Ivan Eland Excoriates Terror Watch List
CNN investigative reporter Drew Griffin wrote stories critical of the Transportation Security Administration and found he had been added to the agency's terrorism watch list, which significantly impeded his ability to travel. Was the agency out for revenge, or was it merely incompetent? Neither answer is reassuring, especially with a terrorist watch list with the names and pseudonyms of 400,000 alleged terrorist suspects.
"The terrorist watch list is downright unconstitutional," writes Ivan Eland, director of the Independent Institute's Center on Peace & Liberty. "Under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, no warrants shall be issued unless there is probable cause that a crime has been committed." If the government has probable cause, it should arrest criminal suspects, but it shouldn't have the capacity to harass the innocent or impede their mobility.
Similarly, the U.S. State Department maintains its own terror watch list. Five countries charged with supporting terrorism and 44 foreign terrorist organizations are on the list. But trying to find the country or organization among them that directs terrorism against American citizens isn't easy. The real reason these lists are maintained? They are a convenient bargaining chip.
"Are 400,000 Terrorists, 44 Terrorist Groups, and Five State Sponsors of Terror Trying to Attack the United States?" by Ivan Eland (7/21/08)
The Empire Has No Clothes: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed (Updated Edition), by Ivan Eland