Report Shows FBI’S Terror Watch List Not Updated Properly
As Inspector General, it is Gerald A. Fine’s job to conduct independent investigations, audits, inspections, and special reviews of both the personnel and programs of the United States Department of Justice. He has just released a report on the Terror Watch Lists that shows how the Government, namely the FBI, is not properly listing the terrorists. The American Civil Liberties Union is also calling for action.
For one thing, the report states that some FBI field agents have been adding names to the list without going through proper procedures. The Terror Watch List is actually updated daily and is the responsibility of the FBI’S Terrorist Screening Center. While the report says that overall the FBI has a proper system in place and that the FBI knows how things are supposed to be done, the FBI did not always do things the right way.
The report on the Terror Watch List goes on to say that the FBI did not always up date the terrorists information on the list when new information became available. And the opposite is also true. The FBI did not remove information that was no longer relevant. Officials at the FBI main office reported that nominations of names to be included were submitted by their own field offices with incomplete information. Another finding showed that the FBI, in some cases, did not gather information from other government agencies in a proper manner, but the information was still included in the Terror Watch List.
The American Civil Liberties Union is calling for the list, which they say has over 700,000 names, to be broken down into smaller more manageable lists. The American Civil Liberties Union has a list of Americans who are on the list that they say should not be there because they are not associated with any terrorist or terrorist organizations. For instance, the American Civil Liberties Union names an US Congresswoman who had trouble getting on a flight, an US Air Force Green Beret, a nun who works for the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops and a 6-year-old boy. All of them were on the Terror Watch List. The American Civil Liberties Union also found the names of 14 of the terrorists who were killed on 9/11 to still be on the list.
The Inspector General has made recommendations to the FBI that he feels will help remedy the problems. They suggest that there be guidance from the entire Department of Justice in regards to the Terror Watch List, not just the FBI. He also suggests that the existing policies be enhanced, tightened up a bit.
If what the American Civil Liberties Union alleges is correct, there are many names on the Terror Watch List that should not be there. The American Civil Liberties Union has called on the government to install a system of checks and balances in regards to monitoring the Terror Watch List in order to insure that citizens who are perfectly innocent are protected and have no problems doing things like getting on and off airplanes in their own country.