Alex Massie

Bureaucracy Creep

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Apparently the US government's "terrorist watch-list" now runs to more than a million names. How useful can it be then? Let's see, shall we?

The Justice Department's former top criminal prosecutor says the government's terror watch list likely has caused thousands of innocent Americans to be questioned, searched or otherwise hassled. Former Assistant Attorney General Jim Robinson would know: he's one of them.

Robinson joined another mistaken-identity American and the American Civil Liberties Union on Monday to urge eliminating the list that's supposed to identify suspected terrorists.

"It's a pain in the neck, and significantly interferes with my travel arrangements," said Robinson, the head of the Justice Department's criminal division during the Clinton administration. He believes his name matches that of someone who was put on the list in early 2005, and is routinely delayed while flying - despite having his own government top-secret security clearances renewed last year.

[Hat-tip: Radley Balko]

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articleInternationalterrorism