A (Small) Win for Sensible Policy?

Via commentor Amir Khalid, from Reuters:

A U.S. judge on Tuesday sided with a woman challenging the federal government’s no-fly policy and ruled that existing procedures to correct mistakes on that list do not provide adequate due process protections.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco ruled on a lawsuit brought by Rahinah Ibrahim, a Malaysian citizen. The U.S. no-fly policy excludes individuals from commercial air travel if they are suspected of having ties to terrorism, but critics say it is practically impossible to be removed from the list once on it…

The no-fly list is the subject of multiple legal challenges. Ibrahim’s case is believed to have been the first to go to trial. The trial took place last month.

Ibrahim attended Stanford University on a student visa, according to court filings. In early 2005, she was detained for two hours at San Francisco’s airport because authorities believed she was on the no-fly list.

Eventually, she was allowed to travel to Malaysia. However, her U.S. visa was revoked under a legal provision relating to suspected terrorist activities, though she was not told the specific factual basis for that action. She has not been allowed to return to the United States.

Ibrahim petitioned U.S. authorities to clear her name but received a letter that did not say whether she was still on the no-fly list. She filed a lawsuit, claiming that her inability to return to the United States damaged her professionally…

In Tuesday’s ruling, Alsup said the government has conceded that Ibrahim is not a national security threat. She is entitled to be informed whether she is still on the no-fly list, Alsup wrote, and for any mistaken information about her to be corrected…

Ibrahim’s case proceeded amid continuous litigation over what information about the no-fly list could be made public, and the judge reviewed several pieces of evidence in private at the government’s request…

If my memory is correct, “Rahinah Ibrahim” is the Malaysian equivalent of “Elizabeth Johnson” — so it’s not impossible that Professor Ibrahim was originally flagged by a buggy program or an overzealous technician. Sure, we don’t want to let those sneaky Terrrists know that we’re on to their nefarious tricks, but “You can’t come in here, because security” seems a little overbroad.

81 replies
  1. 1
    elizabeth johnson says:

    i guess i’m screwed

  2. 2
    Cervantes says:

    @elizabeth johnson: If you go to Malaysia, that is.

  3. 3
    Keith G says:

    A U.S. judge on Tuesday sided with a woman challenging the federal government’s no-fly policy and ruled that existing procedures to correct mistakes on that list do not provide adequate due process protections.

    I twice voted for a team that advertised that it was going to correct the mistaken policies of the past. Figuring out the dissonance is easier when considering a quote from a previous thread

    Deep thought of day: Most of what passes for politics & policy these days makes way more sense when interpreted as a marketing exercise

    .
    Yes, a lot of good has happened, but why did it take a federal judge to resolve this issue. Why put this person, and others, through the pain and the cost? CYA?

  4. 4
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    IIRC, there are US citizens stranded abroad because of being put on the list while overseas.

    If they can just get to a (land) border crossing, they can’t be kept out of the US, but getting to that border is tough.

    The only option may be to fly to Cuba and take a boat.

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    She was flagged for flying while Muslim.

  6. 6
    Amir Khalid says:

    About her name: Rahinah is her given name; Ibrahim is her patronymic, i.e. her father’s given name, not a surname. So in subsequent mentions she should be referred to as Rahinah. You foreigners almost always get this wrong. ;)

    There’s more. Rahinah’s daughter Raihan, a US-born American citizen, was subpoenaed to testify at this trial, but was not allowed to board her flight to the US on instructions from DHS. The US government then told the judge she must have missed her flight. The lie came to light when Rahinah’s lawyer produced a written instruction from DHS telling the airline not to let Raihan aboard her flight.

  7. 7
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    O/T, am I crazy or was there a Richard Mayhew post up just now that disappeared at the exact time I was attempting to comment on it?

  8. 8
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    You may be right. You may be crazy. But you’re just the kind of lunatic Richard is looking for!

  9. 9
    Richard Mayhew says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Not crazy — I pulled the post so as to not step on Anne’s post. It will be up first thing in the morning.

  10. 10
    efgoldman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    O/T, am I crazy or was there a Richard Mayhew post up just now that disappeared at the exact time I was attempting to comment on it?

    Not necessarily mutually exclusive.

  11. 11
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid: Charming.

  12. 12
    Suffern ACE says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: no. It wasn’t the exact same time. It was shortly before. Although it might still be there. Just in another dimension or on an event horizon. In fact, you might still be commenting on it.

