The U.S. government has guarded the requirements of the no-fly list as though it was the Da Vinci code but is yet another big scam in the mega-money machine that is the Global War on Terror (GWOT). The number one enemy of freedom and liberty is a government that is allowed to operate in secret and that is what we currently have in America circa 2014. Unaccountable mass surveillance, secret courts and secret lists are regular features of the modern American police state. The federal government, now gone completely rogue and no longer representative of the people continues to invoke the magical talisman of “National Security” to prevent oversight. That has just taken a hit though thanks to a federal judge.
As recently reported by the Associated Press in a short story entitled “No-fly list challenge survives state-secrets claim”:
A judge has rejected the federal government’s effort to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the no-fly list on the grounds that the lawsuit would expose state secrets.
In a ruling issued Thursday in federal court in Alexandria, Judge Anthony Trenga said that while he might allow certain evidence to be kept out of trial, he would not shut down the entire lawsuit.
The government argued that the entire lawsuit needs to be tossed, but Trenga said he reviewed the documents in question and remains unconvinced that the lawsuit will necessarily expose state secrets. He said remedies can be fashioned that leave the lawsuit intact.
Gulet (goo-LETT’) Mohamed of Alexandria filed the lawsuit in 2011 after his apparent placement on the no-fly list left him detained by Kuwaiti authorities.
Gulet appears to have been singled out largely because he is a Muslim. Now some would say that simply being a Muslim would make one suspect to being included on the no-fly list and there can be arguments made in support of that. However, when leaked documents published earlier this year by the online magazine “The Intercept” show that the list criteria is so vague and open to abuse that practically anybody could end up on it – including those critical of the government. Obama wasn’t using the IRS to go after Muslims but rather conservative groups affiliated with the Tea Party so the secrecy of the no-fly list is a threat to law-abiding Americans who may happen to piss off the political establishment as well.
Excerpting from the story on the fed’s terrorist watch list which is entitled “Blacklisted: The Secret Government Rulebook for Labeling You a Terrorist”:
The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.
The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place “entire categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.
There are a number of loopholes for putting people onto the watchlists even if reasonable suspicion cannot be met.
One is clearly defined: The immediate family of suspected terrorists—their spouses, children, parents, or siblings—may be watchlisted without any suspicion that they themselves are engaged in terrorist activity. But another loophole is quite broad—”associates” who have a defined relationship with a suspected terrorist, but whose involvement in terrorist activity is not known. A third loophole is broader still—individuals with “a possible nexus” to terrorism, but for whom there is not enough “derogatory information” to meet the reasonable suspicion standard.
Americans and foreigners can be nominated for the watchlists if they are associated with a terrorist group, even if that group has not been designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. They can also be treated as “representatives” of a terrorist group even if they have “neither membership in nor association with the organization.” The guidelines do helpfully note that certain associations, such as providing janitorial services or delivering packages, are not grounds for being watchlisted.
If you happen to purchase gas at a convenience store owned by a Muslim using your debit or credit card you just may end up in the big government “terrorist database” as well as in that great big NSA facility out in Utah. The Intercept story on the watchlist also states that TSA thugs are given the go ahead to steal personal items from travelers on the Obama regime’s top secret list:
In addition to data like fingerprints, travel itineraries, identification documents and gun licenses, the rules encourage screeners to acquire health insurance information, drug prescriptions, “any cards with an electronic strip on it (hotel cards, grocery cards, gift cards, frequent flyer cards),” cellphones, email addresses, binoculars, peroxide, bank account numbers, pay stubs, academic transcripts, parking and speeding tickets, and want ads. The digital information singled out for collection includes social media accounts, cell phone lists, speed dial numbers, laptop images, thumb drives, iPods, Kindles, and cameras. All of the information is then uploaded to the TIDE database.
Screeners are also instructed to collect data on any “pocket litter,” scuba gear, EZ Passes, library cards, and the titles of any books, along with information about their condition—”e.g., new, dog-eared, annotated, unopened.” Business cards and conference materials are also targeted, as well as “anything with an account number” and information about any gold or jewelry worn by the watchlisted individual. Even “animal information”—details about pets from veterinarians or tracking chips—is requested. The rulebook also encourages the collection of biometric or biographical data about the travel partners of watchlisted individuals.
Judge Trenga’s ruling will likely be trumped by one of the federal government’s pocket bench-sitters as was done when another federal judge, Richard Leon of the D.C. district court who called the NSA’s surveillance programs “likely unconstitutional” and “almost Orwellian” last December. The criminals in high places who run this system of institutionalized corruption have each other’s backs because that is just the way we roll in the Orwellian banana republic of Obamastan.
Americans really need to start to pay serious attention to this stuff because the official guidelines for who can be a “terrorist” becomes increasingly vague and arbitrary by the day. Millions may erroneously believe that it doesn’t affect them because they are “doing nothing wrong” but that is a grave mistake given the raw criminality of the federal government in the Obama era.