OBAMA, DHS Flight Lists, & Repeal of Real ID

Posted: November 8, 2008 in Barack Obama, Department of Homeland Security, Real ID, Secure Flight

Civil liberties groups like the ACLU & The Electronic Frontier Foundation are lining up to present their priorities for the incoming Obama administration.  

Among EFF’s Declarations :

“Scale back the use of National Security Letters to gag and acquire data from online service providers. The REAL ID Act, with its requirement that Americans carry a national ID card, has been rejected by many U.S. states and should be federally repealed. Large-scale government data collection and data-mining projects like Automated Targeting System (ATS) should be reduced or eliminated. Invasive border-searches of electronic devices should be stopped.”

President Bush, produced an environment so damaging to civil liberties, you would have to be comatose not to notice the before-&-after levels of public monitoring and movement infringements.  Although, we did achieve a victory in the restoration of habeas corpus.

The DHS are seeking additional staffing ramping up to a new deadline for Secure Flight in January.   {January?   Isn’t that when our new hero is sworn in?}   The tax-cash for this moved forward without oversight from the GAO- Government Accountability Office.  
  
AIMING TO KILL FLIES WITH A SLEDGEHAMMER: What have we done?
As part of my blogging editorial responsibilities here at BeatTheChip,  I bear the burden of truth.   Here is my interpretation of the US government implementing public surveillance. 
They are watching us. OK- so why are they REALLY watching us
Not necessarily because we are doing anything wrong, but due to their collective paranoia over blowback from those they have wronged- which now includes the American people.  After witnessing the RNC mass arrest of non-violent protestors, including 42 accredited journalists, they might be a lot edgy over their lack of popularity.  Vicious cycle – the more excessive force they use, they know there will be retaliation.  They are aware of how they would react if they were on the receiving end of their treatment.  So why drive the repression of rights for the common man with illegal, immoral and universally inhuman practices detrimental to peace and prosperity?   They are losing their grip on their own place in the human race.  
All soldiers develop a level of dehumanizing logic that makes absolutely no sense, so they can execute adroit orders to maim, kill, posion and do bad things to otherwise innocent people. That is how they make their living.
My thought here to rise above this, is recognition of American Heritage.  As a nation, we reap what we sow.  We have been blithely aware, so much more swept up in the toilet of distractions laid in front of us, to ignore our bad behavior in less fortunate nations we have victimized.  I think of Grenada – a nation who refused us bananas or sugar and paid with blood.  
How dumb are we if didn’t think the persistent lack of conscience would eventually become a continental U.S. problem?  Since when are we too good to reign in our own government?  
The executive “dream team” who renamed  The Department of Domestic Security to Homeland Security, according to a Nazi playbook needs to know who opposes the excesses of spying, invasion of privacy and pilfering of boundaries.  They need to know who to shut up.   
One of these days we are going to interview an average telecomm investigator as an employee, just to find our where their head is at. They’re still Americans – maybe just stuck for a paycheck, two kids and alimony,  a mortgage.  Who are these people?  America’s gestapo reprobates or just suckered into a “secure” lifestyle where surveillance just a way to pay the bills.
A STORY FROM MY PERSONAL HISTORY: Your tax dollars at work
My father worked for a special warfare test division on a base in the Republic of Panama during the Noriega regime.  We lived in “the Green Zone”.  A zone occupied by military personnell living and working peacibly in Panama.    What I now know about the CIA, Noriega, the Iran Contra scandal and Panama’s role in the whole scenario has made me both sadder and wiser.
Nonetheless, as a dependent child I was in a good place to observe and learn what the day-to-day looks like when you are in an aggrivated state of police monitoring.    I rode a skateboard.  I was a kid and kids have to go outside and play – threat or no threat.
I walked outside of my home one day to find a fully munitioned humvee with a singular military policeman on-duty parked next to our driveway.  He was toting a rifle.  No big deal.  I had seen servicemen with guns frequently enough it really wasn’t intimidating.   However, they never were camped outside of my house with no notice.  It seemed a little out of place.
I resumed  skateboard practice.  It was quiet, nothing going on, except  that were in an escalated Personnell Movement Limitation (PML)  Charlie – excessive rioting and unrest among Panamanians and where U.S. defense personnell were more active.   The trouble was, we had been in PML Charlie for 6 weeks and nothing was really going on in the streets.   We went to school with Panamanians and other kids whose parents were international diplomats. Honestly, everyone was a little weary of what we call today “fear mongering”- with nothing actually going on.  It was restrictive and excessive.  That tends to bug bored kids, whose job really is to find their way around overarching administrators.
As I started in skateboarding,  the  MP stationed outside of my house began to tell me not to skateboard in front of my house.   His reason?   I was crossing over the “green zone into the orange zone”.   I looked at him and explained that nothing was going on.   I looked around me illustrating there were no cars on the street – literally, NOTHING was happening.    I kept skateboarding and he looked the other way, because it was as rediculous as I had indicated – and he knew it.   I persisted with this action for 10 -12 minutes then I got bored and went back in the house looking for something else to do.
We all have better things to do with our lifetime, but when you live on a base or in a military civilization you are swimming in an irrational amount of protocols, rules, and orders.  There’s not a whole lot you can do “right”, otherwise someone loses their usefulness. 
There is a limit to the useful purpose of military personnel.   To this day, I wonder how much taxpayer money was spent to have that humvee, armed to the teeth,  stationed outside our house complete with one MP staff seargant with not much to do.
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