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Government Secrecy Spurs $4 Million Lawsuit Over Simple 'No Fly' List Error 239

An anonymous reader writes "After a seven-year lawsuit costing nearly $4 million, a judge has concluded that Rahinah Ibrahim's student visa was revoked because an FBI agent checked the wrong box on a form. That simple human error resulted in the detention of Rahinah Ibrahim, the revocation of her student visa years later and interruption of her PhD studies. The Bush and later Obama administrations obstructed the lawsuit repeatedly, invoking classified evidence, sensitive national security information and the state secrets privilege to prevent disclosure of how suspects are placed on the 'no-fly' list. The dispute eventually involved statements of support from James Clapper, Eric Holder and several other DOJ and TSA officials in favor of the government's case. The defendant was not allowed to enter the United States even to attend her own lawsuit trial and in a separate incident, her daughter, a U.S. citizen, was denied entry to witness the trial as well. The case exemplifies how government secrecy can unintentionally transform otherwise easily corrected errors into a multi-year legal and bureaucratic nightmare and waste millions of taxpayer dollars in doing so."
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Government Secrecy Spurs $4 Million Lawsuit Over Simple 'No Fly' List Error

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  • by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @06:08PM (#46232889) Homepage

    What puzzles me is the fervor with which the article repeats the word "Obama", even where they have to rather stretch grammatical rules to work it in ("high-ranking President Barack Obama administration officials spent years covering it up." Nice to know which President Obama: the high-ranking one, not the low-ranking President Obama.).

    This started in 2004, five years before Obama took office in 2009. So I'd say that they ought to give Bush a bit of the blame; at least, say, for the first five years spent covering it up.

  • Re:Um... (Score:4, Informative)

    by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @06:10PM (#46232925)

    In support of stupidity I offer this in evidence. []

    If a man that powerful in the government takes 3 weeks to get his name off the no fly list you know it's fucked up.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @06:25PM (#46233043)

    Except, these days they go to Switzerland, which is close enough to Germany, pays their PhDs better and has much less bureaucracy (and a lot more common sense).

    And yet it seems Switzerland is quite hostile to immigrants. A few years back this poster [] was made by one of Switzerland's largest political parties. And recently Switzerland decided to limit immigration from EU.

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.