In an effort to combat the threat of terrorism the Federal government has resorted to controversial tactics such as electronic surveillance and a no-fly list. However, a major civil rights organization has recently filed a lawsuit alleging that officials have abused the list and caused innocent Americans to be banned from planes.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the suit at the end of June on behalf of 10 individuals—all of whom are United States citizens or lawful residents—who it says were put on the no-fly list without an explanation or a chance to clear their names.
Among the plaintiffs are Raymond Earl Knaeble, a U.S. citizen and Army veteran who has not been able to fly back to the U.S. from Colombia, as well as Steven Washburn, another citizen and veteran, who, after being prevented from flying from Europe to the U.S., crossed the border by land escorted by U.S. and Mexican officials, according to the ACLU.
“More and more Americans who have done nothing wrong find themselves unable to fly, and in some cases unable to return to the U.S., without any explanation whatsoever from the government,” said Ben Wizner, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project.
“A secret list that deprives people of the right to fly and places them into effective exile without any opportunity to object is both un-American and unconstitutional,” he added.