This blog has reported previously about the “terrorist watch list”. The list has more than a million people on it — if more than a million Americans are terrorists, haven’t the terrorists already won? Or is it more likely that some of those people are on the list by mistake? You know, people like Senator Ted Kennedy, or US General Vernon Lewis, airline pilot Robert Campbell, Nelson Mandela, Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), the President of Bolivia, several one-year-olds, various nuns, and a whole bunch of dead people. But until now, there was no way to remove a name from the list, so the list just kept getting bigger and bigger.
I guess if we waited long enough, the list would have included everyone in the US, so on Tuesday the House passed a bill that will require the Homeland Security secretary to establish a process to remove erroneous names from the list. The bill received broad bipartisan support, passing 413 to 3. Which begs the following questions:
- If this bill had so much support, what took them so long? What changed (other than Dubya no longer being president)?
- Why was it acceptable until now to have a no-fly list that was practically useless? Not to mention causing extreme inconvenience to people on it (and lots of expense to the airlines).
- Why did it take a bill to make this change? What has Homeland Security been doing with all the money we have been throwing at them?
- And just who were the three congress-critters who voted against this bill? Are they nuts?