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From AntiWar Radio

Scott Horton Interviews Ray McGovern

Scott Horton, January 14, 2010
Courtesty of The NewInternationalist http://www.newint.org/issue167/keynote.htm

Courtesy of New Internationalist

Ray McGovern, a retired CIA senior analyst, discusses a number of subjects to include: the ignorance of the American people; how American Imperialism is behind acts of terrorism and not that terrorists are “jealous” of our democracy; how journalists no longer report ‘real’ news; the terrorist organization that makes up the state of Israel and how the American Imperialist government is firmly in bed with their terrorist actions; the alteration of true history to suit the elitists; the skewing of “intelligence” reports; the use of the word “homeland” and its Nazi connections; how oil, resources, money, and power rules; and much more.

Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years, has published a number of articles in the Consortium News and Antiwar.com.

Those in the know are already familiar with all these themes but it is always interesting to listen to new perspective.

MP3 interview here.

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I hope that you get the same chuckle I did when I read this… Now the big question is:

Who is really telling the truth????

October 22nd, 2008
Posted: 02:50 PM ET

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The federal government’s terrorist watch lists are far smaller than has been reported, the secretary of homeland security said Wednesday.

Michael Chertoff revealed for the first time that 2,500 people are on the “no fly” list and only about 10 percent of those are U.S. citizens. Individuals on this list are barred from boarding an aircraft because intelligence indicates they pose a threat to aviation.

Fewer than 16,000 people are designated “selectees,” he said, and most are not Americans. These people represent a less specific security threat and receive extra scrutiny, but are allowed to fly.

The American Civil Liberties Union has estimated more than 1 million names have been added to the lists since the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. The FBI, which manages the Terrorist Screening Database, said in August that there were about 400,000 people on its list, but that approximately 95 percent of those people were not U.S. citizens.
–From Jeanne Meserve, CNN Homeland Security Correspondent

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This stuff literally makes me laugh…

The Department of Homeland Security (the name of which totally nauseates me for a United States agency) wants U.S. citizens in Las Vegas, and other cities in the U.S. of A., to help IT find terrorists. According to this article DHS wants U.S. citizens to feel they are threatened and DHS wants YOU, as a U.S. citizen, to help them spot potential terrorists… (where’s the spooky music?)

Some of the signs of a terrorist working in your area are people who are:

1. using binoculars, taking videos or pictures;

2. asking directions to buildings and sites of interest;

3. looking at maps and taking notes;

4. walking up and down the same street.

So what DHS is REALLY saying is:

So beware, folks, as suspicious people could be lurking somewhere near you ready to cause mayhem and destruction! And they are probably wearing a DHS badge!  :o)

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From Global Research

by Stephen Lendman

May 27, 2008

It’s called “Plan Mexico,” or more formally the “Merida Initiative,” and here’s the scheme. It’s to do for Mexicans what Plan Colombia has done to that nation since 1999, and, in fact, much earlier. Since then, billions have gone for the following:

— to establish a US military foothold in the country;

— mostly to fund US weapons, chemical and other corporate profiteers; it’s a long-standing practice; in fact, a 1997 Pentagon document affirms that America’s military will “protect US interests and investments;” in Colombia, it’s to control its valuable resources; most importantly oil and natural gas but also coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, silver, emeralds, copper and more; it’s also to crush worker resistance, eliminate unions, target human rights and peasant opposition groups, and make the country a “free market” paradise inhospitable to people;

— it funds a brutish military as well; already, over 10,000 of its soldiers have been trained at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) – aka the School of the Americas (SOA) at Fort Benning, Georgia; its graduates are infamous as human rights abusers, drugs traffickers, and death squad practitioners; they were well schooled in their “arts” by the nation most skilled in them;

— it lets Colombia arm and support paramilitary death squads; they’re known as the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC); for more than a decade, they’ve terrorized Colombians and are responsible for most killings and massacres in support of powerful western and local business interests;

