Getting one’s name removed from the FBI’s “terrorist watch list” is not so simple a matter as merely being cleared of whatever supposedly nefarious activity got it put there in the first place. From the New York Times:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is permitted to include people on the government’s terrorist watch list even if they have been acquitted of terrorism-related offenses or the charges are dropped, according to newly released documents.
Well that’s funny. The Brady Campaign’s Dennis “What People?” Henigan, readers will remember, is a huge fan of various legislative proposals to either block firearms purchases by those on the “terror watch list,” or to empower the Attorney General to unilaterally block those sales, on the basis of his determination that the prospective buyer is a “suspected terrorist.” Henigan has acknowledged that people will inevitably be wrongly swept up in that net, and denied the ability to legally purchase a gun–but don’t worry:
If the Lautenberg/King approach were to become law, there would no doubt be some mistakes made, in which gun sales are blocked due to incorrect information, mistaken identities, or other problems. Recognizing that no public policy applied in the real world is perfect, the Lautenberg/King legislation provides for mechanisms to correct such mistakes while making it harder for terrorist suspects to arm themselves.
Keep in mind that in what Henigan refers to as “the Lautenberg/King approach” (this congressional session’s versions being S.34/H.R. 1506) effectively make the appeals process worthless. This is because those bills allow the government to, in presenting “evidence” of the appropriateness of branding the prospective gun buyer a “suspected terrorist,” use redacted documents, to protect “sensitive information.” Back in June, Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) showed us how far the Department of “Justice” is willing to go in redacting “sensitive” information (“sensitive” in that case, apparently because it might have lead to some accountability for the “Project Gunwalker” atrocity).
Back to the New York Times article–a former Department of Homeland Security official’s response to a civil libertarian’s objection that in America, the accused is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty:
But Stewart Baker, a former Homeland Security official in the Bush administration, argued that even if the intelligence about someone’s possible terrorism ties fell short of the courtroom standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt,” it could still be appropriate to keep the person on the watch list as having attracted suspicion.
Mr. Baker noted that being subjected to extra questioning — or even kept off flights — was different than going to prison
As blogger Thirdpower points out, you’re “Guilty until proven innocent–and then you’re still guilty.”
Henigan went incandescent with outrage when House Judiciary Committee Republicans killed a proposal to block gun sales to those on the “watch list.” How likely is it, one might wonder, that he will change his mind, knowing now that if he gets his way, denial of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms would not end with being found not guilty of any wrongdoing?
Just kidding–there’s no need to wonder about that, of course–that’s just how Henigan likes it.
- Brady Campaign acknowledges proposed gun laws violate due process; doesn’t care
- ‘Gun control’ pusher disagrees with MLK, says right delayed is NOT right denied
- Other St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner “terror watch list” articles (older ones here)
- Guilty until proven innocent