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Is that my jaw on the floor? - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Jan. 21st, 2004

02:36 pm - Is that my jaw on the floor?

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This article confirms our worst paranoid fears. The government really must be completely overstepping the bounds of rationality in it's overzealous hunt for "terrorists".

U.S. security agents have a master list of five million people worldwide thought to be potential terrorists or criminals, officials say. "The U.S. lookout index contains some five million names of known terrorists and other persons representing a potential problem," Brian Davis, a senior Canadian immigration official in Paris, said in a confidential document obtained by the Sun.

Names on the list are compared against those applying for visas or on flights travelling to the U.S.

Anyone whose name is on the list is questioned or banned from entering the U.S. -- as passengers were on two British Airways flights to Los Angeles two weeks ago.
Five. Million. Terrorists. One in every thousand people ON THE EARTH is suspected by the US government of being so dangerous that they deserve to be arbitrarily questioned and possibly banned from entering the country. How did they build this list? What are the criteria for being on this list? What safeguards do they have to ensure the accuracy of the list? Can anyone believe that the government REALLY has the resources to build an accurate list of 5 million world wide suspected dangerous people?

Comments:

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From:meekay
Date:January 21st, 2004 08:50 pm (UTC)
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"Known terrorists", no less. Not "suspected" or "alleged" terrorists.
And the definition of "terrorist" is real vague.

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From:zarfmouse
Date:January 21st, 2004 09:44 pm (UTC)
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Well "known terrorists and other persons representing a potential problem". That second part makes the list much more vague about just how much is "known" about these people.

If defining "terrorist" is hard, try defining "problem".
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From:wespennest
Date:January 21st, 2004 10:16 pm (UTC)
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Funny, I thought there were more than 5 million Arabs in the world. [/sarcasm]

I'd believe it if the government wasn't so clearly incompetent. Like Jello Biafra said: I'd rather have a dumb nazi in charge than a smart nazi in charge.
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From:uss_hairball
Date:January 21st, 2004 11:42 pm (UTC)
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Lemme guess, Bush isn't on this list? *looks around paranoidly, mumbling "this is why I don't get into politics, I start saying things I shouldn't, I'm probably 5,000,001 for having said that...!"* :P
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From:xymboulos
Date:January 21st, 2004 11:53 pm (UTC)
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While this may raise questions about US intelligence operations, I have to also question the source behind this article. Unless I missed something, it seems to be based on a report filed by a Canadian immigration official in Paris, which in turn is based on an unspecified briefing by US immigration to their Canadian counterparts from two years ago.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:January 21st, 2004 11:57 pm (UTC)
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Sure. We should always be aware of sources. I happen to find this pretty easy to believe. I'm aware it could be incorrect.

And I'd hope that since this is getting prominent play around the 'net and was published in a semi-major newspaper that if it is false that some other source would come out with a rebuttal of some sort.
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From:desert_fox
Date:January 22nd, 2004 01:55 am (UTC)
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*cough* Neo-McCarthyism

Did I say that?
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From:boannan
Date:January 22nd, 2004 02:59 am (UTC)
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That is a huge number. I'd be interested to know a) the selection parameters for being on the list, obviously, and b) how many people were on the list before the September 11 attacks. I wonder if they're doing things like simply classifying people by religious affiliation (ie if you attend this mosque, you're potentially dangerous) which would contribute to high numbers?

The info does have kind of a questionable source history. Just have to wait and see if anyone rebuts it!
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From:assclouds
Date:January 22nd, 2004 06:45 am (UTC)
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I'd likewise be interested in seeing how the parallel list of domestics was compiled. Do you think it maps nicely against the list of people involved in direct-action protest? Would that include the district judge in Miami who happened to be there? Or Senators and Representatives who were in Seattle? I have the fear.
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From:hope_persists
Date:January 22nd, 2004 03:41 am (UTC)
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*mutter mutter* mccarthy *mutter mutter* should we call this the BROWN Scare? *mutter mutter* arthur miller, the crucible *mutter mutter*

Sorry. I'm extra special sensitive about the mccarty type shit, cuz my family was persecuted for being communists. Someone named my grandpa's name and basically ruined his life. forever. instead of being a history professor, he was a retail monkey in a stationary store until he retired. But, I mean, in the 50s, what Jewish lefty living in Manhattan wasn't a Communist?

Regardless, this is scary as FUCK.

In sos_usa (which ROCKS by the way) people were talking about having plans to get out if need be. Some say that it would be smart for us to get out before we aren't allowed to anymore. And to be honest, that doesn't sound quite as paranoid as it would have a few years ago.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:January 22nd, 2004 06:23 am (UTC)
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Somebody has to be around to be the resistance if it comes to that.

We can't all leave. So I'm not leaving.
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From:assclouds
Date:January 22nd, 2004 06:48 am (UTC)

The only line I remember

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*mutter mutter* arthur miller, the crucible *mutter mutter*

I'll beat you, Betty!
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