The Justice Department’s former top criminal prosecutor says the U.S. government terror watch list likely has caused thousands of innocent Americans to be questioned, searched, or otherwise hassled. Former Assistant Attorney General Jim Robinson is one of them, reports the Associated Press. Robinson and the American Civil Liberties Union urge fixing the list that’s supposed to identify suspected terrorists.
Robinson, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division during the Clinton administration, believes his name matches that of someone put on the list in 2005. He is routinely delayed while flying — despite having his own government top-secret security clearances renewed. “I suppose if I were convinced that America is a safer place because I get hassled at the airport, I might put up with it,” Robinson said. “But I doubt it.” The government calls its watch list one of the most effective tools in its fight against terrorism. As many as 20 suspected terrorists were left off the list as of last year due to a technology glitch.