You really ought to read this entry at Digby’s blog. This is some truly creepy stuff, readers. Look at this:
Worried about Dick Cheney listening in Sunday on your call to Mom? That ain’t nothing. You should be more concerned that they are linking this info to your medical records, your bill purchases and your entire personal profile including, not incidentally, your voting registration. Five years ago, I discovered that ChoicePoint had already gathered 16 billion data files on Americans — and I know they’ve expanded their ops at an explosive rate.
They are paid to keep an eye on you — because the FBI can’t. For the government to collect this stuff is against the law unless you’re suspected of a crime. (The law in question is the Constitution.) But ChoicePoint can collect if for “commercial” purchases — and under the Bush Administration’s suspect reading of the Patriot Act — our domestic spying apparatchiks can then BUY the info from ChoicePoint.
Those aren’t Digby’s words, but the words of Greg Palast at BuzzFlash. Does this stuff make you concerned or uneasy, readers? Does the fact it comes from BuzzFlash (a frantic left-wing Internet news clearinghouse/linkdump) mean we can safely ignore it, dismiss it as the febrile ravings of some Bush-hating liar?
This is what we’ve gotten ourselves into. We Americans are apparently so terrified of The Terrorists that most of us (yes, including me) are just sitting on our asses and letting this happen to our country. A vocal minority of wingnuts, eager to put their lives and their freedom in the hands of a secretive and authoritarian Executive Branch, is able to shut down public debate at will by shouting Traitor. American citizens can be jailed and held incommunicado, indefinitely, on the mere suspicion of “terrorist activities.”
Our government is now openly spying on American citizens. The NSA tells the Justice Department that the Justice Department can’t investigate the domestic-wiretapping issue, and the Justice Department says OK. The Bush administration says openly that they can do anything they like, as long as they say they’re doing it in order to “fight terrorism.” We are undergoing an honest-to-God constitutional crisis. Our government is literally taking away our Constitutional rights because they claim it’s keeping us safe from The Terrorists, and we’re letting them do it.
Have we lost our minds, readers? Why are we allowing these things to happen?
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May 15th, 2006 @ 09:02
What’s being exposed is the powerlessness of the “demos” in our “democratic” country. It’s striking how little can actually be done. And it didn’t really take much anyway to effect the sort of policies threatening to make this a really shitty country to live in if you are a critical thinker or worse–an outspoken opponent of those in power.
The most outlandish thing about Palast is how often he has been proven to be right on the money.