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In-Depth Interview: Journalist Dave Lindorff is on Terrorist Watch List, Which Court Just Found Unconstitutional

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Investigative reporter Dave Lindorff shares stories of extra security screenings at foreign airports, ordered by ICE.  He’s on a terrorist watch list, and wants to get off it.Lindorff is an author and prolific reporter, and he wrote about his airport security hassles at The Nation.

Lindorff describes his encounters with security at Heathrow Airport in London in a detailed, bemused fashion.  Then he gets serious about the violations of his constitutional rights, and comments on this week’s federal court ruling that declared the terrorist watch list unlawful.  British agents went through the motions of searching Lindorff’s bags and electronic devices, but not his wife or son when they were traveling with him.  The agents were apologetic to Lindorff, saying they were following orders from US security agencies.

But their perfunctory searches expose the arbitrary nature of “airport security theater”, going through the motions so they can check a box.

We discuss the important ruling this week by a federal judge, Anthony Tenga, declaring that the opaque process for being “nominated” to the list is unconstitutional.  The suit was brought by CAIR, the Council on Islamic American Relations, and data show that the vast majority of people on the list are Muslim.  We also talk about proposals to use the watch list for other purposes, like preventing people on the list from buying guns.

Lindorff is concerned that journalists are being targeted by Trump allies in immigration, and we mention the case of Seth Harp, who explained his mistreatment in this report.