The Ashcroft "Justice" Department shows its usual concern for the pain, stigma, and humiliation that it causes innocent citizens.
SEATTLE, Washington (AP) -- A Justice Department lawyer on Thursday asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit that alleges the government's handling of its "no-fly" list violates air travelers' rights.
The American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit says the government has put in place insufficient safeguards to ensure that people with names similar to those on the list aren't treated with suspicion because of mistaken identity.
The seven plaintiffs say they have been repeatedly stopped at airports and questioned for as long as an hour before being allowed to board flights.
Joseph W. LoBue, representing the government, told U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly that airport searches were necessitated by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
LoBue noted that the TSA allows those who believe they are being confused with people on either list to provide information to the government to help security screeners identify them in the future.
Three of the plaintiffs have gone through the notification process but are still being targeted for special security attention, according to ACLU attorney Reginald T. Shuford.
It stikes me that there is a simple compromise* available here that would go miles toward bridging the gap of distrust that has sprung up between the Ashcroft "Justice" Department and a large portion of the American population. If every political appointee and management level employee at Justice put their name on the watch list, they could take part in the sacrifices that we all must share in order to make America safer. It would be a public relations bonanza for the administration.
* I know this word is unknown in this administration, but some one there must own a dictionary or know a smart person who could explain it to them.