Monday, August 13, 2007

Terror, Freedom, Sheeple, and the Will to Lose

Just when you thought it's not going to get any worse:
  • Airline passenger data is being shared between the EU and the USA. Well, only one way - the USA gets the data.
  • Any name can appear on a "terror watch list" with no due process, and no process to get that name off
  • More and more cameras record crime and terrorism - have they ever stopped something?
  • Renewal of the warrantless wire tap measures in the US Government, bypassing the secret FISA court system (which, by the way, has a 24 hour turnaround time and has never turned down a request)
All for your security?

Let me tell you, the terrorists are winning.

Why? Because they want to oppress us. They do no care who does - if we do it to ourselves, then fine.

It is the fear of the conservatives, and the liberal nanny-staters that is allowing western governments unprecedented powers with no checks or balances. The evolution of technology has made this even simpler for the governments to go on fishing expeditions.

And you thought it was all about shooting them in the "other front" in the War on Terror.

So in fear, we have thrown out the rule of law, and its basic tenet: You must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Reasonable does not mean some bureaucrat thinks you're guilty. I means that people must be convinced by being presented with facts that you are.

It won't happen to you? Think again.

Mohamed Haneef, the Indian doctor accused by Australia as a "collaborator" in the UK terror plots, had charges against him dropped by the police for lack of evidence. What happens? Work visa revoked, medical license revoked. No court hearing. Reason given: "character grounds" (link), because someone involved was his second cousin. No due process.

Don't have an islamic name? Think that will save you? Some poor 7-year old boy named Michael Martin is on the no-fly list, and can't get off. (Washington Post) Pronounced guilty by the state, again with no due process.

Who is the original Michael Martin the state thinks we need to be protected from? The atheist philosopher who debates the existence of God? Sounds good to me - off to Guantanamo with him. (Goooogle)

Ever seen a psychiatrist or psychologist? Ever had a prescription for anti-depressants? HR 2640 will make everyone who ever had any sort of treatment suspect. No, not deemed "mentally defective by a judge" per the BATF form (whatever that means), but simply flagged as a "May not own" in the NICS database. Depressed? You just gave up your right to an effective form of self defense, not to mention a great time sporting. Veteran? Immediately suspect, although veterans have a clause and a process to get removed from the list - go beg in front of a desk jockey, I wish you luck. No due process.

Why are we doing this? Is it really too much Bourne Supremacy or 24 where they always only get the call of the bad guy?

The sheer idiocy of it.

And in the meantime, the democrats in Congress do what they do best: have hearings. Clearly, the assault weapons ban needs to be re-instated too - look and how many AR-15's and AK-47's have been used in crimes in the recent years (within US borders! Not Sudan!)

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Blogger Julia said...

That is very worrying indeed. The rule of law is basicly what's separating the modern society and the non-human rights respecting poorer society. Desolving it means a big throw back to horror/dictationrial/terrible times. And all of these in the name of "fighting terror", can it get anymore ironic?

8:50 AM  
Blogger Joseph Katz said...

If you have never listened to This American Life, this is the episode for you to listen to it is called,
Habeas Schmabeas.

The intro tells about another nation that put political prisoners on a foreign island to get around Habeas Corpus.

They are currently offering a free MP3 of the episode (bummer since I purchased it from iTunes when it first aired in 2006.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Joseph Katz said...

Sorry looks like the link was too long for Blogger comments here is the exact same thing only shorter.

10:11 AM  

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