The No Fly List is a list, created and maintained by the United States government's Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), of people who are not permitted to board a commercial aircraft for travel in or out of the United States. The list has also been used to divert away from U.S. airspace aircraft not flying to or from the U.S. The number of people on the list rises and falls according to threat and intelligence reporting. As of 2011, the list contained about 10,000 names. The list – along with the Secondary Security Screening Selection, which tags would-be passengers for extra inspection – was created after the September 11 attacks in 2001.
The No Fly List is different from the Terrorist Watch List, a much longer list of people said to be suspected of some involvement with terrorism.
On 03/10/2009, USA TODAY reported:
"'The government's terrorist watch list has hit 1 million entries, up 32% since 2007.'"
[See: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-03-10-watchlist_N.htm ]
"'Federal data show the rise comes despite the removal of 33,000 entries last year by the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center in an effort to purge the list of outdated information and remove people cleared in investigations.'"
The same Terrorist Watch List supposedly had been reduced to around 400,000 names as of summer 2011, according to the TSC.
The secret lists seem to be a violation of the Privacy Act of 1974, which forbids the government from compiling secret databases on U.S. citizens... or at least did, once upon a time...until the Patriot Act.
[See: http://www.it.ojp.gov/default.aspx?area=privacy&page=1279 ]
But even in 1974, there were loopholes in this pointless law:
"'Exemptions to the Privacy Act protections are allowed for:
the Census Bureau,
the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
routine uses (referring to external sharing of information outside the agency)
archival purposes if the record has sufficient historical value,
law enforcement purposes,
congressional investigations, and
other administrative purposes. 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b).'" [See:http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/5/552a.html ]
"'The Act requires agencies to “keep an accurate accounting” of information disclosures, except when the disclosure is made within the agency for routine administrative uses or made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The Act requires “each agency that maintains a system of records” to restrict the collection of information to only the information relevant to the purpose, to ensure the information remains accurate, to collect information directly from the subject whenever possible, and to tell the subject the purpose for which the information is being collected and the authority under which it is being collected. 5 U.S.C. § 552a(e).
Privacy and Other Civil Liberties Implications. "Each agency that proposes to establish or make a significant change in a system of records or a matching program shall provide adequate advance notice of any such proposal (in duplicate) to the Committee on Government Operations of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Governmental Affairs of the Senate, and the Office of Management and Budget in order to permit an evaluation of the probable or potential effect of such proposal on the privacy or other rights of individuals." 5 U.S.C. § 552a(r).'"
Yeah, so basically, the 'agencies' can do whatever they deem "relevant to the purpose".
Spokespeople from several major airlines have denied providing TSA the information, but then eventually admitted that they HAD done so. TSA and the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) admitted that the government HAS inappropriately requested and used this information.
The lists have been criticized on civil liberties and due process grounds, due in part to the potential for ethnic, religious, economic, political, or racial profiling and discrimination. It has also raised concerns about privacy and government secrecy. Finally, the lists have been criticized as costly, prone to false positives, and easily defeated.
The No Fly List, the Selectee List, and the Terrorist Watchlist were created by the administration of George W. Bush and retained by the administration of Barack Obama. U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said in May 2010: “The no-fly list itself is one of our best lines of defense.”
REALLY, FEINSTEIN? HAVE THESE LISTS CAUGHT ONE REAL TERRORIST?
WELL, NO, NOT UNLESS YOU COUNT TED KENNEDY, OR OTHER MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WHO MIGHT FIND THEMSELVES ON THE LISTS, WHERE THEY BELONG, AND YOU WITH THEM AT THE TOP OF EACH LIST!
So, yes, America, the government has secret watch lists for suspected terrorists, including the No Fly List . Who knows how many lists? Who can see the names on those lists? SORRY, THAT'S A SECRET! AMERICAN CITIZENS DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW SUCH SECRETS!
Nor do we know what kind of “evidence” or innuendo is sufficient to land someone on the No Fly List, because the government won’t tell us. Oh, the FBI has created a “Frequently Asked Questions” page on its website, in which it explains that U.S. citizens may be placed on terrorist watch lists if “there is a reasonable suspicion that they are known or reasonably suspected of terrorism” !
