Sunday, April 8, 2012

The attack on civil liberties...

On September 11, 2001, my wife called me in to watch the TV. Incredulous, I saw a passenger jet plane fly into a skyscraper and casually remarked to her, "The CIA did that. I'm going to work."  Only, when I got to work, no one was in my building.  Apparently, those who followed after I arrived were not being let in the door!  Since that day, I have watched fools, idiots, liberals, conservatives,and  so called "patriots" sit idly by while the military-industrial complex has waged war on the American middle class.  I stopped believing almost instantly in the "War on Terror", seeing clearly then what it has become today: a poorly disguised attempt to destroy our country and democracy by fascist elements who need a weakened American populace to support their ambitions and greed. To accomplish these ends, our country has nearly bankrupted itself by creating a massive surveillance state that hourly abrogates the first ten amendments while using an unknown number of internal security forces to violate the privacy of, and terrorize our fellow citizens.

There are a number of organizations and writers who cover this topic with some authority on a technical and sometimes political level: James Bamford, Naomi Wolf, Jennifer Stisa Granick, Bruce Schneier, Christopher Soghoian, the ACLU,  the EFF, Wired Magazine, "The Lawfare Blog" are some people and places that come to mind.  Every now and then, I read a story that exemplifies our country's new found identity as "The Fourth Reich". Journalist Glenn Greenwald has published just such a piece this Sunday about award winning  film maker Laura Poitras. If his blog is real, one can only wonder how Ms. Poitras puts up with so much crap from the DHS without going postal. From Glenn Greenwald's blog:
"Since the 2006 release of “My Country, My Country,” Poitras has left and re-entered the U.S. roughly 40 times. Virtually every time during that six-year-period that she has returned to the U.S., her plane has been met by DHS agents who stand at the airplane door or tarmac and inspect the passports of every de-planing passenger until they find her (on the handful of occasions where they did not meet her at the plane, agents were called when she arrived at immigration). Each time, they detain her, and then interrogate her at length about where she went and with whom she met or spoke. They have exhibited a particular interest in finding out for whom she works."
My guess is that the smartest people in our country with means have already expatriated themselves to some benevolent European socialist democracy, hoping to wait out the storm of fascism that's well on its way to destroying America's political and economic landscape.  But if they haven't all left yet, a few more stories like this should encourage them to do so, leaving only the penniless intellects like myself to be intimidated, imprisoned, and tortured in the coming terror state.  Why would any intellect with means and any sense not consider leaving after reading Ms. Poitras's story? Because they love the country that might someday (or now) harass them, steal their intellectual property, and repeatedly detain them? Ms. Poitras is apparently hanging in there, completing her trilogy on America with a film about America as a nascent surveillance state. That shows some courage and pluck.   James Bamford  is covering a releated topic with his usual professorial depth on Wired Magazine and he has created some controversy of late:

For journalists, individuals, business people who are seriously interested in understanding how to protect their privacy, I usually recommend the Electronic Freedom Foundation. I put up a blog post once on my network security blog with some suggestions on this topic. But in truth, I now believe protecting your digital privacy and anonymity is hopeless. You can reasonably expect that every purchase,comment, photo, blog, doctor visit, business decision, charitable donation is quickly parsed and pigeonholed in today's massively parallel and simultaneously highly confessional surveillance state.  Disappearing or "erasing your trail" is nearly impossible for all but the best spooks and hackers. Instead, we are all going to have to learn to 'manage our behavioral profile' if we intend to lead public lives in the not so velvet prison called America. Or maybe we could all just grow some balls and demand an end to the publicly financed surveillance state. Yeah...right...

1 comment:

noiln said...
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