— it funds drug eradication efforts, but only in FARC-EP and ELN areas; government-controlled ones are exempt; trafficking is big business; laundering drugs money reaps huge profits for major US and regional banks; the CIA has also been linked to the trade for decades, especially since the 1980s; after Afghanistan’s invasion and occupation, opium harvests set records – mostly from areas controlled by US-allied “warlords;” the Taliban’s drug eradication program was one reason it was targeted; Colombia’s drug eradication is horrific; it causes ecological devastation; crop and forest destruction; lives and livelihoods lost; large areas chemically contaminated; bottom line of the program – record amounts of Colombian cocaine reach US and world markets; trafficking is more profitable than ever; so is big business thanks to paramilitary terror;

— it’s to topple the FARC-EP and ELN resistance groups; Latin American expert James Petras calls the former the “longest standing (since 1964), largest peasant-based guerrilla (resistance) movement in the world;” it’s also to weaken Hugo Chavez, other regional populist leaders and groups, and destabilize their countries; and

— it supports the “Uribe doctrine;” it’s in lockstep with Washington; its policies are hard right, corporate-friendly and militarized for enforcement.

Plan Colombia turned the country into a dependable, profitable narco-state. Business is better than ever. Violence is out of control and human rights abuses are appalling.

It gets worse. Two-thirds of Columbians are impoverished. Over 2.5 million peasant and urban slum dwellers have been displaced. Thousands of trade unionists have been murdered (more than anywhere else in the world), and many more thousands of peasants, rural teachers, and peasant and indigenous leaders have as well. Paramilitary land seizures are commonplace. Colombian latifundistas profit hugely. Wealth concentration is extreme and growing. Corruption infests the government. Many thousands in desperation are leaving. Colombia’s “democracy” is a sham. So is Mexico’s. Plan Mexico will make it worse. That’s the whole idea, and it’s part of the secretive Security and Prosperity Partnership – aka the North American Union.

It’s planned behind closed doors – to militarize and annex the continent. Corporate giants are in charge, mostly US ones. The idea is for an unregulated open field for profit. The Bush administration, Canada and Mexico support it. Things are moving toward implementation. Three nations will become one. National sovereignty eliminated. Worker rights as well. Opposition is building, but moves are planned to quash it. That’s the militarization part.

Business intends to win this one. People are to be exploited, not helped. That’s why it’s kept secret. The idea is to agree on plans, inform legislatures minimally about them, get SPP passed, then implement it with as few of its disturbing details known in hopes once they are they’ll be too late to reverse.

SPP is ugly, ominous and hugely people destructive. Hundreds of millions in three countries will be affected. Others in the region as well. Plan Mexico is a contribution to the scheme. Below is what we know about it.

Plan Mexico – Exploitation Writ Large

The plan was first announced in October 2007 as a “regional security cooperation initiative.” It’s to provide $1.4 billion in aid (over three years) for Mexico and Central America on the pretext of fighting drugs trafficking and organized crime linked to it. FY 2008 calls for $550 million for starters with about 10% of it for Central America.

In fact, Plan Mexico is part of SPP’s grand scheme to militarize the continent, let corporate predators exploit it, and keep people from three countries none the wiser. Most aid will go to Mexico’s military and police forces with its major portion earmarked back to US defense contractors for equipment, training and maintenance. It’s how these schemes always work.

This one includes a menu of security allocations, administrative functions, and special needs like software, forensics equipment, database compilations, plus plenty more for friendly pockets to keep our Mexican cohorts on board.

After failing on May 15, House passage will likely follow the Senate’s approval on May 22 – below the radar. It’s one of many appropriations tucked into the latest Iraq/Afghanistan supplemental funding request, and its purpose is just as outlandish. It will militarize Mexico without deploying US troops. It will also open the country for plunder, privatize everything including state-owned oil company PEMEX, give Washington a greater foothold there, and get around the touchy military issue by allowing in Blackwater paramilitaries instead to work with Mexican security forces.