  13. 13
    Cervantes says:

    @Keith G: Sometimes it’s down to the individual prosecutor assigned to the case. Some of them are, well, you can imagine.

  14. 14
    Citizen_X says:

    @Suffern ACE: So, we’re not going to discuss quantum mechanics here, we’re just going to demonstrate it. Them. Whatever.

  15. 15
    kindness says:

    Sure glad my name isn’t something common like Lee, Smith or Jones.

    Although. those are probably safer for flying than anything middle eastern. That has to suck getting pulled over in airports and told you can’t go on.

  16. 16
    gwangung says:

    @Cervantes:

    Sometimes it’s down to the individual prosecutor assigned to the case. Some of them are, well, you can imagine.

    Bush appointees burrowed into the bureaucracy?

  17. 17
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Richard Mayhew: By then, my comment will be both irrelevant and unfunny.

    That’s if I even remember it.

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    just the kind of lunatic Richard is looking for!

  18. 18
    Cervantes says:

    @gwangung: Exactly.

  19. 19
    Suffern ACE says:

    @gwangung: before my head gets sliced off by RDA, at some point Democrats are going to have to admit that they weren’t forced into going along with the security state because Bush made them, but because significant numbers of Democratic elected officials in Washington love those policies and Obama and Holder are not exempt from criticism for what has been built.

    Seriously, it’s really kind of shitty to add someone to the no fly list to prevent them from giving testimony at a trial. That just reeks and the stench should fall of Holder.

  20. 20
  21. 21

    @kindness: My niece is named [Germanic-origin girl’s name] [common surname in US]. Apparently this was also the name of one of the more successfully evasive members of the Baader-Meinhoff Gang, which should totally be a band but was a central European political organization in the 70s.

    Long story short, my sister and her family can’t check in for domestic flights in advance online. Someone has to verify that the passenger is in fact a child, born in the US, to her [white] parents, who are both traveling with her. [Lard only knows what might happen if they tried to fly if any of those conditions were not in effect.]

    The child, who will soon be 11, has never flown domestically without being personally inspected by a TSA supervisor. There is no mechanism by which we can fly her to our house; an adult has to travel with her. There is no end in sight to this problem.

    She was born the day of the Columbia disaster, so she doesn’t even know what we’re keeping her safe from.

  22. 22
    max says:

    A U.S. judge on Tuesday sided with a woman challenging the federal government’s no-fly policy and ruled that existing procedures to correct mistakes on that list do not provide adequate due process protections.

    That was always actually the problem. You can keep a list and keep people out the country, but you can’t not tell them why, or if they’re on it.

    max
    [‘Ooo. Another stupid Bush initiative starts to crumble. Awesome.’]

  23. 23
    LesGS says:

    My best friend from university (now a UU minister) has an Irish first and last and no middle name. Despite a rather varied ethnic background (he’s closely related to Liberace on his mother’s side), he is always hauled out of the line by TSA when traveling by air. Thanks, IRA.

  24. 24

    “You can’t come in here, because security” seems a little overbroad.

    Used to be patriotism was the last refuge of scoundrels.

    … and The People In My Head pronounced it, “overboard,” and it still rang true. Damned if I know why.

    @elizabeth johnson: We all play the cards we’re dealt. Try living in America with a name like “Rahinah Ibrahim” for a decade since the towers fell.

    @Amir Khalid:

    The lie came to light when Rahinah’s lawyer produced a written instruction from DHS telling the airline not to let Raihan aboard her flight.

    And they say first we should kill all the lawyers.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @PhoenixRising:

    That is INSANE.

    Why am I not surprised that Security Kabuki is so incredibly fucked up?

  26. 26
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    OT, but Noisemax headline:

    Christian Scout Group Sparks Huge Interest

    The new scout group is called “Trail Life USA”.

    I swear I am not making this up.

    Hiking the Appalachian Trail, anyone?

  27. 27
    Amir Khalid says:

    @PhoenixRising:
    That’s crazy. A member of the Baader-Meinhoff gang would be an old woman by now. How does DHS use the list? Is anyone whose name matches to be considered persona non grata, even when they are obviously not the listed person?

  28. 28

    @Villago Delenda Est: Oh, thanks. This is me, calling the piano tuner at 11;18 pm. Don’t try to save me.

