His case illustrates how the US government, headed by that noted constitutional scholar Barack Obama, subverts the constitutional protections of its citizens by using the no-fly list to coercively detain and interrogate citizens in other countries which have far fewer protections, at least on paper.
Civil liberties groups charge that his case is the latest episode in which the U.S. government has temporarily exiled U.S. citizens or legal residents so they can be questioned about possible terrorist links without legal counsel.
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the U.S. government on behalf of 17 citizens or legal residents who were not allowed to board flights to, from or within the United States, presumably because, like Mohamed, they were on the government’s no-fly list. Of those stranded overseas, all were eventually told they could return, often after they agreed to speak to the FBI. None was arrested upon their return.
The ACLU suit, filed in Portland, Ore., alleges that Americans placed on the no-fly list are denied due process because there is no effective way to challenge their inclusion.
There is a weird Orwellian quality to the no-fly lists.
The government does not acknowledge that any particular individual is on the no-fly list or its other watch lists. Nor will it reveal the exact criteria it uses to place people on its list… But U.S. officials insist that the process used to place individuals on the no-fly list is legal and well founded, and relies on credible intelligence.
Right. After all, the government has such a good reputation for telling the truth and behaving according to the law so why shouldn’t we trust it implicitly?
As Nat Hentoff writes, we are allowing the creation of a system of secret rules and prisons to be used at the will and discretion of the president, outside the range of the constitution.