PDA

View Full Version : Just About the Best Single Short Summation of Where American Electronic 'Intelligence' Has Led US!



Peter Lemkin
08-01-2013, 06:33 PM
From the late Senator Frank Church, 1975. In what I think was a most prescient statement of where we are today [and beyond] regarding SIGINT, he said, quote:

"That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide. If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology. ... I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. [I]That is the abyss from which there is no return."

And no one much listened to his warning...so we suffer the effects now. It is an open question whether there is now anyway back to democracy - or whether a Worldwide Corporate neofascism / neofeudalism is now fully in place, and will stop, arrest, or kill [literally] any who try to supplant it with any democratic structures or controls. :hitler:

Keith Millea
08-01-2013, 08:34 PM
That is the abyss from which there is no return."


Published on Thursday, August 1, 2013 by Medium.com (https://medium.com/something-like-falling/2e7d13e54724)

Pressure Cookers, Backpacks and Quinoa, Oh My!

How my family's Google searching got us a visit from counterterrorism police

by Michele Catalano (http://www.commondreams.org/author/michele-catalano)

It was a confluence of magnificent proportions that led six agents from the joint terrorism task force to knock on my door Wednesday morning. Little did we know our seemingly innocent, if curious to a fault, Googling of certain things was creating a perfect storm of terrorism profiling. Because somewhere out there, someone was watching. Someone whose job it is to piece together the things people do on the internet raised the red flag when they saw our search history.

http://www.commondreams.org/sites/commondreams.org/files/imce-images/pressure-cooker-006.jpg

"This is where we are at," writes Catalano. "Where you have no expectation of privacy. Where trying to learn how to cook some lentils could possibly land you on a watch list."


Most of it was innocent enough. I had researched pressure cookers. My husband was looking for a backpack. And maybe in another time those two things together would have seemed innocuous, but we are in “these times” now. And in these times, when things like the Boston bombing happen, you spend a lot of time on the internet reading about it and, if you are my exceedingly curious news junkie of a twenty-ear-old son, you click a lot of links when you read the myriad of stories. You might just read a CNN piece about how bomb making instructions are readily available on the internet and you will in all probability, if you are that kid, click the link provided.


Which might not raise any red flags. Because who wasn’t reading those stories? Who wasn’t clicking those links? But my son’s reading habits combined with my search for a pressure cooker and my husband’s search for a backpack set off an alarm of sorts at the joint terrorism task force headquarters.


That’s how I imagine it played out, anyhow. Lots of bells and whistles and a crowd of task force workers huddled around a computer screen looking at our Google history.


This was weeks ago. I don’t know what took them so long to get here. Maybe they were waiting for some other devious Google search to show up but “what the hell do I do with quinoa” and “Is A-Rod suspended yet” didn’t fit into the equation so they just moved in based on those older searches.


I was at work when it happened. My husband called me as soon as it was over, almost laughing about it but I wasn’t joining in the laughter. His call left me shaken and anxious.


What happened was this: At about 9:00 am, my husband, who happened to be home yesterday, was sitting in the living room with our two dogs when he heard a couple of cars pull up outside. He looked out the window and saw three black SUVs in front of our house; two at the curb in front and one pulled up behind my husband’s Jeep in the driveway, as if to block him from leaving.


Six gentleman in casual clothes emerged from the vehicles and spread out as they walked toward the house, two toward the backyard on one side, two on the other side, two toward the front door.


A million things went through my husband’s head. None of which were right. He walked outside and the men greeted him by flashing badges. He could see they all had guns holstered in their waistbands.

“Are you [name redacted]?” one asked while glancing at a clipboard. He affirmed that was indeed him, and was asked if they could come in. Sure, he said.

They asked if they could search the house, though it turned out to be just a cursory search. They walked around the living room, studied the books on the shelf (nope, no bomb making books, no Anarchist Cookbook), looked at all our pictures, glanced into our bedroom, pet our dogs. They asked if they could go in my son’s bedroom but when my husband said my son was sleeping in there, they let it be.


Meanwhile, they were peppering my husband with questions. Where is he from? Where are his parents from? They asked about me, where was I, where do I work, where do my parents live. Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked.