  29. 29
    MikeJ says:

    I went to the library today and got a classic album, but I think they really need to rethink the way the cover art was printed. It looks to me as if the album I got was, “Buck Owens: I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail and his Buckaroos.”

  30. 30

    @Suffern ACE: That just reeks and the stench should fall of Holder.

    No fucking way. The two-bit ratfuck soulless criminal sons of bitches that ran my Gaia-damned motherfucking country into the motherfucking wall again and Gaia-damned again for eight years riddled these systems of democracy with sycophants and cohorts from sea to Gaia-save-me sea with a relentless treachery that knows no human bounds. To pin this kind of shit and shinola on the sorry bastards that have to not only clean up that steaming pile of ferret feces, but also have the unwholesome task of swinging the freighter around? This old scow doesn’t turn on a dime, and ten degrees starboard doesn’t fully correct ten degrees port. Do you understand that it will take decades to undo the tomfoolery of Cheney and Rowe yanking the short and curlies of every dumb sonofabitch that walked by between September 10th, 2001, and January 20th, 2009?

    Christ in a fucking sidecar, shoot your Gaia-damned self and be done with it, because from here on out it is unbe-Gaia-damned-gotten misery for shit like this, and people who have to live with it.

  31. 31
    jl says:

    @PhoenixRising:

    ” She was born the day of the Columbia disaster, so she doesn’t even know what we’re keeping her safe from. ”

    Well now, let’s be fair. Actually they are keeping us safe from her.

    And it seems pretty odd, to me, that Anne Laurie would know what Malaysian names are like ‘Johnson’ or ‘Smith’. Eggzackly who has she been associating with to know that kind of thing? AL better be careful or she’ll end up on a no-fly list!

    What a sad vicious mess our broken and corrupt security bureaucracy has become. Thank goodness Lieberman is not in office anymore to oversee this stuff and make it worse, whenever he could think of way to do that.

  32. 32
    Betty Gray says:

    A retired Air Force Col. with a very common name, who flew almost every week for 18 years, of his 27. We went to our local airport for the first leg of a trip to Europe to find out he was on the no fly list.

  33. 33
    MattR says:

    @BruceFromOhio:

    To pin this kind of shit and shinola on the sorry bastards that have to not only clean up that steaming pile of ferret feces, but also have the unwholesome task of swinging the freighter around?

    You have a point to a degree. But OTOH I think we should still point it out when the people who are supposed to be cleaning things up are adding fresh turds to the pile instead.

  34. 34

    @jl: What a sad vicious mess our broken and corrupt security bureaucracy has become.

    Yes, it has, and these here are the prima facie bona fides why we, America, and the people who still believe in her, must never, ever let Republicans run anything, ever again, for any reason. Until the intestinal virus of the House of Representatives, the Bush appointees, and, Gaia help us, the Supreme Court runs its course, we are stuck with it.

    Lots of fluids, plenty of rest, and above all, patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it didn’t fall over night.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid: The late Ted Kennedy — yes, that one — was on the no-fly list briefly because, apparently, someone DHS was watching once used “T. Kennedy” as an alias.

    Bruce Schneier once explained how an actual terrorist could easily defeat the no-fly list:

    To slip through the only check against the no-fly list, the terrorist uses a stolen credit card to buy a ticket under a fake name. “Then you print a fake boarding pass with your real name on it and go to the airport. You give your real ID, and the fake boarding pass with your real name on it, to security. They’re checking the documents against each other. They’re not checking your name against the no-fly list—that was done on the airline’s computers. Once you’re through security, you rip up the fake boarding pass, and use the real boarding pass that has the name from the stolen credit card. Then you board the plane, because they’re not checking your name against your ID at boarding.

    The article (from 2008) exposes airport security theater for what it is: a cheap farce.

    Speaking of which: whatever you do, do not look at http://www.no-fly-list.com/ or http://www.nsatt.org/

  37. 37
    jl says:

    @BruceFromOhio: Like you and other commenters, my thoughts went back to the incompetent and arrogant crew who knowingly did little to prevent the tragedy in the first place, because it did not fit their incompetent and arrogant worldview and did not suit their political purposes . And then invaded the wrong country. And were lauded as if they were heroes. That still enrages me.

    Maybe even if Bush and Co. had common sense and paid attention, it still might have happened. But they did not even try at basic competence before the attack, and used it for corrupt purposes aftewards. It will take decades to clean up the mess.

