Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 14, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

ONE MILLION....The ACLU, which apparently counts these things a little more accurately than I do, announced a milestone today: the one millionth addition to the terrorist watchlist. The blessed event should happen around 2 pm EDT today. Countdown timer here for the morbidly obsessed.

Kevin Drum 11:08 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (28)

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U.S.A. U.S.A. We're # 1! We're # !!

Posted by: Pitchforks R Us on July 14, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Today is Bastille Day in France.When can we celebrate something like that here?

Posted by: Pitchforks R Us on July 14, 2008 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Congratulations, "Pitchforks R Us."
You are the millionth! Don't move. Our photo team, er, prize committee, will be right over.

Posted by: thersites on July 14, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

There are 1,000,000 real, full-fledged terrorists out there, with fangs and horns and everything?

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

This is one of the trappings of totalitarianism. Once the premise of permanent war on terror are accepted by the public, like class struggle in the Soviet Union, all actions of the regime are justified. The regime under the guise of security becomes the embodiment of the law. Surveillance, watch lists, and suspension of rights for groups designated outside of the normal order are all usual attributes of the total state.

In the United States anti-communist authoritarianism became the conservative movement. They produced an inversion of communism- individualist, "anti-government", anti-liberal, neo-imperialist capitalism-without-bounds ideology and took over the Republican Party. When anti-communism ran out they needed a new vehicle to sell their power and they found the threat of terror useful and distorted terrorism into a threat to the survival of the American state.

Posted by: bellumregio on July 14, 2008 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

There are 1,000,000 real, full-fledged terrorists out there, with fangs and horns and everything?

No, there are 1,000,000 names.
And if one of those names is, say, "John Smith," well, just do the math. Frightening, isn't it? Tens of millions of terrorists are out there.

Posted by: thersites on July 14, 2008 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

When will this madness stop? or actually the questions should be "How much more illegal behavior will Bush complete before his term ends?" "Will Obama have the guts to gut these programs?"

Oh, and on a totally different note ... here's a great Before/After FISA flowchart. Nice, informative graphic!
http://www.ketchupandcaviar.com/politics/understanding-recent-changes-to-fisa-a-visual-guide-flowchart/

Posted by: aphros on July 14, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Surveillance, watch lists, and suspension of rights for groups designated outside of the normal order are all usual attributes of the total state.

Keep on the lookout for government tracking of money transfers (i.e., the coming abolition of paper money in favor of 100% electronic currency), travel monitoring (been to an airport lately?) and ultimately, exit restrictions.

Posted by: Magnus on July 14, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder how many frequent blog commenters are on that list, which should hit 5 million in quite a bit less time than it took to get to 1 million. They can't keep up with the exploding number of Bush/GOP critics nowadays.

Posted by: shortstop on July 14, 2008 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Crikey. There are only about 3 million Muslims in the whole country. Apparently the list has some growin' to do.

Posted by: Love to Profile on July 14, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Call Pelosi @1-202-225-0100 and DEMAND IMPEACHMENT.
(I wonder if my name is---???)

Posted by: Mike Meyer on July 14, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

"...and ultimately, exit restrictions."

Yes, and now that passports have shorter terms, and "wait times," it's relatively easy to begin hampering travel for ordinary citizens, um, I mean terrorists.

Exit restrictions are a big-ass red flag.

Posted by: RangerJay on July 14, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on July 14, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

"If and when your candidate for president is elected the terrorist watch list will be abolished. Why? Because leftists do not accept there is any such thing as islamic terror- just good but frustrated people reacting against the imperialistic United States of America. Like the nice guys who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993 and finished the job in 2001, bombed the USS Cole and destroyed a couple of US embassies in Africa, killed 200 in a Madrid railroad station and 60 more on London buses. Who planned to blow up LAX and the Holland Tunnel etc. etc. etc."

So, how many of those terrorists were U.S. citizens?

