Thursday, October 25, 2007

Terror watch list swells to more than 755,000

The size of the list, typically used to check people entering the country through land border crossings, airports and sea ports, has been growing by 200,000 names a year since 2004. Some lawmakers, security experts and civil rights advocates warn that it will become useless if it includes too many people.

"It undermines the authority of the list," says Lisa Graves of the Center for National Security Studies. "There's just no rational, reasonable estimate that there's anywhere close to that many suspected terrorists."


Ray said...

Too many names = more false positives.

David Nelson, son of Ozzie & Harriet of TV family fame, was stopped at an airport because his name was on The List. One of the screeners recognized him from TV. I doubt David was/is a terrorist. (Now if Ricky was still alive, then maybe that Nelson would be suspect, knowing his proclivity via old reruns for causing trouble. [g] )

Anyway, it's all part of the great shadow play, turning a real problem into The Looming Phantom Menace, overreacting instead of reacting as needed. And overreacton leads to more mistakes, greater opportunity to miss real leads and clues.

The List reminds me of the "good old days" of McCarthyism when Lucille Ball was a suspected commie.


Dustin said...

Bureaucracy at it's finest. It won't be long until everyone's on it. I'm sure there's some bureaucrat out there swearing that all 750,000 plus are terrorists and threats to your livelihood, too...

Chris said...

The scary thing about these lists is that they almost always outlive administrations. So if you're on it, you're on it, whether it's Obama or Thompson or Ron Paul sitting in the White House.