Thursday, March 02, 2006

Now don't panic ...

The Washington Post reports that the Fed's watch list has over 325,000 names:
The National Counterterrorism Center maintains a central repository of 325,000 names of international terrorism suspects or people who allegedly aid them, a number that has more than quadrupled since the fall of 2003, according to counterterrorism officials.

The list kept by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) -- created in 2004 to be the primary U.S. terrorism intelligence agency -- contains a far greater number of international terrorism suspects and associated names in a single government database than has previously been disclosed. Because the same person may appear under different spellings or aliases, the true number of people is estimated to be more than 200,000, according to NCTC officials.

... The TSC consolidates NCTC data on individuals associated with foreign terrorism with the FBI's purely domestic terrorism data to create a unified, unclassified terrorist watch list. The TSC, in turn, provides, for official use only, a version giving each person's name, country, date of birth, photos and other data to the Transportation Security Agency for its no-fly list, the State Department for its visa program, the Department of Homeland Security for border crossings, and the National Crime Information Center for distribution to police.

Ok, so that's a lot of names. If only 10% are US residents that's over 30,000 names of US citizens on the no-fly list alone. I'd wager at least 98% of those are likely "false positives", people who have been 'tried and convicted' without benefit of trial.

I thought there used to be rules about that sort of thing.

But not to worry, there's a home awaiting those folks (link and emphasis mine)...
WorkingForChange-The cost of incompetence (Molly Ivins)

... And now comes a curious new contract for KBR, the Halliburton subsidiary. The contract provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing Immigration and Custom enforcement. It's a contingency contract -- the contingency they have in mind apparently being 'in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the United States.' Canadians drowning from global warming? Mexicans feeling the return of PRI? Ah, but the contract also specifies the detention centers are to 'support the rapid development of new programs.' New programs? Far be it from me to speculate.

The alarmmeisters in the blogosphere, whose imaginations know no bounds, are already positing any number of horrors. (I cannot imagine where they get some of these far-out ideas. From reading the right-wing blogosphere?) What surprises me is that the administration has planned for ... whatever it is it's planning for. How forethoughtful of them to have something in place in case ... a lot of citizens need to be rounded up or something.
Now Molly does make mistakes, but her record is pretty good. I'm sure there's an innocent explanation for these detention ... centers. Of course if you click the link I provided you can find all sorts of explanations...

Update 3/7/06: I didn't use to link to this sort of thing. GWB made me do it.

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