I swear there’s cold front in Hell. First, the “we never met a gun control law we didn’t like” (until now) New York Times publishes an article ripping the No-Fly No Buy bills a new one. And now the equally anti-gun Vox.com crams I’m a former Marine who was on the no-fly list for 4 years — and I still don’t know why down the Intertubz. Here’s how a young man who served his country learned that his country removed his right to board a commercial aircraft.
“You’re on the no-fly list,” the woman at the kiosk told me. It was a Wednesday, six years ago, at Midway Airport in Chicago. I was traveling to Spokane, Washington, for my job as a dog trainer.
I had absolutely no idea how I could have ended up on the no-fly list. I waited for Ashton Kutcher to come out and tell me I was being Punk’d. No luck.
At least 30 federal agents swarmed me. They didn’t handcuff or manhandle me, but the sheer number of them was intimidating. I was in a state of shock, looking at them confusedly. Their expressions turned puzzled, too, when they noticed my Marine Corps shirt.
But being a veteran didn’t save me: The mob of agents led me into a private room for questioning.
I was certain there was a mix-up, and I wanted answers. How did this happen? When could I fly again? How did I end up on the list?
“Even if I knew the answers, I wouldn’t be able to tell you them,” said one FBI agent.
The questioning at the airport was brief, and they eventually let me go.
As the article’s title indicates, Uncle Sam grounded a Muslim Marine (with a Palestinian father) for the next four years, until his lawyers finally pressured the Feds to let him take wing. But not before this little tete-a-tete.
For a few months, there was radio silence from law enforcement. Then, out of the blue, I got a random phone call again from the same two agents. They invited me to Chicago for lunch and to answer any questions I had. The only question I had was if I was off the list.
The conversation seemed hopeful, so I agreed to meet them. They met me in their hotel lobby and invited me upstairs. There was no lunch. “We can get you off the list today,” they said.
One caveat — they could get me off the list if I agreed to become an informant at mosques.
I’m no James Bond. I have a wife and four kids. Why would I go undercover as a bargaining deal to be taken off the list when I hadn’t done anything wrong in the first place? I thought that in a few months the government would realize they’d made a mistake about me.
The encounter in the hotel room was a breaking point — I contacted the American Civil Liberties Union and lawyered up.
The Democratic and Republican proponents of No Fly, No Buy legislation under consideration in Congress claim their bills contain “safeguards” for Americans denied their gun rights.
Even if you consider post-facto judicial review of a suspected terrorist’s gun purchase denial — at the “accused’s” expense, without access to all the information ranged against him — due process, is this really the way we want our federal government to operate?
While I’d like to have faith in the U.S. legal system, what judge is willing to be “that guy”? The federal judge who told the United States intelligence services to go ahead and “allow” a “terrorist suspect” to exercise his gun rights and purchase a firearm — who then uses it for an attack? Better your Constitutional rights go down the toilet than be sorry later, right?
For four years, I was presumed guilty until proven innocent. Despite all the questions I answered for officials, mine has never been answered: why?
Because tyranny. Coming soon to a gun store near you?
At least people are waking up to just how terrible the no fly list really is.
The guarantees of “due process” from a morally and politically corrupt government mean nothing. When judges routinely rubber stamp “no knock” home invasions on flimsy or made-up “evidence”, when nameless bureaucrats, using “national security” as an excuse can put anybody on a no-fly list, the trust-us-we’ve-got-your-back blandishments of the kinds of politicians we’ve elected to represent us do nothing but create deep distrust. I don’t trust bureaucrats and I don’t trust politicians.
That’s it! You’re on the list.
And this comes from a government that can’t tell the difference in similar names or the best putting young kids on that list.
Or a government with close to 50% of federal judges being Obama appointees. Or a government who considers people who support states rights “extremists”. Or a government who says they want to stop terrorist, but don’t even allow counter terrorism investigators to check Muslims public social media accounts for signs of radicalism. It goes on and on, which begs the question, why would we trust them with even more control and authority when they have proven they can’t even make a website that works given 500 million dollars and 3 full years.
More than 7 days of food in your home = potential terrorist. “Weather seal” your ammo = potential terrorist (50 cal can with rubber seal?). On and on into the mundane = potential terrorist.
Veteran = Probably a potential terrorist
Constitutionalist = Likely a potential terrorist
Tea Party member = Good chance of being a potential terrorist
Member of a III% group = Definitely a potential terrorist
All of those together = You’re fucked, no rights for you. And DHS has a one-way train ticket with your name on it when the time comes.
