Monday, December 3, 2007

"BIG BROTHER IN THE SKY" The Bush Admin Is Laying The Bricks One At A Time For A Police State

By kpete

Now Bush also wants to task military spy satellites for domestic spying as well, and you won’t even know it when your home is invaded by thermal imaging.

From Corpwatch:

A new U.S. intelligence institution will allow government spy agencies to conduct broad surveillance and reconnaissance inside the country for the first time. Contractors like Boeing, BAE Systems, Harris Corporation, L-3 Communications and Science Applications International Corporation are already lining up for possible work.

Regarding what this will mean in terms of civil liberties, CorpWatch says:

For U.S. citizens, however, the combination of NGA imagery and NSA signals intelligence in a domestic situation could threaten important constitutional safeguards against unwarranted searches and seizures. Kate Martin, the director of the Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit advocacy organization, has likened the NAO plan to “Big Brother in the Sky.” The Bush administration, she told the Washington Post, is “laying the bricks one at a time for a police state.”

The DHS didn’t bother to notify Congress before the NAO’s domestic spy plan was announced by the Wall Street Journal in August. Congress knows very little about how the program will operate, what privacy and civil liberties protections will be in place and the legal basis for the program.

CorpWatch says:

The NAO was supposed to open for business on October 1, 2007. But the Congressional complaints have led the ODNI and DHS to delay their plans. The NAO “has no intention to begin operations until we address your questions,” Charles Allen of DHS explained in a letter to Thompson (Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-MS). In an address at the GEOINT conference in San Antonio, Allen said that the ODNI is working with DHS and the Departments of Justice and Interior to draft the charter for the new organization, which he said will face “layers of review” once it is established.

Yet, given the Bush administration’s record of using U.S. intelligence agencies to spy on U.S. citizens, it is difficult to take such promises at face value. Moreover, the extensive corporate role in foreign and domestic intelligence means that the private sector has a great deal to gain in the new plan for intelligence-sharing. Because most private contracts with intelligence agencies are classified, however, the public will have little knowledge of this role. Before Congress signs off on the NAO, it should create a better oversight system that would allow the House of Representatives and the Senate to monitor the new organization and to examine how BAE, Boeing, Harris and its fellow corporations stand to profit from this unprecedented expansion of America’s domestic intelligence system.

But that’s not all! If Senate Bill 1959, “The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, passes the Senate then thought crimes may become a reality as well. A companion bill already passed the House overwhelmingly, 404–6.

From the LeftCoaster:

Forget that this is going to be specifically aimed at Muslim organizations. This is the beginning of the end to Free Speech in America. If this law passes, every information source you know and trust could be shut down and its authors arrested. The Left Coaster could be taken offline and we all would be doomed to a fate like the Ancient Mariner, labeled as “terrorists.” Think I’m exaggerating? Look at that first link above. Read the law where it states:

“…ideologically based violence” means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual’s political, religious, or social beliefs…

Who defines what constitutes “force,” “planning,” “threatened,” and “terrorist”? Could just thinking about, say, opposing the war in Iraq constitute a planned threat to force a political objective—the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq?

After you give Bush the one-finger salute from the former privacy of your home, call your senators!

more at:

Posted in full with author's permission.

Originally posted at

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