A million names yet a total failure: Time to Trash the Terrorist Watch List, a Police-State Frankenstein Gone Off the Rails

(US government website image)


By Dave Lindorff

I have something in common with some of the brownshirt thugs who assaulted the Capitol, some reportedly intent on kidnapping and/or killing congressional leaders and members like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader and soon to be courseMajority leader Chuck Schumer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Vice President Mike Pence.  

No, I’m not a brownshirt fascist. I’m a politically leftist professional journalist, a former Business Week correspondent, winner of a 2019 “Izzy” award for Outstanding Independent Journalism, a Graduate of the Columbia Grad School of Journalism and a two-time Fulbright Scholar in Shanghai and Taiwan. 

What I have in common with some of the thugs who engaged in an act of insurrection or sedition in a violent assault on Congress on Jan. 6 that lead to the deaths of five people and brought Congress to a halt and had its members holed up in safe rooms in the Capitol basement is that like reportedly dozens of these white nationalist fascists, I am and have since at least March 2019, been on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List.

We Americans don’t hear much about that Watch List normally unless there’s a plane hijacking or a terror bombing, but the FBI, during a federal court case last year disclosed in the course of discovery that the list (three lists, actually including a “No Fly List” of people who are banned for boarding aircraft), established in the wake of the 9-11 attack in September 2001, currently contains over a million names. Most of these are not right wing terrorists or journalists. They are people with Muslim or Arab-sounding names, often very common names like Muhammad or Jamil, who have the misfortune of owning the same name as someone who may have committed or knows someone who, or someone who knows someone who might hang around someone who is even remotely linked to a terrorist. 

We’re learning now that according to the FBI, a number of the people who participated and perhaps led or helped organize the invasion and assault on Congress were on its Terrorist Watch List.  Some apparently were contacted at their homes by federal agents and advised not to attend the June 6 White House rally and the subsequent protest at and planned assault on the halls of Congress. Some, we’re told, took the warning and stayed away. Others ignored the visits and went anyway. Others on the list weren’t contacted and showed up to engage in insurrection and mayhem. 

That should raise some flags. If the list is supposed to be composed of people who “pose a threat of terrorism” as claimed by the FBI, then why were such people on it allowed to get even close to the Capitol building?  As for those who were visited by agents, what were they actually told?…

For the rest of this article by Dave Lindorff, a member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to:  https://thiscantbehappening.net/time-to-trash-the-terrorist-watch-list-a-police-state-frankenstein-gone-off-the-rails/

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