Friday, February 14, 2014

This Just In!

Apparently Pierre's media baby called "The Intercept" hasn't been entirely shut down, as another old story has appeared within the last few minutes penned by Murtaza Hussain  -- who sometimes sat in for Greenwald when he went on vacation from  Salon.

It's about the grotesque ordeal Rahina Ibrahim, a former Stanford University student and citizen of Malaysia, has been put through for the last nine years by an out of control "no fly list" held by some sub-agency of the FAA and maintained by the DoJ to interfere with the travel of tens of thousands of people world wide, often with neither cause nor accountability.

Ibrahim has been fighting to find out why she was placed on the no-fly list for the past eight years, and recently a judge ordered that she be told: it was a clerical error. However, she is apparently still on the no-fly list and denied a visa to return to the US, as those who put her name there, and those who maintain her name there, have consistently refused to correct their error, no doubt fearing that to do so would set a bad precedent -- or something. And of course, the government continues to invoke the state secrets privilege in the matter. After all, fuck ups must remain secret or the Apocalypse will be nigh.

It's nice that Hussain has somehow found the time to cover the story of Rahinah Ibrahim's ordeal for "The Intercept," I suppose, but the second comment under the article points out that "Papers, Please!" has been covering it extensively, for years. Not only have they been covering it, they've actually been posting documents and other ephemera connected with the case.


The price of justice: 9 years, $3.9 million, and counting

On January 2, 2005, Dr. Rahinah Ibrahim found out she was on the US government’s no-fly list when she was denied boarding, arrested, handcuffed, and locked in a cell for two hours when she tried to check in for a flight from San Francisco to Hawaii.
Just over nine years later, on January 14, 2014, a Federal judge entered judgment in Dr. Ibrahim’s favor following the trial in her lawsuit challenging her placement on the no-fly list, her mistreatment by Federal and San Francisco government employees and contractors, and the denial of her right to due process of law.
Dr. Ibrahim’s pro bono lawyers have now applied to Judge William Alsup for reimbursement by the government defendants of their costs: $3.6 million for 11,000 billable hours of attorneys’ and paralegals’ time, plus more than $300,000 in out-of-pocket expenses (including fees charged by the defendants to Dr. Ibrahim’s lawyers for obtaining clearances to see evidence alleged by the defendants to contain Sensitive Security Information).
The total price of justice: Just under $4 million dollars — and counting.  The government defendants have until February 13th (30 days after the entry of Judge Alsup’s judgment) to decide whether to appeal that judgment to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, where they have already lost two appeals of pre-trial rulings in Dr. Ibrahim’s lawsuit.  If the government appeals the judgment, payment of their fees and expenses (which depends on Dr. Ibrahim having “prevailed” in the litigation) will be further delayed while more costs accrue.
There's much more at the site, and I urge anyone who is interested in the soft police-state of denial to wander over to "Paper, Please!" and have a gander at the lengthy and detailed coverage they've been doing of this and other cases for a long, long time.

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