I had posted with great indignation, the plight of Ms. Rahinah Ibrahim, early in December (here), to clear her good name. More importantly, to get her name off the No-Fly list. The saga has dragged for nine (9) years already.
It was such a sweet melody to hear KQED report last Thursday that a Federal judge in San Francisco has ordered Ms. Ibrahim’s name be removed from the U.S. government’s No-Fly list. This is truly a landmark. This is the first time that someone has challenged the U.S. government for listing her a terrorist threat and won! This is a clear admission that placing her on the list was a mistake. According to KQED:
The judge said the evidence presented at trial “shows that the action resulted from an error by the government” and that the remedy “requires the government to cleanse and/or correct its lists and records of the mistaken information and to certify under oath that such correction(s) have been made.”
Here is yet another clear illustration of the government’s good intentions for protecting its citizens against legitimate threats to national security, gone awry. The current system is grossly flawed. People’s rights are trampled on when the government exercises its prerogative (in the name of security!) to arbitrarily include people in some list they create, refuse to disclose how someone gets included in the list (or the list itself), while not allowing them any way of seeking injunctive relief or to properly and adequately question or contest their inclusion.
They always say that the first step to changing or rectifying anything that’s broken is to first admit that there is something wrong or it’s not working properly. I’m relieved to see that this first step has been taken. There is hope for the rest of us ordinary people who may very well get dragged into this kind of nightmare. At least, Ms. Ibrahim and her family can now wake up from theirs.
Ms. Ibrahim, for what it’s worth, we apologize to you on behalf of the United States!
- Civil Rights Group Welcome Legal Victory Against ‘No-Fly’ List (CAIR.com)
- Flight Risk? (alumni.stanford.edu)
- In Bizarre Ni-Fly List Trial, Even The Verdict Might Be Top Secret (wired.com)