  38. 38
    Cervantes says:

    @MikeJ: It’s a little late to do anything about it. That album is from 1965. On my copy, though, the text can be parsed correctly by color.

  39. 39

    But they did not even try at basic competence before the attack, and used it for corrupt purposes aftewards.

    Writ large for all to see. Now run it down to Mr. Speaker and his ilk, and the water supply in West Virginia. Neatly illustrates a spectrum even to the untrained eye, and demonstrates the momentum at work.

    Reminds me of Jeremy Hillary Boob, Ph. D. in ‘Yellow Submarine‘: so little time, so much to do after the Blue Meanies fucked it all up.

  40. 40
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    I spent a summer aged 20 backpacking around Europe from 1 dig to the next. I took buses, trains, private cars (riding with fellow diggers) and planes. It was awesome. By the end I was filthy and my passport looked a bit weird. On my way to the states via Britain i was questioned for several hours about who I was and why I was travelling. I think they probably thought i was carrying droogz of some variety (i’m a white lady with an american passport). Eventually i got to my flight, I’ve never had a problem getting visas, but for the subsequent ten years (and I fly enough to know that it was ten years to the month) i was searched every time I flew. It was always a random bag or body search. “random”. Ha.

  41. 41
    gian says:

    anyone else remember 2004?

    Sen. Kennedy Flagged by No-Fly List

    By Sara Kehaulani Goo
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, August 20, 2004; Page A01

    U.S. Sen. Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy said yesterday that he was stopped and questioned at airports on the East Coast five times in March because his name appeared on the government’s secret “no-fly” list.

    Federal air security officials said the initial error that led to scrutiny of the Massachusetts Democrat should not have happened even though they recognize that the no-fly list is imperfect. But privately they acknowledged being embarrassed that it took the senator and his staff more than three weeks to get his name removed.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....Aug19.html

    that was a decade ago…. give or take a couple months

  42. 42
    burnspbesq says:

    OT, but you will likely be shocked by Feinstein’s comments about the Iran negotiations and the Senate’s attempt to derail them. Her remarks start on page 22 of the linked PDF.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/C.....senate.pdf

    You go, Di. I honestly didn’t think you had it in you.

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gian:

    If you’re going to tag American politicians as terrorists, go for the real thing, like the deserting coward and the Dark Lord.

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @burnspbesq: Damn.

    @ AL @Top: Why is small in parentheses in the title? Why is it a question?

  45. 45
    jl says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Thanks, good speech by DiFi.

    It won’t convince everyone, though..

    “Should these negotiations fall apart, the choices are few and the most likely result, in my view, is the eventual and inevitable use of military force. ”

    DiFi speaks with authority on national security issues, and that sentence will guarantee a lot of warmongers vote for it. Let’s hope for the best.

  46. 46
    jl says:

    “How [does a vote yes] make any kind of common sense? It defies logic.It threatens an instant reverse…”

    DiFi encourages quite a few GOPer yes votes there too.

    She usually is more careful. She must have been riled up and got careless in her phrasing.

  47. 47
    jl says:

    That was the most mysterious duplicate comment I ever posted. I erased it.

  48. 48
    LesGS says:

    On a side note, as a transman I’ve been rather leery of the TSA getting all up in my non-standard issue bidness, so I’ve driven rather than flown across the US since 9/11. (That’s from CA to VA and back.) However, a young trans fellow of my acquaintance traveled from SD to SF and back, and was perfectly respected.

    Maybe that’s just California. But it seems the TSA has vastly improved on LGBT issues.

  49. 49
    👾 Martin says:

    @PhoenixRising: I could have sworn that everyone from Baader-Meinhoff was accounted for – either dead or having served out a prison sentence or possibly still in prison.

  50. 50
    Cervantes says:

    @LesGS: Happy to hear it.

  51. 51
    👾 Martin says:

    @burnspbesq: I stand by my thesis that DiFi is a hawk only inasmuch as it brings defense contracts to CA. There’s no payout backing additional sanctions.

  52. 52
    Ruckus says:

    @kindness:
    I have a very common name and I used to be on the list. Had to go through contortions every time I had to travel. Wasn’t all that bad, I was only traveling about 30 weeks a year at the time.

    That was sarcasm just in case you missed it.

