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Government Secrecy Spurs $4 Million Lawsuit Over Simple 'No Fly' List Error

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the government-efficiency-at-work dept.

Government 239

An anonymous reader writes "After a seven-year lawsuit costing nearly $4 million, a judge has concluded that Rahinah Ibrahim's student visa was revoked because an FBI agent checked the wrong box on a form. That simple human error resulted in the detention of Rahinah Ibrahim, the revocation of her student visa years later and interruption of her PhD studies. The Bush and later Obama administrations obstructed the lawsuit repeatedly, invoking classified evidence, sensitive national security information and the state secrets privilege to prevent disclosure of how suspects are placed on the 'no-fly' list. The dispute eventually involved statements of support from James Clapper, Eric Holder and several other DOJ and TSA officials in favor of the government's case. The defendant was not allowed to enter the United States even to attend her own lawsuit trial and in a separate incident, her daughter, a U.S. citizen, was denied entry to witness the trial as well. The case exemplifies how government secrecy can unintentionally transform otherwise easily corrected errors into a multi-year legal and bureaucratic nightmare and waste millions of taxpayer dollars in doing so."

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Um... (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#46231479)

"The case exemplifies how government secrecy can unintentionally transform otherwise easily corrected errors into a multi-year legal and bureaucratic nightmare and waste millions of taxpayer dollars in doing so."

Who said it was unintentional?

Re:Um... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231535)

Hanlon's Razor:
"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

Re:Um... (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#46231653)

Can't we split the difference and attribute it to malicious stupidity?

Re:Um... (3, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 9 months ago | (#46231993)

Can't we split the difference and attribute it to malicious stupidity?

Well if we are piling on, why not pernicious malicious stupidity?
After all, this went on through multiple administrations...
Isn't it nice to see that both parties can agree on some things?

Re:Um... (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about 9 months ago | (#46232381)

Why not pernicious ass covering.

They didn't like her, so they just snuck her onto the no-fly list, and now that the shit has hit the fan they are going with a slip of the pencil.

That's their story and they are stuck with it.

And it may prove the undoing of the No Fly List. After all, this proves once again how ridiculously stupid the whole concept is, especially when there is no way to challenge it.

Just change it to a extra-special-search list, and let people fly but check them carefully. After all if they have no weapons in their shoes or underwear, and there are not more than 2 of them on any given flight, what's the problem? There are hundreds of people on the list for no reason what so ever.

Re:Um... (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#46232527)

Someone somewhere made an error. The Government (TM) *never* makes mistakes. $4,000,000 to bend reality to make it true is a small price to pay for government infalibility.

Re:Um... (2)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 9 months ago | (#46232537)

The weird part is ppl with ties to terror orgs have no trouble getting in.

Its a serious WTF moment.

Re:Um... (5, Funny)

avandesande (143899) | about 9 months ago | (#46232349)

Or invoke Grey's Law: "Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice"

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231665)

Who said it was malice? The only thing MightyMartian said was that it was intentional. That does not necessarily translate into malice.

Re:Um... (2)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 9 months ago | (#46232049)

Intentionally kicking someone out of a country they are legally entitled to be in is quite malicious.

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232125)

Especially since her daughter is a US citizen.

Re:Um... (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | about 9 months ago | (#46232099)

The third option is it was intentional and defensible. This court case has found that it was indefensible, so we dismiss that, leaving intentional malice vs. unintentional consequences.

I am not aware of a fourth option.

Re:Um... (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 9 months ago | (#46231797)

He said it was intentional, that in no way makes it any more intelligent.

Re:Um... (2)

idontgno (624372) | about 9 months ago | (#46231885)

To paraphrase whomever put words in the mouth of Stalin, "Stupidity has a malice all its own."

Re:Um... (4, Funny)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 9 months ago | (#46232109)

Everything can be explained by stupidity, including this post.

Back to topic: "Brazil" called, it wants its plot back.

Re:Um... (4, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about 9 months ago | (#46232197)

It takes a great amount of insanity to keep blaming the same repeated actions as "stupidity."

George Gordon Byron
“Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.”

Re:Um... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232241)

Buggerbum's excuse:
"if caught doing something malicious, quote Hanlon's Razor. If the jury is composed of slashtards you're home and dry. "

Re:Um... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231681)

More importantly, where's cold fjord and Dave Schroeder to tell us how this $4 million in tax dollars were spent to save precious American lives?

