The Intercept published a major story yesterday on a guidebook from the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) that contains criteria employees should follow when placing people on the United States’ terrorism watchlists, including the No-Fly List. (I posted my own analysis of the story here.)
The guidebook is vague, riddled with loopholes and gives employees a lot of discretion to make decisions on listing people that could easily be the product of inferences or even prejudices. Certainly, there is a distinct possibility that anti-Muslim racism plays a role in who ends up on these lists.
Its content is in the public interest and critical to pushing for more due process rights in the watchlisting system so that Americans can have responsive mechanisms for challenging their inclusion on lists. But Attorney General Eric Holder had claimed in court that this guidebook was a “clear map” for America’s terrorism tracking system. He had used the “state secrets privilege,” as President Barack Obama’s administration has done in a number of cases, to shield the NCTC from scrutiny.
I appeared on RT’s “Breaking the Set,” which is hosted by Abby Martin. Center for Constitutional Rights fellow Susan Hu and I appeared as part of a panel to discuss the released guidebook. We covered a lot of ground in the twelve minutes we had to discuss the watchlisting criteria.