Wednesday, February 13, 2008

JMO - Big Brother

I was listening to the story about the new surveillence bill passed by the Senate. The House hasn't passed their version of the bill, but the most important feature is theirs doesn't have the retroactive legal protection for the communication companies for violating the laws granting the NSA access to eavedrop on everyone's phone call, e-mail and Internet usage. I suspect the House or in the conference committee will include this feature.

And while the Democrats during the 2006 election campaign and in the first session taking over Congress promised to protect the civil rights of citizens, they reversed course and gave the President even more powers and control than the Republicans had planned to give the President. The Democrats betrayed the American people and have set the stage for a permanent Big Brother government.

We will have government agencies, such as the NSA, FBI among others which have full and unrestricted access to the private affairs and communications of all citizens. Studies have shown the warrentless wiretaps and other surveillence provsions of the Patriot Act have been invoked far more times than almost the previous requests under FISA before the Act. And that 95+% of those intercepts have been for either criminal acts or citizens incidently, often accidently, associated with criminals.

While they focus the discussion on fighting terrorism, that's not how the law reads. It give the agencies blanket authorization to conduct searches for suspected terrorist activities or with individuals suspected of providing material support to terrorists or their organizations. In short, they don't have to show proof of anything except a thought it may be. They only need a suspicion, which we've all learned is dubious at best.

Do you realize they have conducted surveillence, reading all the e-mail, listening to the phone calls and watching the Internet traffic of innocent people who were incidental or accidental in the lives of criminals or were part of blanket searches? They accessed your private life as part of a broader search for suspect of something they don't know and can't determine even if anything they did was illegal. Do they really need all the power?

No. They had enough power before the Patriot Act. But now we will have an unrestricted government watching the private life of every citizen in the name of fighting of terrorism. It's a facade, pure and simple. The 9/11 Commission and other studies have shown that 9/11 could have been prevented had the FBI and other agencies simply shared information and had better internal communications between agents. Simply human communications.

And now we will have the real Big Brother government who can peer into every aspect of your life through your telephone communications and Internet usage. Is this what the founding fathers would consider fair and reasonable? It will never been undone, and we're now forever into the future a totally different republic and democracy, and not even either but a corporate oligarchy where the government doesn't trust its own citizen, and can and will spy on them at will.

Yes, Margaret, 1984 has arrived and Congress is making it legal. And if someone reads this, so be it. I'll stand with my right of free speech. Is the next step the right to arrest and prosecute someone for thinking? Oh, they've already done that too, but that's another issue.

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