Re:Um... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232431)

More importantly, where's cold fjord and Dave Schroeder to tell us how this $4 million in tax dollars were spent to save precious American lives?

Where are they to tell us yet again that we're not turning into a police state?

Abuse of National Security with no appeal as CYA is one of the hallmarks of such institutions.

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231765)

Who said it was unintentional?

The anti-worker groupthink did.

From TFS, it was an FBI agent who made the mistake. And what is an FBI agent? An employee. If that employee was acting intentionally, that means somebody in management (government, Congress, etc) ordered him to do so. That's simply unacceptable. Management is never wrong. When bad things happen, it's always the employee's fault.

If we had robots doing the work like drones working for the military, this wouldn't have happened!

Re:Um... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232267)

"The case exemplifies how government secrecy can unintentionally transform otherwise easily corrected errors into a multi-year legal and bureaucratic nightmare and waste millions of taxpayer dollars in doing so."

Who said it was unintentional?

The error was unintentional, and the response had nothing to do with national security. It had entirely to do with power. The bureaucracy cannot risk admitting that it had made a mistake, or the basis for its power comes under scrutiny.
For the government, ruining someone's life and wasting millions of dollars is a small price to pay to avoid the risk of being embarrassed.

Just 1 Anonymous Coward (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231483)

Dear Slashdot User,

Speaking for myself as AC but reflecting on everything.

This comment is about Beta and the revolt. If you're not interested do move on, sorry for the brief interruption and Thanks.

I'll start by saying surely there's folk bothered by the anti-beta floods. I apologize if it's frustrated anyone who wants normal discussion flow. The fact is there's some of us who feel (super) passionate about this drastic redesign. Nerd or Don Juan, whatever [buzzword that describes you]...it would take a lobotomized sociopath to not even feebly feel something unsettling about the yanking of the historic roots of this site we call slashdot.org. Whether 1997 or 2006 or 2010 was your first time around these woods... there's much to admire and appreciate.

My bias is that I am 101% anti-beta on all points including ease of use, functionality & decimation of dense threaded discussion. It's ugly and hideous to me on so many levels. I could go on with a list UI details, I'll push that aside for now.

What I'm here to say is that as unprecedented as Slashdot's rise was - equally unprecedented is the scene unfolding in the altslashdot/slashcott movement. For or against, let's pause to admit this truth.

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-From trolls to flamewars to humor to all the memes, prose & poetry, robot crap-flooding to real intelligent valuable discussion and debate-
(If there was all of 1, it wouldn't work. It was that they all got to play)

Don't let what some call "immature" anti beta flooding fog your perception of the movement that is altslashdot. We are 150 strong in the channel and rising. We are busy resurrecting a dusty time machine that is the Slashcode from a long, ill-destined slumber. In all ~16 years of this site's unprecedented growth and dull drifting into "irrelevance" - can you say the community has ever been this ignited? This united?

I watch Facebook and Google+ destroy persona. I watch Google+ destroy old Google. I watch numerous sites redesign into turgid-with-whitespace messes. For some reason, the decimation of old Slashdot kicks me the in gut harder than the lamest trends of 3.0 and SOME lame things of 2.0.

I'm not saying I have all the answers. I have questions, too. Malda, how could you leave your dear creation in such apparently heavily corporate non-community minded hands? Why not some sort of not-for-profit to keep operational? Anything to at least let it operate with self-respect and not have to morph into something so ugly that is Beta. Oh well, I'm not a tycoon how would I know.

Maybe it's just the last straw for some of us. I believe altslashdot of many things goes beyond Slashdot itself and represents the intangible kicked-in-the-stomach feelings of many as the Internet changes over time - in this case not for the better.

To conclude, disgust with Beta can be expressed in many shades of grey, black or white. A heroic and perilous historical movement is taking place, ##altslashdot being the core of its engine. We battle for our beliefs like never before in the face of a twisted, ugly monster (that is not only Beta itself the end product, but all that is that conceived its bastardly existence).

We are trying to launch a Slashdot of old into the modern world. Our mission is community and absence of pure profit driven design. There's no free lunch but Lord let there be potlucks!

And I encourage you to join not to support nor pan per say... but to simply witness an awesome part of history unfold. A rebirth. A reclamation.

