The Incremental Loss of Liberty
Here is yet another news article that details how the government is doing grave violence to the U.S. Constitution and individual liberty. By incrementally eroding your rights (i.e. the fundamental right to privacy), the government is breathing life into George W. Bush’s famous words – “[S]top throwing the Constitution in my face, it’s just a goddamned piece of paper!“ (source)
Intelligence centers run by states across the country have access to personal information about millions of Americans, including unlisted cellphone numbers, insurance claims, driver’s license photographs and credit reports, according to a document obtained by The Washington Post. One center also has access to top-secret data systems at the CIA, the document shows, though it’s not clear what information those systems contain.
Through MSM articles detailing the daily assault on your individual rights, the feds seek to reduce your expectation of privacy. Their agenda is deliberate, and rooted in Supreme Court jurisprudence. In Katz vs. United States, so long as an individual can justifiably expect that his conversation would remain private, his/her conversation is protected from “unreasonable search and seizure” by the Fourth Amendment.
As articulated in Katz, The Fourth Amendment has a subjective component. The individual must personally expect that his communications would remain private. By slow-dripping news stories detailing the government’s Fourth Amendment violations, you become accustomed to their snooping into your private affairs. By beating down your expectations of privacy, the government’s goal is to deprive you of any legal claim against their Big Brother intrusions.
The full frontal attack on the individual expectation of privacy has an aggregate effect in the long run. The continual bombardment on your individual rights, coupled with the media’s dutiful reporting on these violations, will numb you to your loss of liberty. It is your obligation to keep them in check.
Dozens of the organizations known as fusion centers were created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to identify potential threats and improve the way information is shared.Though officials have publicly discussed the fusion centers’ importance to national security, they have generally declined to elaborate on the centers’ activities. But a document that lists resources used by the fusion centers shows how a dozen of the organizations in the northeastern United States rely far more on access to commercial and government databases than had previously been disclosed.
Since 9-11, the federal government has consistently relied on third-party contractors to do their dirty work (i.e., Haliburton, Blackwater, and Applied Research Associates, Inc.). Given that they are not formal government entities, it is difficult to hold the government accountable for their violations. One such company, Entersect, calls itself:
[t]he silent partner to municipal, county, state, and federal justice agencies who access our databases every day to locate subjects, develop background information, secure information from a cellular or unlisted number, and much more.
The state has an insatiable hunger for information about the serfs in its feudal pen. 9-11 was the predicate event that they desperately needed to justify surveillance of your communications and movements. When are we finally going to feel safe?
“There is never ever enough information when it comes to terrorism” said Maj. Steven G. O’Donnell, deputy superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police. “That’s what post-9/11 is about.”
Should we be concerned about the wide-spread abuse of civil liberties and privacy in the post-9/11 era? Let us see what the experts think.
“Fusion centers have grown, really, off the radar screen of public accountability,” said Jim Dempsey, vice president for public policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonpartisan watchdog group in the District. “Congress and the state legislatures need to get a handle over what is going on at all these fusion centers.”
From 2004 to 2007, state and local governments received $254 million from the Department of Homeland Security in support of the centers, which are also supported by employees of the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies. In some cases, they work with the U.S. Northern Command, the Pentagon operation involved in homeland security.
Well at least somebody is making money off our fears. That will help to grow the economy and vault us out of the impending depression, right? Should we not question our government and their motives? Whenever men organize, collude, and conspire in positions of power, they surely must have the little people’s best interests at heart, I promise you.
Hilarious quote of the day:
I don’t want to suggest we are going to sit on the internet and watch what everyone does ~ Michael Chertoff (Secretary of Homeland Security)