The smiling gentleman pictured above is Abousfian Abdelrazik, a naturalized Canadian who has been stranded in his native Sudan since 2003. On a visit to his sick mother, the Montreal resident was twice imprisoned and tortured by the local government, according to him at the instance of Canadian and U.S. authorities who suspected him of ties to terrorism. The Canadians and Sudanese eventually cleared him, but then he found himself with an expired passport and placed on a United Nations no fly list. For the last 14 months, he slept on the floor of the Canadian embassy in Khartoum. Canadian activists helped him go to court to get their government to fly him home. Under court order, they finally did this last Saturday. No wonder he looks happy,
Despite being cleared by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Security Intelligence Service (that's like being cleared by the FBI), Abdelrazik may not be done with his troubles.
This case isn't going away for Canadian civil libertarians.
Critics of U.S. government no fly lists and watch lists are on the way to picking up some not entirely comfortable bedfellows these days.
It seems that the gun lobby has succeeded in so restricting federal oversight of gun purchases, that individuals on the various government lists can't be impeded from buying weapons. According to the June 20 New York Times:
Thanks to the efforts of the National Rifle Association, it's nearly impossible for the government to regulate guns, though they can ban your shampoo and toothpaste when you travel ... I don't quite get it.
Anyway, recognition of this odd legal anomaly has led some Congresscritters to try to deny guns to people on the watch lists. New York Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy and Congressman Steve Israel led off the push for a new law in May. After the report cited above came out, New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg jumped into the project.
The NRA isn't about to let their pro-gun legal regime get infringed on by a little wimpy fear of purchases by bad guys. They are up in arms about the (well-documented) deficiencies of the lists.
Hmm ... wonder if Mr. Cox applies that standard Muslim-Americans?
I'd bet on the gun nuts in this one -- politicians are probably more scared of Mr. Cox than they are that a terrorist incident will happen "on their watch." It's all one more demonstration that this stuff is theater, not security.