WHO DID THEY FIND IN ANY GOVERNMENT OFFICE THAT HAS REASONING CAPABILITIES? WHO, PLEASE TELL, HAS THIS REASONING TO SUSPECT PEOPLE? NO, NO! AS USUAL, OUR GOVERNMENT HAS MADE US ANOTHER POST OF 'WORD SOUP', MORE FEDERAL DOUBLE-SPEAK! "REASONABLY SUSPECTED" IS NOT A PROPER LEGAL TERM! WELL, NOT UNTIL THE PATRIOT ACT MADE IT ONE!
What does it mean for the government to “suspect” that someone is “reasonably suspected of terrorism”? It means, in practice, that the government can place anyone that doesn't suit it, anyone it sees as "unfriendly" to our Orwellian state on a watch list, on the basis of anything: an intercepted email, a suspicious association, a travel itinerary, or some algorithmic alchemist's magical combination of all of those.
THAT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!
And once you’re on a watch list, you’re entirely at the government’s mercy if you hope to get off. The ACLU (loathe it!) challenged this BULL in federal court on behalf of fifteen U.S. citizens and legal residents who were not allowed to board flights but have never been given any explanation or opportunity to object. They have argued in Oregon courts that placing people on the No Fly List without providing them any opportunity to confront and rebut the “evidence” against them is unconstitutional. For ONCE the ACLU is right!
You can listen to the argument here. [http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/view.php?pk_id=0000009166 ]
Isn't it amazing that college-educated government lawyers can stand up in court to defend the indefensible? You really need to listen to the jabberwock they spewed at this hearing! Even by the standards of utter nonsense and illegality, this hearing stood out! Chief Judge Alex Kozinski asked a simple question, similar to what Ted Kennedy asked when he found himself on the list, a logical question posed to the federal government's attorney: "What would you do if you found yourself on the No Fly List?" After some hemming and hawing, giving himself time to think of something clever, maybe?, the attorney said that he would seek “redress” from the Department of Homeland Security ... even though DHS does not place people on the No Fly list and has NO authority to remove them (that’s left up to our "we help terrorists build bombs and drive them to the job", FBI).
Because, the lawyer conceded, DHS would not be able to confirm or deny whether he was on the list, he would then seek review in a federal appellate court.
Well, then what would the court be able to do?, asked Judge Kozinski.
Not much, said the government lawyer.
In fact, the lawyer would not even concede that a federal court possessed the authority to order someone removed from the No Fly List.
In other words, according to the United States government, the only redress that is available to a watch-listed citizen is to hope that some government bureaucrat will correct a mistake or change his mind. Judge Kozinski seemed frustrated by the government’s equivocation. “So many words,” he said during an earlier exchange. “So little meaning.”
The Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment doesn’t have very many words, for those men of the 1700s obviously had a better grasp of word definitions than today's federal GANGS do, but if those few, concise words are to retain their meaning, the Ninth Circuit will HAVE to put a check on the government’s ability to blacklist its citizens without recourse. But then the Judge may be put on one of those lists, don't you imagine?
The TSA is the 'enforcer' of the decisions of the Terrorist Screening Center and administers all no-fly challenges ... even though the agency itself doesn't make any decisions and operates under a completely different federal department.
U.S. District Judge Anna Brown ruled in 2011 that the case before her couldn't proceed without the TSA. However, Congress has specified that an appeals court, NOT a federal district court , must consider any challenges to TSA orders, leading Brown to rule that her court lacked jurisdiction to consider the no-fly lawsuit.
I can imagine the panic in the wee minds of the Federales when citizens decided to fight back! "CIRCLE THE WAGONS! THE SHEEPLE ARE WAKING UP AND SEE US WITH THESE SMOKING GUNS!"
On Friday, in questioning that grew quite 'pointed' at times, the 'new and improved' appeals court judges 'appeared to want to appear to' explore some of the larger themes raised by the lawsuit itself.
Chief Judge Alex Kozinski asked the Justice Department attorney what he would do if he were barred from flying -- "a means of living in the 21st century" -- when he was to return to Washington, D.C.
"What advice would you give yourself as to how to proceed?" the judge asked.
Waldman eventually responded that he would work through the challenge process that has been laid out, up to and including filing a potential complaint in the appeals court.
Then Kozinski dared to ask how an appeals court would handle such a lawsuit.
(Shock and awe! A rational question!)
Unlike the U.S. district courts, appeals courts are NOT designed to take NEW testimony or NEW evidence, but merely to review existing records/testimony and evidence. What record would there be, the judge asked, reminding the federal lawyer that those who challenge their no-fly listing receive ONLY a letter from the TSA that does NOT actually divulge if they are on the list!
