These days, as civil libertarian Glenn Greenwald points out, the list has taken on a new function:
Oklahoman, Saadiq Long served in the Air Force with distinction. For several years he has lived in Qatar with his wife and children, making a living teaching English. Last November he sought to fly home to see his sick mother -- and was told the U.S. had barred him. U.S. citizens and rights advocacy groups like CAIR kicked up enough fuss so the man was finally allowed to return to his country. On arrival he was tailed by the FBI who also told local law enforcement, falsely, that he and his sister were fleeing felons.
Knowing that someone in the government had it in for him, Long and his lawyers alerted authorities when he planned to fly back to his overseas job -- but nonetheless he was barred from boarding a plane. Why? Well, as we learned over 10 years ago now, our Heimat Security bureaucrats insist they don't have to say.
Somebody, in some FBI office or some other crevice of our surveillance bureaucracy, has decided this guy has to be punished. No charges, no process, no nothing. During the several months Long has been in Oklahoma, the government could easily have charged him with any illegal act. If they have even a ghost of case, the spooks seldom hesitate to shout about it -- justifies their budgets. But not a peep here.
Mr. Long's lawyer writes:
So they can.