  53. 53
    KG says:

    September 11th happens, the whole nation freaks the fuck out, we institute stupid, short-sighted, and rather random security measures, because TERRORISTS! Time goes by, no major attack happens, we start to forget, unless we have to go to an airport. 12+ years later, nobody has the testicular fortitude to say that we should probably reconsider the whole security state we’ve built. Two reasons for that, there are government jobs and contracts to be protected and a certain segment of the punditocracy will be sure to point out, TERRORISTS!

    It really is stupid, all the way down

  54. 54
    jl says:

    @👾 Martin: California has lost so many defense plants and jobs, maybe you mean only those with pay for her hubby? Or was the big CA defense contractor exodus before her time in the Senate?

  55. 55
    KG says:

    @👾 Martin: additional sanctions mean beating the drums of war because that’s the only other option, which would mean defense contracts, so there’s reason to support sanctions. After all, it isn’t like the mullahs are going to wake up tomorrow and say “well, shit, the Americans are serious, I guess we should just pack it up and install a western style democracy.”

  56. 56
    Liquid says:

    William Potter: Ooh! It damn well ‘urts!

    T.E. Lawrence: Certainly it hurts.

    Officer: What’s the trick then?

    T.E. Lawrence: The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    👾 Martin says:

    @jl: We’ve lost a lot, but we still have a lot. We still take in more Defense contracts than any other state.

    @KG: We’ve been doing sanctions since 1979 without a war. Sanctions doesn’t mean Northrop gets a contract to build drones, it means that Apple doesn’t sell iPhones there. Guess who contributes more jobs and tax dollars to the state?

  59. 59
    Ruckus says:

    @👾 Martin:
    Doesn’t matter if you are dead or have served your sentence, once the determination that you may be or have been in any way a threat or some such to the empire you will always be whatever it is they suspected you of. Even if what they suspected was that you have the same name as someone else. Because no one with nefarious ideals would ever think to use a false name.
    I’m amazed that everyone isn’t on the list until proven otherwise. Which never has to happen of course.

  60. 60
    LesGS says:

    @Cervantes: I appreciate your alliance.

    I don’t mean to be one of those “First World Problem” guys, and I realize there are many reasons why going through airport security lines can be rather fraught and legally tenuous. But having your body (and only that) no longer scrutinized and deemed suspect is a pretty big deal.

  61. 61
    Glocksman says:

    @gian:

    To be fair, there probably are some IRA or UVF gunmen named ‘Kennedy’ that are on the list.
    One might even be named ‘Edward Kennedy’.

    Now that I’m done being fair, what kind of shit for brains robot drone decides Befehl ist Befehl when confronted with a goddamned US Senator that shares a name with a terrorist, and won’t let him on the plane?

    Personally, I don’t want that kind of robot working security at a damn bingo game, much less at an airport because idiots who can’t think for themselves would let people who shouldn’t be on a plane through because ‘they weren’t on the list’ or ‘they didn’t fit this profile’.

    Who’da thunk that this airport security clip from Airplane! II was prescient?
    The TSA foretold

    If it took a sitting US Senator that long to get his name off the list, I’m not surprised to read about the mindless idiocy that Rahinah Ibrahim went through,

  62. 62
    Liquid says:

    If the United States will shed the Democratic/Populist/Non-Fuckwit thingie than I am more than willing to support the Empire. The problem is the swine that would lose to a group of baboons. ~300 billion on the Lemon of the skies? A child could tell the Pentagon they’re fucking morons.

    One Plane to rule them all. One jet that sucks at CAS. One jet that sucks as a bomber. One jet that doesn’t TOTALLY suck at CAP. Why aren’t we accusing these ignorant swine of endangering our security by promoting an inferior product which has come down to wignut-welfare?

  63. 63
    CaseyL says:

    @BruceFromOhio: That is a majestic rant, and expresses the rage I feel every time I think about those eight years and those people.

    OT: One of my cats is expressing doubts about my ability as a provider… or registering a strong opinion about the flavors of the food I’m serving. On Christmas eve, and again tonight, someone left a dead rat on my porch. A white one for Christmas, and a black one tonight. I wonder if I’ll get a brown rat next.

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @CaseyL: You could get a naked mole rat.

  65. 65
    Liquid says:

    Dear John Cole —

    Please write a book that follows a small group of ROK/US during a zombie/populist/apocalypse. A few weeks to realize there’s something wrong. Another week to organize a heavily-armed recce. All you see is shadows as you roll up on Pyongyang and realize that nobody’s home…

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Liquid: @Liquid: Hit the ether pretty early tonight, huh?

