Must be all those damned Quakers

In truth, a good case could be made that if your knowledge is meagre and unsatisfactory, the last thing in the world you should do is make measurements; the chance is negligible that you will measure the right things accidentally.
–Psychologist George Miller

The 509,000 Most-Wanted List—gonna have to build a bigger Post Office wall for that one…

A terrorist watch list compiled by the FBI has apparently swelled to include more than half a million names.

Privacy and civil liberties advocates say the list is growing uncontrollably, threatening its usefulness in the war on terror.

The bureau says the number of names on its terrorist watch list is classified.

A portion of the FBI’s unclassified 2008 budget request posted to the Department of Justice Web site, however, refers to “the entire watch list of 509,000 names,” which is utilized by its Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force.

A spokesman for the interagency National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), which maintains the government’s list of all suspected terrorists with links to international organizations, said they had 465,000 names covering 350,000 individuals. Many names are different versions of the same identity — “Usama bin Laden” and “Osama bin Laden” for the al Qaeda chief, for example.

In addition to the NCTC list, the FBI keeps a list of U.S. persons who are believed to be domestic terrorists — abortion clinic bombers, for example, or firebombing environmental extremists, who have no known tie to an international terrorist group.

I’d be very interested to see just who is on the domestic list. Methinks it’s a titch more than just clinic bombers and “environmental extremists.”

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