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The Collective
Monday, July 14, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the ACLU: Terrorist Watch List Hits One Million Names

The nation’s terrorist watch list has hit one million names, according to a tally maintained by the American Civil Liberties Union based upon the government’s own reported numbers for the size of the list.

[...]

“America’s new million record watch list is a perfect symbol for what’s wrong with this administration’s approach to security: it’s unfair, out-of-control, a waste of resources, treats the rights of the innocent as an afterthought, and is a very real impediment in the lives of millions of travelers in this country,” said Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU Technology and Liberty Program. “It must be fixed without delay.”

I have to say, I concur with every word.

Further, one can add to the list of ills here the fact that such a list can hardly be an efficacious tool in fighting terrorism. Indeed, the press release notes this fact as well.

The number is based on the following:

In September 2007, the Inspector General of the Justice Department reported that the Terrorist Screening Center (the FBI-administered organization that consolidates terrorist watch list information in the United States) had over 700,000 names in its database as of April 2007 - and that the list was growing by an average of over 20,000 records per month.

Source of the above/,ore info on the list here. Also, see this year-old story from 60 Minutes: Unlikely Terrorists On No Fly List, Steve Kroft Reports List Includes President Of Bolivia, Dead 9/11 Hijackers

Certainly, I feel safer knowing we have a lengthy list of names (some as innocuous as “John Williams” and “Gary Smith”) out there “protecting” us.

One of aspects of this type of story that I find intriguing is that this type of ineptitude is exactly the type of thing that conservatives would normally ridicule if it was linked to social welfare policy, and yet (on balance) there is a great deal of conservative support for such policies (warts and all) if it is linked to the GWOT. I know I paint with a broad brush here, but the basic characterization has credence, at least as far as it is linked to mainstream Republicanism at this point in time.

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Filed under: US Politics, War on Terror | |

5 Comments

  1. [...] Steven Taylor stole my title, but I forgive him for this nail-on-the-head observation: One of aspects of this type of story that I find intriguing is that this type of ineptitude is [...]

    Pingback by One Million Names « Liberty Street — Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 5:10 pm

  2. yet (on balance) there is a great deal of conservative support for such policies (warts and all) if it is linked to the GWOT.

    Actually, is there data on this? I would have concurred with you 6 years ago, but I’d like to see a recent opinion poll on the subject. I would hazard a guess that many conservatives are seeing this as problematic as well.

    Comment by Ratoe — Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 9:51 pm

  3. Well, at least amongst “conservative” politicians and pundits. You may well be right amongst self-identified conservatives in the general population.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 10:15 pm

  4. [...] The Million Man WatchlistIn September 2007, the Inspector General of the Justice Department reported that the Terrorist Screening Center (the FBI-administered organization that consolidates terrorist watch list information in the United States) had over 700000 … - [...]

    Pingback by Hot Trends » Blog Archive » terrorist screening database — Wednesday, July 16, 2008 @ 9:04 am

  5. [...] Monday I noted an ACLU press release that estimated that the TSA’s terrorist watchlist had grown to over 1,000,000 names. A reader [...]

    Pingback by PoliBlog (TM): A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Back to the Watchlist — Thursday, July 17, 2008 @ 10:03 pm

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