NRA member = Certified Terrorist
NRA Life Member = Extremely Dangerous Certified Terrorist, terminate upon sighting.
I know many proponents of unrestricted access to guns like to load as much of the blame as possible on Obama, as the article points out, this is really a bi-partisan effort by both Republicans and Democrats. Yes, the Obama administration has increased the strength and extent of application of these kinds of provisions, but he has done so by building on what George Bush put in place and he has also had full cooperation on this from the Republicans in Congress. It is the one area in which Congressional Republicans have absolutely no disagreement with Obama. In fact, in 2011 and 2012 when Obama wanted to increase the range of application of provisions for indefinite incarceration by unnamed accusation without due process in the NDAA, he went around Congressional Democrats and straight to the Republican leaders on the House and Senate committees controlling the NDAA legislative process. When Congressional Democrats tried to challenge the extended indefinite incarceration provision, they had to stop their challenge when informed by the Republican leaders that they (the Republicans) were only doing what President Obama wanted. These no fly lists, suspected terrorist lists, and false accusations without opportunity to defend yourself are truly bi-partisan efforts by elected politicians at Federal and state levels..
It’s an election year so the GOP has to appear more moderate to attract independent and undecided voters in close congressional elections.
MAKE NO MISTAKE, a democrat president and a democrat Congress will mean Australian Style Gun Control for the US. Or worse, much much worse.
The gun grabbers don’t care. In their mind your gun rights aren’t rights at all. There is tyranny in the minds of people lately. Always one man looks to control another.
Thank you, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and the rest of you RINOS who have no real allegiance to the American people or their rights. Without you, Democrats would never be able pass this denial of due process.
God I hope the Airline doesn’t pull me aside in October. 1st flight in 21 years. I won’t be happy if I miss the Texas Firearms festival. I’ll be even more pissed about this “legislation “.
Don’t sweat it. Once “no fly, no buy” passes, there will be a very simple and easy way for you (or any actual terrorist who is curious as to whether he’s on the gov’s radar) to find out if you’re on the list: just try to buy a gun.
Yes no fly no buy list gets ALL American’s on it just as soon as the feds allow it. It WILL happen. Back door ban on anyone buying a firearm. That is expect for the elite few dems who have the money and connections to get off of the list. (the clinton’s come to mind)
Just imagine all the various databases they can link into a big fat no machine.
Hell, they will probably start with the white pages and expand from there!
Police departments across the country are already working on building databases of potential criminals and political protesters & Constitutional activists they want to classify as “terrorists”. It is moving toward an environment like in the movie “Minority Report”, except that they don’t use people with precognition to identify future “criminals”. Instead, they use even less reliable materials pulled together by search engines that go through people’s Facebook mentions, social media, and special interest discussion website, such as this one. Welcome to the surveillance state.
How much time will pass before “expressing hyperbolic dissatisfaction with current policy” will be grounds for being added to the list?
How much time will pass before they decide that merely having associated with people who have expressed dissatisfaction with policy is grounds for inclusion?
There are very good reasons due process is a Constitutional requirement.
I think you missed this happening already. Both of the items you mentioned are already on the FBI guidelines list of characteristics of potential terrorists. They are also the kind of activity that will get you on the watch list of those police departments that are developing lists of people they consider “dangerous” or “potentially involved in criminal activity”.
Most people could find themselves labeled as Person of Interest. This is what the law does when they want to soften up a target through the media. No charges but no one else return your calls, you lose your job and the jury pool is tainted.
Instead you’ll end up in a database. The Stasi didn’t have this much technology.
NYT and now Vox. Looks like Manchin’s comment that “due process is killing us” is coming back to bite them all right on the ass. Good. Even the Lefty’s are waking up to the idea that some of their “betters” really don’t have the best interests of “We the People” at heart.
Ladies and gentlemen what good is the no fly list except to keep potentialialy identifying terrorists from entering the country. Once they are here (or were born here) they can drive, take the train, take the bus, ferry or Uber themselves anywhere in the 49 north american states. The no fly list has the value of say, bull poop, as far as preventing any interstate travel by those who wish to terrorize the population or as a means of identifying them and restricting the sale of arms to them. So a “no drive; no train; no bus or ferry or no Uber list” could potentially have more value for such nonsense
You can’t Uber to a terrorist action – it is against Uber policy for the rider to be armed.
(But I’m still waiting to see an Uber pull up with a little “No Beretta” sticker on the passenger window.)
What’s Uber’s policy on bomb vests and arson-ready gas cans? Good to go?
