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The Intercept publishes Obama's manual for pre-crime, otherwise known as "Watchlisting Guidance"

These people are out of their minds. Here's how a "nominator" puts you on the terraist watchlist. This is the actual government prose:

“To meet the REASONABLE SUSPICION standard, the NOMINATOR, based on the totality of the circumstances, must rely upon articulable intelligence or information which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrants a determination that an individual is known or suspected to be or has been knowingly engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to TERRORISM and/or TERRORIST ACTIVITIES.”

Shorter: If the nominator thinks it's a good idea. Maybe because they guys in the office were passing round some sex photos and wanted more.

More government prose.

“In determining whether a REASONABLE SUSPICION exists, due weight should be given to the specific reasonable inferences that a NOMINATOR is entitled to draw from the facts in light of his/her experience and not on unfounded suspicions or hunches. Although irrefutable evidence or concrete facts are not necessary, to be reasonable, suspicion should be as clear and as fully developed as circumstances permit.”

Shorter: Concrete facts not needed. So I guess imaginary facts are OK!

But don't worry. You can always appeal your "nomination":

For the living, the process of getting off the watchlist is simple yet opaque. A complaint can be filed through the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program, which launches an internal review that is not subject to oversight by any court or entity outside the counterterrorism community. The review can result in removal from a watchlist or an adjustment of watchlist status, but the individual will not be told if he or she prevails. The guidelines highlight one of the reasons why it has been difficult to get off the list—if multiple agencies have contributed information on a watchlisted individual, all of them must agree to removing him or her.

I don't even know where to begin to solve this. I think a real good begining would be forcing all this record-keeping to be paper-based. Then they'd have to prioritize stuff. Read the whole thing. It's crazy pants stuff.

NOTE So I guess DHS handles pre-crime, and NSA handles thought crime? You'd think there'd be a lot of overlap between the categories.

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mellon's picture
Submitted by mellon on

Hey, things could be worse..

In North Korea they exile a person and three generations of their family, to a concentration camp which makes Stalins camps look pleasant in comparison, just for one cynical comment.

BruceMcF's picture
Submitted by BruceMcF on

What caught my eye here was the final item in the list: "or has been knowingly engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to TERRORISM and/or TERRORIST ACTIVITIES.”" ...

... where "related to" is, by implication, NOT known to be constituting, in preparation for OR in aid of terrorism or "terrorist activities".

Its not doing it, preparing to do it or helping to do it ... just "related" in some unspecified other way.