L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 200, November 25, 2002
Big Brother Is Here!
Exclusive to TLE
They couldn't wait, could they? They just had to show their power by passing the new Homeland Security bill before this session of Congress was over. And this bill, is worse than I thought it would be. As William Safire states in the New York Times, "Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy, every web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, ... will go into what the Defense Department describes as a virtual centralized grand data base." [source]
Welcome to the "Total Information Awareness System", brought to you by the author of the Iran-Contra scheme, John Poindexter. Remember Mr. Poindexter, former National Security advisor to President Reagan? It was Mr. Poindexter who came up with the idea that the presidential staff, and not the President, was responsible for any embarrassing decisions. Does this fall under the realm of plausible deniability? "I have no recollection of that."
Take a look at the website for the Information Awareness Office. http://www.darpa.mil/iao/index.htm. Notice the symbol? The eye in the pyramid, just like on the dollar bill. Now maybe you find that comforting, in that the government is looking out "for" you. Personally, it scares the hell out of me, used in this context, with the government constantly looking "at" me, just waiting for some kind of pattern to develop, showing how much of a risk to society I can be.
Not only will they be scraping up every last piece of information they can gather on you, more so than was ever gathered during the civil rights era, when the FBI and CIA were snooping upon us, but they won't even let you know what they know. Currently, under the Freedom of Information Act, you can access your government records and find out just what they are saying about you. Not any more, "The second provision amends the federal Freedom of Information Act ... to prevent U.S. citizens from knowing what information the government has collected about them." [source]
This legislation allows data mining never before envisioned by government. It will also "... help identify promising technologies and quickly get them into the hands of people who need them," according to a congressional leadership memo outlining the legislation." ([source])
Coincidentally, right at the time Homeland Security is being discussed, we have a seminar being conducted, on 15 November, sponsored by the National Academy of Science, titled "Human Microchip Implantation -- It's More than Skin Deep ... .Participating in the seminar are officials from Applied Digital Solutions (maker of Digital Angel and VeriChip), the Cato Institute, the Electronic Information Privacy Center and the FDA." [source]
Now let's put this together. We have a homeland security bill that makes snooping on us much easier. We aren't supposed to know what they know about us. And now we have a digital chip, originally for "medical purposes" now being marketed for "security and identification."
This system, according to Phil Kent of the Southeastern Legal Foundation, "... it's the most sweeping threat to civil liberties since Japanese-American internment." [source] There is a profound statement, and possibly even a prediction of what is to come. After all, why would they need all this information, if they weren't planning on doing something with it. Now, of course, we are expected to understand that this is for our own good, and is to combat the "terrorists." Terrorists like Jose Padilla, an American citizen "captured" 8 May 2002. Unless something has happened I am not aware of, Mr. Padilla has yet to be charged with a crime. Mr. Padilla is still in "detention," still denied access to an attorney, and still denied "... a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed ..." (Amendment VI, US Constitution)
How long will it be before the government decides that some of the discussions on TLE qualify as "conspiracy to provide support to terrorists" or "giving comfort to the enemy"?
Another chapter in the ongoing saga of Amerika's transformation into a police state.