KEEPING AN EYE ON LIBERALS….Hmmm. Maybe this is why Atrios stays anonymous:

Ever since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, reports have circulated that the U.S. airline security apparatus is targeting political activists for strict scrutiny and special searches, sometimes forcing them to miss flights.

….[Barbara] Olshansky has firsthand knowledge of the government policy: She says that she’s been subjected to strip- and full-body searches every time she’s flown since 9/11, even though she has no criminal record. Last November, she told Salon that she had been strip-searched on four flights she’d made on business; this week, she reported that she was specially targeted again for a search in February while trying to board a plane with her husband for a vacation trip to Puerto Rico.

The article says that in addition to keeping a “no-fly” list of potential terrorists, documents released in a recent court case indicate that the TSA keeps a second list of “selectees” who are subject to strict security checks. Nobody know what it takes to get on this list, nobody keeps track of how often the wrong people are hassled (because there’s “no pressing need to do so”), and there’s no way to get taken off the list.

For all my right wing buddies out there, this is why we liberals distrust the Bush administration’s balancing of civil rights with necessary law enforcement. It’s not that we don’t agree that increased vigilance against terrorism is reasonable, it’s just that this doesn’t seem to be the real motivation behind a lot of the things law enforcement does these days.

The FBI has a long history of keeping secret lists like this, and oddly enough it’s mostly liberal activists who end up on them. Better keep your head down, Atrios.