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Giuliani is lying about the terrorist watch list to promote a shameful plan to track citizens

On Wednesday, former New York mayor and current Donald Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani shared his latest idea for expanding the surveillance state and trampling the Constitution.

Asked whether he’d support forcing Muslims on the FBI’s terrorist watch list to wear electronic monitoring tags to track their every move, Giuliani replied strongly in the affirmative. (Whether he means a watch-like device or an implant is unclear.)

“I would think that’s an excellent idea,” Giuliani said, adding, “If you’re on the terror watch list, I should know you’re on the terror watch list. You’re on there for a reason.”

Sigh. Ok, since apparently it’s necessary, let’s go over this again.

Related: Democrats say judge Hillary Clinton on her record—so let’s do that

Being on a government list isn’t a good reason to lose your constitutional rights. And this list specifically is a nightmare of civil liberties abuse, incompetence and bureaucracy.

It has grown to include as many as 1.5 million people (up from “just” 50,000 at the end of George W. Bush’s second term), and about 40 percent of the people listed have no demonstrable ties to any terrorist activity or organization.

That’s because “irrefutable evidence or concrete facts” are not required to put someone on the list. Reasons for listing a person can be as ambiguous as a Facebook post that raises “reasonable suspicion” or being related to someone who might be connected to terrorism.

In fact, 99 percent of submitted names are put on the list, and it’s not difficult to imagine how that might be abused. Worse, because the government has no process for removing people from the list, many stay listed after they are dead or acquitted.

Some of the people mistakenly identified as terrorists include a 4-year-old boy, a Marine veteran, a wheelchair-bound grad student, Rep. Tom McClintock, and Sen. Ted Kennedy.

All this means that Giuliani’s claim that anyone on the list is “on there for a reason” is a shameless and shameful lie.

He couldn’t be more wrong.

Lots of people, including Muslim people, are on that list for no good reason at all.

And that makes Giuliani’s tracking tag idea—already draconian in the extreme—even more abhorrent. This is a proposal to demolish people’s privacy in a deeply invasive, immoral way, and it’s not even based in facts.

Moreover, contrary Giuliani and those, like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), who share his disregard for individual rights and the rule of law, destroying due process will not keep us safe. On the contrary, it has historically put American lives and liberty in danger.

And finally, once something like this is in place, what’s to prevent the feds from expanding its use?

Related: How Donald Trump is allowing the Democrats to become the patriotic party

After all, the PATRIOT Act, originally sold as a way to fight terrorism, quickly devolved into a tool of the drug war which has yet to produce any significant counter-terrorism results. You can see how the argument would go: If we need to track people we suspect might in the future commit one kind of crime, why not track all of them? Is terrorist really worse than regular murder and assault? Some police departments already use technology that predicts where future crimes will take place. Why not just track everyone in those areas?

But let’s not stop there. After all, anyone can be radicalized. Anyone can snap. Anyone can get desperate. Maybe we should just track everyone in the country, all the time, everywhere. Who needs privacy, anyway?

If that’s the plan we decide to go with, I can only hope a leader like Rudy Giuliani will bravely sign up to be the first person monitored day and night, forever.

This post is from RareRare. Click here to read the full text

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