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Alan C.

After 7 years, one person gets off the gov’t no-fly list

After 7 years, exactly one person gets off the gov't no-fly list

 

The Ibrahim case marks the first and only successful challenge to the terrorist watch-listing program, which arose following the 9/11 attacks. But Ibrahim's case, as just one of hundreds of thousands of individuals who have been placed on such lists, shows the system's opacity. First, the only surefire way to even determine if one is on such a list in the US is to attempt to board a flight and be denied. Even after that happens, when a denied person inquires about his or her status, the likely response will be that the government “can neither confirm nor deny” the placement on such lists.. . .The 'redress' procedures the US government provides for those who have been wrongly or mistakenly included on a watchlist are wholly inadequate. Even after people know the government has placed them on a watchlist... the government's official policy is to refuse to confirm or deny watchlist status. Nor is there any meaningful way to contest one's designation as a potential terrorist and ensure that the US government... removes or corrects inadequate records. The result is that innocent people can languish on the watchlists indefinitely, without real recourse.The report also includes several examples of people challenging no-fly determinations, and it's a very murky procedure. Litigation is typically subject to sealed filings and a closed proceeding.One of the secrets of the government's watchlists is how big they are. No one outside of the intelligence community seems to know for sure. The ACLU report cites a National Counterterrorism Center Fact Sheet, which notes that the "consolidated terrorist watchlist" contained about 875,000 names in December 2011. It also described how the Terrorist Screening Center's watchlist has grown significantly over time, from approximately 158,000 records in June 2004 to over 1.1 million records in May 2009. It cites an AP report from February 2012 documenting that there were approximately 21,000 people on the no-fly list (including about 500 US citizens and permanent residents) and saying that the list had more than doubled in the previous year....the whole dispute stemmed from an errant check placed on a form filled out by FBI agent Kevin Kelly. At trial, Agent Kelly admitted his mistake, and government lawyers actually conceded that Ibrahim doesn't pose a threat to national security and never has. The mistake was not a small thing, Alsup wrote.At long last, the government has conceded that plaintiff poses no threat to air safety or national security and should never have been placed on the no-fly list. She got there by human error within the FBI… the FBI agent filled out the nomination form in a way exactly opposite from the instructions on the form, a bureaucratic analogy to a surgeon amputating the wrong digit—human error, yes, but of considerable consequence.Much of the litigation took place even while Ibrahim was unable to get much information about the government's case against her. In December, Alsup denied Ibrahim's request to see the classified evidence submitted by the government in its defense against her lawsuit.

 

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The title of this thread makes it sound like it was one person's goal to get off the list and it took them 7 years.  Thanks for sharing another great news article though Mr. Chapman. Keep 'em coming. :)

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In a free society, a "no-fly list" would be a suggestion to privately owned airlines. The airlines themselves would have the final say in who their services were available to.

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Pre-TSA I have around 350k+ air miles. Post-TSA I'm lucky if I have 10k miles. 

 

The TSA was simply a bailout of the airlines post 9/11. If they were sued the airlines and their insurance companies could have had to pay out billions, but now since it's the state you can't sue them. Given the opportunity I would start an airline and allow lawful citizens to carry weapons of their choosing on board. I can hear the pre-flight speech now... "In the event of a terrorist attack your judicious marksmanship is appreciated..." :)

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Pre-TSA I have around 350k+ air miles. Post-TSA I'm lucky if I have 10k miles. 

 

The TSA was simply a bailout of the airlines post 9/11. If they were sued the airlines and their insurance companies could have had to pay out billions, but now since it's the state you can't sue them. Given the opportunity I would start an airline and allow lawful citizens to carry weapons of their choosing on board. I can hear the pre-flight speech now... "In the event of a terrorist attack your judicious marksmanship is appreciated..." :)

 

Exactly. One wonders why airlines are not sued more often. If somebody dies in an amusement park or a zoo, even if the death was partly caused by their own reckless behavior, you'll never hear the end of it; but if a plane crashes or is hijacked, usually nothing happens, or at least it's not blown up to the same degree. I think this has a lot to do with how the State has been able to convince the masses that air travel is "an essential service" and it almost has a "public" status.

