Monday, April 10, 2006

Bad Guys and Bureaucratic Tunnels

Yesterday's Post describes a list of people with whom U.S. citizens cannot do business--Hit-and-Miss List:
"The so-called 'Bad Guy List' is hardly a secret. The U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control maintains its 'Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List' to be easily accessible on its public Web site.

Wanna see it? Sure you do. Just key OFAC into your Web browser, and you'll find the 224-page document of the names of individuals, organizations, corporations and Web sites the feds suspect of terrorist or criminal activities and associations...

What's not widely known about it is that by federal law, sellers are supposed to check it even in the most common and mundane marketplace transactions."

Of course, it doesn't make much sense. If the Department of Homeland Security does its job, these people won't be in the country anyway. But Congress presumably legislated this requirement ignoring the existence of DHS and border controls. Why? Because we have tunnel vision--Congressional committees and then the House and Senate focus on what the Treasury department can do against terrorists/criminals; on another day on another week in another year they focus on DHS. But I guess a bureaucrat can't blame others for having tunnel vision.

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