Category Archives: Surveillance

State Secrets and the National-Security State, by Jacob G. Hornberger

National-security states, also called authoritarian or, if sufficiently repressive, totalitarian states, always have to make it a criminal offense to reveal their secrets and ruthlessly persecute those who violate those laws. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

Inadvertently released federal documents reveal that U.S. officials have apparently secured a secret indictment against Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks who released secret information about the internal workings of the U.S. national-security establishment. In any nation whose government is founded on the concept of a national-security state, that is a cardinal sin, one akin to treason and meriting severe punishment.

Mind you, Assange isn’t being charged with lying or releasing false or fraudulent information about the U.S. national-security state. Everyone concedes that the WikiLeaks information was authentic. His “crime” was in disclosing to people the wrongdoing of the national-security establishment. No one is supposed to do that, even if the information is true and correct.

It’s the same with Edward Snowden, the American contractor with the CIA and the NSA who is now relegated to living in Russia. If Snowden returns home, he faces federal criminal prosecution, conviction, and incarceration for disclosing secrets of the U.S. national-security establishment. Again, his “crime” is disclosing the truth about the internal workings of the national-security establishment, not disseminating false information.

Such secrecy and the severe punishment for people who disclose the secrets to the public were among the things that came with the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state.

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Beware the Emergency State: Imperial, Unaccountable and Unconstitutional, by John W. Whitehead

We’ve sacrificied our freedoms for an alleged safety that’s actually made the world a much more dangerous place. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“For seven decades we have been yielding our most basic liberties to a secretive, unaccountable emergency state – a vast but increasingly misdirected complex of national security institutions, reflexes, and beliefs that so define our present world that we forget that there was ever a different America. … Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have given way to permanent crisis management: to policing the planet and fighting preventative wars of ideological containment, usually on terrain chosen by, and favorable to, our enemies. Limited government and constitutional accountability have been shouldered aside by the kind of imperial presidency our constitutional system was explicitly designed to prevent.”— David C. Unger, The Emergency State: America’s Pursuit of Absolute Security at All Costs

It’s all happening according to schedule.

The civil unrest, the national emergencies, “unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters,” the government’s reliance on the armed forces to solve domestic political and social problems, the implicit declaration of martial law packaged as a well-meaning and overriding concern for the nation’s security…

The government has been planning and preparing for such a crisis for years now.

No matter that this crisis is of the government’s own making.

To those for whom power and profit are everything, the end always justifies the means.

This latest brouhaha over President Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency in order to build a border wall is more manufactured political theater, a Trojan Horse intended to camouflage the real threat to our freedoms: yet another expansion of presidential power exposing us to constitutional peril.

This is not about illegal immigration or porous borders or who will pay to build that wall.

This is about unadulterated power and the rise of an “emergency state” that justifies all manner of government tyranny in the so-called name of national security.

The seeds of this present madness were sown more than a decade ago when George W. Bush stealthily issued two presidential directives that granted the president the power to unilaterally declare a national emergency, which is loosely defined as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.

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Break the Cycle: In 2019, Say No to the Government’s Cruelty, Brutality and Abuse, by John W. Whitehead

The Founders are spinning in their graves. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.”—Edmund Burke

Folks, it’s time to break the cycle.

Let’s make 2019 the year we say no to the laundry list of abuses—cruel, brutal, immoral, unconstitutional and unacceptable—that have been heaped upon us by the government for way too long.

Let’s make 2019 the year we stop living in a state of utter denial, desensitized to the government’s acts of violence, accustomed to reports of government corruption, and anesthetized to the sights and sounds of Corporate America marching in lockstep with the police state.

Let’s make 2019 the year we refuse to allow the government’s abusive behavior to be our new normal. There is nothing normal about egregious surveillance, roadside strip searches, police shootings of unarmed citizens, censorship, retaliatory arrests, the criminalization of lawful activities, warmongering, indefinite detentions, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, police brutality, profit-driven prisons, or pay-to-play politicians.

Here’s just a small sampling of what we suffered through in 2018.

The government failed to protect our lives, liberty and happiness. The predators of the police state wreaked havoc on our freedoms, our communities, and our lives. The government didn’t listen to the citizenry, refused to abide by the Constitution, and treated the citizenry as a source of funding and little else. Police officers shot unarmed citizens and their household pets. Government agents—including local police—were armed to the teeth and encouraged to act like soldiers on a battlefield. Bloated government agencies were allowed to fleece taxpayers. Government technicians spied on our emails and phone calls. And government contractors made a killing by waging endless wars abroad.

The president became more imperial. Although the Constitution invests the President with very specific, limited powers, in recent years, American presidents (Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc.) have claimed the power to completely and almost unilaterally alter the landscape of this country for good or for ill. The powers amassed by each successive president through the negligence of Congress and the courts—powers which add up to a toolbox of terror for an imperial ruler—empower whomever occupies the Oval Office to act as a dictator, above the law and beyond any real accountability. The presidency itself has become an imperial one with permanent powers.