It's not so much whether we fail or succeed. It's about believing in something with feeling strong enough to band together and take charge. It's a fight for control over all frustrations described hereto. It's about going out obnoxiously kicking and screaming. It's about stabbing into the unknown and believing in what we feel is right.

If we fall, splinter, fade to digital dust - so be it. If we succeed then it was meant to be.

Sincerely Thank you for reading... AND FUCK BETA


Using your web browser:
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http://sylnt.us/wiki [sylnt.us]

Re:Just 1 Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232115)

Goodbye to the ##altslashdot crowd, and thanks for all the fish...

Maybe now the rest of us who do not see Beta as the end of the world, but rather as an honest attempt to bring Slashdot into the mobile touchscreen 21st century, can enjoy our articles in peace...

This is outrageous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231501)

I'd really like to kick these people in the nuts but I don't want to end up in gitmo.

Re:This is outrageous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231589)

If our forefathers didn't have the stones to kick the Queen in the nuts, we'd all be speaking English right now. Be a real patriot, son, and kick away.

Re:This is outrageous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232121)

You mean the same forefathers who passed the Alien and Sedition Acts only 10 years after the Constitution was ratified?

Re:This is outrageous (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 9 months ago | (#46232313)

The worst tyrants are the formerly oppressed.

MUST BE STOPPED (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231503)

This kind of abuse must be stopped. The constitutional protections our forefathers put into place were meant to stop these exact types of abuses of the people. The longer this goes on, the more we become injured to the abuses, the harder it will be to redress.

Re:MUST BE STOPPED (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232021)

I don't understand how lawsuits can be "obstructed". If the governement is unwilling to cooperate with the court, then the court should side with Rahinah Ibrahim 100%. Case closed.

Re:MUST BE STOPPED (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 9 months ago | (#46232133)

Care to explain the Alien and Sedition acts passed in 1798, then?

This is how it's done: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231521)

... the state secrets privilege to prevent disclosure of how suspects are placed on the 'no-fly' list.

Brown skin? - check.

Muslim sounding name? - check

Power trippy government grunt? - check.

No Fly For You!

It happened to her. (5, Insightful)

what2123 (1116571) | about 9 months ago | (#46231523)

"Ah but that will never happen to me" - The Mainstream American Mentality. Source - American, living in U.S. of America.

Re:It happened to her. (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 9 months ago | (#46231757)

"Ah but that will never happen to me" - The Mainstream American Mentality.

Source - American, living in U.S. of America.

Alternate source: the comment section of pretty much every American mainstream media outlet, save Slashdot.

I like to "joke" that I visit the Yahoo forums just so I can lose faith in humanity.

What about the kill list? (2, Interesting)

mveloso (325617) | about 9 months ago | (#46232041)

Just imagine how many people are on the "let's kill them with drones" list by mistake.

That includes the "let's kill the American citizen" list.

"Never attribute to malice what you can attribute to incompetence."
- someone or another.

How often does this happen? (4, Insightful)

erfunath (962996) | about 9 months ago | (#46231525)

Now imagine how many people get to enjoy this sort of thing on a daily basis, and either don't want to go through the trouble of challenging it or can't afford to.

Hubris and Pride (5, Insightful)

MBC1977 (978793) | about 9 months ago | (#46231533)

Sometimes I think the biggest weapon against humankind is our inability to admit when we are wrong. An obscene amount of money and time is fucking wasted everyday because we can't man up and admit to being wrong. I understand the need for operational secrecy, but sometimes just saying: "Yeah, I fucked up." Would be a much better approach.

Re:Hubris and Pride (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#46231623)

When you have secret evidence someone isn't allowed to see or challenge, this is exactly what you'll get.

Because it become impossible to tell the difference between some malicious person just arbitrarily putting you on the list, and some incompetent idiot who didn't bother checking.

My guess, the government never bothered checking any facts during this process -- they just said it was secret evidence and that they didn't need to explain themselves.

And the government has very little interest in having it come to light that their No Fly List is based on sketchy, unsupported evidence, and that it's full of errors which can't be fixed because they're either lazy, incompetent, or acting in a malicious manner. Because then people would know how lousy of a job they're doing.

Re:Hubris and Pride (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232137)

My guess, the government never bothered checking any facts during this process -- they just said it was secret evidence and that they didn't need to explain themselves.

