That Woman Who Has Been Fighting To Get Off the No-Fly List for Years? It Was Due to a Paperwork Error.

You are now free to move about the country, Ms. Ibraham.Credit: Kuster & Wildhaber Photography / Foter / CC BY-NDWe’ve previously noted the case of Rahinah Ibraham, a scholar who has been fighting the federal government for years trying to figure out why she was placed on the TSA’s no-fly list and trying to get off. The government has fought her each and every step of the way, going so far as using their powers to keep her daughter from boarding a plane to come testify on her behalf.

So it turns out an FBI agent filled out a form wrong.

That’s literally what happened, back in 2004. The wrong box was checked off. Wired reports that the judge in the case released his full ruling today. He already ordered in January for the feds to fix it the mistake, but now we know exactly what the mistake is:

The agent, Michael Kelly, based in San Jose, misunderstood the directions on the form and “erroneously nominated” Rahinah Ibrahim to the list in 2004, the judge wrote.

“He checked the wrong boxes, filling out the form exactly the opposite way from the instructions on the form,” U.S. District Judge William Alsup wrote (.pdf) today.

To top it off, the agent did not realize he had made a mistake until he was deposed for this lawsuit last September.

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  • Stormy Dragon||

    "It's not my fault that Buttle's heart condition didn't appear on Tuttle's file!"

  • GILMORE||

    ... there really are a shortage of joke-references to go around, aren't there.

  • Steve G||

    Oh Great! Now how the fuck are we going to parody this?!?

    \The Onion

  • PapayaSF||

    I'd design a fake form that was confusing, like a Florida 2000 election ballot:

    Maybe a terrorist

    Probably not a terrorist

  • Paul.||

    I'd design a fake form that was confusing, like a Florida 2000 election ballot:

    Wait a minute, you mean the ballot that second graders could figure out but Democrats couldn't?

  • PapayaSF||

    As I recall the design was not optimum, and I say that as someone with some professional experience in the field.

  • fish||

    You're in the low quality Florida Ballot business?

    I wanna party with you cowboy!

  • CE||

    Florida Man needs crayons. And wide lines.

  • PapayaSF||

    The problem. I can see how some people were confused. OTOH, it is unclear how many people did make an error. The media made it seem like it was impossible for Pat Buchanan to get any votes, but he supposedly lived in the county. It's not impossible for him to have gotten intentional votes.

  • Almanian!||

    Oh, yes, please, let's relive that election! It was SO much fun the first time, and it only gets better with age!

    SELECTED PRESIDENT! DERP!

  • Dweebston||

    Yeah, that's awful.

    But what about the hanging chads?

  • PapayaSF||

    Those, I am convinced, were evidence of Democrat vote fraud: put a stack of ballots in a machine, try to punch through them all at once, and you'll get some hanging and dimpled chads. They did catch one Democrat with a voting machine in his trunk, but all you need is a stiff wire or equivalent. And IIRC those ballots tended to be votes for Gore and nobody else down-ballot.

  • John Thacker||

    Election is close, keep counting over and over, and eventually you'll get a different result. Particularly if you recount only in Gore-heavy counties.

  • Johnimo||

    The Dems were just cutting corners when they were bussing folks in to vote for Gore. They told them "punch the second hole on the left," forgetting that what they explicitly meant was, "Punch the hole for the second candidate on the left."

    It was a case of operatives not getting the message instructions correctly transmitted. Late in the night they realized their mistake but it was too late. By then, hundreds had voted for Buchanan or Nader, whichever one was on the right across from the second hole on the ballot.

    It is perhaps the funniest mistake to ever happen in American politics. They were too smart by half.

  • dinkster||

    2000 i turned 18 so it was before my time, but i just see a line of holes with arrows pointing at them.

  • Dave Krueger||

    That might be what happened or it might just be a cover-up of something even stupider. It has become utterly impossible to believe any information coming from the government that cannot be corroborated by an independent source.

  • CE||

    And 10 years later, they addressed the paperwork error. Which could have been cleared up in 10 minutes, 10 years ago.

