Bush defends spying without warrant tactic
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration formally defended its domestic spying program in a letter to Congress late Thursday saying the nation's security outweighs privacy concerns of individuals caught up in the surveillance.
In a letter to the chairs of the House and Senate intelligence committees, the Justice Department said President Bush authorized electronic surveillance without first obtaining a warrant in an effort to thwart terrorist acts against the United States. ...
No one above the law?
Donald A. Lykkebak
December 25, 2005
"They that can give up esssential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin
Recent revelation that President Bush provided personal authorization to bypass judicial review of electronic eavesdropping and wiretaps of U.S. citizens is alarming. It is also illegal. ...
... It is doubtful we will ever know the extent of this fishing expedition. Nor will we discover which of our neighbors were targets for this invasion of privacy. If this information were held up to public scrutiny, we may learn the worst about our government. Was your contribution to an Islamic charity sufficient to catch their attention? Perhaps, you may have criticized the candor, motive or methods of the government or its leaders. Maybe it was simply your critical letter to the editor that sparked government interest in you.
The president and his aides say, "Trust me." Is this still good enough? We trusted them when they said there were good reasons for war in Iraq. Those arguments proved to be "faulty intelligence" or outright lies. The president now says he was mistaken about WMD. To what end? Current events suggest that a deterioration of our moral resolve as a nation may be a less obvious, but equally troubling consequence. CIA torture of prisoners, rendition, secret prisons and now warrantless spying on U.S. citizens within in our own borders are all apparent consequences.
Is it still true that in our country no one is above the law?
There must be no exceptions. We are asked to trade our privacy and our freedom from warrantless snooping and exchange it for promises of security.
Remember Benjamin Franklin. His warning is prophetic. We may be left with neither liberty nor safety.
You might read that and say "Lose our liberty? It couldn't happen here." I suggest you read the following articles and then see if you can still say "it couldn't happen here".
STATE DEPARTMENT OPENS FILES ON ARGENTINA'S DIRTY WAR
... "The documents provide clues to the fate of 'disappeared' citizens in Argentina by an unchecked security apparatus, and tell the story of a massive and indiscriminate counterinsurgency campaign carried out by the military dictatorship targeting real or imagined subversives including thousands of labor leaders, workers, clergymen, human rights advocates, scientists, doctors, and political party leaders" said Carlos Osorio, director of the National Security Archive's Argentina Documentation Project. ...
ACLU: Protesters placed in terror files
By ANSLEE WILLETT [The Gazette - Colorado Springs, CO]
December 09, 2005
The names and licenseplate numbers of about 30 people who protested three years ago in Colorado Springs were put into FBI domestic-terrorism files, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado said Thursday.
The Denver-based ACLU obtained federal documents on a 2002 Colorado Springs protest and a 2003 anti-war rally under the Freedom of Information Act.
ACLU legal director Mark Silverstein said the documents show the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force wastes resources generating files on "nonviolent protest."
"These documents confirm that the names and license plate numbers of several dozen peaceful protesters who committed no crime are now in a JTTF file marked ‘counterterrorism,’" he said.
"This kind of surveillance of First Amendment activities has serious consequences. Law-abiding Americans may be reluctant to speak out when doing so means that their names will wind up in an FBI file." ...
The Terror of Our Ways
Conflating environmentalists and terrorists is all the rage
By Michael J. Kavanagh
Electric-car driver was not an eco-terrorist, FBI admits
Miami Police Take New Tack to Deter Terrorists,
Staging Random Shows of Force at Hotels, Banks
By CURT ANDERSON Associated Press Writer
America's enemy within
Armed checkpoints, embedded reporters in flak jackets,
brutal suppression of peaceful demonstrators. Baghdad? No, Miami
Naomi Klein - Guardian
Wednesday November 26, 2003
And you don't even have to be a protester
Next Stop: Big Brother
... One morning in late September 2005, Deb was riding the public bus to work. She was minding her own business, reading a book and planning for work, when a security guard got on this public bus and demanded that every passenger show their ID. Deb, having done nothing wrong, declined. The guard called in federal cops, and she was arrested and charged with federal criminal misdemeanors after refusing to show ID on demand. ...
In "Fascism Anyone?," Laurence Britt identifies 14 characteristics common to fascist regimes. His comparisons of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Suharto, and Pinochet yielded this list of 14 "identifying characteristics of fascism."
Wake up and smell the fascism