February 15, 2006
|325,000||9/11, "War On Terror"|
The administration's database of names of international terrorism suspects and their allies includes 325,000 names and is growing rapidly. WaPo:
The National Counterterrorism Center maintains a central repository of 325,000 names of international terrorism suspects or people who allegedly aid them, a number that has more than quadrupled since the fall of 2003, according to counterterrorism officials.
The list kept by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) — created in 2004 to be the primary U.S. terrorism intelligence agency — contains a far greater number of international terrorism suspects and associated names in a single government database than has previously been disclosed. [Emphasis added]
As John Robb points out, this can mean a variety of things, none of them good. Either the list is bogus, including a lot of people who shouldn't be on it, in which case US counterterrorism efforts are unfocused, flailing, and clueless, or the list isn't bogus, in which case the pool of prospective adversaries has achieved critical mass and then some. Or maybe it's all of the above: they've got a garbage list that manages to mostly miss what is by now a very large pool of adversaries. That seems more in character with administration performance on everything else.
In any case, with numbers like these, how can anyone still believe that the NSA wiretapping program is a focused program involving only a relatively small number of people?