Thursday, May 7, 2009

Justice Department Report Slams Terrorist Watchlist

AFP: US Terror watchlist has 35% error rate
NY Times: Justice Dept. Finds Flaws in F.B.I Terror List

Details of a Justice Department report on the US's terrorism watchlist came out recently, and the results are rather unsurprising. Thirty-five percent of the bloated list is likely out of date or otherwise erroneous. The Justice Department looked at a sample of 68,669 entries on a list of 1.1 million people. It's hard to believe that there are potentially 1.1 million terrorists out there. Even after you take into account a 35% error rate, that's still 715,000 potential terrorists.

The CIA World Factbook puts the global population at roughly 6,790,000,000, which would mean .01% of the population has close ties to terrorism. That's one terrorist for every 10,000 people. Now maybe I'm wrong, but that seems ludicrously high to me. We should follow the ACLU's suggestion and scrap the current system altogether. At the very least, the current system is a waste of time and money. At worst, it is a massive attack on the civil liberties of hundreds of thousands of people.

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