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Court Reinstates Professor Rahinah Ibrahim's lawsuit over No-Fly List

Court Reinstates Professor Rahinah Ibrahim's lawsuit over No-Fly List

Old Dec 6, 13, 4:03 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by eastport View Post
That would be red-letter-law witness tampering.

Blocking a witness from traveling to a trial using no-fly rules, when the trial is about those very same rules, is also witness tampering. But it's difficult to do anything when it happened by bureaucratic indifference or (deliberate) incompetence. An individual taking specific action later won't have that protection.

The US Attorneys involved should know how serious of a crime this is, and how it negatively impacts their case. Unless they really believe that it falls under "executive privilege" and they have ten lawyers in court just as a courtesy. One has to wonder what happens if they just ignore any ruling.
The DOJ are not the party that does witness interference in such matters where the EB wants interference to supposedly help its DOJ while trying to shield its (non-DOJ EB) ops/policies/practices from more/complete/any disclosure/discussion/exposure. The FBI may be used but it's not even the FBI that runs the interference. I'm going to leave it at that, after mentioning that this situation is probably one more of too many bumbling cooks in government kitchens than malicious interference -- but on that I could well be wrong when it comes to this matter.

Last edited by GUWonder; Dec 6, 13 at 4:11 pm
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Old Dec 6, 13, 9:01 pm
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From the limited reporting on today's events, it now appears that the government acknowledges the daughter was on the no-fly list. Most of the hearing was closed to the public, but it appears that it was solely because of her association with this lawsuit.

There wasn't any reporting on how the government's lawyers explained their previous firm assertion that she was not on the no-fly list and they had nothing to do with the witness being unable to travel to testify.

It's a difficult situation. The usual result is "It goes to their credibility", meaning 'they are liars'. The sanction is that the other side is given the benefit of the doubt when there is a dispute about facts. But you can't apply that conclusion to the whole US government. Especially when the conclusion affects The People as a whole, not the bad actors that mislead the court. Which means there is no effective sanction to an outright lie in court made by a government attorney.

I'm still hoping for a later hearing on witness tampering. Not much would come of it, but it's at least a modest penalty to put the people involved on the stand and have them sweat a bit (even if it's effectively an all-expenses-paid break from work).
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Old Dec 7, 13, 12:43 pm
  #33  
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Here is a long description of the proceedings that took place on Trial Day 4:

http://papersplease.org/wp/2013/12/0...at-this-trial/

Friday's events haven't been posted yet.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Here is the short description from the first sentence of the second paragraph:
Today was more Kafka than Orwell.
And another amusing tidbit:
Before the first witness could be called this morning, one of the government’s lawyers came forward to advise Judge Alsup that her client had provided Dr. Ibrahim’s lawyers with a copy of what was described as a “travel letter” addressed to air carriers, informing airlines that Ms. Mustafa Kamal is a U.S. citizen and is free to travel to the U.S. by air.

This begs the question, of course, of why a U.S. citizen would need such a permission letter . . .
It does indeed.

Last edited by Ari; Dec 7, 13 at 12:49 pm
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Old Dec 7, 13, 5:05 pm
  #34  
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This case should have us asking 'what happened to the land of the free'?
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Old Dec 7, 13, 7:46 pm
  #35  
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A US travel letter can be issued even to/for those who are on the no-fly list. It doesn't mean the person has definitively been removed from the NFL or that the carrier is allowed to ignore NFL advisories without penalty and transport the person to/within/from the US.

Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
This case should have us asking 'what happened to the land of the free'?
Well, we have a government that "secretly" revokes US citizens' passports, deports US citizens and even authorizes the assassination of US citizens. Our government has even willfully taken out -- with extreme prejudice -- a US minor abroad. And I won't even go into the "administrative review" driven seizures of US citizens' passports at US consulates and embassies abroad -- it's in the hundreds at least. And then there is all the dragnet spying on US persons done by the US and/or by US partners with US assistance. [Just about everything the Chinese government has been thought to be doing in the US or to US persons the US has been doing even more thoroughly.]. With the largest population of persons with an incarceration history, "prison nation" sounds more like it today. The stuff that goes on when traveling in/to/from the US is just part of the "prison nation" approach.

Last edited by GUWonder; Dec 7, 13 at 7:55 pm
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Old Dec 7, 13, 9:58 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
To call the lawyer "dishonest" assumes that the lawyer knows the truth and is deliberately denying it. Given the bureaucratic monstrosity that DHS is, I could find it plausible that the lawyers were told by higher-ups that it wasn't DHS's fault the witness couldn't board a plane, while some lower-level DHS employee actually performed the action that led to the witness being denied boarding.

