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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Trust your government?

It is a simple recipe. Create a protracted conflict or war scenario. Allow the executive branch to assume total power by denying the legislative branch or judiciary any semblance of normal checks and balances. Suspend Habeus Corpus. Torture at will. Brook no dissent in this time of "emergency". Read American's mail and email, listen in on their phone conversations, and otherwise suspend their civil liberties - all without a warrant. Datamine communications in order to hunt for terrorists and perps. Infiltrate antiwar groups and religious groups.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A top intelligence official says it is time people in the United States changed their definition of privacy.
Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguards people’s private communications and financial information.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI continued in 2006 to badly mishandle letters that it uses to obtain personal records without a court order, according to a Justice Department report released Thursday.
FBI Director Robert Mueller testifes about oversight before a Senate committee last week.
The new report cites "issuance of NSLs [national security letters] without proper authorization, improper requests and unauthorized collection of telephone or Internet e-mail records due to FBI errors or mistakes made by NSL recipients."

Scalia’s Absolutely Wrong About Absolute Rights
April 9, 2003
Anthony Gregory

Speaking to an audience at a Cleveland university, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that individual rights can and will likely be curtailed in wartime. In explaining his position, he said that “the Constitution just sets minimums” and that “most of the rights that [Americans] mean that “[rights] protections will be ratcheted right down to the constitutional minimum.”

Why have we as Americans ceded our civil liberties without a struggle? I have heard many people say that if you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide. But we are not very far removed from illegal spying by several administrations and wholesale political interference and spying by the FBI.

The damage done to both our international credibility and to our moral fibre by this administration is enormous. What will we say when our servicemen are inevitably captured and tortured and we cry out for protection from the Geneva Convention? Will we demand fair trials?

When Darpa announced that it would start data mining several years ago Americans were up in arms and supposedly the plans were shelved. Old John Poindexter lowered his head and vanished back to the land of Dr. Strangelove. My guess is that nothing was ever curtailed. To fight the terrorist bogeyman we have become our own worse monster.

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