Only privatizing PEMEX is in doubt thanks to immense citizen opposition. Thousands of “brigadistas” were in the streets, protesting outside the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, as lawmakers considered ending PEMEX state-control. They paralyzed debate and brought it to a halt – temporarily putting off a final resolution of this very contentious issue. Big Oil wants it. Most Mexicans don’t. The battle continues. Mexico’s military may get involved.

The US State Department describes them as follows:

— ….”impunity and corruption (in Mexico’s security forces are) problems, particularly at the state and local levels. The following human rights problems were reported: unlawful killings; kidnappings; physical abuse; poor and overcrowded prison conditions; arbitrary arrests and detention; corruption, inefficiency, and lack of transparency in the judicial system; (coerced) confessions….permitted as evidence in trials; criminal intimidation of journalists leading to self-censorship; corruption at all levels of government; domestic violence against women (often with impunity); violence, including killings, against women; trafficking in persons; social and economic discrimination against indigenous people; and child labor.”

Mexico’s military fares little better with promises Plan Mexico will worsen it. President Calderon now deploys troops around the country. People fear them when they come. They’re purportedly against drugs traffickers, but that’s mostly cover. Their real purpose may be sinister – a possible dress rehearsal for martial law when SPP is implemented.

Mexican soldiers are hard line. Their reputation is unsavory. People justifiably fear them. They commit flagrant human rights abuses and get away with them. The major media even report them. The New York Times, CNN, BBC, USA Today and others cite evidence of rape, torture, killings, other human rights abuses, corruption, extortion, and ties to drugs traffickers. Little is done to stop it. Government and military spokespersons often aren’t available for comment. They’re part of the problem, not the solution. Plan Mexico promises more of the same and then some. Billions from Washington back it.

Social protests in the country already are criminalized. Hundreds are filling prisons. Many languish there for years. Labor and social activists are most vulnerable. Injustice and grinding poverty motivate them. Plan Mexico ups the ante. Things are about to get worse.

Militarizing society is toxic. Police state enforcement follows. Accountability disappears. The rule of law no longer applies. Plan Mexico assures it. So does SPP for the continent. In classic doublespeak, the White House claims it will “advance the productivity and competitiveness of our nations and help to protect our health, safety and environment.” Its real purpose is to annex a continent, destroy its democratic remnants, lock in hard line enforcement, and secure it for capital.

SPP Backdrop of Plan Mexico

A detailed SPP explanation can be found on the 2007 article link. It’s titled The Militarization and Annexation of North America – http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6359

Plan Mexico is part of SPP. It will militarize and annex the continent. It was formerly launched at a March 23, 2005 meeting in Waco, Texas attended by George Bush, Mexico’s President Vincente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. They forged a tripartite partnership for greater US, Canadian and Mexican economic, political, social and security integration. Secretive working groups were formed to accomplish it – to devise non-negotiable agreements to be binding on all three nations.

Details are hidden. No public input is permitted. Pro forma legislative voting is approaching. It will try to avoid a NAFTA-type battle. Legislatures aren’t being fully informed. The worst of SPP is secret. It’s not a treaty, and the idea is to pass it below the radar and avoid a protracted public debate.

What’s known so far is disturbing, and considerable opposition has arisen but thus far too inadequate to matter. SPP, Plan Mexico, and a final continent-wide plan amount to a corporate coup d’etat against three sovereign states and hundreds of millions of people. It’s to erase national borders, merge three nations into one under US control, and remove all barriers to trade and capital flows. It’s also to militarize the continent, create a fortress-North America security zone, and have in place police state laws for enforcement. Billions will fund it. All for corporate gain. Nothing for public welfare.

SPP takes NAFTA and the “war on terrorism” to the next level en route to extending it further for more corporate plunder. It’s based on outlandish notions – that doing business, protecting national security, and securing “public welfare” require tough new measures in a very threatening world.