Hanlon's Law: never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
Agreed. I doubt the lawyers would have been told of such dirty dealings. After all, they would want to keep it secret. Unfortunately for them the airline didn't play along.
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Old Dec 7, 13, 10:00 pm
  #37  
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Originally Posted by eastport View Post
That would be red-letter-law witness tampering.

Blocking a witness from traveling to a trial using no-fly rules, when the trial is about those very same rules, is also witness tampering. But it's difficult to do anything when it happened by bureaucratic indifference or (deliberate) incompetence. An individual taking specific action later won't have that protection.

The US Attorneys involved should know how serious of a crime this is, and how it negatively impacts their case. Unless they really believe that it falls under "executive privilege" and they have ten lawyers in court just as a courtesy. One has to wonder what happens if they just ignore any ruling.
Whoever ordered the no-fly is clearly guilty of witness tampering. They should be in jail.
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Old Dec 7, 13, 10:39 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
Whoever ordered the no-fly is clearly guilty of witness tampering. They should be in jail.
I would hope the judge would delve into this enough to determine if government tried to influence the outcome of this case using unlawful means and if so have charges filed against those involved. Of course with the current DOJ nothing is likely to come of it.
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Old Dec 7, 13, 10:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
Whoever ordered the no-fly is clearly guilty of witness tampering. They should be in jail.
If they knew that the person in question was a witness. I find it much more plausible that the same nonsensical decision-making that placed the plaintiff on the NFL placed the witness on the NFL, and nobody at DHS had the forethought to think about the possibility. (Again ... Hanlon's law ...)
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Old Dec 7, 13, 10:48 pm
  #40  
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Dupe and deleted.
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Old Dec 7, 13, 11:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Didn't need this court case to justify contempt citations and the jailing of DHS staffers.
True but I'd like to see a judge that actually has enough gumption to do it.
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Old Dec 8, 13, 4:55 pm
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More dispatches from Judge Alsup's courtroom:

Friday morning's session, including the possibility of bar complaints against some of the government’s lawyers and a history lecture from Judge Alsup to the government about the blacklisting of Robert Oppenheimer on the basis of secret, false, allegations that he was a Communist:

“No-fly” trial, day 5, part 1: Closing arguments.

Friday afternoon's evidentiary hearing and argument regarding what happened to Dr. Ibraham's U.S.-citizen daughter (Flyertalkers will probably be especially interested in the complete copy and analysis of the e-mail message from CBP that resulted in Ms. Mustafa Kamal being denied boarding):

“No-fly” trial, day 5, part 2: What happened to the plaintiff’s daughter?

Complete index of reports on the trial & links to court documents:

http://hasbrouck.org/blog/archives/002099.html
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Old Dec 9, 13, 9:37 am
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I find the sworn statement of Raihan binti Mustafa Kamal to be both moving and heartbreaking. A US citizen born in Seattle, WA, she paid $1782.42 of her own money to fly back to her homeland to testify in her Mother's case. Her citizenship means she cannot be legally denied entry to the US under any circumstances, ever. But the DHS and their related villains have effectively done just that, through their abusive no-fly list.

Sure it's witness tampering. Sure, they will get away with it. The human costs will be paid not by DHS staff or their lawyers, but by a 26 year old girl who is trying to do the right thing.
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Old Dec 10, 13, 5:41 pm
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Here's another blog post about the trial with pertinent links about the daughter/witness/MalaysianAirlines/NFL issue:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...ed-court.shtml

Shouldn't the USG attorney who claimed that his client had "confirmed" that they were not responsible for her not boarding, be called himself as a witness, and/or face sanctions for making a false and "frivolous" claim to the court?
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Old Dec 10, 13, 9:50 pm
  #45  
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Originally Posted by GaryD View Post
Here's another blog post about the trial with pertinent links about the daughter/witness/MalaysianAirlines/NFL issue:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...ed-court.shtml

Shouldn't the USG attorney who claimed that his client had "confirmed" that they were not responsible for her not boarding, be called himself as a witness, and/or face sanctions for making a false and "frivolous" claim to the court?
"Confirmed" probably means he asked up the chain--he was probably lied to. Calling him as a witness wouldn't really accomplish much. What's important is who put her on the list and why.
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