    But who really needs to fly?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Close enough for government work.

  • The Original Jason||

    Just like the United States v. Reynolds case, this was a proper use of State Secrets -- covering up for the government.

  • x4rqcks3f||

    To top it off, the agent did not realize he had made a mistake he'd regret his intentional actions until he was deposed for this lawsuit last September.

  • Mike M.||

    Think about how great government-run health care will be! Oh boy, we have so much to look forward to.

  • The Last American Hero||

    At least it wasn't a drone strike list.

  • wagnert in atlanta||

    ...yet.

  • ||

    That’s literally what happened, back in 2004.

    Literally-literally, not figuratively.

  • Paul.||

    So it turns out an FBI agent filled out a form wrong.

    That’s literally what happened, back in 2004. The wrong box was checked off. Wired reports that the judge in the case released his full ruling today. He already ordered in January for the feds to fix it the mistake, but now we know exactly what the mistake is

    I'm going to be a cynic and call bullshit.

    The federal government has no real defense for any of the thousands of people on the no-fly list, so after this case went high-profile, they threw this bone.

    "Oh, it was just an innocent paperwork error."

    Right, one that caused you to innocently bar her daughter from flying here and testifying. It's paperwork errors all the way down.

    My government keeps lying to me, why should I believe them in this case? You're on the no-fly list. Quit looking for a rational reason, unless you're living in a cave in Afghanistan, there's probably little reason for anyone to be on the no-fly list.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Of course it's bullshit.

    We are to believe that this federal agent only filled out one of these goddamn forms EVER. Or we're supposed to believe that he only filled it the exact opposite way ONCE (the first time) and every other time he somehow followed the instruction properly - which means HE DIDN'T GIVE A SHIT about the the first one he fucked up.

    A sane judge would a call the no-fly list unconstitutional and be done with it.

  • playa manhattan||

    Top Men.

  • Surly Chef||

    Damn you!!!

  • Paul.||

    It's Top Men all the way up.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Damn both of you. If you hadn't replied, we could have had three in a row.

  • Surly Chef||

    Top. Men.

  • ||

    The no-fly list is a source of unspeakable power and it has to be researched!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Top Men

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    That is to say, men with heads if solid wood, accustomed to spinning in place.

  • dinkster||

    If they float, they are witches.

  • Aresen||

    So it turns out an FBI agent filled out a form wrong.

    Can you spell "sovereign immunity"?

    I knew you could!

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Can you spell "sovereign immunity"?

    No. I can barely spell Pavlov. Cat is more my speed.

  • GILMORE||

    Tuttle/Buttle.

    These things happen. its the price of 'civilization', says Tony, so don't complain!

  • Sevo||

    No agent of the government would *ever* use the awesome powers of the state in any arbitrary manner! So we have nothing to fear granting even more power to the state.
    And, of course, if you've done nothing wrong, there is no reason for you to be concerned.

  • Paul.||

    Exactly. Just a little innocent paperwork error. And... FIXED! So all is well. We will now continue with our regularly scheduled no-fly fest.

  • Sevo||

    "Just a little innocent paperwork error."

    Ooops! Hey, can you revive that guy?!

  • wagnert in atlanta||

    And if you are concerned, you must have done something wrong. Hands on top of the car and spread your legs.

  • Spiny Norman||

    alt-text from the '70s!

  • ||

    Yes. Not my department...I'm only records. It seems that Mr. Buttle was overcharged by Information Retrieval. I don't think they usually make mistakes...but, er...I suppose we're all human.

  • LarryA||

    I suppose we're all human.

    Cite?

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    OT, but I missed the PM links and wanted to share this: Texas grand jury no-bills murder charges against drug dealer who shot and killed deputy executing no-knock raid on his property

    The man accused of killing a Burleson County sheriff’s deputy was not indicted on a capital murder charge Wednesday.

    A Burleson County grand jury returned a “no bill” on the charge but did indict Henry Magee on possession of marijuana, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison.

