I have been doing a great deal of speaking around the country, and that means I have been doing a lot of flying. Three times recently I have been unable to check in electronically, and have waited an inordinately long time at the check-in counter while the airline employee checking me in talked in low tones on the phone. Why? The first time this happened, the airline official, staring intently at her computer screen, blurted out, “Oh! You’re on the No-Fly List!” Then, after a great deal of typing, phone talk and staring at the screen, without further explanation or any answer to my incredulous inquiries, I was cleared to fly. Another time the airline employee got on the phone and talked in a very soft voice for a very long time. Straining forward, I made out “No Fly List” mentioned at least twice among the mumbling.
I don’t know anything more about this, but I suspect there is someone named Robert Spencer on the No-Fly List. And this fact seems to have caused me minor delay and inconvenience on several occasions. However, even if it caused me major delay and inconvenience, I would never dream of suing Homeland Security or anyone else. I would rather they be overcautious than unduly careless. I will put up with the inconvenience rather than compromise the DHS’s constitutional anti-terror activities and thereby increase the risk of more attacks. But here is yet another attempt to shift focus from jihad terrorism to the resistance to it, and to hamstring that resistance. Courtroom jihad update from AP, with thanks to Anthony:
CHICAGO — A U.S.-born Muslim who says he was unjustly detained and questioned at customs checkpoints sued the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday over the “degrading process.”
In the complaint filed in Chicago federal court, Akifur Rahman said customs agents held him for several hours on four occasions since March 2004 while he was re-entering the country from abroad, even though he had proper identification.
Rahman said he’s “afraid of what may happen every time I return from a trip outside the United States.”
“This lawsuit seems to be the only way to … insure that this degrading process is not repeated,” Rahman read from a statement.
According to his lawsuit, Rahman, of suburban Wheaton, received a letter from the Department of Homeland Security in April saying his problems stemmed from an “unfortunate misidentification” in which his name could be a near match of someone on a government watch list.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages and “the adoption of adequate policies to ensure the reasonably expeditious re-entry” of U.S. citizens whose names are similar or identical to those on watch lists….
The damages Rahman is seeking are not the problem. The “‘adoption of adequate policies to ensure the reasonably expeditious re-entry’ of U.S. citizens whose names are similar or identical to those on watch lists” is. This is something that could compromise DHS efforts to track real terrorists.
You’ll never guess who is behind this:
American Civil Liberties Union attorneys representing Rahman are seeking class-action status for the lawsuit.