Saturday, August 16, 2008

How can a 7-year-old get on the National Terrorist Watch List?

Why is 7-year-old John Anderson from Minneapolis on the national Terrorist Watch List?
1. He pushed Tommy too hard on the playground.
2. His July 4th birthday means he distracts other Americans from
celebrating their country.
3. John didn't pick up the blocks during playtime.
The truth is that we don't know how he got on the Terrorist Watch List. Or if he can get off it. It took an Act of Congress to get Nelson Mandela, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, off the list.

This ever-growing and ineffective Watch List demonstrates what's wrong with the U.S. government's current approach to security:
it's unfair and a waste of resources. And when our government wastes time and money like this, we are all put in more danger -- not less.

Take our national security quiz to learn about other frightening national security "tools."

The questions above might be light hearted, but the problems Americans face everyday due to overzealous security measures are real.

According to USA Today:

John Anderson of Minneapolis, [now 7] was first stopped at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in 2004, when his family took him for his first airplane ride to Disney World. "We checked in at the ticket counter, and the woman said in a stern voice, 'Who is John Anderson?' " says his mother, Christine Anderson. "I pointed to
my stroller."

Her son is allowed to fly. But because his name is flagged, his family cannot print out a boarding pass for him online and he must check in at the ticket counter so an airline official can see that he's a child.

Learn about more outrageous DHS behaviors by taking the ACLU's security quiz today.

After you take the quiz, make sure you forward it to your friends and family so they can learn about these measures which are supposed to protect us, but instead strip us of our basic rights with no additional security.

Thank you,

Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director
© ACLU, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor New York, NY 10004

You might be wondering why you find this message on a blog which is created to inform about the death penalty. Well, naturally 7-year-old John Anderson does not face execution but his story shows very well how irrationally some of the measures originally designed to help the American public are applied. This Terrorist Watch list was designed to make America a saver place to live but instead it threads the rights of thousands of people. People are not perfect and therefore no law will ever be applied perfectly no matter what it was designed for. John's family can't print out a boarding pass for him online which is surely uncomfortable and naturally a slap into the face of his and his family's rights but at least his life and feedom are not in danger.

But there are other laws as well and none of them being applied absolutely correctly just because the people who have to apply them are human as well. Let's just think a minute about the consequences one of these other laws - the death penalty - being applied just as humanly faulty in a case. Do we really want to accept these?

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