Department of Homeland Security

Wanting to Testify in No-Fly List Lawsuit Lands Person on No-Fly List


Government officials petty, you say? I'd put on my shocked face but it was confiscated by TSA

A civil rights trial was supposed to begin this week in San Francisco targeting the Department of Homeland Security's opaque, mystifying and utterly inaccessible no-fly list. It immediately hit a snag. The daughter of Rahinah Ibraham, the individual suing the government for being placed on the list, was denied permission by the Department of Homeland Security to fly to the United States herself in order to testify. Techdirt takes note today:

Apparently, one of the people set to testify in the case, Ibrahim's oldest daughter, Raihan Mustafa Kamal (an American citizen, born in the US), was blocked from boarding her flight to the US to appear at the trial, and told that she was on the no fly list as well. Kamal, a lawyer, was an eye witness to her mother being blocked from boarding her flight. The US knew that Kamal was set to testify and from all indications, in a move that appears extremely petty, appears to have purposely blocked her from flying to the US. Kamal was directly told by the airline that DHS had ordered them not to let Kamal to board. The airline even gave her a phone number for a Customs and Border Patrol office in Miami, telling her to call that concerning her not being able to board.

Judge William Alsup, who is known for his rather no-nonsense approach in court (and his willingness to dig very deep into understanding the issues), quickly noted that this apparent blocking of Kamal was ridiculous, and demanded that the government explain what happened. When they insisted they knew nothing about it, Alsup wasn't satisfied. Nor was he satisfied with the story they eventually came back with.

A government lawyer then apparently claimed that Kamal had merely missed her flight. The next day, lead counsel for the plaintiff came back with evidence that, no, really, DHS ordered an airline not to let her on board. Courtesy of blogging from The Identity Project, a group devoted to defending the right for Americans to move around the country freely:

"None of that was true," Ms. [Elizabeth] Pipkin told the court this morning. "She didn't miss the flight. She was there in time to check in. She has not been rebooked on another flight." And most importantly, it was because of actions by the DHS — one of the defendants in Dr. Ibrahim's lawsuit — that Ms. Mustafa Kamal was not allowed to board her flight to SFO to attend and testify at her mother's trial.

Ms. Pipkin said that Ms. Mustafa Kamal had sent her a copy of the "no-board" instructions which the DHS gave to Malaysia Airlines, and which the airline gave to Ms. Mustafa Kamal to explain as much as it knew about why it was not being allowed to transport her.  Ms. Pipkin handed Judge William Alsup a copy of the DHS "no-board" instructions to Malaysia Airlines regarding Ms. Mustafa Kamal.

Major props to Malaysia Airlines for providing a copy of the DHS instructions to Ms. Mustafa Kamal. Other airlines receiving similar instructions have acquiesced to DHS orders to keep the instructions from the DHS, and the reasons for the airlines' actions, secret from the would-be travelers whose rights are affected. So far as we know, this is the first time an actual no-fly order has been disclosed to a would-be traveler or potentially to the public.

Read more of the Identity Project's court coverage right here, which includes a lengthy background about the case.

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  1. Judges need to take seriously how the government is treating their courts. Hopefully Judge Alsup goes apeshit over this.

    1. Indeed, the description of the judge’s reaction in this matter restore my faith in the keystone of my Minarchism.

      1. So, a few crumbs from Caesar’s judges gives you a boner?

        If your keystone were to actually mean anything, a judge would have already declared the no-fly regime unconstitutional.

        Thus far, all the judges have rolled over, supine, and have obeyed their paymasters.

        1. Was just making a positive comment, not looking for a date sweetie.

          1. I make $82 /hr while I’m traveling the world. Last week I worked by my laptop in Rome, Monti Carlo and finally Paris?This week I’m back in the USA. All I do are easy tasks from this one cool site. Check it out,…
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        2. Thus far, all the judges have rolled over, supine, and have obeyed their paymasters.


          The idea that the judiciary is going to stand up to either remaining branch of government is laughable. As long as there is the sausage factory known as process, they don’t give a fuck what happens.

        3. Yeah; there need to be perjury charges and disbarment proceedings.

  2. A government lawyer then apparently claimed that Kamal had merely missed her flight. The next day, lead counsel for the plaintiff came back with evidence that, no, really, DHS ordered an airline not to let her on board. Courtesy of blogging from The Identity Project, a group devoted to defending the right for Americans to move around the country freely:

    If I had the absolutely delicious honor of being His Honor in a case like this, I’d sanction the living fuck out of everyone from the government who appeared before me. Contempt of court, perjury, whatever I could nail them with.

    1. The government lawyer isn’t in jail for contempt – so nothing happened.

  3. This seems really illegal.

  4. The government no longer even pretends to be legitimate. They are, quite literally, a beyond shameful bunch of thugs. This period in American history will be a case study in corruption due to power.

    1. Yet, somehow, we need this necessary evil?

      1. As a minarchist, I am willing to give it a go without them. No matter how fucked up it might be, it can’t be worse than whatever this shit is.

          1. Fuck a road, roadhugger.

      2. Just a very small, tightly limited, fraction of what we currently put up with.

        1. How do you propose keeping that small fraction tightly limited?

    2. That the federal government became so authoritarian is no surprise. That is what governments do.

      What disgust me is the total apathy and ignorance of the American public. As long as they have new toys, they don’t give a shit.

      1. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury.

        People vote for free shit.

  5. Contempt charges? Perjury charges? Heads rolling? At least one of these things better start happening soon, or the other thing might start happening.

  6. The fact that lawyer is not in prison on charges of contempt means I don’t give a shit what that judge, or that court, has to say.

    About anything.

    I know you’re all tired of hearing it but I’m going to keep saying it: if we keep waiting for their coworkers to bring them to justice, we will wait forever. Please tell me there’s another solution. No, really, tell me there’s another solution because I know I’m not the only one running out of patience.

    1. Would be helpful to have the name of the government lawyer who lied to the federal judge.

    2. I know a solution. It is a pretty final one, though.

  7. lol, the US kangaroo court system is such a joke!

  8. This is how the Republic dies. First you can’t see your family, then you can’t get to their (show)trial, then you can’t get to your own trial, and finally the only thing you can get to is your own execution.

    F**k you Bush! And f**k you Obama! The first should have had the stones to say “No!”, and the second knew better and even campaigned on it and yet succumbed to Power once in office. FDR, LBJ, Lincoln and Wilson now have company in the “worst of” list!

  9. They should take this guy’s approach.

    1. Do you know any sculptors I could commission to carve this guy’s face into the side of a mountain?

      Without a permit, of course.

      1. Fuck, I want his face carved into my face.

  10. “in a move that appears extremely petty”

    It is most definitely NOT petty to deprive a human being the fundamental right to travel. It was an extremely vindictive action by an extremely petty government official.

  11. Complain about the list and you’re on the list. Now the judge and the attorney and the reporter are all on the list.

  12. When a party to a court case acts to prevent a witness in that case, that is called obstruction and witness tampering. Time to frogmarch some DHS rodents to the pokey.

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