They searched the backyard. They walked around the garage, as much as one could walk around a garage strewn with yardworking equipment and various junk. They went back in the house and asked more questions.


Have you ever looked up how to make a pressure cooker bomb? My husband, ever the oppositional kind, asked them if they themselves weren’t curious as to how a pressure cooker bomb works, if they ever looked it up. Two of them admitted they did.


By this point they had realized they were not dealing with terrorists. They asked my husband about his work, his visits to South Korea and China. The tone was conversational.


They never asked to see the computers on which the searches were done. They never opened a drawer or a cabinet. They left two rooms unsearched. I guess we didn’t fit the exact profile they were looking for so they were just going through the motions.


They mentioned that they do this about 100 times a week. And that 99 of those visits turn out to be nothing. I don’t know what happens on the other 1% of visits and I’m not sure I want to know what my neighbors are up to.


45 minutes later, they shook my husband’s hand and left. That’s when he called me and relayed the story. That’s when I felt a sense of creeping dread take over. What else had I looked up? What kind of searches did I do that alone seemed innocent enough but put together could make someone suspicious? Were they judging me because my house was a mess (Oh my god, the joint terrorism task force was in my house and there were dirty dishes in my sink!). Mostly I felt a great sense of anxiety. This is where we are at. Where you have no expectation of privacy. Where trying to learn how to cook some lentils could possibly land you on a watch list. Where you have to watch every little thing you do because someone else is watching every little thing you do.


All I know is if I’m going to buy a pressure cooker in the near future, I’m not doing it online.


I’m scared. And not of the right things.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

https://www.commondreams.org/sites/commondreams.org/files/imagecache/author_photo/michele_catalano_140.jpg (http://www.commondreams.org/author/michele-catalano)
Michele Catalano is a writer and regular contributor for Forbes. She blogs at A Small Victory (http://words.asmallvictory.net/wp/). Follower her on Twitter: @inthefade (https://twitter.com/inthefade)

Magda Hassan
08-04-2013, 03:06 AM
Twitter has been overwhelmed with subpoenas as people use the trigger words to activate a closer look at their dangerous thought crimes.

Magda Hassan
08-04-2013, 05:31 AM
That is the abyss from which there is no return."


Published on Thursday, August 1, 2013 by Medium.com (https://medium.com/something-like-falling/2e7d13e54724)

Pressure Cookers, Backpacks and Quinoa, Oh My!

How my family's Google searching got us a visit from counterterrorism police

by Michele Catalano (http://www.commondreams.org/author/michele-catalano)

It was a confluence of magnificent proportions that led six agents from the joint terrorism task force to knock on my door Wednesday morning. Little did we know our seemingly innocent, if curious to a fault, Googling of certain things was creating a perfect storm of terrorism profiling. Because somewhere out there, someone was watching. Someone whose job it is to piece together the things people do on the internet raised the red flag when they saw our search history.

https://www.commondreams.org/sites/commondreams.org/files/imce-images/pressure-cooker-006.jpg

"This is where we are at," writes Catalano. "Where you have no expectation of privacy. Where trying to learn how to cook some lentils could possibly land you on a watch list."


Most of it was innocent enough. I had researched pressure cookers. My husband was looking for a backpack. And maybe in another time those two things together would have seemed innocuous, but we are in “these times” now. And in these times, when things like the Boston bombing happen, you spend a lot of time on the internet reading about it and, if you are my exceedingly curious news junkie of a twenty-ear-old son, you click a lot of links when you read the myriad of stories. You might just read a CNN piece about how bomb making instructions are readily available on the internet and you will in all probability, if you are that kid, click the link provided.


Which might not raise any red flags. Because who wasn’t reading those stories? Who wasn’t clicking those links? But my son’s reading habits combined with my search for a pressure cooker and my husband’s search for a backpack set off an alarm of sorts at the joint terrorism task force headquarters.


That’s how I imagine it played out, anyhow. Lots of bells and whistles and a crowd of task force workers huddled around a computer screen looking at our Google history.


This was weeks ago. I don’t know what took them so long to get here. Maybe they were waiting for some other devious Google search to show up but “what the hell do I do with quinoa” and “Is A-Rod suspended yet” didn’t fit into the equation so they just moved in based on those older searches.


