Tuesday, January 24, 2006

U.S. Revises Terrorist, WMDs Watch Lists

The U.S. Treasury on January 18 quietly released a 222-page list of "Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons" of much interest to the American government and serves as a tool in the battle against terrorism. Hasn't received any blogger or mainstream press attention, as far as I can tell.

News to me that the thousands of names are publicly available, and, even though there is nothing in the document referencing the National Security Agency's surveillance of such individuals without warrants, I don't think it's much of a stretch to say many people on this list are some of the likely suspects whose communications have been spied on by NSA.

On the subject of hostile groups and people the U.S. government deems terrorists, as defined by federal regulations outlining sanctions and their enforcement, you can read their names in the 97-page file here at the U.S. Treasury site. This list was revised on December 19, 2005.

We've all probably had too much talk and outright lying by the U.S. government on the matter of weapons of mass destruction that were supposedly about to be unleashed by Saddam Hussein before we attacked Iraq, but you might be interested in reading a 3-page file titled: Blocking Property of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators and Their Supporters.

This is Executive Order 13382, signed by President Bush on in June 2005, when only eight groups were listed, and it was amended most recently on January 4, 2006. The latest version now has dozens of foreign entities on an WMD-watch list.

What these lists may mean, if anything, about where we are right now as a nation in the Bush administration's war on terrorism, is best left to other political bloggers to assess. My purpose in calling attention to the lists is to stir some analysis of them from national security and foreign policy wonks. We can always do with more people examining every document this administration releases in its fight against terrorism.

No comments: