Worse Than McCarthyism: Connecticut Gun Scare Black List

Whatever you may have thought of Senator Joe McCarthy, the famous McCarthy black lists of communists and fellow travelers started out with public support due to the “Red Scare”.  The Hollywood black list is a good example.  Somebody–probably J. Edgar Hoover–fed names to a movie industry trade magazine that published a list of movie industry talent that the magazine’s editor decided were either Communist Party USA members or sympathizers.

The House Un-American Activities Committee then took that list and bootstrapped it into an investigation.  You have to ask yourself which came first–did Congress feed the names to the Hollywood Reporter so it could then “investigate,” or did the Hollywood Reporter create the list on its own?  Either way, it was a nice neat way for HUAC to come up with a list that nobody vetted and that nobody who was included could ever get off of.


HUAC Lawyer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Senator Joseph McCarthy

America was scared by infiltration of the country by Communist agents and sympathizers.   (Imagine if the Russia Today channel (RT.com) would have been operating.)

So now America is scared by a much greater threat–Islamic terrorism.  And what is the answer?  Use the much-maligned “no fly” list to rule on whether to permit gun ownership by those who have been placed on the list.

How do you get on the “no fly” list?  How do you know if you are on it?  How do you get off of it if you are?

The list is created by the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center and is fraught with false positives and human error.  The ACLU has been a leading opponent of the no fly list and has brought several lawsuits against the U.S. government on the theory that the lists violate Constitutional rights of due process and the “right to travel”–but has so far been curiously silent in the face of their pal Obama’s proposed use of the “no fly” list to extinguish another Constitutional right–gun ownership.

A leading case (and pretty much only case) on the no-fly list is Rahinah Ibrahim, an ACLU case that resulted in a “summary” of the judge’s ruling being published.  The case brought by the ACLU was heard before Judge William Alsup in San Francisco (Alsup was the same judge in the Oracle case against Google where he showed himself to be a stand up guy in not bowing to Google’s political power).  The Huffington Post says:

“Rahinah Ibrahim, 48, a mother of four with a doctorate from Stanford University, was waiting to board a flight from San Francisco to Hawaii en route to Malaysia in 2005 but was told she was on the no-fly list. She was eventually cleared to fly to Malaysia, but her visa was revoked soon afterward and she could not return to Stanford. She was never told why she was put on the list, and in 2006 she sued the government to find out.

Government lawyers argued that Ibrahim, as a Malaysian citizen, had no standing in U.S. courts and that no-fly list information must be kept secret for security reasons. The government also asked U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California to seal his ruling.

Instead, Alsup ruled that Ibrahim did have the right to sue and ordered the government to tell Ibrahim whether she is still on the list. The judge agreed to keep the full ruling sealed until April 15, pending a review of the government’s request for secrecy, but he did issue a summary of the ruling.”

Judge Alsup said:

“In order for the district court to grant relief on a claim that a plaintiff has been wrongly listed in a government terrorist watchlist, that listing must first result in concrete, reviewable adverse government action against the plaintiff, such as refusal of permission to board a plane. This means that a judicial remedy must, by necessity, be a post-deprivation remedy. Once a plaintiff shows concrete, reviewable adverse government action has occurred, and, as here, shows that the action resulted from an error by the government, then the plaintiff is entitled by due process to a post-deprivation remedy that requires the government to cleanse and/or correct its lists and records of the mistaken information and to certify under oath that such correction(s) have been made. The government’s administrative remedies fall short of such relief and do not supply sufficient due process. In light of the confusion caused by the government’s mistake, such cleansing-certification relief is ordered in this case. Also, the government is ordered to disclose to plaintiff her current status on (or off) the no-fly list (without prejudice to future adjustments based on new information). In this connection, the government concedes that plaintiff is not a threat to our national security.”

So get that straight–the only way you get off of the no fly list is through a “post deprivation remedy” of suing the federal government.  Check it out: the ACLU case was filed in 2006–2006–and it’s still not over.

There are probably a couple dozen cases that the ACLU has brought for essentially the same reasons:  The government puts you on the list, doesn’t tell you you’re on the list, won’t tell you why you’re on the list, but won’t let you travel and has only a convoluted process for getting off the list even if you should never have been on the list in the first place.

Now–Obama wants to use that list, a process that is error-prone and secretive–to deny not only the right to travel under the privileges and immunities clause and due process under the 5th and 14th Amendments, but now to take away our Second Amendment rights as well.

This is real, people.  According to Fox News:

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed using an executive order Thursday to ban gun sales to those who are on federal no-fly watch lists.

Malloy said state officials are working with the federal government to get access to the lists.

“If you cannot fly due to being on a government watch list, you should not be able to purchase a firearm while on that watch list as well,” Malloy told reporters at the state Capitol. “This is basic common sense. The American people get it.”

Get that–executive powers.  Wonder where he got that idea from?  And you don’t suppose that Obama is now going to say that since Connecticut’s governor did it, the POTUS now feels compelled to do it through executive power at the federal level?

Here’s the formula:  POTUS doesn’t like X, a right the is protected by the Constitution.  POTUS creates a list, like the death list he uses for execution by droning.  If you’re on the list, then you must be dangerous, too dangerous to enjoy Constitutional protection of X, so POTUS now uses executive powers to deprive you of X.

This formula is not theoretical–it’s happening right now.

That, my friends, is one step away from martial law.  We don’t have too many examples of martial law in Western countries in response to terror, but remember the “October Crisis” in Montreal back in the 1970s when the KGB-backed Quebec Liberation Front captured two government officials and killed one of them before being escorted to palm trees and rum in Cuba?  The big liberal Pierre Trudeau declared martial law in Montreal, posted troops on the street corners–and did a house to house search for weapons which were confiscated.  (That’s the father of the current Canadian Prime Minister.)

So where is the ACLU?  Silent.  Remember, Obama calls the no-fly list a “loophole”.  It’s a loophole alright, just not the kind Obama wants you to think of.  It’s a loophole for the feds to drive a Mack truck through the Second Amendment.