SPP bolsters US control. It enhances corporate power, quashes civil liberties, erases public welfare, and creates an open field for plunder free from regulatory restraints. It’s being plotted behind closed doors. A series of summits and secret meetings continue with the latest one in New Orleans from April 22 to 24.

Three presidents attended and were met by vocal street protests. They convened a “People’s Summit” and also held workshops to:

— inform people how destructive SPP is;

— strengthen networking and organizational ties against it;

— maintain online information about their activities;

— promote their efforts and build added support; and

— affirm their determination to continue resisting a hugely repressive corporate-sponsored agenda. Opponents call it Nafta on steroids.

Business-friendly opposition also exists. Prominent is a “Coalition to Block the North American Union.” The Conservative Caucus backs it. It has a “NAU War Room.” It’s the “headquarters of THE national campaign to expose and halt America’s absorption into a ‘North American Union (NAU)’ with Canada and Mexico.” It opposes building “a massive, continental ‘NAFTA Superhighway.’ “

It has congressional allies, and on January 2007 Rep. Virgil Goode and six co-sponsors introduced House Concurrent Resolution 40. It expresses “the sense of Congress that the United States should not engage in (building a NAFTA) Superhighway System or enter into a North American Union with Mexico and Canada.”

The April summit reaffirmed SPP’s intentions – to create a borderless North America, dissolve national sovereignty, put corporate giants in control, and assure big US ones get most of it. Militarism is part of it. It’s the reason for fortress-North America under US command. The US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) was established in October 2002 to do it. It has air, land and sea responsibility for the continent regardless of Posse Comitatus limitations that no longer apply or sovereign borders easily erased.

Homeland Security (DHS) and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) also have a large role. So does the FBI, CIA, all US spy agencies, militarized state and local police, National Guard forces, and paramilitary mercenaries like Blackwater USA. They’re headed anywhere on the continent with license to operate as freely here as in Iraq and New Orleans post-Katrina. They’ll be able to turn hemispheric streets into versions of Baghdad and make them unfit to live on if things come to that.

SPP maintains a web site. It’s “key accomplishments” since August 2007 are updated on it as of April 22, 2008. Its details can be accessed from the following link:

http://www.spp.gov/pdf/key_accomplishments_since_august_2007.pdf

It lists principles agreed to; bilateral deals struck; negotiations concluded; study assessments released; agreements on the “Free Flow of Information;” law enforcement activities; efforts related to intellectual property, border and long-haul trucking enforcement; import licensing procedures; food and product safety issues; energy (with special focus on oil); water as well; infrastructure development; emergency management; and much more. It’s all laid out in deceptively understated tones to hide its continental aim – enhanced corporate exploitation with as little public knowledge as possible.

Militarization will assure it, and consider one development up North. On February 14, 2008, the US and Canada agreed to allow American troops inside Canada. Canadians were told nothing or that the agreement was reached in 2002. Neither was it discussed in Congress or the Canadian House of Commons. It’s for “bilateral integration” of military command structures in areas of immigration, law enforcement, intelligence, or whatever else the Pentagon or Washington wishes. Overall, it’s part of the “war on terror” and militarizing the continent to make it “safer” for business and be prepared for any civilian opposition.

Congress may soon pass SPP, but with no knowledge of its worst provisions kept secret. It’s to assure enough congressional support makes it law. Nonetheless, federal, state and local opposition is building. It ranges from private activism to vocal lawmakers. In 2008, a dozen or more states passed resolutions against SPP. Around 20 others did it in 2007. Congress began debating it last year with opposition raised on various grounds – open borders, unchecked immigration, a NAFTA Superhighway System, and the idea of giving unregulated Mexican trucks free access to US roads and cities.

