Tag Archives: domestic spying

Home of the Brave?

I was thinking the other day of America and its current state of status in the world. The national anthem tune popped into my head and when the part of the lyrics that say “home of the brave” came about, I heard that screeching halt of a record being stopped.

America is no longer the “home of the brave”. We are now the “home of the terrified”. The current administration has done its very best to take away our civil liberties in the interest of homeland security. And people have bought it. It’s sad when I hear of people state that they are satisfied to give up their rights so they don’t have to worry about terrorism. They are willing to have their phones tapped, emails monitored and right to voice taken away in the name of “freedom”.

Yet these are the same folks who have security (or insecurity) systems on their cars and homes.

The American Government of succeeding in its mission to control the mindset of the average American. America is the “home of the controlled,” the “home of the manipulated.” There is nothing brave about that.

Watch Your Mail

W Pushes Envelope on US Spying: New postal law lets Bush peek through your mail

The [Bush] signing statement claims authority to open domestic mail without a warrant, and that would be new and quite alarming.

–Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies in Washington


Warrantless Wiretapping

Earlier this week, Green Jenni posted an article on the Bush Administrations tactic of pushing fear on American Citizens.

Today a newsletter from the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) came to me, called “Dissent is Patriotic”. In it was this piece:

Warrantless Wiretapping and the Alleged London Plot

“If you like the Patriot Act, you’ll love the Specter bill,” says Joe Onek, Senior Policy Analyst at the Open Society Institute and Open Society Policy Center. “The USA PATRIOT Act amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to make it easy for the government to get a court order to read your library and medical records. The Specter bill amends FISA to permit the government to listen to your phone calls and read your e-mail without any court order.”

The parallels between the Specter bill (S. 2453) and the PATRIOT Act grew stronger last week, as news of an alleged plot to place bombs on airplanes in London rekindled fears of terrorist attacks in the U.S. Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff lost no time in suggesting that the U.S. might benefit from the British authorities’ apparently lower standards for surveillance and for holding suspects without charges. Be prepared for the Bush Administration to exploit the alleged plot, and any other plots or arrests between now and election day, to expand its power and influence. The Specter bill, which would solve President Bush’s warrantless surveillance problem by making the prevailing law (FISA)
optional, is only one example. Senator Specter says he has enough votes on the Senate
Judiciary Committee to pass the bill there, opening the door to a full Senate vote in September, unless enough people say No.

Fear has been used to justify many changes that have diminished civil liberties and to prevent meaningful changes to restore them.
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Your Papers, Please – Experimenting in Utah

Yesterday in local radio news it was announced repeatedly throughout the day that police in Salt Lake would be stopping every motorist between certain streets from 10pm to 3am last night. This was a court-approved stop and search and it was publicized that each driver would be asked for their ID and that police would also be searching for DUI’s.

My suspicion is that the DUI excuse is just that – an excuse. I see this as an experiment towards future stop and searches, using Utah as the baseline. “Your papers, please” will become the standard request from officials at mandatory checkpoints.

I hope I am wrong, but somehow I don’t think so. Look at who is controlling our country, the Patriot Act, the military recruiting clause in the No Child Left Behind Act, and other measures that have been instituted since the reign of King George.


Today we drove with my family to the Chesapeake Bay region, specifically to Cambridge, Maryland where we are staying for a few days.

On the way we passed the exit to the National Security Administration. Oddly enough, there were two unmarked dark cars on either side of the highway between the on and off ramps to the NSA, with lights flashing. We thought that was ironic and odd at the same time – is this a symbolic display of what the NSA is doing?

Here is a photo. Notice the car beyond the sign under the tree.

Call Congress to Stop Big Brother Surveillance TODAY

This is an Action Alert from the Bill of Rights Defense Committee:

Today please join the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and tens of thousands of allies throughout the U.S. in an overwhelming grassroots response to NSA warrantless surveillance and data mining of our telephone records. The BORDC, the ACLU, People For the American Way, and other organizations (see below) have declared this week “National Call-in to Congress Week” and are asking people to call their members of Congress on a specific day. Let’s keep those phones ringing in the Congressional halls all week long!

What to do:
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Switch to Working Assets

I have had my cell phone service with Working Assets for a few years now. The primary reason for changing my service to WA is because of the company’s phiolophies on social justice causes. Each month you can “round up” your payment on your bill. The extra cents you contribute will go to that month’s causes.

WA openly supports peace, social justice, human rights, and civil liberties. WA is the only telephone company participating in the ACLU’s lawsuit against the National Security Agency. WA opposes the sale of domestic calling records to the NSA by AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon.

Entertainer David Lippman Victim of Domestic Spying

David Lippman, a musician/actor that tours with his “Shrub” act, has been a victim of U.S. Domestic Spying (see his account below that I received via email). Dave performed here in Salt Lake a few years ago. As the Singing CIA Agent, Dave entertains audiences all over the country with songs like “I Hate Walmart”, Enemy of the Week, Hamburger Hill,Oh Say Can You See?, and The Current Group of Scoundrels.
Dave keeps fans updated with his Shrublog and Shooting from the Lipp.

Dave talked about his experience as being a target of U.S. Domestic Syping on yesterday’s Democracy Now!.

Friends, I will discuss this legal action today on Democracy Now!, but in the meantime here is the ACLU press release.

FILES SHOW FBI TARGETED FREELANCE JOURNALIST COVERING FTAA MEETINGS IN MIAMI The American Civil Liberties Union Sues the City of Miami Over FTAA Civil Rights Violations FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, May 4, 2006

Rosalind Matos, South Florida Staff Counsel, 305-576-2337, ext. 20 Jeanne Baker, Cooperating Attorney for the ACLU, 305-443-1600 Brandon Hensler, Communications Director, 305-576-2337, ext. 16

MIAMIThe American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Greater Miami Chapter, filed a lawsuit today on behalf of freelance journalist David Lippman. Documents obtained by the ACLU indicate that Lippman was under Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) surveillance for being a “kown protestor w/history” as he traveled from his home in North Carolina to Miami to cover the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) protests.

On November 19, 2003, Lippman’s vehicle was searched, seized and damaged by officers from several law enforcement agencies, without probable cause. FBI agents recruited the local officers to break into his vehicle and then, after damaging the vehicle and disturbing the personal possessions he kept within it, to haul away the vehicle and his possessions.
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