This - most likely the people involved in the case didn't have access to see the classified information, thus no way to verify it, thus assumed she was guilty of something and therefore were blind to the possibility of a screw-up.

Re:Hubris and Pride (2)

AdamThor (995520) | about 9 months ago | (#46232203)

" ...and some incompetent idiot who didn't bother checking."

Not far into the comments and I've already seen this kind of language applied to whoever committed the original error. And not to bum on you -- it's natural to be irritated at the source of a problem. This kind of attitude, however, is what makes it difficult to retract a mistake. The agent may be good, competent, smart, but errors still happen.

Error handling is the issue here, not error commission.

Re:Hubris and Pride (1)

fsagx (1936954) | about 9 months ago | (#46232403)

Often an agent will try to fill out a form, hoping that another exceptional agent will catch it. Finally, it goes to court.

Re:Hubris and Pride (1)

Rinikusu (28164) | about 9 months ago | (#46231673)

My only thoughts on this are the massive lawsuits that result. "AHA! YOU ADMITTED IT! IT'S TIME TO SUE!"

Sad, really.

Re:Hubris and Pride (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232029)

What other recourse is there?

Re:Hubris and Pride (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 9 months ago | (#46232149)

You do realize such lawsuits will only happen if the government lets it, right? You haven't missed the last 30 years of case law regarding this, have you?

Re:Hubris and Pride (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231775)

Sometimes I think the biggest weapon against humankind is our inability to admit when we are wrong.

Speak for yourself, and that moron in the White House.

Re:Hubris and Pride (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231823)

You have no career in politics.

Re:Hubris and Pride (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 9 months ago | (#46232079)

True that: he's at a competitive disadvantage.

Re:Hubris and Pride (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 9 months ago | (#46232171)

That's because we live in a litigious society. That sets you up for a fat settlement payout. Ever wonder why people always say "I regret..." in some statement of admission rather than "I apologize"? That's because the latter is admission of responsibility and the former simply means "I wish it didn't happen" in legalize.

When Gloria Alred is running around with some bimbo trying to elicit the words "I apologize" that's why (such as she did with one of Tiger Wood's mistresses).

Re:Hubris and Pride (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232429)

In a bureaucracy, it's often easier for each person in the chain to say "not my fault and as far as I have bothered checking nobody before me made a mistake" than to investigate the entire chain until finding where the mistake actually happened.

This holds true for all values of N and N+1 after a point very early on.

Re:Hubris and Pride (1)

swb (14022) | about 9 months ago | (#46232439)

I sometimes think this is due to the paramilitary, authoritarian nature of law enforcement, with all of its military-style ranks, commands, etc.

There seems to be something about those kinds of organizations that is always inclined to hide and cover up mistakes than to admit a simple mistake and make amends for it. The organizations seem highly punitive internally, with a low tolerance for errors. They also seem to look at making mistakes or at least admitting to them as somehow undermining their authority, as if their authority only works if they are always right.

I'd also imagine in a case like the no-fly list there are a lot of top-down orders that the list is always right, and if there are questions, see rule #1.

this is the original case for government secrecy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231567)

ie, to prevent screw-ups and Buttle/Tuttles from being found out!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Secrets_Privilege#Supreme_Court_recognition_in_United_States_v._Reynolds

Large damages should be paid (5, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 9 months ago | (#46231591)

to Rahinah Ibrahim, not only for the financial loss that this has caused her but the inconvenience, emotional anguish, etc, etc. This should be paid by the individuals who acted to cover this up - not the organisations that they worked for, where the fine would just be added to the national tax bill. The fine must be high enough so that it really hurts all the individuals who contribute to the fine.

The fine should not be paid by the FBI agent who made the original error, he screwed up (we all do occasionally) and I doubt that he made the mistake maliciously. The fine should be paid by the individuals who were asked to review the case and who conspired to pervert the law of the USA, those who thought it more important to protect a decision by a government department than to see the right thing done. If these individuals are allowed to get away with it then expect this sort of thing to continue.

Re:Large damages should be paid (4, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | about 9 months ago | (#46231667)

Fine? Excuse me but we are talking about blatent denials of civil rights. We are talking about a criminal conspiracy to cover up wrongdoing and deny her basic civil right to have her grievance heard.

Fines do not cover this sort of criminal action, each and every one of them should spend the rest of their lives with a felony conviction, and every one of them should do time for it.