Posted by: Ranger Jay on July 14, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

If and when your candidate for president is elected the terrorist watch list will be abolished.
Posted by: mhr

I sure hope so! The TSA and it's parent, the DHS, are fucking jokes. The only thing that was broken with the system prior to the 9/11 attacks was an unwillingness and an electronic inability of American security agencies to share information. Seven years later and, supposedly, fewer layers of bureaucracy and this hasn't changed. So, if we suffer another terrorist attack, it won't matter if a cloned version of Jefferson, FDR, Churchill, Eisenhower and Kennedy were president, because it the attack will happen for the same reasons it happened before.

Posted by: Jeff II on July 14, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

HuffPo reports that one of those disgusting, scarey terrorists is former Ass't Attorney General Jim Robinson!! What a disguise!! Soon some brave Repub will stand up and declare that he has a list of hundreds of State Dept employees who are secretly card-carrying whatevers...

Posted by: JohnMcC on July 14, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know about the rest of you, but I won't feel safe until that list has 400,000,000 names. (Yes some names will be on there twice or more. All the better! There will be multiple teams observing them, reading their email and keeping them off planes.

Of course that thoroughness in documenting the terr'ists will make it hard to find enough suitable people to do the spying. Maybe we can outsource it to India or China.

Posted by: cowalker on July 14, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Mike Meyer: Passive Pelosi™ ain’t doing shit.

Jeff II: Obama has said not a word about reforming, let alone abolishing, the Patriot Act. He, too, ain't doing shit.

You know, it's OK to get off the PR bandwagon.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 14, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

So this means that just about everyone in a America knows someone who has been put on the watch list, right?

Shows you where apathy, fear and submission can put a whole nation, and how quickly they can put it there.

Posted by: Swan on July 14, 2008 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Cat Stevens, wife of Ted Stevens, on the list!

I'll bet Yusuf Islam is breathing a sigh of relief BushCo fingered "the wrong Cat Stevens."

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 14, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I hope no one out there thinks that this isn't a problem, as if we can certainly get saved from where this kind of thing is headed any time by picking up some freedom at the Fascist Revolution Preventing McDonald's or Target, located nearby in any neighborhood.

Posted by: Swan on July 14, 2008 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Because leftists do not accept there is any such thing as islamic terror- just good but frustrated people reacting against the imperialistic United States of America.

I've thought for a while now that a reasonable measure of one's intelligence is how well one understands the things one disagrees with.

Or put another way, MHR is a complete dumbass.

Posted by: DH Walker on July 14, 2008 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II: Obama has said not a word about reforming, let alone abolishing, the Patriot Act. He, too, ain't doing shit.Posted by: SocraticGadfly

I'm no fan of the Patriot Act, though like 90% of Congress, I don't know everything that's in it either. Regardless, the problem with something like a "no fly list" has less to do with the compiling than with putting people so stupid and rigid in charge of it that Ted Kennedy has to go to the head of DHS to get his name removed.

Anyone who has ever had erroneous information posted to his credit report knows what a nightmare that can be. The TSA "no fly" list as currently handled is many degrees worse.

Posted by: on July 14, 2008 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

At least I know I'm not on the no-fly list.

Posted by: dramatic barfly on July 14, 2008 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

OMG! Cheney was right! A million?? The terrists must be EVERYWHERE!!!

(Y'know, at some point, it gets to be more efficient to keep a list of the people who aren't terrists. Not that the watch list was ever really about efficiency, or about protecting us from terrists.)

Posted by: on July 15, 2008 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

If there are a million names on the terrorist watch list, then the list has become a not-insignificant obstacle to catching actual terrorists.

Posted by: rea on July 15, 2008 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Don't let the facts upset your bitchfest. You are only off by about 600,000 names--but who's counting?

Posted by: BillyBobSchranzburg on July 15, 2008 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Stalin would be so proud.

Posted by: nonheroicvet on July 15, 2008 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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