    Deputy Adam Sowders was shot and killed while serving a “no-knock” search warrant at Magee’s home before 6 a.m. on Dec. 19.

    Investigators had been looking for marijuana plants and possible stolen weapons.

    Dick DeGuerin, Magee’s attorney, said investigators found two 6-inch marijuana plants, seedlings and firearms that belonged to Magee or his family members.

    “It was a tragic accident, but it wasn’t a crime,” DeGuerin said, adding that his client was defending himself, his pregnant girlfriend and his home from intruders.

    Magee remains at the Washington County Jail awaiting bond

    Incredible. Not just because the courts for once did not decide officer safety trumped a person's right to defend their property and family but also the fact that he shot a deputy and wasn't blown away.

  • Sevo||

    But he gets two-to-ten for a couple of 6-inch weed plants?!
    Jeebus!

  • Paul.||

    Covered.

  • ||

    I imagine when the goon went down the rest pissed their pants. That isn't supposed to happen see, only proles get shot. Turns out that real life is not the action movie with them as the hero they fantasized it to be.
    When reality punched them in the gut suddenly they wanted to talk things out peacefully.

    I have seen it happen.

  • John C. Randolph||

    I'm guessing they're going to get him sentenced to ten years for the pot, and then arrange to find him hanging from a bed sheet in an apparent suicide.

    -jcr

  • Seamus||

    Prosecutor needs to work on his ham-sandwich-indicting skills.

  • Paul.||

    Oh, underrated alt-text, btw.

  • Ron||

    It's government paperwork it's supposed to be complicated. For an example. I was once given a government form to fill out and the very first line stated " do not write below this line " so I went back to the person who gave me the paper work and I asked what do I do and she said can you read English and I said "yes I can but look at the first line it says don't write below this line" at which point she smirked and said ignore that and start down here. No where on the paper did it say Applicant to fill out form here.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Did she say it in her Samuel L Jackson voice?

  • CE||

    Is the sun coming up? Put it on the left.

  • ||

    Anyone notice today's google doodle?

    So colorful, to commemorate the Olympic Charter.

  • PH2050||

    I recognize teh gayz evul agenda when I see it!

    *shakes fist at sky*

  • playa manhattan||

    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind"

    Where's my taxpayer funded polo horse?

  • PH2050||

    Screw your equine fetishes, I want my taxpayer-funded speed skater instructor.

  • PH2050||

  • playa manhattan||

    After I posted, I immediately realized that it was stupid to not demand snowboard gear and a season pass to Whistler.

    It would also be stupid to not ask for that.

  • Spartacus||

    Looks like I'll be watching some curling this year.

  • BillEverman||

    Good choice! Highly attractive, and skilled with a broom.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    So much for stereotypes.

  • ||

    Had you filed your paperwork with the Ministry of Free Shit properly you'd already have it.

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    Well played, Google, well played.

  • Ted S.||

    I presume Agent Kelly was punished by being put on the no-fly list?

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!111!!1!1

  • Almanian!||

    Has anyone mentioned

    Top Men

    ??

  • ||

    Any of you guys ever go to Sunday school?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    USA choke!

    Jeremy Abbott. Choker 65.65 short program.

  • Sevo||

    Yeah, but did his great-uncle have cancer when he was 13 and his Mom have the flu? I mean we need to deal with the important issues!

  • Tamfang||

    Ms Ibrahim received the same courtesy that Our Government gives to a prison inmate who is proven innocent. Consistency!

  • RishJoMo||

    Soometimes man you jsut have to roll with those punches.

    www.Anon-Works.tk

  • ||

    Proving yet again that there is literally not agency of the government that can't be accurately compared to the DMV.

  • lenka||

    thanks for sharing this
    y tuong kinh doanh |
    kinh nghiem mua xe dap dien |

  • ibcbet||

    The federal government has no real defense for any of the thousands of people on the no-fly list, so after this case went high-profile, they threw this bone.

  • cheap kits||

    Oh, right, one that caused you to innocently bar her daughter from flying here and testifying. It's paperwork errors all the way down.

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