Men without a country, by fiat

Updated slightly to respond to a comment.
Via Glenn Greenwald’s Blog
From the NY Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/29/us/29hayat.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Federal authorities have prevented two relatives of a father and son convicted recently in a terrorism-related case from returning home to California from Pakistan unless they agree to be interviewed by the F.B.I.
It is unclear whether the men, Muhammad Ismail, 45, and his son Jaber, 18, have a direct connection to the terrorism case or if they have been caught up in circumstance.
The United States attorney’s office in Sacramento declined Monday to answer questions about the Ismails beyond confirming that the men had not been permitted to fly into the United States and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation wanted to question them.

U.S Citizens, the both of them. Denied re-entry to the United States, the only country to which they have citizenship, by fiat.
A commenter (my brother) points out:
Oh Yes. Quite coincedental. They just happen to be realitives of
someone CONVICTED in a terrorism-related case. They just happened to
travel to the same country. Pakistan is quite known for it’s wacky
fun-loveing peace-nik camps. Lovely vistas, so I am told.

Perhaps so, but under what authority does the Executive branch have to bar citizens from their own country, without formal charges filed and no court authorization? The same authority it has to engage in warrantless wiretapping, detention of american citizens without trial, and an ever expanding set of unchecked executive branch assertions of power that are more in line with the dreams of authoritarian regimes, rather than democratic ones.

2 thoughts on “Men without a country, by fiat”

  1. Did you even READ the article??
    “Hamid Hayat, the nephew of Muhammad Ismail and the cousin of Jaber, was CONVICTED in April of supporting terrorists by attending a training camp in Pakistan. Umer Hayat, in a deal reached with prosecutors after jurors deadlocked on terrorism charges, pleaded guilty in May to lying to the authorities about carrying $28,000 to Pakistan from California.”
    “Hamid Hayat mentioned Jaber Ismail in a marathon F.B.I. interrogation before he was charged, according to transcripts. He said his cousin had ATTENDED A CAMP in the past couple of years, but he was not sure if it was the same one he had attended.”
    “Defense lawyers attacked the interrogation as coerced and misleading, saying that the camp Mr. Hayat had referred to involved religious instruction, not terrorism…”
    Yeah right. I am quite sure it was a peacefull Religious camp. They all sat around and chanted God oh I mean Allah is great.
    “or if they have been caught up in circumstance.”
    Oh Yes. Quite coincedental. They just happen to be realitives of someone CONVICTED in a terrorism-related case. They just happened to travel to the same country. Pakistan is quite known for it’s wacky fun-loveing peace-nik camps. Lovely vistas, so I am told.
    “Umer Hayat, in a deal reached with prosecutors after jurors deadlocked on terrorism charges, pleaded guilty in May to lying to the authorities about carrying $28,000 to Pakistan from California.”
    That must have been for the.. um.. Basket Weaving courses. I do hear the materials for such can be quite expensive over there.
    Oh and the Cavet for re-entry?
    “Jaber Ismail, who was born in the United States, was questioned by the F.B.I. at the American Embassy in Islamabad, but his father, a naturalized United States citizen from Pakistan, declined to participate”
    Clearly it is a case where the F.B.I wants to know all those secret basket-weaving techniques. They must be on the payroll of Longaberger baskets here in ohio. I knew it!

  2. Perhaps so, but under what authority does the Executive branch have to bar citizens from their own country, without formal charges filed and no court authorization?
    Um.. it is called the Patriot Act. You know that wacky LAW passed by congress otherwise known as:
    The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.
    Gee what happened in 2001? Something important surely but seemingly not too many people seem to remember. May have had something to do with airplanes.
    Back to the case. Let’s do some math. Muhammad Ismail and his 18-year-old son, Jaber Ismail spent 4 years there presumably so “The Ismails had been in Pakistan partly so Jaber could study the Quran” This is 2006 and 4 years was… hmmm 2002. That was when America went after the Taliban in Afghanastan. Now perhaps YOUR memory is selective but I seem to recall that Osama bin Laden issueing a directive for mus… oh I mean “people” to come help him and train and fight. That was in… 2002! Gee another of those amazing coincedences. Again makes me wonder just where that $28,000 got off to.
    Yet for all this, and here is the stumbeling block.
    “McGregor Scott, the U.S. attorney for California’s eastern district, confirmed Friday that the men were on the no-fly list and were being kept out of the country until they agreed to talk to federal authorities.
    “They’ve been given the opportunity to meet with the FBI over there and answer a few questions, and they’ve declined to do that,” Scott said.”
    There is the point that keeps quickly getting glossed over. Yes they are being bared. Yes they are on the no-fly list. BUT the first step is the F.B.I wants to TALK to them. But the father has refused. The son did one interveiw but declined a second. And so, becasue of that they are barred. Is that so hard to comprehend?

Comments are closed.