However, many Americans - including federal air marshals, young children, military personnel fighting real terrorists overseas, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy and a notable figure of America's modern civil rights movement, Democratic U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia - have already been misidentified as terrorists by the Transportation Security Administration's "no-fly" list. As a result they have been prevented from boarding commercial aircraft. And the "no-fly" list is merely a subset of the larger TSDB[the FBI's Terrorist Screening Database -ed.], which included about 400,000 individuals as of Sept 9, 2008, according to the FBI.
Futhermore, a May 2009 report on a study of the TSDB, conducted by the Department of Justice's inspector general, found huge problems with the watchlist's administration. For example, the inspector general found that "initial watchlist nominations created by FBI field offices often contained inaccuracies or were incomplete," that "the FBI did consistently update or remove watchlist records when appropriate," and that in 80 percent of the closed investigations, the FBI failed to remove subjects from the watchlist in a timely manner or failed to remove them at all. The report also discovered that 35 percent of the names in the watchlist "were associated with FBI cases that did not contain current international terrorism or domestic terrorism desingations." - Cox, Chris W. Gun Owners Under Watchful Eyes pg 17-18, American Rifleman February 2010.
Like the problems with the climate databases in the UK and United States that have come to light, one question has to be asked. If the master databases are so riddled with problems, how can any information derived from them be used to make decisions? The simple answer is, you can't. To do otherwise is to act as a willing fool. 300 people were saved because citizens took their own fates into their own hands, not because the system worked. Something to think about.