For almost a decade the U.S. government refused to let Stanford Ph.D. student Rahinah Ibrahim back in the country after putting her on a no-fly list and not telling her why. Invoking the state secrets privilege, Attorney General Eric Holder claimed the information she wanted “could reasonably be expected to cause significant harm to national security.”
Murtaza Hussain reports at The Intercept:
Last week, a federal judge publicly revealed the government’s explanation for Ibrahim’s long ordeal: an FBI agent had “checked the wrong box,” resulting in her falling under suspicion as a terrorist. Even when the government found and corrected the error years later, they still refused to allow Ibrahim to return to the country or learn on what grounds she had been banned in the first place.
Holder, in his April declaration, restated his own new state secrets policy, that “[t]he Department will not defend an invocation of the privilege in order to: (i) conceal violations of the law, inefficiency, or administrative error; (ii) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency of the United States Government”.
Then he did exactly what he had said he wouldn’t do.