There’s also talk of replacing three national currencies with an “Amero.” Unfortunately, little is heard about trashing the Constitution or giving corporate bosses free reign. There’s even less talk about a militarized continent against dissent. SPP is a “new world order.” Companies are plotting to get it. People better hope they don’t. Disruptive opposition might derail them. It’s building but needs more resonance to matter. Time is short and slipping away. These schemers mean business. They want our future. We can’t afford to lose it.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM to 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests. All programs are archived for easy listening any time.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9059

Stephen Lendman is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Stephen Lendman

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From Washington Technology

Law enforcement welds together intell networks

By Alice Lipowicz

03/14/08 — 01:38 PM

statueoflibertyspying01.jpgState and local law enforcement agencies are moving to strengthen their links with the National Counter Terrorism Center’s classified online information repository, government officials said yesterday.

The center’s secure national Online Secret Web site is now state, local and tribal partners’ primary access point for counterterrorism information, Michael Leiter, acting director of the center, testified to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism.

“We have been told repeatedly by senior state, local and tribal officials that the information already contained on (Online Secret) meets the vast majority of their counterterrorism needs,” Leiter said.

To increase the usefulness of the Online Secret Web site, the Interagency Threat Assessment Coordination Group is helping to make the information easier to access and more relevant to state and local participants, he said. Also, federal partners including the FBI are posting more products on Online Secret, including daily, situational awareness and comprehensive reports.

The coordination group is preparing an outreach effort explaining to the state, local and tribal users what intelligence they can find on Online Secret and how to access it, Leiter said.

In addition, Leiter said, state and local partners are deploying additional information technology networks, which they refer to as pipes, to connect to the Online Secret network.

Online Secret “is only accessible if one has the right pipes,” Leiter said. “It is my understanding that such systems are being rapidly deployed.”

Two of those networks are the Homeland Security Secure Data Network (HSDN) and the FBI’s FBInet, said Charles Allen, undersecretary for intelligence at the Homeland Security Department.

DHS is helping intelligence fusion centers connect to Online Secret through the secure data network, Allen said.

“DHS is on track to deploy HSDN to 41 state and local fusion centers by the end of fiscal year 2008,” Allen said.

Strengthening information-sharing networks often offers opportunities for IT contractors. DHS, for example outsourced portions of the development, operation and security of its Homeland Security Information Network for sharing unclassified information with state, local and tribal partners.

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From the blog LiberalPro

usempire2006.gifI cannot watch the news on television anymore. I am tired of the lies told baldly to my face and the “spin” put on everything that is not in the Empires best interests. That is what we are; an Empire that rules the world in order for the benefit of The United States. Listen further my fellow Americans, when I say for the benefit of the United States, I am not talking about the people of the United States, rather I am talking about those that own and manage the United States. These people are the people in our government, our corporate leaders, and our mega-wealthy ruling class. The people of the United States are no more or less important to these people than anyone else in this world save for the fact that we pull the lever to put them in power.

Today that right is not even guaranteed. If this government can’t convince us with their fear and propaganda along with their wars and economic power over their own citizen’s to vote the cabal’s way, why… they’ll just change the vote! When there is no paper trail to visually verify the vote what are we left with, the word of the government official that tallied up the score? We saw this in our last two Presidential elections, will we see it again? Of course we will, for nothing has changed. We can’t even predict primaries on poll data; do you think something’s wrong here?

The people that promise to change the status quo are run out of the election by collusion between the corporate-run media and the corporate financed candidates. No one wishing to change the way this country runs can get equal footing with these “sponsored” candidates. What change will any of them bring? They will do as they are told and we will continue to have an Empire, again, not of the people for the people, but for the ones that control this nation’s destiny, and believe me brother, it’s not you or me. To these people that run this Empire we are a nuisance that they must deal with from time to time. We are allowed to believe that we are free by voting for one of them. Once in a blue moon we will actually get to vote for someone that is not part of the Empire, but that is a rare occurrence. We are the serfs of this Empire, back to being plundered by the “Robber Barons” and most people in this nation aren’t even aware of it.

