Saturday, September 22, 2007

America--slip slidin' away

Raw Story just posted a story about how intrusive government surveillance truly is, and links to a Washington Post article by Ellen Nakashima titled Collecting of Details on Travelers Documented. Read carefully and consider the implications.

The information collected in this program has no relevance in any way to the "war on terror" as you understand it to be. Everyone who travels into or out of the U.S. is in a database which contains information useless to the security of our nation, but gives the government a file on the most innocent and mundane facets of your life. Please note that the examples cited in the WaPo article show that extra scrutiny was given to people who demonstrated no terrorist leanings, but were merely deemed in some subjective way to disagree with government policies or were suspected of "wrong" attitudes.

Remember too, that the "Automated Targeting System" is but one of many ongoing data collection programs (some of which are completely secret) running at full speed, all collecting bits and pieces, facts and rumors, hearsay and suspicions, about you. All of this data, from all these different sources, is constantly collated into a government master file with your name on it.

The government knows where you live, how much your house cost what and where you bought the furnishings, your marital status, how many kids you have and where they work or go to school. They have every scrap of your financial and health information. They know what you spend your money on, where and what you eat, what you read, who you talk with in person or by phone and every word you said, and every keystroke you have ever made on your computer. If you have written a letter to a newspaper, that's in your file, too.

You might be one of those people who are nonchalant, one of those who says "I have nothing to hide. Maybe my personal life is none of their business, but the government is trying to defeat terrorism, and I'm only too glad to help". If you are one of those people, you are a fool, and may live to regret your trust in the government's motives.

If their motives are pure, why is all of this information being saved? Why do they need it if they know you're not a terrorist? Why, indeed.

History has many examples showing that tyrannical governments gain power by creating "enemies" and convincing the citizens to give up their freedoms so that their "enemies" can be defeated. Look some up-they're easy to find.

Here in the U.S., hype about "illegal aliens" has made millions of citizens feel threatened, but the main enemy is "terrorism". We have been attacked, and may be attacked in the future, so our government has declared a "war" that may never end, against a tactic employed by small groups of zealots all over the world, and has convinced you that giving up your right to privacy is necessary to ensure that the "war" is won, and that we will remain safe forever.

They have also taken away your right of habeus corpus in the name of keeping our country safe. Our President now has the right to declare you an "enemy"for any reason at all. He can have you jailed for life, without ever letting you hear the charges against you or telling anyone where you are, or can seize all of your assets if he so chooses, and does not have to explain his actions. If you do not believe this, check the law. Still feeling nonchalant? Think this stuff only applies to terrorists? Check those new laws again, but this time read the fine print. You are not excluded.

If the government ever sees fit to supply you with a copy of the Bill of Rights, it will be heavily redacted. Have we given up our basic freedoms to win the "war on terror"? No-- that was just a cover. You have naively handed over your only weapons to the enemy that is waging a "war on freedom" against you. The aim of the people who are now in control of our government is to ensure that you are powerless to question their actions, and too afraid of the consequences that await if you try.

Where does all of that information in your file come in to play, you ask? Once in total control, a tyrannical government can only maintain total control through fear and intimidation, and that data file will not only keep you afraid, but can and will be used to make you a participant in that control. Even the most innocent details in that file. Here's just how it works:

The Homeland Security Department will call you in some day for an "interview", and it will go something like this:
" Thank you for coming in, Mr Smith.We only have a few things we need to clear up. Your daughter mentioned to a friend that you came home late one night last week. Normally, such things wouldn't trouble us, but we see here that you received a phone call from a Mary Jones at 4:05 PM on the day in question, and were later seen leaving her apartment at approximately 8 PM. What was the purpose of your meeting?

"We went to school together. We were planning our 10th class reunion".

"We'll accept that Mr. Smith, it matches your graduation dates, but you may want to know that Ms. Jones has an intimate relationship with a man named Joe Blow, who is known to harbor ill feelings toward the government. He has an unapproved bumper sticker, and regularly eats at a restaurant frequented by other subversives.

We need to know more about these people, Mr Smith, and want you to tell us if Ms. Jones reveals any information about what she and Mr. Blow talk about. See her more often, Mr. Smith, on any pretense. You'll do that , won't you? We want you to be comforted by the fact that we are watching your daughter closely. To protect her, of course".

If you think that this can't possibly ever happen, talk with anyone who used to live in East Germany, and then tell me I'm nuts.

Better yet, give me a more plausible reason why our government has stripped the Bill of Rights, when throughout our 200 year history, we have prevailed against every threat to our nation without sacrificing any of our freedoms. Then, give me a more plausible reason to explain why the government is determined to know everything, literally everything, about every person in this country.

I will concede that it may be possible to consider each of these two points separately and come up with something remotely credible, but, if you connect these two dots, you will be drawn to the inescapable conclusion that our Democratic Republic is being overthrown as you read this.

Heil and farewell.

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