-show host of a small, local radio station known for its ‘patriotic bias.’ He is a member of ‘Patriots for America’ and the Mississippi Preparedness Project. He is openly vocal about the erosion of our rights – and it certainly looks like he has been proven correct. Is that now a crime worthy of being denied the ability to travel freely within the United States?” Hagmann writes.
The Mississippi Preparedness Project, according to the group’s official website, strives “to encourage and train others to prepare for any situation, whether it be political or disruptions in the infrastructure and civil structure of the communities in which we live and work.”
“We intend to prepare and train for all foreseeable aspects of personal preparedness including Political, Basic and Emergency Medical, Food and Water Storage, Equipment, Local, State and Nationwide Communications, Personal, Home and Community Defense,” their mission statement continues.
Hicks’ incident occurred on October 14 when a military plane Hicks had boarded to visit his wife, a lieutenant in the US Navy, stopped in Oahu to refuel. Although he had no issues with gaining admittance to the aircraft during the first leg of his trip, things went amiss in Oahu.There two heavily-armed officers entered the plane and escorted him to a small interrogation room at a military base and told him that he had showed up on the US “no-fly” list, despite having boarded a flight earlier that day in San Francisco where he had been subjected to military-sanctioned security screenings reportedly more stringent than the TSA treatment. He was hoping to visit his wife of only eight months when the mishap unraveled.
"They have given me no reason. They just basically are telling me, 'You can't fly because we said so,'" Hicks tells Hagmann this week. "They didn't know how I even left Travis Air Force Base."
"I said, 'If I could find a way off the island, I could leave'? They said, 'Yes, as long as you don't fly.”
Hicks adds that he has since met with a Navy lawyer in Hawaii who attempted to resolve the case with so far no avail. He reports that the attorney reached out to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement hoping that the incident has been the result of a case of mistaken identity, but, "They said, 'No, we have the right person that is in our database. His social security [number] matches and his birth date matches.'"
"I have no idea how long I'm going to be stranded in Hawaii or if I'm going to be able to leave out of here on an aircraft,” Hicks adds. "Try to get back from Oahu . . . It's a long swim and it's a long boat ride.”