Terrorist Watch List: 20,000 False Alarms
Why does anyone think this makes security sense?
The Justice Department’s proposed budget for 2008 reveals for the first time how often names match against the database, reporting that there were 19,967 “positive matches” in 2006. The TSC had expected to match a far fewer number 14,780. The watch list matched people 5,396 and 15,730 times in 2004 and 2005 respectively.
The report defines a positive match as “one in which an encountered individual is positively matched with an identity in the Terrorist Screening Data Base, or TSDB.”
It’s not clear from the report whether those numbers include individuals whose names only coincidently match one of those on list, such as when Sen. Ted Kennedy was confused with a former IRA terrorist also named Kennedy.
The watch list has been hounded by these mismatches, which have included small children, former presidential candidates, and Americans with common names such as David Nelson.
How do I know they’re all false alarms? Because this administration makes a press splash with every arrest, no matter how scant the evidence is. Do you really think they would pass up a chance to tout how good the watch list is?