This Global War on Terrorism is a lie. There are no Al Qaeda cells in every city in America and in over 60 countries in the world. This is the same “Red Scare” tactic our government has used so well since the end of the last World War. It is propaganda, pure bullshit. Deep in your hearts you know it’s true. To say or think differently would be seen as anti-patriotic. Well chew on this for awhile, why has this country been instrumental in bringing down close to 50 governments of other nations? Why did we finance the overthrow of Hugo Chavez in 2002 only to see his people rise up and re-install him? Why is Hugo Chavez, a man that works for the poorest of his country, so savagely attacked by the Empire? The reason is because like Fidel Castro, he won’t play the Washington game. He won’t sell his nation’s resources to the Empire for pennies on the dollar. Is he a threat to you? Is he a threat to any average American? The answer is obvious, but he is a threat to the multi-national oil cartel. The people controlling this Empire’s government will tell you any number of lies to watch out for their interests.

Why are we fighting in Iraq? Were we ever afraid of Saddam? Give me a break. We are fighting over there to pay for Lockheed-Martin and all the other defense contractors’ budgets. We are in Iraq to give the Empire military bases to control the Persian Gulf and to assert our presence to insure our interests. We care not for the people of Iraq, nor do we care for the soldiers that die on command. This is just another example of Empire at its most malicious. Killing, according to some estimates, over a million Iraqi’s and almost 4,000 American soldiers that die on the ground, many soldiers who died in the air on a medi-vac didn’t make the count. We have destroyed their infrastructure and now pay Halliburton, Cheney’s company to put the country back together with no-bid contracts.

We threaten Iran with attack for having the audacity to build a nuclear power reactor. The Empire which once overthrew their infant democracy and re-installed the Shah, now tells the people of Iran what they can and cannot do. Meanwhile the Empire is selling nuclear secrets to India and Turkey and is the world’s foremost owner of nuclear weaponry. How insane is this logic? Still, this is the dictatorial nature of the Empire that we let thrive and grow while they scared us with horror stories of “Evil Empires” out to crush us and our “freedoms”. Now we are locked into an Empire that we can’t reign in because they have shredded our Constitution and we have surrendered our rights as citizens.

In 2006 the American people sent the government a clear and concise message to this government. We elected the opposition party into power in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. We did this on the basis that they would rend the excesses of this administration and stop the war in Iraq. Yet to this day, there have been no meetings of oversight committees that have produced anything of note. Bolton and Miers thumb their noses at the contempt of Congress citation and the Speaker of the House puts out a civil suit. If this Congress had a backbone they would send the Federal Marshall’s to the White House and put them in jail for contempt! This won’t happen, and you want to know why? It’s because the majority of Democrats are a working part of the Empire. The people’s party has been hijacked from the common American by politicians with a median income of $675,000.00 a year in the House and $1.7 Million in the Senate. http://www.opensecrets.org/pressreleases/2008/CongressFinances.3.13.asp

This, my friends, is what you call an example of “Class War”. In this country we have the rich, the middle-class and the poor. The top 10% of the families in this nation control 71% of its wealth. This means that 90% of the people of this nation share 29% of its wealth. The median income of the Middle-Class is shrinking by $2,000.00 an year as we sell off our industries to countries that provide cheap labor. The individuals that own these industries care not if they stay in America to give its citizens work. We are expendable; the only thing that concerns these huge corporate interests is the bottom line. The Empire exists to serve its masters whether they are Americans or not. This is excessive, ruthless, unchecked capitalism of the worst sort. Unregulated economic barbarism for the influential and wealthy, the divide between the two major political parties has been bridged by wealth. The Unions have been bought off, the politicians work for their corporate masters and the corporate masters work for the American Empire because they are the Empire. We spend more money on the military than all the nations on Earth combined. We have military bases in 130 different countries.

