Why People Are Put on the No Fly List?

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) brought a case against the U.S. government on why its plaintiffs were put on the no fly list even though they had committed no crime and had made no threats. This case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, and it goes to the heart of the issue on the means and methods the U.S. government uses to put people on the no fly list at all. The case is of major significance because the whole means and methods of people being put on the no fly list is a very murky one. Unlike local, state and federal law enforcement, where they track the criminal record of those who had committed crimes, there is no rhyme or reason why people may end up on the no fly list.

All of the plaintiffs who ended up on the no fly list have never committed any crimes, have no history of working for any known terrorist groups, have no history of traveling to those regions where terrorist groups may have training camps, and no history of ever having made threats against the United States or any country friendly to the United States. So why are these plaintiffs on the no fly list? They have never been charged with a crime, and they certainly are not in jail or on trial for any crime. But the plaintiffs in the ACLU case cannot get on an airplane for any reason, and they cannot get off of the no fly list. By U.S. law, the government must show reason why such people are not allowed to do something that is a threat to national security. But with the no fly list the U.S. government has skirted this important procedure. This is what the ACLU is trying to figure out, and how it can help those on the no fly list challenge the government on this.

Obviously the U.S. government does not want to be challenged on this point. As has been the case in the past, the U.S. government wants a blank check to do whatever it wants. There is no question that acts of terrorism must be prevented. However, the rights of any and all individuals must be protected. The U.S. Constitution may be over 200 years old, but it is still a very relevant document of laws to protect the rights and freedoms of the individual. These rights and freedoms must be used to balance out any government action, no matter how important those actions may be. Again the question has to be asked why people are placed on the no fly list. This is a question that will hopefully be answered by this case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Comments are closed.