DOJ Finally Tells Short List Of People That They Are Officially Not On The No Fly List

from the it's-a-start dept

Last week, we wrote about Judge Anna Brown telling the DOJ to quit stalling and to tell a list of plaintiffs whether or not they were on the no fly list. This was a followup to her earlier ruling, noting that the process to get off of the list was unconstitutional. While a different court had ordered the US government to make sure that Rahinah Ibrahim was off the list in an earlier case (though she's been kept on another list), this was the first time that the court had directly ordered the US government to reveal to people whether or not they were on the list.

Late on Friday, the government sent a short letter to the ACLU, telling seven of the plaintiffs in the case that they were "not currently on the No Fly List as of the date of this letter."
From the ACLU:
Today’s letter from the government informed the seven plaintiffs that they “are not currently on the No Fly List.” One of the plaintiffs notified was Abe Mashal, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and dog trainer who suffered professionally and personally when he could not travel far from his home in Illinois.

“More than four years ago, I was denied boarding at an airport, surrounded by TSA agents, and questioned by the FBI,” said Mashal. “That day, many freedoms that I took for granted were robbed from me. I was never told why this happened, whether I was officially on the list, or what I could do to get my freedoms back. Now, I can resume working for clients who are beyond driving distance. I can attend weddings, graduations, and funerals that were too far away to reach by car or train. I can travel with my family to Hawaii, Jamaica, or anywhere else on vacation. Today, I learned I have my freedoms back."
It's pretty crazy the lengths Mashal had to go to get his freedoms "back."

The government still needs to respond to the other six plaintiffs in the case who it did not name in this letter -- though the fact that they were not named suggests they are still on the no fly list. The government has a bit more time with those people, since it needs to also provide some sort of explanation, and allow those people to effectively appeal their status on the list.

Filed Under: dhs, doj, homeland security, no fly list
Companies: aclu


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  • icon
    Rikuo (profile), 13 Oct 2014 @ 5:25am

    "Are not currently on the No Fly List as of the date of this letter"

    Knowing the games the DOJ loves to play, this doesn't rule out the DOJ taking them off of the list only for that one specific date, and then putting them back on the day after.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 6:17am

      Re:

      I doubt it; although they might be vindictive enough, they wouldn't want to give that kind of ammunition to the opposing side when they've just been ordered to give explanations to several other people. Whoever signed an order putting them off and then on the list, solely for the purposes of circumventing the intent of a court order, would almost certainly lose immunity for their actions.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Rikuo (profile), 13 Oct 2014 @ 6:55am

        Re: Re:

        ...I'm pretty sure Techdirt has reported on stories where the executive branch has circumvented the intent of court orders before, and immunity was not lost. They should have lost it, but they didn't.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Designerfx (profile), 13 Oct 2014 @ 7:13am

        Re: Re:

        It wouldn't surprise me at all. Or, we find them on another list which performs the same functions.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 9:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That would be a far more likely way of doing it: Have several lists and transfer people from one to the next. Make small differences in how they work and the transfering is unproblematic as long as the lists existance are kept under complete secrecy...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      scotts13 (profile), 13 Oct 2014 @ 7:26am

      Re:

      That was literally my first thought, that they'd be off the list for days at best, minutes at worst.

      The agencies are probably laughing their asses off how the public and judiciary sweat and strain for months to accomplish something they circumvent in seconds.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 8:14am

        Re: Re:

        This is something where statutory damages make sense since it maybe difficult to prove exact actual damages. However, instead, insane statutory damages are assigned to things like IP infringement in order to protect the profits of a big guy from the little competitor.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      art guerrilla (profile), 13 Oct 2014 @ 9:00am

      Re:

      @ rikuo-
      yes, exactly...
      it is perhaps difficult for kampers to understand that -YES- the gummint's eee-vil minions of doom WILL lie and dissemble in such obvious, childish, and simplistic ways...
      j edna hoover would regularly do shit like that: knowing he was going to a kongressional hearing where he was going to be grilled on 'illegal' wiretaps; he would order that all wiretaps be halted for that day, then go and testilie that 'no, kongresskritter, we have ZERO wiretaps ongoing at this point'...
      the next day, they put the wiretaps back on (if -in deed- they even bothered taking them off) and hoover was 'legally correct' in that they didn't (officially) have any wiretaps THAT DAY, but that was obviously a BIG LIE in the context of what was trying to be determined...

      AND when you have massive files and recordings of everyone who is anyone, that IMPLIED threat kept most anyone from challenging him on his bullshit...

      but i'm sure that has all been -you know- checked and balanced out of the system...
      *snort*

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Almost Anonymous, 13 Oct 2014 @ 1:31pm

      Re:

      Knowing the games the DOJ loves to play, this doesn't rule out the DOJ taking them off of the list only for that one specific date, and then putting them back on the day after.

      You're not thinking deviously enough. Yeah, they are off of the "No Fly" list. But now they are on the "Can Fly When Hell Freezes Over" list.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 2:30pm

      Re:

      "'Are not currently on the No Fly List as of the date of this letter'

      Knowing the games the DOJ loves to play, this doesn't rule out the DOJ taking them off of the list only for that one specific date, and then putting them back on the day after."


      It says a lot about the lack of character, integrity and trust citizens have in the US government, because I was thinking exactly the same thing while reading their statement.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 6:08am

    I think everyone who is on the list should be informed, or the ACLU should be given a complete list .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 6:36am

      Re:

      I think the list should basically not exist. If someone is an actual wanted terrorist, arrest them. If they're not, then they're not, and they should be able to fly. Maybe don't let them take any liquids at all on the plane; maybe give them an additional patdown right before they board. There IS already a list of people who get enhanced screening - use that. (But trim it. The list loses all meaning when you have over a million people on it.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      justok (profile), 13 Oct 2014 @ 11:52am

      Re:

      Just tell everyone who is NOT on the list. Probably a much shorter list

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 13 Oct 2014 @ 6:11am

    Shoot an entire school and you have your rights secured and the evidence used against you generally available for defense. Have barely resembling Arabic name or profess Islamic religion and you are stripped of your rights, placed on shady lists with no means of recourse.

