According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), their terrorist list is growing by an average of 20,000 names a month. The ACLU says that over a million people are already on this list.
Let’s get real. Either we are creating a quarter of a million terrorists every year, or else our government has gone bonkers. So let’s look and see who our government believes is a terrorist:
- The government itself — Senator Edward Kennedy is on the list. What makes this even scarier is that he is having trouble getting himself off the list, despite calling the Secretary of DHS personally. Also Congressman John Lewis, Congressman Don Young, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, and the wife of Senator Ted Stevens.
- Our own military — Major General Vernon Lewis, who served in the Korean and Vietnam wars, holds a top-secret security clearance, and received the Distinguished Service Medal (the Army’s highest medal for service). Not to mention Marine Staff Sgt. Daniel Brown, who was blocked from flying while on his way home from his deployment in Iraq, and Air Force Master Sergeant Michelle Green.
- Airline pilots — Captain Robert Campbell, who not only has flown commercial airplanes for 22 years, but is a Navy veteran.
- Infants — including 6-year-old John William Anderson (see image at right) who was born on July 4, 2001 and was first stopped on his way to Disney World. Also the one-year-old daughter of Ingrid Sanden, and even the 11-month-old son of Sarah Zapolsky (can you imagine trying to convince the government that your 11-month-old is not a terrorist?)
- Nuns — Sister Glenn Anne McPhee, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ secretary for education, who spent 9 months trying to get off the list.
- Foreign dignitaries — including Nelson Mandela (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize), and Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia.
- Dead people — including 14 of the 19 highjackers from 9/11 (DHS motto: “better too late than never”), and Saddam Hussein (this one wins the irony award).
- Anyone with common names — including Gary Smith, Robert Johnson, John Williams, and David Nelson (yes, including the son of “Ozzie and Harriet”).
- People the government simply doesn’t like — Sarosh Syed, who works for the ACLU, James Moore, author of “Bush’s Brain”, a book critical of the Bush administration, and Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) author of the famous song “Peace Train”, whose London-to-Washington flight was diverted and he was barred from entering the US.
When we start listing 11-month-old infants as terrorists, then I’d have to vote with “bonkers”. When too many people are on the list it makes the list itself worthless, since it doesn’t distinguish between real terrorists and innocent people. Not to mention that many of the people mentioned here were prevented from flying, were strip-searched, or in some cases even beaten, because they were mistakenly identified as terrorists. It makes you wonder how many people being held in secret prisons (or even not-so-secret ones like Guantanamo Bay) are there by mistake.