In the past year the U.S. government’s no-fly list has more than doubled, going from about 10,000 names to about 21,000, according to the Associated Press. Among those names are roughly 500 Americans, the AP says, though of course there is no way to verify any of this because the list is kept secret.
One of the many egregious constitutional violations spawned by the 9/11 attacks, the no-fly list originally contained the names of only those individuals deemed likely to employ aircraft for terrorism. Since the “Underwear Bomber’s” BVDs failed to bring down a plane in December 2009, however, the list has exploded because “the government lowered the standard for putting people on the list then scoured its files for anyone who qualified,” the AP writes. Now one need merely be “considered a broader threat to domestic or international security” or alleged to have “attended a terror training camp” to be prohibited from flying to, from, or within the United States, the report states.
Washington apparently believes there are some 21,000 individuals around the world bent on harming Americans via the skies. On top of that, there are about 510,000 people in the government’s Terrorist Screening Database, of which the no-fly list is a subset, according to CNN.
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Photo of two American peace activists on the no-fly list: AP Images