The list is applied at all international airports around the world where the passengers have a final destination of the USA. I can think of at least three cases where two US citizens and a permanent resident were stranded abroad after being placed on the list. The purpose is to try to keep bombers off of planes destined for the US and which theoretically have a high number of US citizens aboard, making them tempting targets.
Not too sure how much I buy this one.
Maybe. Show me the list first.
Just be an informant at your gun club and you’re off the list
Just be an informant at a gun show/shop and you’re off the list.
Just wear a wire at your buddies ranch in the woods and your off the list.
You see where this goes. The nerve.
Could not have said it better.
This is how vile our government is. No accoutability to the principles of freedoms, the barter of ones’ rights for freedom means citizens only have conditional rights base on the incompetence of government employees.
Just imagine a former Marine vetted and removed from the list…quiet assurance to the principles of freedom…government would rather burden a citizen than right a wrong.
You hint at the same thought I had–that the FBI is using the list to “recruit” potential informants at the end of a metaphorical gun. Inform or we will make your life miserable. That certainly seems to be the case with this Marine. Being a Muslim and an American patriot, it is reasonable to assume that the FBI (not at the local level but in DC) identified him as an easy target to become an inside informant for activities at his mosque. They knew full well that he was not a tourist or a tourist wannabe, which is why they used a patently unconstitutional arm twist to obtain his compliance. They didn’t take him off the list until it became embarrassingly public what they were up to.
This isn’t even hypothetical. FBI has been doing this for a while now.
Not to throw a wrench into the works BUT the Ft. Hood shooter was an officer in the military. And a moose-lim. And shot a boatload of fellow “innocent” soldiers as a “soldier of Allah”.I’m not saying this dude is guilty of ANYTHING but I get a mite suspicious when the ACLU is mentioned. So how did Ted Kennedy(a known murderer)get off the list? lol
One, Fort Hood shooter was not on the list despite tons of red flags due to “mah racial profiling.”
Second, Kennedy was on there for supporting the IRA, a terrorist group. I don’t think he ever got taken off. He had a private plane.
One-I never intimidated Nidal was on a “list”. Just that thinking a former army dude(automatic hero?)is somehow above suspicion is the definition of insanity. Two-the Kennedy comment was sarcasm-keep up…
“Moose-lim” really isn’t helping anything.
And why on earth do you think I want to “help” muslims??? Who is committing the vast majority of terrorism in this world???
“And why on earth do you think I want to “help” muslims??? Who is committing the vast majority of terrorism in this world???”
Why on earth would anyone want to help people with guns? Who is committing the vast majority of murders in this world?
The logic is stupid in both cases.
This right here is exactly why all these proposals will pass eventually, when Republicans figure out a way to word them such that they can sell them to their electorate as “it’s just a gun ban for Muslims”. Trump will enthusiastically support it, as will his electoral base – expect to hear more about how “Islam is a death cult, so normal rules don’t apply” and “Constitution is not a suicide pact”.
He may have had a private plane. However, I can state FIRST HAND that he boarded a commercial plane in 2007 because I sat RIGHT BEHIND HIM. He was on his way to Kansas City (he indicated that it was his first time to Missouri….) to an Obama rally.
He had 3 vodka tonics on the flight, and was wheel-chaired into and out of the plane.
I don’t know when he was put on the ‘No Fly List’, but I can guarantee, he flew shortly before his death.
I am extremely skeptical of the State and really, really want to believe that the government put this guy on the list for no reason, but story was from Vox so I knew I was being lied too. A simple google on “Abe Mashal” and found this huffpo story:
Key bit: “One such man is Abe Mashal, a 30-year-old dog trainer and former Marine from St. Charles, Ill., who was not allowed on a Chicago-to-Spokane flight in April because he had sent what he described as innocent e-mails to a Muslim cleric agents were watching.”
Innocent emails…uh oh. You know who else was sending innocent emails, Maj. Nidal Hasan to Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical imam. The FBI knew about them and ignored them and the rest is history.
They apparently did not have a case for prosecuting him for aiding and abetting terrorism.
He may not be a terrorist, but he is a liar.
Last sentence of his article: “Despite all the questions I answered for officials, mine has never been answered: why?”
He admitted to Huffpo it was because he was communicating with a radical Imam and the contents of those emails scared the FBI. That’s why he was placed on the list. So why the Vox snow job piece? It does not speak well of his character.
I think it is unconstitutional to place Americans on a No Fly list. But the FBI should keep watching this guy if he is exchanging scary messages with bad people.
That’s all well and good that he was placed on the “No Fly” list because of his e-mails, when we all end up on the list because of what is said on this or any other gun forum what are you going to say?