 

I don't know if it's the best idea to allow customers to carry guns on their persons while boarding the plane (though if properly checked with your bags it should be fine), but having one or two armed guards just in case may be a good idea. The reason it may be a bad idea to allow passengers to carry loaded guns on the plane is that, as I understand it, a few bullet holes on the plane can be a big problem while up on the air.

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I don't know if it's the best idea to allow customers to carry guns on their persons

 

What somebody has on their person that isn't harming others is nobody else's business. Whatever you have on your person, it would be arrogant for me to say that I'm "allowing it".

 

I've carried a firearm for over 8 years, including in the capacity of private investigator/security. I have yet to put a hole into anything. That's because nobody has forced my hand in firing it, even though my hand has been forced in drawing on another human being a few times. As I understand it, the bullet hole in a plane thing is mostly fantasy. Even if there is credibility, a turbulent, emergency landing is preferable to allowing a box cutter to lead to the world's tallest building to be crashed into, killing thousands and costing over a billion in property damage.

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What somebody has on their person that isn't harming others is nobody else's business. Whatever you have on your person, it would be arrogant for me to say that I'm "allowing it".

As the owner of the airplane and the provider of the service, you get to establish terms which customers must adhere to if they are to board your plane. If you determine that it's in your best interest as the owner of the airplane providing a travel service not to allow customers to board with loaded guns on their persons, then you are perfectly within your rights to demand that they hand them over so they can be safely stored for the duration of the flight. 

I've carried a firearm for over 8 years, including in the capacity of private investigator/security. I have yet to put a hole into anything. That's because nobody has forced my hand in firing it, even though my hand has been forced in drawing on another human being a few times.

That's great and I wish more people would do the same, and for the laws restricting this to be relaxed or eliminated, world-wide or in as many places as possible. 

As I understand it, the bullet hole in a plane thing is mostly fantasy.

Maybe it is, I don't know. 

Even if there is credibility, a turbulent, emergency landing is preferable

There are arguments both ways here. And it's not necessarily either/or. Other measures can be employed to prevent hijacking or other criminal actions in the plane.

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then you are perfectly within your rights to demand that they hand them over so they can be safely stored for the duration of the flight.

 

Yes, I was commenting towards the irrationality behind this concern. If "safety" is what's of interest, the last thing you want to do is ask somebody to touch their holstered weapon. Are they the type to ignore trigger guard safety and risk discharging it by drawing it? Do they know to not hand over a loaded firearm, especially in an closed-action state? There are a number of potential hazards that you welcome that would not be present if you simply skipped the step of rooting through people's pockets.

 

Other measures can be employed to prevent hijacking or other criminal actions in the plane.

 

Rather than having to use other measures to address the unsafe environment you created, it's better to simply not create the unsafe environment. I'm assuming you're talking about the armed guards you mentioned, and I'm sorry I didn't respond to that the first time.

 

Armed guards in a populated area are less safe for a number of reasons. Not the least of which is: Nobody cares about your safety more than you. Period. Greatly reducing the number of targets to be neutralized makes hostile action easier. "There are others here to protect you," offers a false sense of security and subsequent lowering of situational awareness. I mean, if you want to watch for suspicious activity, is a dozen eyes better than a thousand?

 

Nothing is safer against criminal action than a crowd of people who MIGHT all be packing because of the mystery alone. If you don't know who's armed and who isn't, it's a serious risk to aggress against even one amid many.

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Airplane mechanic here, bullet holes in the fuselage are basically a myth. There is always the possibility of catastrophic failure when you introduce new holes, but largely they just leak some air. Too many and you won't be able to maintain cabin pressure. I'd be much more concerned with holes in the pilots... :D

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