This time, the terror watch list has picked up Clinton-era assistant attorney general, Jim Robinson. He is on this list despite having a recently renewed set of security clearances. It’s ok for him to have access to nuclear secrets, but not to get on an airplane without some serious extra hassle. He’s been quoted several places:
I suppose if I were convinced that America is a safer place because I get hassled at the airport, I might put up with it. But I doubt it. I expect my story is similar to hundreds of thousands of people who are on this list who find themselves inconvenienced.
While Chad Kolton, a spokesman for the Terrorist Screening Center, says there are only about 400,000 people on that list — and most of them are foreigners — other sources disagree. Back in April, there were estimated to be 700,000 names on that list, last October it was estimated at over 860,000, and today the ACLU thinks the list probably tops 1,000,000. That’s one million. One out of every 304 Americans — minimum, since the list only includes names rather than unique identifiers. Even if the list does serve its intended purpose, there are too many names on it to be truly efficient.
So why is it that we only hear about prominent critics of the way the Global War on Terror is waged, and prominent Democrats mistakenly ending up on this list? Why is it we never hear about Republicans like, say, Larry Craig ending up on the list? He at least is accused of doing something questionable in an airport.