Thursday, May 7, 2009
The FBI has incorrectly kept nearly 24,000 people on a terrorist watch list — including the author of a book on Karl Rove, based on outdated or sometimes irrelevant information, while missing people with genuine ties to terrorism who should have been on the list, according to a Justice Department report released Wednesday.
By the beginning of 2009, the report said, the consolidated government watch list comprised about 400,000 people, recorded as 1.1 million names and aliases, an exponential growth from the days before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The list has long been a target of public criticism, particularly afte publicized errors in which politicians including Sen. Ted Kennedy and Rep. John Lewis showed up on it. People with names similar to actual terrorists have complained that it can take months to be removed from the list. Civil liberties advocates charge that antiwar protesters, Muslim activists and critics of the Bush administration have been listed for political reasons.