  67. 67
    LesGS says:

    @CaseyL: Dude. At least it’s not hummingbirds. Cats and us against rats, that’s been a partnership for centuries. It’s when they are presenting you with hummingbirds that you need to question your ability as a provider.

    Les, with too many hummingbirds on his list of shame.

    P.S. All my cats are now inside cats, forever amen.

  68. 68
    Liquid says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Someone else had the idea.

  69. 69
    Liquid says:

    http://gawker.com/really-its-j.....1174159695

    “Albo”

    “I think it will end with a whimper. One day, a S. Korean DMZ post will notice that their counterparts to the north will be gone. A few days later, a convoy of heavily guarded trucks will make their way north, carefully, and will find fields with withered crops, burning cities with only bodies in them, and furtive, human-shaped shadows darting around in the ruins.”

  70. 70
    CaseyL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Naked mole rats are very cool and weird. Another example of what Mother Nature gets up to when she’s had a few too many (see also platypuses and cephalopods). Happily, my townhouse complex does not contain a naked mole rate colony.

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @CaseyL:

    Happily, my townhouse complex does not contain a naked mole rate colony.

    So you would like to think.

    They are such bizarre little critters. Also too, I would add opossums to the Mother Nature got drunk and said “Hold mah beer and watch this!” list.

  72. 72
    Cervantes says:

    @Glocksman: It was “T. Kennedy.”

  73. 73
    Matt McIrvin says:

    I, too, know an American with an extremely common name who has to deal with this garbage every time he flies. I’m sure he’s paying close attention.

  74. 74
    Keith G says:

    @BruceFromOhio: Yes many dark and troubling things transpired from 2001-2007. That was 7 years ago.

    What message is the President’s chosen leadership team sending prosecutors in cases like the one noted? More importantly…

    Rahinah’s daughter Raihan, a US-born American citizen, was subpoenaed to testify at this trial, but was not allowed to board her flight to the US on instructions from DHS. The US government then told the judge she must have missed her flight.

    This is out and out pissing on the right to have a fair hearing/process. An administration that wants my political loyalty better fire the fuckers responsible for such activities.

    Or is GW Bush preventing that?

  75. 75
    Cervantes says:

    @Keith G:

    An administration that wants my political loyalty better fire the fuckers responsible for such activities.

    Yes.

    I’ll take a closer look.

  76. 76
    ericblair says:

    @Keith G:

    An administration that wants my political loyalty better fire the fuckers responsible for such activities.

    Ignoring civil service processes and protections? I thought we were just in favor of fair hearings and processes, or is that only when we’re not mad at somebody?

    My guess is that not many congresscritters like the Kafkaesque shitpile that is the No Fly List, but there’s the security ratchet effect. Everybody’s worried that a week after they relax security restrictions, a terrorist attack will hit within the US and they’ll be held responsible. Therefore, it’s much better to let somebody else bell that particular cat, such as a politically immune federal judge.

  77. 77
    Cervantes says:

    @ericblair:

    Ignoring civil service processes and protections? I thought we were just in favor of fair hearings and processes, or is that only when we’re not mad at somebody?

    No one said anything about “ignoring civil service processes and protections” but, yes, I am in favor of “fair hearings and processes” even for people who fail monstrously at their sworn duty to provide same to others.

  78. 78
    LanceThruster says:

    I as at a lecture by Michael Chertoff at my campus. When I asked him about all the erroneous names on the no fly list (then a breaking story), he said it doesn’t happen that much, they’re correcting the instances where it does, and then deflected the question by saying that the DHS personal have integrity, the number of ones that don’t are miniscule, and will be weeded out, and that they’re getting lots of money for new tech toys so double-plus good!

    The audience was underwhelmed by his hand waving.

  79. 79
    Amir Khalid says:

    Thread’s dead by now. But it’s still useful, I think, to read this Techdirt account of the difficulties faced by Raihan Mustafa Kamal in trying to travel to the US to testify in her mother’s lawsuit.

  80. 80
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid: Thanks.

  81. 81
    Keith G says:

    @ericblair: Dead thread, but sorry Eric, that is weak. When I say fire/terminate, etc., I mean by means of due process.

    If a President can be impeached for lying to a court about a blowjob – which caused no harm save a stained dress, then a DHS officer can be put through a very serious investigative process for lying to a court about the (in effect) seizure of a US citizen in transit to give testimony to said court.

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