Speed Reads

Playing politics

Obama refuses to reveal no-fly list criteria

A federal judge in Virginia has ordered the federal government to reveal its logic for placing Americans who haven't been convicted of any violent crimes on the no-fly list. The Obama administration is fighting the order, though a leaked document already indicates that it is not necessary to be suspected of terrorism to end up on the list.

In response to the lawsuit that produced this order, Attorney General Eric Holder has invoked the state secrets privilege to avoid complying with the judge's request. Holder previously asserted the same privilege in regards to the placement of a Muslim student from Stanford University on the no-fly list last year. After seven years in court and nearly $4 million in legal fees, the student cleared her name when it was revealed that the "state secret" Holder was protecting was a clerical error on behalf of the FBI.