I was at work when it happened. My husband called me as soon as it was over, almost laughing about it but I wasn’t joining in the laughter. His call left me shaken and anxious.


What happened was this: At about 9:00 am, my husband, who happened to be home yesterday, was sitting in the living room with our two dogs when he heard a couple of cars pull up outside. He looked out the window and saw three black SUVs in front of our house; two at the curb in front and one pulled up behind my husband’s Jeep in the driveway, as if to block him from leaving.


Six gentleman in casual clothes emerged from the vehicles and spread out as they walked toward the house, two toward the backyard on one side, two on the other side, two toward the front door.


A million things went through my husband’s head. None of which were right. He walked outside and the men greeted him by flashing badges. He could see they all had guns holstered in their waistbands.

“Are you [name redacted]?” one asked while glancing at a clipboard. He affirmed that was indeed him, and was asked if they could come in. Sure, he said.

They asked if they could search the house, though it turned out to be just a cursory search. They walked around the living room, studied the books on the shelf (nope, no bomb making books, no Anarchist Cookbook), looked at all our pictures, glanced into our bedroom, pet our dogs. They asked if they could go in my son’s bedroom but when my husband said my son was sleeping in there, they let it be.


Meanwhile, they were peppering my husband with questions. Where is he from? Where are his parents from? They asked about me, where was I, where do I work, where do my parents live. Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked.


They searched the backyard. They walked around the garage, as much as one could walk around a garage strewn with yardworking equipment and various junk. They went back in the house and asked more questions.


Have you ever looked up how to make a pressure cooker bomb? My husband, ever the oppositional kind, asked them if they themselves weren’t curious as to how a pressure cooker bomb works, if they ever looked it up. Two of them admitted they did.


By this point they had realized they were not dealing with terrorists. They asked my husband about his work, his visits to South Korea and China. The tone was conversational.


They never asked to see the computers on which the searches were done. They never opened a drawer or a cabinet. They left two rooms unsearched. I guess we didn’t fit the exact profile they were looking for so they were just going through the motions.


They mentioned that they do this about 100 times a week. And that 99 of those visits turn out to be nothing. I don’t know what happens on the other 1% of visits and I’m not sure I want to know what my neighbors are up to.


45 minutes later, they shook my husband’s hand and left. That’s when he called me and relayed the story. That’s when I felt a sense of creeping dread take over. What else had I looked up? What kind of searches did I do that alone seemed innocent enough but put together could make someone suspicious? Were they judging me because my house was a mess (Oh my god, the joint terrorism task force was in my house and there were dirty dishes in my sink!). Mostly I felt a great sense of anxiety. This is where we are at. Where you have no expectation of privacy. Where trying to learn how to cook some lentils could possibly land you on a watch list. Where you have to watch every little thing you do because someone else is watching every little thing you do.


All I know is if I’m going to buy a pressure cooker in the near future, I’m not doing it online.


I’m scared. And not of the right things.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

https://www.commondreams.org/sites/commondreams.org/files/imagecache/author_photo/michele_catalano_140.jpg (http://www.commondreams.org/author/michele-catalano)
Michele Catalano is a writer and regular contributor for Forbes. She blogs at A Small Victory (http://words.asmallvictory.net/wp/). Follower her on Twitter: @inthefade (https://twitter.com/inthefade)
Don't forget this thread :lol:
https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?10190-377-words-you-can-never-use-online

Tracy Riddle
08-06-2013, 02:44 AM
We're in a Post-Constitutional America: Our Country Is Going Sideways in Plain Sight, and Nobody's Saying Much About It
Close your eyes for a moment, think about recent events, and you could easily believe yourself in a Seinfeldian Bizarro World (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bizarro_Jerry). Now, open them and, for a second, everything looks almost familiar... and then you notice that a dissident is fleeing a harsh and draconian power, known for its global surveillance practices (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/31/nsa-top-secret-program-online-data), use of torture, assassination campaigns (http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175551/), and secret prisons (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/08/13/070813fa_fact_mayer), and has found a haven in a heartless world in... hmmm... Russia. That dissident, of course, is Edward Snowden, just granted a year’s temporary asylum (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/01/edward-snowden-asylum-us-disappointed) in Russia, a.k.a. the defender of human rights and freedom 2013, and so has been released from a Washington-imposed imprisonment in Moscow’s international air terminal and the threat of far worse (http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175725/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_can_edward_snowden_be_det erred/).

