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The No-Fly List: After You’ve Flown Out, Not Before

Written by Gary North on July 6, 2012

An American citizen flew to Mecca. No problem. “Bon voyage!”

Then he tried to fly home. “Terrorist!”

He is stuck in Bahrain. He has not been told why his name is on the no-fly list. It just is.

The FBI is saying nothing. This is SNAFU-central. The law of bureaucracy takes over. “Say nothing. Admit nothing. Reverse course only if there is really bad publicity.” There is really bad publicity. Example:

The Associated Press later called Ahmed in Bahrain.

Ahmed said he was told by the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain that he has been cleared to go home, but when he went to the airport Monday, he was blocked from boarding again. Ahmed said he stayed at a hotel at first. He now has been staying with a man contacted by family friends and is running low on money.

The San Diego man said he does not know why he would be on the federal list that includes thousands of known or suspected terrorists.

He came to the United States at the age of 7 with his family, who moved from Kenya after fleeing Somalia’s civil war. This was his first trip out of the United States since then.

The no-fly list should mean no-fly out. When it is invoked when you are outside the country, it places you at the mercy of the Homeland Security laws.

The boneheads who run the no-fly list are ignoring the obvious:  9-11 was an attack from inside the country, not outside. If there is a terrorist scheduled to get on board a plane, stop him then, not when he is flying back from outside the country. This logic is too much for the bureaucrats to figure out.

The FBI’s stonewalling is right out of Kafka.

FBI officials said they do not discuss such cases. They said the process for including someone on the no-fly list is a multi-agency, multi-tiered process and anyone on it must meet specific criteria in accordance with existing legislation and the submitting agency’s policies to protect privacy rights and civil liberties. The FBI said the U.S. Privacy Act bars its officials from disclosing the names on the list, nor will the U.S. government confirm or deny whether an individual is on the watch list.

The FBI said in a statement that “disclosure of such information could be harmful to our nation’s security.”

This is the rule of bureaucracy. Get used to it.

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8 thoughts on “The No-Fly List: After You’ve Flown Out, Not Before

  1. There isn't enough information here to assess whether this person is a danger or not. IF we had a government that could be trusted to do an honest and open inquiry into the matter and give information supporting the decision to restrict travel, well and good. I must object, though, to the premise of this article, that under no circumstances should someone be stopped from re-entering the U.S.
    I think the most troubling thing about DHS policy is the arbitrary and secretive nature of everything they do. American government is supposed to be based on law. This furtive enforcement of policies they never make known to us, only serves as a basis for asserting unlimited power.

  2. Good. Let him STAY in Mecca. The so-called homegrown terrorists are Muslims that supposedly become US citizens. The goal of Muslims is world dominance and this country continues to accommodate that goal.

  3. Is his name Obama or Sotero (sp)????

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is brilliant. The FBI allows the terrorists to pay for their own deportation costs.

  5. Tionico says:

    to allow a US citizen to fly OUT of the country, then deny him to fly back IN, without some recourse, is wrong. The man is a US citizen. How would YOU like it if you drove into Canada, no problem, then were denied reentry into the US, you being a US citizen? If they can do it to this guy, they can do it to you and me. If he's done something wrong, the US Embassy there should be able to inform him of the acccusations, and somehow afford him the CONSTITUTIOINA; RIGHT to confront his accusers, provide testimony on his own behalf, summon his own witnesses to testify, and receive a hearing in open court. IF the guy's done something wrong, he needs to hear what that is, and have opportunity to set it right. Just because he's in some "suspect" foreign country does not mean he is, b y definition, up to no good.. any more than a New York Jew going to Jerusalem is guilty of terrorism. This sort of denial of basic rights (life, LIBERTY, persuit of happiness) is wrong. We are guaranteed different treatment equally before the law. Security is being placed higher than individual rights.. and there MUST be due process of law before strippinng one's rights.

  6. AD Roberts says:

    Sorry, but I am becoming intolerant of the Muslims who are trying to force their ways on our nation. Pure and simple. If you fly to Mecca, you can just stay there. Why? Because the Muslims are coming over here in mass at the invitation of our Muslim president. Let them go home and stay.

    If they want to experience the abundance of living in a Christian nation, let them leave their Muslim faith at the border. If they insist on coming anyway, don't expect to force your ways on our nation. NOT HAPPENING.

  7. Texas Chris says:

    A government that can prevent you from traveling without an explanation (or trial, God forbid) can then justify forcing you to buy health insurance (Thanks, Romney, Bush, Roberts), and eventually prevent you from buying junk food, or seeing "bad" movies, or reading unapproved movies.

    We must protect the rights of folks like this, tho we disagree with their personal beliefs, because the government may be coming for us next.

  8. You folks forgot the two bombers who came here in Planes.They both tried to blow up their Planes.
    One was an African Muslim and the other Muslim came from Britain.