How did this happen? The truth is that it has been going on for over 60 years. Almost everything our government in Washington tells us is a lie. They are so confident of maintaining power from either party that they hardly disguise the lies that they tell anymore. There is no great political genius waiting in the wings to give our government back to its people. There is no great movement that will restore our Constitution. Those on the left fight amongst themselves and those on the extreme right prepare for survival in a world gone mad. Meanwhile both factions have never been so close on their view of this government. This is underscored by the 9/11 truth movement that has both factions working together to find out what really happened on September 11th and who was involved.

On Wednesday, March 19th, there will be a mass civil disobedience demonstration on the steps of the Capitol. If you can be there, then be there. If you cannot attend, go to a rally near where you live. The future of this nation is at stake. This means our future is at stake. This monster that has been created must come to an end and this nation must return to its borders and re-join the community of nations. The simple fact is that all Empires fall. Do you want to be here when this one does?

That’s the way I see it.

posted by Timothy V. Gatto @ 8:25 PM

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fbi.jpg

From ABC News/The Blotter

ACLU: 900,000 Names on U.S. Terror Watch Lists

February 27, 2008 12:40 PM

Justin Rood Reports:

The FBI now keeps a list of over 900,000 names belonging to known or suspected terrorists, the American Civil Liberties Union said today.

If that number is accurate, it would be an all-time high, exponentially more than the 100,000 names on the list several years ago.  But the number needs to be taken with a grain of salt: after all, the ACLU doesn’t keep the list, the FBI does, and the bureau doesn’t generally like to talk about it.  (Indeed, the FBI has not yet responded to a request for comment for this post.)

But if the ACLU’s figure isn’t accurate, it’s also unlikely to be off by that much.  Last September, the ACLU notes, the Department of Justice’s Inspector General reported the FBI watch list was at 700,000 names, and growing at 20,000 names per month.

The ACLU says they “extrapolated” from those figures to determine the list’s current size. ACLU’s Barry Steinhardt added that the group had spoken privately with people familiar with the watch list, who told them the 900,000 figure was not outlandish.

In the past, The FBI has told ABC News that the size of its watch list is classified. Despite that, both the bureau and the DoJ Inspector General have published the total figure in unclassified reports.

There’s no doubt the FBI’s list is growing: just last June, ABC News reported it was at 509,000 names, based on information in an unclassified FBI budget document.

But strangely, the list may be growing not because of swelling legions of foreign terrorists. Instead, it appears the FBI may be adding tens of thousands of names belonging to U.S. persons it suspects of being domestic terrorists — people who have no known ties to international terrorist organizations.

A separate entity, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), keeps a list of all names believed to belong to terrorists linked to international terror groups.  That list, which was at 100,000 names in 2003, grew to 465,000 names by last June – but since then has grown only modestly, according to NCTC spokesman Carl Kropf.  Today, Kropf said that list stands at roughly 500,000 names. (Unlike the FBI, the NCTC does not maintain that the size of its watch list is classified information.)

The FBI takes that list and adds to it a new collection of names which belong to U.S. persons believed to be domestic terrorists: people who have links to terrorism but not to any international group.

Last June, the NCTC was responsible for putting 465,000 names on the watch list, and the FBI appeared to add an additional 44,000.  By September, extrapolating from the DoJ Inspector General’s report, the FBI’s contribution appears to have grown to somewhere north of 200,000 names.

Today – if the ACLU is to be believed – the FBI’s contribution may be as high as 417,000 names.  Which would raise a new question: Where are so many domestic terrorists coming from?  Or do they simply use more aliases than foreign terrorists?

Update: The FBI responded late Wednesday afternoon. Spokesman Chad Kolton did not dispute the ACLU’s figure, but noted that the watch list contains names, aliases and name variations for individuals. The number of people on the watch list, he said, was around 300,000, and only 5 percent are U.S. persons.  Kolton noted that the list is “regularly reviewed for accuracy.” Last year the bureau removed 100,000 records “related to people cleared of any nexus with terrorism,” Kolton said.

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