This is an interesting proposition because if a person somehow appears on the watch list even if cleared of all crimes and whatever, they stay on the list forever. Now, to many this may seem like a non-issue but take it one step further.
“But Stewart Baker, a former Homeland Security official in the Bush administration, argued that even if the intelligence about someone’s possible terrorism ties fell short of the courtroom standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt,” it could still be appropriate to keep the person on the watch list as having attracted suspicion. ”
On the God level, this may seem appropriate but this list is also accessed by local police every time they make a traffic stop. Now, think in terms of how the local cop on a traffic stop is going to react when your name appears on the terror watch list. What could start out as an innocent traffic stop for say running a stop sign could very well degenerate into a nasty situation that quickly gets out of control and fatalities result.
“The F.B.I.’s Terrorist Screening Center shares the data with other federal agencies for screening aircraft passengers, people who are crossing the border and people who apply for visas. The data is also used by local police officers to check names during traffic stops.”
We know that those coming out of prison as a convicted felon carry a life sentence. Even for such crimes as bad checks and having marijuana in their possession. Doing the time that society deems appropriate is not enough. You are forever denied education benefits, work opportunities and even such things as being able to rent an apartment or make loans. In all too many states such as Florida you are deprived of your civil rights.
What we are doing and maybe have done is to lay down the mechanism for a police state where one error in life dooms you to special observation and restrictions not unlike the Jim Crow laws and reconstruction.
The mechanisms of control are being codified and justified as well as computerized. It has been only in the last 24 hours that a state governor and former treasury official have suggested suspending national elections in an open forum because of the emergency generated by the state of the economy.
Now tell me, what chance does our youthful mother who gets jammed up with the law because of some stupid indiscretion have? An even bigger question is what chance does the average citizen have if the wrong people are in power? This is a dangerous precedent to have thrown in the public arena by elected officials at the highest level of government.