I don't get expect this diary to get much play, given the news of the day and the last couple days, but here goes anyway. There is some serious shit that is about to go down. It has become almost myth and lore that Americans were spied on under Nixon, and today's heroes like MLK were demonized by the powers that were.
The same governmental powers which allowed things like COINTELPRO are about to return.
Follow me over the flip.....
Just recently the FBI proposed that it be allowed to spy on Americans with out evidence of wrong doing. That news broke August 20th But there is yet another twist in this already twisted game:
Even worse, the Justice Department is also preparing to amend federal regulations that prevented local and state law enforcement from engaging in this sort of suspicionless investigation..... How would this work on a practical level?...... they'd have free reign to do whatever they want short of those activities – which includes a lot. They could talk to your neighbors and coworkers. They could follow you around. They could sit in on the peaceful meetings of community organizations you attend
So follow the focus of power and spying here-- Patriot Act, and FISA were broad based, national and international laws. Once they got those in place the FBI proposed that it should be able to spy on people with no cause. Such a thing would have been unthinkable previously. Now the Justice Department wants states and local officials to have the same powers as the FBI. They knew people would be less resistant to some nebulous force spying on them, but now that they have that power, they're working to enable the cop down the road to do this to you. This the Overton Window of Civil Liberties - the strategy by which conservatives incessantly push on an issue moving it further and further to the right until the unacceptable becomes acceptable.
If that is not bad enough here is the most damning piece of analysis of these proposals....
Another consequence is that law enforcement will return to its pre-Watergate activities of surveilling peaceful protests and organizations that threaten mainstream values or institutions, even when there is no indication that the groups or individuals will commit a crime or an act of violence.
For those who don't remember what COINTEL PRO was or need a reminder....
COINTELPRO was a secret FBI program designed to monitor and "neutralize" domestic groups deemed by the FBI to be a danger to national security. Such groups included anti-war groups and civil rights groups and individuals like Martin Luther King, Jr. and even Eleanor Roosevelt.
Now I want to catch terrorists, and I want the FBI to 'always get their man' like anyone else. But this is un-American. This is dangerous. This will disrupt freedom of speech, thought, and action.
I don't know if anyone out there is paying attention. But we have got to get some buzz about this going in the blogs. By only watching the election we are distracted while some serious shit is about to go down.
Thankfully some leaders have sprung into action. Senate Judiciary Leaders Leahy and Spector are calling for postponement of these measures until congress has had a chance to review.
Call them and thank them!
PSST! We have a Civil Liberties Google Group! Join.
Your Civil Liberties will thank-you!