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Monday, December 19, 2005

Impeach the Guy! 

The President is really a fascist now. Read this excerpt from the Village Voice about the eavesdropping spy network:

Suppose, this past weekend, you sent an e-mail to a friend overseas. There's a reasonable possibility your communication was intercepted by a global surveillance system....

Or suppose you're stuck in traffic and in your road rage you whip out a cell phone and angrily call your congressman's office in Washington. There's a chance the government is listening in on that conversation, too....

Or suppose you're on a foreign trip--vacation, business, relief work--and you send off a fax to some folks that Washington doesn't view too keenly. Your message could be taken down and analyzed by the very same system.

That system is called ECHELON and it is controlled by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). In America, it is the Intelligence Network That Dare Not Be Acknowledged. Questions about it at Defense Department briefings are deftly deflected. Requests for information about it under the Freedom of Information Act linger in bureaucratic limbo. Researchers who mention possible uses of it in the presence of intelligence officials are castigated. Members of Congress--theoretically, the people's representatives who provide oversight of the intelligence community--betray no interest in helping anyone find out anything about it. Media outlets (save the award-winning but low-circulation Covert Action Quarterly) ignore it. In the official view of the U.S. Government, it doesn't exist....

Originally a Cold War tool aimed at the Soviets, ECHELON has been redirected at civilian targets worldwide. In fact...political advocacy groups like Amnesty International and Greenpeace were amongst ECHELON's targets.

And the President tolerates the existence of such a system, and apparently tolerates the questionable, perhaps illegal, uses of such a system. The President should be impeached.

Actually, the President was impeached. You see, this Village Voice article ran in 1998, during the administration of President Bill Clinton, two and a half years before George W. Bush took office.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

WOW! I had no idea Clinton did that. So, the use of this system is obviously NOT in response to heightened terrorist awareness after 9/11, as we’ve been told. Personally, I have no problem with anyone spying on me because I’m not doing anything wrong. But if an email I send or a blog post I write expressing my disagreement with Bush, the administration, or the military lands me on some terrorist “watch list”, as happened to a group of Quakers peacefully protesting military recruitment at high schools, you’d better believe there will be hell to pay!
I agree that abuse is possible, but I also believe that the incompetence of large organizations reduces the threat of abuse for the average person. I doubt that the spy agencies track every single Greenpeace member, for example.

And we don't have to worry about extensive coordination between agencies to complete a dossier on any of us. I have been in meetings where two people from different divisions of the FBI argued with each other; in my view, it's very unlikely that the FBI, CIA, NSA, Cal DOJ, and the other agencies are going to pool their information on me.
Oh good, I feel much safer now.
Boss Hogg is watching you.
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