Let’s wage a war on <fill in the blank>. What could possibly go wrong? The War on Terror has been waged, at least in the United States and several other Western nations, since the start of the 21st century. Researchers and reporters continue to unearth sad stories of innocent people that keep getting caught in the many dragnets with ruinous effects on their lives. Suspicious Activity Reports, No Fly Lists, cancelled passports/travel restrictions, National Security Letters, warrants, detentions, surveillance, etc. can and are happening to innocent people.
“The SAR database is part of an ever-expanding domestic surveillance system established after 9/11 to gather intelligence on potential terrorism threats. At an abstract level, such a system may seem sensible: far better to prevent terrorism before it happens than to investigate and prosecute after a tragedy. Based on that reasoning, the government exhorts Americans to “see something, say something” — the SAR program’s slogan.”
“As of August 2013, there were approximately 47,000 people, including 800 U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents like Mashal, on that secretive no-fly list, all branded as “known or suspected terrorists.” All were barred from flying to, from, or over the United States without ever being given a reason why. On 9/11, just 16 names had been on the predecessor “no transport” list. The resulting increase of 293,650% — perhaps more since 2013 — isn’t an accurate gauge of danger, especially given that names are added to the list based on vague, broad, and error-prone standards. The harm of being stigmatized as a suspected terrorist and barred from flying is further compounded when innocent people try to get their names removed from the list.” (TomDispatch.com)