Thursday, October 23, 2008

Terrorist Watch List

CNN reports that the Terrorist Watch List is a lot shorter than previously believed. We discussed the famous list before here and here. The suggestion that a million names are on the list seemed ridiculous, but then again we are talking about the government.

Michael Chertoff revealed for the first time that 2,500 people are on the "no fly" list and only about 10 percent of those are U.S. citizens. Individuals on this list are barred from boarding aircraft because intelligence indicates they pose a threat to aviation.

Fewer than 16,000 people are designated "selectees," he said, and most are not Americans. These people represent a less specific security threat and receive extra scrutiny, but are allowed to fly.

At the risk of sounding cynical, I'd say the list was closer to the American Civil Liberties estimate just a week or two ago. Then in anticipation of this press release, it was chopped down. They probably removed the ones who shouldn't have been on it in the first place, the ones placed there for purely harassment purposes.

It has been pointed out that many thousands more have names or dates of birth similar to those on the lists. These people are wrongly delayed at airports or actually denied access.

But what I wonder is, what kind of threat do these people really pose? According to the stats there are about 250 Americans who CANNOT fly. If they're so dangerous why aren't they already in Guantanamo?

My opinion? The Department of Homeland Security is run by the same kind of feckless idiots that have run the IRS for decades. These are bureaucrats of the worst kind, who, at every level of the hierarchy strive to spend their allotted budgets and justify spending more next year with, in most cases, little or no regard for the quality of their output.

What do you think?


  1. Also for the Gun angle, the Brady Campaign and their lackeys are trying to make these people on the watch list unable to buy a gun.

    I agree with you, 2500 seems VERY low. But its a Guilty until proven innocent game. And contains quite a few confirmed NON-Terrorists

    I've even read of Pilots and Sky Marshals getting stopped.

    The TSA is a royal mess!

  2. The Department of Homeland Security is run by the same kind of feckless idiots that have run the IRS for decades.

    i beg to differ. the IRS, flawed as it is, is far better run than most of the DHS --- and parts of the DHS (cough, TSA, ICE, cough, cough) --- are particularly clueless bureaucracies even by DHS standards.

    creating the DHS was a massive, idiotic bungle that anybody with the slightest knowledge of bureaucracies could see was destined to be a massive clusterfuck if it ever became anything more than a purely theoretical, on-paper-only construct. thankfully, it's mostly remained on paper and in theory --- where it hasn't, it's been a gigantic cock-up.

    (will we be able to finally de-federalize airport security again after the election, at least? most miserable utter waste of taxpayers' money i've seen happen in my lifetime, the TSA.)

  3. Interesting tidbit regarding DHS from "Angler: The Dick Cheney Vice Presidency."

    Apparently Homeland Security was on Cheney's list of pet policy issues that he intended to implement upon election. IOW, the plans were already in the works prior to 9/11.

    For someone who constantly decries big govt, he LOOOVES to spend shitloads of money on useless shit (DHS, war in Iraq and ensuing no-bid contracts, etc.), but voted against funding for Head Start and school lunches and opposed the creation of a Dept of Education--and I believe he also opposed prescription drug coverage for seniors under Medicare.

    I would swear he didn't have a heart if he weren't being rushed off to the cardiologist so often.

  4. Vicki, That Cheney is some piece of work. I'm so behind the times, I just read the book Vice which came out a couple years ago. What a criminal.