SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- James Robinson is a retired Air National Guard brigadier general and a commercial pilot for a major airline who flies passenger planes around the country.
James Robinson is a retired brigadier general and a commercial pilot. His name is on the terrorist "watch list."
1 of 3 He has even been certified by the Transportation Security Administration to carry a weapon into the cockpit as part of the government's defense program should a terrorist try to commandeer a plane.
But there's one problem: James Robinson, the pilot, has difficulty even getting to his plane because his name is on the government's terrorist "watch list."
That means he can't use an airport kiosk to check in; he can't do it online; he can't do it curbside. Instead, like thousands of Americans whose names match a name or alias used by a suspected terrorist on the list, he must go to the ticket counter and have an agent verify that he is James Robinson, the pilot, and not James Robinson, the terrorist.
"Shocking's a good word; frustrating," Robinson -- the pilot -- said. "I'm carrying a weapon, flying a multimillion-dollar jet with passengers, but I'm still screened as, you know, on the terrorist watch list."
The American Civil Liberties Union estimates more than 1 million names have been added to the watch list since the September 11 attacks.
The FBI, which manages the Terrorist Screening Database, disputes that figure. It says that there are about 400,000 actual people on the list and that about 95 percent of those people are not U.S. citizens. Watch how three people found themselves on terror watch list »
"There's going to come a point in time where everybody's on the list," Robinson said.
Robinson is not the only person with that name flagged on the list.
Since airing a story this summer about how Correspondent Drew Griffin began getting told he was on the watch list -- coincidentally after he wrote a series critical of the TSA's Federal Air Marshal Service -- CNN has received dozens of e-mails and iReport submissions from viewers who also have found themselves on the watch list.
It turns out that three people named "James Robinson" found their names on the list in early 2005.