It now seems likely that my post last night about a retired Marine colonel and Princeton professor put on the terrorist watch list for delivering an anti-Bush lecture was based on error. Accepting Prof. Murphy’s account of his experience as completely accurate, the most plausible interpretation seems to be that he was randomly selected for a search, and that the airline clerk he dealt with was pretending to know something he would have had no way of knowing.
There are still questions to be asked about how the lists are constructed, maintained, and used, but there seems to be little reason to believe that the incident represents political payback or official misconduct of any kind.
Sorry to help raise a fuss about what was probably nothing. Back to more substantial scandals.