House Transportation Chair Caught By Homeland Security

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There's nothing like experiencing things firsthand and the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee now knows what it's like to be wrongly suspected of being a terrorist. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) was detained and questioned at Anchorage Airport earlier this month because the name he booked his ticket under (Donald E. Young) is close to that of a Donald Lee Young who is on the federal government's "watch list." Despite the extra scrutiny, Young still made his flight and will try using his full name (E. is for Edwin) on tickets in the future to avoid the unwelcome attention. But while the Don Youngs of the country get interviewed (not to mention Edward Kennedies and John Lewises) a government report says there are plenty of actual terrorists who don't appear on the lists. NBC News reported last week that the lists only cover suspected terrorists "who pose threats to civil aviation." It does not explain how the various types of terrorist threats are segregated. The report also says the FBI is working to create a master list of suspected terrorists from the assorted lists now in use. It's not clear if an attempt will be made to weed out the innocent.