    Now, this is obviously not ethnic, religious profiling, no. Imagine if a war breaks out where the other eminently Islamic country actually fights back and throws a bomb in the US not due to some terrorism bogeyman. I wouldn't be surprised if the US went full Nazi-profiling style in the blink of an eye. There's a tiny veil between security concerns and flat out profiling totalitarianism.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 7:17am

      Response to: Ninja on Oct 13th, 2014 @ 6:11am

      Are you implying there is a segment of the population that, through careful manipulation and willful ignorance, would force the Islamic population here in the states to wear a red crescent/star patch with the word 'MUSLIM' on it? But this is America! /sarcasm

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 13 Oct 2014 @ 8:38am

        Re: Response to: Ninja on Oct 13th, 2014 @ 6:11am

        I want to believe such a thing wouldn't happen. But then again much of what's happening in the US was kind of unthinkable a while back.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 9:15am

          Re: Re: Response to: Ninja on Oct 13th, 2014 @ 6:11am

          Unthinkable? Really? Just look back to WWII, when every person with Japanese roots where parked in camps without any regards for their rights or actual ties to Japan.

          That kind of thing has happened, and would without a shred of doubt happen again were the conditions deemed sufficient to roughly justify it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 12:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Response to: Ninja on Oct 13th, 2014 @ 6:11am

            "Unthinkable? Really? Just look back to WWII, when every person with Japanese roots where parked in camps without any regards for their rights or actual ties to Japan. That kind of thing has happened, and would without a shred of doubt happen again were the conditions deemed sufficient to roughly justify it."

            The Japanese Concentration camps might never have happened if the Japanese-American population had not stupidly filled out their US Census and checked the box for "Japanese" on the form, therefore painting themselves with a huge bullseye.

            This is why, in the US at least, the post-WWII census never asks for a person's religion, as the Jewish lobby made damn sure of that.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 9:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Ninja on Oct 13th, 2014 @ 6:11am

              Lucky for the government (& private businesses) that the census isn't really necessary for their purposes. Connect enough databases from data brokers and private/public security systems, and we're all walking around with digital patches attached to us.

              Want to profile someone? There's an app for that.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 6:41am

    It just means that the DOJ will wait until the case is over THEN put them on the list again, rather than "immediately after the report". That'd buy them several months of revenge while people wait for the case to come before the judge (again).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 6:42am

    the obvious problem with the letter from the DoJ is that those who have been told they are not on the No Fly List 'as of date ....' means that can change almost immediately, not because the people concerned do anything to deserve it but just because the DoJ CAN DO SO!! how the hell can these security forces say they are different from what WWII was fought over? they seem to me to be doing the same sort of thing, but in a supposed democratic country. it also appears you dont have to do anything. if someone doesn't like your name, you're in the crap and on the list!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 12:42pm

      Re:

      " how the hell can these security forces say they are different from what WWII was fought over?"

      Interesting.
      What do you think WW2 was fought over?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 1:02pm

        Re: Re:

        "What do you think WW2 was fought over?"

        The same (propaganda) reasons as WWI, of course, (as WWII was basically the second phase of WWI):

        1. Making the world safe for democracy
        2. The war to end all wars

        And there's little question that had WWI never been fought (or even had ended differently), the Nazis would not have taken over Germany and the Communists would not have taken over Russia.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Niall (profile), 14 Oct 2014 @ 5:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I would agree about the Nazis, other than that it was more about how Germany was treated post-WWI as anything. However, I think Russia and Communism was a lot separated from the War, as it happened during, not 15-20 years later, and would have happened anyway, even if not in that form.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Prashanth (profile), 13 Oct 2014 @ 7:01am

    Short people

    For a moment I read the headline as saying that short people are no longer on the no-fly list (implying that they were before). That would have been bizarre, but knowing the DOJ, well, it wouldn't have been totally unexpected I guess.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 1:06pm

      Re: Short people

      If anything, tall people should be banned from flights, other than the few lucky enough to grab emergency-isle seats.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 7:04am

    OK, this is from the DOJ, but did they tell the TSA?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ehud Gavron (profile), 13 Oct 2014 @ 7:42am

    typo

    quite stalling --> quit stalling

    Good read :)
    E

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 7:48am

    It is obvious...they were simply added to a different list and probably still cannot travel.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 9:51am

    Additional Lawsuit Material

    One of the plaintiffs notified was Abe Mashal, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and dog trainer who suffered professionally and personally when he could not travel far from his home in Illinois.
    Aside from suing to get removed from the list, that right there is what the law calls "injury." He has standing to sue the bejesus out of the government for lost wages, anguish, etc. If he hasn't already, he really ought to jump on this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2014 @ 6:42pm

    What are the odds they are just committing perjury again.

    If the head of the DoJ can do it and get away with it, why can't they.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Who Me?, 14 Oct 2014 @ 9:40am

    The Obvious

    What it boils down to in the New World Order is the failure to respect and adhere to established laws and Contitutional (cough) guarantees. Criminals wrapped in flags and platitudes, justifying crimes with decepgion, double talk, and false flag dog and pony shows are, in the end,still criminals. Congress has, in ecent times, passed laws justifying what would otherwise be criminal behavior (experiments on the public, without consent, etc., up to and including murder... Drones, anyone? Or death by interrogation, or falling out a helicopter during training, or out a window of a highrise...)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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