He never claimed that it was okay to put people of a No-fly List on the basis of mere suspicion.
Unobtrusive monitoring has never been viewed as inappropriate, let alone unconstitutional. If the feds want tio get more obtrusive, they will need to get a warrant from a court.
If there is evidence Abe Mashal had aided and abetted terrorism, take him to court. If the jury convicts him, the only occasion he will have to fly is if he is being transferred between prisons. But unless and until the feds are willing to take him to court, he should be treated as a free man.
As I said, “I think it is unconstitutional to place Americans on a No Fly list.” Only a court should have the authority to restrict someone’s travel.
“Unobtrusive monitoring has never been viewed as inappropriate”
Rifling through emails is rifling through a person’s papers & personL effects. Public surveillance is one thing, tapping a point-to-point communication is targetted, and general warrants or permission to do so are the exact reason we have a fourth amendment.
If this guy wasn’t a radicalized, anti-government Muslim anarchist before, there’s a good chance he is now after this injustice.
That this guy was a jarhead is not really relevant. He WAS/IS mussy. Son of a foreign national (mussy). Does not mention his mother (certainly muzzyish tendancy). If mom was a US citizen he would have mentioned such. So, at BEST, he has BS “birthright phoney citizenship” if his mom made it to the US in time to spawn.
More likely he became a citizen while a jarhead. DOD, since 911 has recruited (accepted), pretty much ANY muzzy able to speak a muzzy language and agree to be an interpreter. Did much care if they were a “peaceful” islamist or wore a vest every day, Even gave them commissions (see Ft Hood ‘workplace violence” SOB). Stay clean for a couple years and DOD will hold a citizenship award ceremony IN FREAKING IRAQ and bestow on the muzzy US Citizenship. Bring the entire family chain of radicals back to the US. Morons.
There you go CLarson. Thanks for fleshing out my thoughts. Innocent emails. Right(odd but he was from St. Charles IL-my wife was just there selling at Kane County Flea market ). Illinois has a veritable invasion of moose-lims…all innocent(so they say).
Until proven guilty, you’d better believe it.
That would be correct. However, how could you possibly prevent innocents from being killed by the dozens each time one made his real feelings (murderous asshole) known. I mean, the only way I can think of is to arm the populace. ALL of them.
There is literally almost 1 million people on the various terrorist watch lists. I hope most are mistakes.
Certainly 99.9% are false positives, that’s the entire point of the list – these are ‘we don’t knows’.
Which is why these people are not guilty, and should have no rights restricted.
The lists are wrong.
That same argument can be made about NICS in general.
John Lott outlined in an interview that up to 97% (and at least over 90%) of NICS denials are false positives.
He went on to say that in one year after over 70,000 denials there was only 13 prosecutions for felons attempting to buy a gun.
Why on earth anyone believes any of this theater has real-world efficacy is beyond me. It’s ALL a colossal waste of time and resources. I guess if it appeases the fragile emotions of those too apathetic to pay attention, it’s all good, right?
^— should have been placed under Dave’s comment below.
Let’s put it this way:
-A million people on the lists.
-2,000 have legally bought guns while on the list.
-2 of those went on to carry out terrorist attacks with them.
-1 death resulted.
My 8 year old Nephew was on the list; same name as a now dead IRA or Prostie gun runner (we were never told which side, green or orange). Had to have him at the airport 3 hours early for any domestic flights so that the buzz cuts could confirm that he wasn’t born in the late 1940’s and JUST COULDN’T BE THAT DEAD IRISHMAN.
What a crock. I’m replacing “military intelligence” with “security intelligence” in the “JUMBO SHRIMP” sweepstakes for mutually exclusive words.
“Even if you consider post-facto judicial review of a suspected terrorist’s gun purchase denial”
Trials and probable cause hearings only occur “post-facto.” It would be impossible for them to occur at any other time.
“— at the “accused’s” expense,”
Cornyn’s proposal required the G to pay if it lost.
“without access to all the information ranged against him ”
In a criminal case, you get all the information at a trial or a bit before. You don’t get “all the information” at the time of an arrest.
“— due process, is this really the way we want our federal government to operate?”
It is due process, and yes, a full and fair hearing on the merits quickly is precisely the way I want the G to operate. Which is exactly the opposite of the way it works now, as the article clearly notes.
If Cornyn’s proposal had been before the Marine had been blacklisted, he would have been on the no-fly list for a couple of weeks, not four years.
Uncle Sam grounded a Muslim Marine (with a Palestinian father) for the next four years, until his lawyers finally pressured the Feds to let him take wing.