Waldman responded that there 'COULD' be a record, because intelligence agencies would have some reason for putting the person on the no-fly list. But, he finally admitted to the judge, he couldn't say what those records would be, or whether they could be shared publicly.
[THAT'S RIGHT, IT'S A SECRET! HOW COULD WE FORGET?]
Judge Richard Tallman, showing us his bench-smarts, questioned why the 15 men involved in the lawsuit had 'failed to exhaust their challenges under the government process'.
Choudhury, the plaintiffs' attorney said her clients wouldn't know WHAT to appeal because letters received from the TSA provide so [freaking] little information! [THINK, TALLMAN, THINK!] They're told ONLY that a determination has been made in their case, FORCING them to buy ANOTHER plane ticket to see whether they can fly THIS TIME!
Little else, it appears, is EVER made public when it comes to these secret lists! Not even those who may believe they're on it can get a definitive answer, not even after filing a formal challenge, Choudhury said to the three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
BOTTOM LINE...THE SAME FOR ANY OF US WHO MAY FIND OURSELVES ON THESE LISTS?
"'The appeals panel is considering reinstating a lawsuit filed in 2010 in Portland that contends the FBI and the federal Terrorist Screening Center violate constitutional rights to due process with the no-fly list. The judges heard oral arguments in the case from Choudhury and Joshua Waldman from the Justice Department.
A RULING IS NOT EXPECTED FOR MONTHS!
An old military acronym I heard my father, uncles and others use often comes to mind....
Look it up...
FOLLOWING ARE SEVERAL CASES OF PEOPLE WHO FOUND THEMSELVES ON A NO-FLY LIST.
18-month old child appeared to be on no-fly list
4 year old 'terrorist'
August 19, 2008
"'James Robinson is a retired Air National Guard brigadier general and a commercial pilot for a major airline who flies passenger planes around the country. He has even been certified by the Transportation Security Administration to carry a weapon into the cockpit as part of the government's defense program should a terrorist try to commandeer a plane.
But there's one problem: James Robinson, the pilot, has difficulty even getting to his plane because his name is on the government's terrorist "watch list."
That means he can't use an airport kiosk to check in; he can't do it online; he can't do it curbside. Instead, like thousands of Americans whose names match a name or alias used by a suspected terrorist on the list, he must go to the ticket counter and have an agent verify that he is James Robinson, the pilot, and not James Robinson, the terrorist.'"
The FBI, which manages the Terrorist Screening Database, placed the name James Robinson on it, but which James Robinson? We may never know! We only know that name requires extra-special "hanling" for this pilot, or any other American with that name.
Daniel Brown, a United States Marine returning from Iraq, was prevented from boarding a flight home in April 2006 because his name matched one on the No Fly List. [ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12284855/ ]
In August 2004, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) told a Senate Judiciary Committee discussing the No Fly List that he had appeared on the list and had been repeatedly delayed at airports. He said it had taken him three weeks of appeals directly to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to have him removed from the list. Kennedy said he was eventually told that the name "T Kennedy" was added to the list because it was once used as an alias of a suspected terrorist. There are an estimated 7,000 American men whose legal names correspond to "T Kennedy". (Senator Kennedy, whose first name was Edward and for whom "Ted" was only a nickname, would not have been one of them.) Recognizing that as a U.S. Senator he was in a privileged position of being able to contact Ridge, Kennedy said of "ordinary citizens": "How are they going to be able to get to be treated fairly and not have their rights abused?"
[See: Rudolph W. Giuliani: The Resilient Society. A blueprint for homeland security. City Journal winter 2008, vol.18, no.1]
Walter F. Murphy, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton, reported that the following exchange took place at Newark on 1 March 2007, where he was denied a boarding pass "because I [Professor Murphy] was on the Terrorist Watch list." The airline employee asked, "Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that." "I explained," said professor Murphy, "that I had not so marched but had, in September 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the constitution." To which the airline employee responded, "That'll do it."
[See: Wolf, Naomi (April 24, 2007). "Fascist America, in 10 easy steps". The Guardian (London). Retrieved May 20, 2010. ]
YUP, THAT WILL DO IT!
9/11 AND THE ENSUING PARANOIA AND POWER-HUNGRY PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS HAVE ROBBED US OF OUR FREEDOMS, MY FRIENDS, AND WE HAVEN'T SEE THE WORST YET!