Re:Large damages should be paid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231755)

You and the GP are full of shit. She has no right to enter this country, period. There were indeed a lot of assholes involved in this from our side, but at the end of the day she has no rights as a US citizen because she is not a US citizen.

Re:Large damages should be paid (5, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 9 months ago | (#46231815)

What about her daughter who - according to the summary - is both a US citizen AND was denied entry as well. If I leave the country on business, are you saying I have no right to re-enter the country I have citizenship in if the government decides not to allow it? If so, the potential for abuse is incredible.

Re:Large damages should be paid (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231871)

And you wonder why the rest of us avoids Us like the plague?

Captcha: delayed

And her daughter was placed on no-fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231935)

So she couldn't fly into the US to testify on her mother's behalf. There's "screwing up" and there's "piling it on higher and deeper." Which one do you think this falls into.

Re:Large damages should be paid (2)

profplump (309017) | about 9 months ago | (#46231877)

Exactly. And we all know that the one thing that defines human beings and their rights is the geographic coordinates of their mother at the time of their birth. If you're unhappy with the situation there's really no one to blame but her -- if she cared about you having rights she would have found some way to get her vagina inside the US border before squeezing you out.

Re:Large damages should be paid (4, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about 9 months ago | (#46231985)

Please cite where in the US constitution it states that only citizens have the right to fair trials or to petition the government for redress of grievance. All people dealing with the US government or within US boarders have those rights.

These people are not just assholes, they are blatant criminals.

Re:Large damages should be paid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232277)

Her daughter is citizen of the US and she was also denied entry into the US. This is so wrong on so many levels that I don't know where to start first, constitutional rights, due process, abuse of power, tampering with a witness, holding children responsible for the real or imaginary crimes of their parents ....

Re:Large damages should be paid (-1, Troll)

benzapp (464105) | about 9 months ago | (#46231941)

I'm sorry, the woman in question is not a citizen. She has no civil rights. She was not even let into the country.

Re:Large damages should be paid (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 9 months ago | (#46232147)

Oh? What about her daughter, who wasn't even the person of interest?

Re:Large damages should be paid (3, Insightful)

Your.Master (1088569) | about 9 months ago | (#46232153)

Non-citizens absolutely have civil rights, especially (but not exclusively) ones who were legally there. She was not just denied entry into the US arbitrarily, she was actually abused while inside the US, and apparently basically deported. You can't just deport people legally in the US with the same impunity you can deny them entry, in part because of, again, civil rights.

Re:Large damages should be paid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232399)

Shut The FUCK up you NIGGER.

Re:Large damages should be paid (3, Funny)

Rob_Bryerton (606093) | about 9 months ago | (#46232025)

Agree completely. And while we're add it, put 'em on the No-Fly list.

Re:Large damages should be paid (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231671)

If senior government officials can commit perjury before congress and get away with it, I see no reason why anything is likely to be done in the case of some foreigner losing her visa.

Re:Large damages should be paid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232365)

What do you mean "If"?
Oh, it was a rhetorical question?

Re:Large damages should be paid (1)

cowwoc2001 (976892) | about 9 months ago | (#46232117)

+1

Everyone makes mistakes, but the individuals who did not act in good faith should be held personally accountable.

They were justified... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231597)

“...Under this policy, the Department of Justice will defend an assertion of the state secrets privilege in litigation, and seek dismissal of a claim on that basis, only when necessary to protect against the risk of significant harm to national security,...”

They did the right thing. They were protecting against the risk of significant harm to (the reputation of) national security i.e. they'd look like a bunch of incompetent cock-smokers if it ever came out.

Re:They were justified... (1, Insightful)

suutar (1860506) | about 9 months ago | (#46232059)

I'm not sure I agree that constitutes harm. They already looked like a bunch of incompetent cock-smokers.

Sometimes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231617)

..an accident is just an accident.

Was her name Buttle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231635)

Or Tuttle?

Dear U.S.A. Citizens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231695)

When will you get around to calling to heel your democratically elected government of your fine republic and shining example of world-class leadership in liberty and civic rights?

It really is no wonder the other 95% of the world's population is getting a little fed up with your country. It's time for you to step up and so something. Like your founding fathers expected you to.

Re:Dear U.S.A. Citizens (0)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 9 months ago | (#46231739)

Oh fucking please. Try that shit in Mexico or 90% of the nations of the world. Suing them for not letting you into the country for _any_ reason they want? Good luck with that.