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/were-post-constitutional-america-our-country-going-sideways-plain-sight-and-nobodys?paging=off

Peter Lemkin
08-06-2013, 04:44 AM
We're in a Post-Constitutional America: Our Country Is Going Sideways in Plain Sight, and Nobody's Saying Much About It


Close your eyes for a moment, think about recent events, and you could easily believe yourself in a Seinfeldian Bizarro World (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bizarro_Jerry). Now, open them and, for a second, everything looks almost familiar... and then you notice that a dissident is fleeing a harsh and draconian power, known for its global surveillance practices (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/31/nsa-top-secret-program-online-data), use of torture, assassination campaigns (http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175551/), and secret prisons (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/08/13/070813fa_fact_mayer), and has found a haven in a heartless world in... hmmm... Russia. That dissident, of course, is Edward Snowden, just granted a year’s temporary asylum (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/01/edward-snowden-asylum-us-disappointed) in Russia, a.k.a. the defender of human rights and freedom 2013, and so has been released from a Washington-imposed imprisonment in Moscow’s international air terminal and the threat of far worse (http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175725/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_can_edward_snowden_be_det erred/).

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/were-post-constitutional-america-our-country-going-sideways-plain-sight-and-nobodys?paging=off

A good wake-up call article [of which there are SO MANY these days...not surprisingly!]; but can't understand their use of the term 'going sideways'. America is sinking and taking the People with it...in fact pushing them by force to that part of the ship of state already under water. If it continues another decade [maybe less] it is TERMINAL and can not be reversed, IMO. Yet, most people aware of the problem wring their hands, worry and do nothing that will make a difference.

They point to much of the problem - an example:


OnJuly 30, 1778, the Continental Congress created thefirst whistleblower (http://www.whistleblowers.org/storage/whistleblowers/documents/WPEA/continental congress journal july 1778.pdf)protectionlaw, stating “that it is the duty of all persons in the service ofthe United States to give the earliest information to Congress orother proper authority of any misconduct, frauds, or misdemeanorscommitted by any officers or persons in the service of these states.”
Twohundred thirty-five years later, on July 30, 2013, Bradley Manningwas foundguilty (http://www.alexaobrien.com/secondsight/archives.html) on20 of the 22 charges for which he was prosecuted, specifically for“espionage” and for videos of waratrocities (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324170004578637970624211236.html?r u=yahoo?mod=yahoo_itp) hereleased, but not for “aiding the enemy.”


However, they, like most who see what is happening fail [perhaps out of fear; perhaps out of confusion] to propose a direction and methodology to fight back.

While awareness is the first step, it is not sufficient. The system, IMO, is so corrupt it can't be reformed using its own structures [voting, letters to the editors, civic groups], but it is time for strikes, work-stoppages, peaceful but massive civil demonstrations and disobedience. Will those who do be labeled as 'terrorists'...perhaps [OWS was!]...but what alternatives are there, at this late date?!

At the risk of sounding alarmist, I think we are now in a parallel place to Germany just before the Nazis consolidated their power. No Nazis this time, no dictator, but an American brand of neo-Fascism, none the less. The Germans, as a group, did little to stop it and we see what they got. At least we must try, as things are rapidly getting much worse and will continue to do so with ever increasing speed. Certainly no outside power will come and save the day.

We have met the answer, and the answer is those of us who can see the problem and sound the alarm!

Tracy Riddle
08-06-2013, 09:29 PM
I don't know, Peter, I've been trying to change minds since I was in college in the 80s, and most people are just too content with their TV shows and consumer lifestyles to care that much. "If you're not doing anything wrong..." etc. Those who have trouble coping with society are put on anti-depressants and that keeps them sedated. Everyone is ingesting chemicals every day, and they're doing who-knows-what to our bodies and minds. The few people who do care about politics and public issues are mostly kept on the reservation by partisan media propaganda.

Personally, I'm hoping for alien intervention. As long as they don't bring a cookbook called "To Serve Man." :lol: