Tuesday, May 16, 2006

On the radio

Mike Hayes was defending the extra-judicial government data-mining of phone records recently. "If it will help catch a terrorist," he, and many of his listeners, are up for anything.

Greg Palast details how spying on phone records is not in any way intended to catch terrorists. Rather,
... now ChoicePoint and George Bush want your blood. Forget your phone bill. ChoicePoint, a sickened executive of the company told us in confidence, "hope[s] to build a database of DNA samples from every person in the United States ...linked to all the other information held by CP [ChoicePoint]" from medical to voting records.

But it won't stop, despite Republican senators shedding big crocodile tears about "surveillance" of innocent Americans. That's because FEAR is a lucrative business -- not just for ChoicePoint, but for firms such as Syntech, Sybase and Lockheed-Martin -- each of which has provided lucrative posts or profits to connected Republicans including former Total Information Awareness chief John Poindexter (Syntech), Marvin Bush (Sybase) and Lynn Cheney (Lockheed-Martin).

But how can they get Americans to give up our personal files, our phone logs, our DNA and our rights? Easy. Fear sells better than sex -- and they want you to be afraid. Back to today's New York Times, page 28: "Wider Use of DNA Lists is Urged in Fighting Crime." And who is providing the technology? It comes, says the Times, from the work done on using DNA fragments to identity victims of the September 11 attack. And who did that job (for $12 million, no bid)? ChoicePoint, Inc. Which is NOT mentioned by the Times.

"Genetic surveillance would thus shift from the individual [the alleged criminal] to the family," says the Times -- which will require, of course, a national DNA database of NON-criminals.

Get with it, people. This is administration is NOT INTERESTED in "catching terrorists." Heck, they are busy creating new ones every day.

Remember, Richard Clarke said,
“[O]n June 21, I believe it was, George Tenet called me and said, 'I don't think we're getting the message through. These people aren't acting the way the Clinton people did under similar circumstances.' And I suggested to Tenet that he come down and personally brief Condi Rice, that he bring his terrorism team with him.

“And we sat in the national security adviser's office. And I've used the phrase in the book to describe George Tenet's warnings as ‘He had his hair on fire.’ He was about as excited as I'd ever seen him."

Former Democratic Sen. Gary Hart of Colorado also directly told senior Bush officials loudly and clearly that, in his words, "The terrorists are coming, the terrorists are coming."
Hart was co-chair (with former Sen. Warren Rudman, R-N.H.) of the U.S. Commission on National Security, a bipartisan panel that conducted the most thorough investigation of U.S. security challenges since World War II. After completing the report, which warned that a devastating terrorist attack on America was imminent and called for the immediate creation of a Cabinet-level national security agency, and delivering it to President Bush on January 31, 2001, Hart and Rudman personally briefed Rice, Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell. But, according to Hart, the Bush administration never followed up on the commission's urgent recommendations, even after he repeated them in a private White House meeting with Rice just days before 9/11.

“And he said, ‘Something is going to happen.’”

Security? Security!?

Here's Air Force Colonel P.J. Crowley (ret.)

The Bush administration has not matched its homeland security rhetoric with the resources that actually make us more secure. As in other areas vital to homeland security, port security is an unfunded federal mandate. The administration talks the talk of a genuine public-private partnership involving federal, state and local governments and the private sector. However, it does not walk the walk. In the face of growing federal budget deficits, the Bush administration is attempting to push most of the cost of these new security standards down to states and the private sector.

What about the journalists who are now having their phone calls monitored? What about the claim by Governor Bill Richardson (NM) that his calls were monitored?

Every day a new lie is uncovered. What about the Quakers who've been spied upon? or the peace groups spied upon? or the animal rights groups spied upon? or the grandmothers spied upon?

It's really no surprise that WIZM listeners would be ok with this. The six plus hours of daily propaganda from spinmeister Rush and Spinnity Hannity, the FOX News of the radio, is hard to resist. We can't blame them for being ill-, mis- and un-informed.But being ignorant does not trump the Constitution. Yet.

Where will "if it catches a terrorist" end?

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