Re:Dear U.S.A. Citizens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232085)

Yes. Let's use Mexico as our bar.

Re:Let's use Mexico as our bar. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232417)

Okay, Margaritas for everyone!

Re:Dear U.S.A. Citizens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232175)

Right. Let's use Mexico as our standard.

Re:Dear U.S.A. Citizens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232519)

And forget just how it got to be such a mess there. Like just who it was again that started a veritable "war on drugs".

More to the point, claiming you're the bestest evar then as soon as someone calls you on it and tells you to live up to the accolades you keep on awarding yourself, pointing to some place that shirly must have it worse... is disingenious at best.

But hey, if that's the example the USA wants to set to the world, eh.

OK - I'll be that guy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231723)

The lawsuit should be dismissed as she is not a US citizen and entry is a _privilege_ not a right. Sure, it was assholish but what-evuh.

Re:OK - I'll be that guy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231913)

No fly lists are unjust, disgusting, and shouldn't be allowed in any case. They put her through trouble that most non-citizens don't have to go through, and for that, she deserves compensation. Don't be "that guy" who defends government thugs.

Re:OK - I'll be that guy. (2, Insightful)

profplump (309017) | about 9 months ago | (#46231925)

I know. The willful obstruction of justice isn't important. And even if it was, we don't have to worry because they'd never do that to a citizen. I know the summary and article note how a US citizen was also denied travel, but I'm sure there was a good reason for that too, that we don't need to understand.

I'm not sure why we're even talking about this -- it's not like Canadians are human beings in the first place

Re:OK - I'll be that guy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231981)

A privilege? You make it sound like a positive thing.

No fly for websites (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231741)

It might be just as classified as why Dice is pushing Beta. Also slashdot might go on my no-fly list

#F-Beta!

I'll just leave the following here...
http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/02/slashdots-new-interface-could-kill-what-keeps-slashdot-relevant/

Slashdot’s new interface could kill what keeps Slashdot relevant
Flashy revamp seeks to draw new faces to the community—at the cost of the old

Ars Technica and Slashdot go back a long way—we link each others' stories quite often, and though Slashdot lacks the strength which in old days could knock sites offline merely by linking to them, it remains a brilliant community of commenters. To sweep that community aside in favor of something else would be tragic.

what what what WHAT (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231861)

her daughter, a U.S. citizen, was denied entry to witness the trial as well.

I was under the impression that, once one's status is verified and there is no arrest warrant waiting, a United States citizen cannot be denied the right of re-entry.

Or is this yet another basic right that magically disappears when someone utters the "b b but terrorism" incantation, along with your rights to (among others) privacy and due process? (captcha was, fittingly, "rackets")

No fly list (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46231867)

I once upon a time worked for the agency that does the no fly list. I am sure they are walking around their office saying that the lady is a terrorist and the court just did not understand the information that they had withhold from the court to protect the country. Needless to say these guys have never let truth interfere with their distortion of reality.

Re:No fly list (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 9 months ago | (#46232031)

It's called confirmation bias. Once Ibrahim was branded a "bad guy", mere lack of evidence was not enough to get her un-branded.

Have we become our own worst enemy? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232013)

It seems to me we have become the very thing we used to criticize about the rest of the world.

We have become the terrorist, the religious intolerant, the torturer, the nation that spies on its own citizens, the nation with secret courts, the suppressor of voters, and the nation that uses government to quell protesters. When fear is our motivation, the most irrational statements begin to sound reasonable and take on a life of their own and strange combinations of bedfellows develop.

I imagine that even Bin Laden would be surprised the extent to which a single organized attack could inject its backward thinking into a nation that claimed to be so different than the rest.

Don't believe it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232047)

I think it's more likely this was completely intentional on the Government's part, based on dubious intelligence like "Ibrahim's cell phone was tracked using NSA overseas spying resources to a coffee shop where, one time, the third cousin once removed of someone we suspect might have said something positive about Islam purchased coffee. Therefore, she must be a terrorist sympathizer."

"Checked the wrong box on a form" screams cop-out to me. Really - the process to ruin someone's life involves just a form with checkboxes?

