“Now, predictive judgements are no longer fiction” – ACLU video comparing “no-fly” and “terror watch” lists to movie Minority Report (below)
Federal “terrorist watch lists” and “no-fly lists” have grown massive, without a way or to challenge the listing by American citizens swept up in error.
An Ohio Senator recently signaled a willingness to push a bi-partisan compromise to fix the due process problem, by giving the other side gun controls on those listed.
Ohio’s Rob Portman is a moderate Republican Senator facing a tight re-election campaign, and in December opposed the gun control restrictions people on one or both the terror and no-fly lists.
In the wake of the Orlando Shootings, he’s had an apparent change of heart which could signal a broader movement towards reforming the utter lack of due process for those listed on the “no-fly list” or the “terrorist watch list” and also towards a possible new gun control law too, saying:
“It should be broader [gun controls]. It should be the terrorist watch list. I think there should be a way to be able to have a due process to, to know wether you’re on that list or not. This should be an area where we can find bipartisan consensus.”
Portman’s most important statement is a clear signal that America’s elected officials may finally be seeking to add due process to our heretofore opaque national security operations.
The American Civil Liberties Union has been suing the federal government over no-fly and terrorist watch lists since 2010 and released an article comparing the no-fly and terrorist watch lists to the movie “Minority Report” which is about a government agency using psychics to find murderers before they kill.
The ACLU filed major case against the lack of due process in keeping secret lists, which ultimately are used to determine the liberty and freedoms of those listed without a way to challenge inclusion on the list.
“Until the government fixes its unconstitutional new process, people on the No Fly List are barred from commercial air travel with no meaningful chance to clear their names, resulting in a vast and growing group of individuals whom the government deems too dangerous to fly but too harmless to arrest.”
Activists like Subhash Kateel agree with the Ohio senator, there needs to be due process added to these government lists, “I cut my teeth doing post 11 work, I think using terror watch lists as a way to enforce anything is a dangerous precedent.”
“These are the same lists some anti war priests were on. They don’t have the checks and balances of the criminal justice system. Terror watch lists are bullshit and any policy that seeks to make any enforcement actions based on them as certifiable fact sets a dangerous precedent. The fact that a tragedy is being used to reify the belief that they work is insane…regardless of the politics of anything else.”
In their latest update this past December, the ACLU said that nothing substantive has changed. While these federal government lists have new practices, the end game is still the same for those innocents who are afflicted by being listed.
Unfortunately, the government’s new redress process still falls far short of constitutional requirements. In our case, it refuses to provide meaningful notice of the reasons our clients are blacklisted, the basis for those reasons, and a hearing before a neutral decision-maker. Much as before, our clients are left to guess at the government’s case and can’t clear their names.
And conversely, those who were on the list, and then investigated and cleared – like the Orlando Shooter Mateen – were innocent at the time of their listing, and investigated and cleared, meaning that a gun control law restricting those listed wouldn’t have affected the outcome of America’s latest, utterly gruesome mass murder.
Like most citizens born in America, Mateen was innocent, until proven guilty.
Unlike most citizens, Mateen was considered guilty for a couple of years and his innocence wasn’t restored in a courtroom like most Americans accused of a crime, until it was years later torn asunder and lost forever in Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub when he murdered 49 innocent people.