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Government Shutdown or Not, the Police State Will Continue to Flourish, by John Whitehead

Tyranny never takes a day off, even when the government is shut down. From John Whitehead at rutherford.org:

There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men.”—Ludwig von Mises

The government has shut down again.

At least, parts of the government have temporarily shut down over President Trump’s demand for a $5 billion border wall.

Yet while these political games dominate news headlines, send the stock market into a nosedive, and put more than 800,000 federal employees at risk of having to work without pay, nothing about this government shutdown will diminish the immediate and very real dangers of the American Police State with its roadside strip searches, government surveillance, biometric databases, citizens being treated like terrorists, imprisonments for criticizing the government, national ID cards, SWAT team raids, censorship, forcible blood draws and DNA extractions, private prisons, weaponized drones, red light cameras, tasers, active shooter drills, police misconduct and government corruption.

Shutdown or not, war will continue. Drone killings will continue. Surveillance will continue. Censorship and persecution of anyone who criticizes the government will continue. The government’s efforts to label dissidents as extremists and terrorists will continue.

Police shootings will continue. Highway robbery meted out by government officials will continue. Corrupt government will continue. Profit-driven prisons will continue. And the militarization of the police will continue.

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Your Biometrics: Silent Witnesses Against You and Tools to Track You, by Jeremiah Johnson

Like so many things governments like, biometrics are getting creepier and creepier. From Jeremiah Johnson at shtfplan.com:

Another week has gone by where we have seen a tremendous amount of activity around the world: the French, Belgians, and Dutch are engaged in protests labeled “yellow vest” protests. In actuality, the yellow vests are insignificant: these Euro-Socialist countries require citizens to wear yellow vests in public for protests…for “safety” reasons. Actually it is so that center mass is easier to acquire by their paramilitary police forces. There is a good possibility of a major war escalating from current problems between Ukraine and the separatist provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk. The U.S. phony economy is not doing well.

Quietly and almost unnoticed by the beeves of the American populace are the biometric measures for surveillance and tracking being emplaced by the United States with the cooperation of major corporations. I have written articles on the biometric scanners being used in an Atlanta airport, and that Chicago is following suit, along with Delta using these biometric data collection scanners prior to boarding flights in Los Angeles.

A new article surfaced this week that you need to read. Entitled “FBI plans ‘Rapid DNA’ network for quick database checks on arrestees,” by Tom Jackman on December 13, released by the Washington [Com]Post.

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Teslian eFleas, by Eric Peters

Tesla makes itself part of China’s surveillance state. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

When corporations get into bed with government, it’s uswho get the fleas. Obamacare, for instance.

Big Med plus Big Government.

Sometimes, you can’t actually see the fleas. But they’re there, just the same.

An example of this unwholesome symbiosis has just emerged – in China. But it involves an American company, Tesla – which sells the same cars here.

Turns out Tesla – which builds electric cars but makes money by leveraging government mandates  – has set up its EVs to live-feed information about where each of their cars is at any given moment directly to the Chinese government.

Their car italicized to make the point that it’s not really your car when someone else has open access to it  – and so, to your life. The car tracks your movements, records where you’ve been, how long you stayed.

The government takes note.

According to the Associated Press, which broke the story, the Chinese government merely wishes to obtain “data points” for the purpose of “infrastructure planning” and – of course – to “improve public safety.”

How isn’t specified.

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The Elite Are Creating An Authoritarian ‘Beast System’, And Those That Dissent Could Lose EVERYTHING, by Michael Snyder

China’s leading the way in surveillance and repression, but many other countries are following its lead. From Michael Snyder at theeconomiccollapse blog.com:

They are transforming the Internet into the greatest tool of surveillance that humanity has ever seen, and if we stay on the road that we are currently on it is only a matter of time until our society becomes a hellish dystopian nightmare.  I wish that this was an exaggeration, but it isn’t.  Over the past couple of decades, the Internet has completely changed the way that we all communicate with one another.  At one time, all forms of mass communication were tightly controlled by the elite, but the Internet suddenly allowed us to communicate with one another on a massive scale without having to go through their gatekeepers.  This radically altered the landscape, and at first the elite were unsure of how to respond to this growing threat.  There was no way that they could roll back time to an era before the Internet was invented, and so they have decided to use it for their own insidious purposes instead.

Today, the Internet has become the centerpiece of their “Big Brother surveillance grid”, and they are gathering information on all of us on a scale that has never been seen before in all of human history.  But of course it was never going to stop there.  Over the past couple of years we have started to watch the elite use all of this information to punish those that are doing or saying things that they do not like.

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