The No-Fly List Is A Non-Runner

Homeland Security claims that the famous 'no-fly list' has only about 2,500 names on it. The ACLU has estimated that the Terrorist Watch list now has more than 1M names attached. Somewhere in between is the number of people who get hassled at the airport for no good reason–other than their name being, say, 'Robert Johnson' or famously 'T.Kennedy.'

A couple of years ago, the current White House Cheif of Staff Rahm Emanuel made this call during a speech at the Brady Centre. (About a minute in.)

I've never understood the legality of these lists: if you pose a danger to the public, you should be arrested and in jail. If not, you should be allowed to go about your business unimpeded. The mythology of this whole system has been exploded convincingly by security expert Bruce Schneier.

It reeks of Orwell, McCarthyism, and Dick! Philip K. Dick that is, whose Pre-Cogs in the film Minority Report were able to predict murders, thus allowing the police to arrest people who hadn't yet committed any crime.

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