Convert to Lutheranism, that would really get them going.
Actually, a certain branch of my family were super devout Irish Catholics back in County Clare Ireland and fought hard for their faith against the Anglican Church. Soooo….they move to County Adams Indiana and converted to being conservative Methodist-Protestant. Go figure. Oh, I was raised by some relatives who attended a German Dunker Church so things got even more bizarre.
Being on a no-fly list wouldn’t affect me personally. I refuse to travel anywhere that can’t be reached via surface roads, for the simple reason I refuse to be treated without cause as a criminal suspect for the privilege of flying commercially. But I can sure as hell empathize with the Marine being blacklisted by an unaccountable star-chamber. If you’re ever been declined by NICS for an FFL purchase, good luck finding out why. Contacting the Fibbies is useless due to “privacy” concerns, even though it’s your own privacy that’s in question. Getting your congressman’s office involved will meet a similar dead-end. What saved me was moving to a gun-friendly state, where the DPS license examiner asked if I was having trouble with background checks. Turns out the record of a wayward soul with a remarkably similar name and birthday, who’d been convicted of drug felonies and incarcerated 1000 miles away from anywhere I’ve ever lived, was somehow linked to me in the database without notice. After reams of tedious correspondence and ID verification with the FBI department agent in charge, the issue was finally resolved, but only due to luck and pluck, not to the wheels of justice.
No doubt this person will be on the permanent “no-fly” list:
Nothing takes petty revenge like an annoyed bureaucracy.
Petty revenge is one of the major attractions of employment with most of the alphabet soup of federal agencies. Subjecting American citizens to that kind of BS is unacceptable. If someone is guilty of a crime, arrest them and put them on trial. If they aren’t citizens, then send them back to where they came from!
‘One caveat — they could get me off the list if I agreed to become an informant at mosques.’
Isn’t this more or less the exact same thing the ATF pulled on Randy Weaver that lead to the Ruby Ridge atrocity? Only swap ‘mosques’ for ‘Aryan Nation’.
Good point. It’s exactly the same thing they did to Weaver.
If I was that the Marine, I’d be watching my six. The G is a vindictive bitch.
The difference between a liberal and a conservative is that one is worried about what the gubmint is going to FOR him and the other is worried about what the gubmint is gonna do TO him.
And some of this was going on in the year leading up to OKC, too.
One man was apparentlly beaten to death in fbi custody though official report was ‘suicude’ and he was not who the feebs that he was.
That whole time period (early 90’s) is a fascinating study…
The notion of using a list lacking in due process to flip witnesses sounds very much like the black booking of suspect commies in the 60s. We have seen how history has judged that.
The time to be LOUD AS HELL …. and be heard is now. Democrat black caucus will be disrupting & demanding shitty votes on even shittier bills. They will call every gun owner , ( even blacks or gays ) as — RACIST —….. why it’s their magic word. DO NOT ALLOW Ryan & GOP any excuses or wiggle room. // CALL – 202-225-3121 , 100 x a day !!
On an off rant let’s not forget who made this list in the first place and who objected. We should be able to find some juicy quotes from familiar faces.
It is only a matter of time before the Southern Poverty Law Center shifts from labeling organizations “terror” groups instead of “hate” groups in their attempt to push their Libitard agenda. If this happens in conjunction with no-fly/no-buy, a simple donation to the Familiy Research Council or one of hundreds of other organizations mis-labeled by SPLC could expand the denial of constitutional rights exponentially.
Same same or distinction without a difference.
The progtards know what the freak at the SPLC mean when their synonyms. It just a codeword microagression. Or whatever.
(big thumbs up that microagression is not in the TTAG spellcheck dictionary).
An article linked on how Air Marshalls have a quota to add people to the no-fly list.
The no-fly list is like the sex-offender list: the ones on it are unlikely to ever be a danger to anyone. It’s the ones you never suspect who are the great danger. And in this case the great danger will not be someone on the list, but someone with the power to put others on the list while himself moving in the shadows to betray us all, using the power to put people on the list to muddy the waters.
I’ve been on the list for 6 years now. No idea why. Hell I get harrasses at the border to Canada when taking the train. Without fail when we stop at the border the come right to my seat, they toss my bags and search me, then ask me wherr, why, for how long. Answer because we can detain you at the border for no reason. They have yet to detain me despite my only answers being, I am going to mind my business where are you going and go have sex with yourself. Yeah the first few trips I was polite, but after the 5th or 6th time enough is enough. I am also a Marine veteran