We begin with a side trip to the land of Gilbert and Sullivan:
As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
I’ve got a little list — I’ve got a little list
Of society offenders who might well be underground,
And who never would be missed — who never would be missed!
A swell idea for Ko-Ko, perhaps; but a lousy one for the United States of America:
Will someone please tell me why it is okay to have a secret list of people that bars them from certain activities, with no way of challenging one’s inclusion, no way of knowing if you are on it or not? That’s before we get to denying a person’s civil rights on the basis of their being on such a list.
On the other hand, if there are people known to the Feds to be so dangerous they must be kept off airplanes, why are they out there walking around, driving cars, buying LP gas and fireworks, going to the mall, etc. etc.? If they’re so much a threat, why aren’t they in the basement of an FBI building right now, learning to breathe water? (Ooops, that’s right, “we don’t waterboard here,” they’d have to be taken to some country where that’s okay; and they’d have to be flown there, which they can’t ‘cos they are on the list, so hey, Catch-22, amirite?) Look, if they’re up to no good, arrest ’em, charge ’em, try ’em and if found guilty, lock ’em up. “Secret lists” are bullshit — especially once the cat is out of the bag.
I suspect at least some of this is motivated by prosecutorial types who don’t actually have much of a case, and would just as soon this fact not appear in the press. The rest is just Security Theater: “yes, you’re being protected, don’t ask any questions.”