I was on that list too... (4, Interesting)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 9 months ago | (#46232081)

I have light skin and a very anglo-sounding name. One day I go to check in for my flight and discover that I can't print my boarding pass. So I go to the ticket counter and after some hushed tone conversations they give me my boarding pass. This happens three weeks in a row and finally I ask someone why I can't print the darn pass at home. It was then I discovered that I'm on the no-fly list.

Eventually I was able to get something called a "Redress number" and was then able to board planes like everyone else.

But what pissed me off was that a) I was never told that I was on the no-fly list b) Nobody was able to tell me why I ended up on it in the first place c) I had to clear my name to get off the list.

In effect I was tried and convicted without even knowing that I was charged with anything. The late Senator Ted Kennedy was famously put on this list as well. Yet another example of blatant government stupidity and waste.

Re:I was on that list too... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#46232167)

But what pissed me off was that a) I was never told that I was on the no-fly list b) Nobody was able to tell me why I ended up on it in the first place c) I had to clear my name to get off the list.

The first rule of the no-fly list is you do NOT talk about the no-fly list.

And the second rule is that since it's secret and arbitrary, you don't have any real recourse -- because as we see in the article, the government will stone-wall you and possibly lie to cover up their own incompetence.

Re:I was on that list too... (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 9 months ago | (#46232193)

There were a handful of political enemies who ended up on the no-fly list around the same time. This is when people had no redress options.

Re:I was on that list too... (3, Interesting)

Ksevio (865461) | about 9 months ago | (#46232217)

Also worrying: If you were on the no fly list, why did they print you a boarding pass? Just because you didn't look like a terrorist?

Re:I was on that list too... (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 9 months ago | (#46232367)

The late Senator Ted Kennedy was famously put on this list as well.

Well to be fair more in the house and senate should be put on the list as that would probably do more for protecting national security than just about all other possible actions combined.

Joking aside it would be nice if those in government got to experience more of this type of abuse of power as then they might actually reign it in and not write laws that they claim will never be abused but always are. I know I am on some list as every time I fly my bags get searched and I end up getting extra screening. Even assuming that they do extra screening to 50% of people and screen 50% of all checked luggage (both would be highly suspect) that would mean I would have a better chance of winning 2 consecutive Powerball jackpots than being searched or having my luggage checked as much as it has.

Re:I was on that list too... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 9 months ago | (#46232545)

"a) I was never told that I was on the no-fly list"

That's the real issue. It should be mandatory people are told unless they are under direct observation.

This is new. One time I failed a background check, but they couldn't tell me why. It was stupid.
It turned out there was a warrant issued for me a DECADE earlier in a different state. They could give men any information.
After thinking about it, I called the county in Colorado where I had gotten a ticket a decade earlier, and they either didn't mark that I had paid. Through sheer luck I had the checks the bank had return ed to me.* I wa ale to take care of it.

The damnable thing is I wasn't exactly hard to track down. I was stationed in Wyoming for a year after the warrant went out. They could have sent me a letter.

*It used to be the norm that process checks were returned to the check writer.

What will this do for US academia (5, Insightful)

johanw (1001493) | about 9 months ago | (#46232111)

More and more bright foreign students will choose a country with a friendlier climate to study. Let the US continue like this and remember how THEY got their leadership position in research: all those scientists who fled from Europe before, during and just after WW2. If the US becomes a country people don't want to travel to they can do the same for themselves when Germany did when it threw all Jewish scientists out.

Virgin Mary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232127)

A bit off topic...

I know I am supposed to be affraid of muslims (and I am in general) but doesn't she look like the Virgin Mary in that mugshot? I am Catholic and I grew up with pictures and images of the Virgin Mary all around me (particularly when visiting my grandparents). Every time I see a muslim woman with this particular style of headscarf it always makes me think of the Virgin Mary. Not sure if other Catholics feel the same way....

I mean... I'd still lock her up in a freaking dungeon and throw away the key if she poses a threat to our country (despite the fact that she looks like the Virgin Mary).

Brazil (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 9 months ago | (#46232275)

when I saw this [imdb.com] , I thought it was a fantasy film, not a fucking documentary of American civilisation.

In Soviet USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46232389)

Lawsuits will destroy you

Sigh.. (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 9 months ago | (#46232483)

Bush, and Obama* where correct in there assertions. Why? becasue their decisions where based on bad data created by someone at the FBI.

*Some one under them, probably. Remember no president run the day to day affairs of the DoJ. It just isn't possible.

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