Mudcat Café message #1653283 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1653283
Posted By: Arne
22-Jan-06 - 01:38 AM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Say, "Guest":

Maybe you should have read my links before you cut'n'pasted reams of RW "spin". Your points have been "asked and answered" there. Now, I'm not going to clutter the thread with reams more of cut'n'paste; rather, I'd refer you to the links I provided, and if there's anything of your "talking points" you think are left standing after that, maybe we can discuss 'em.

Even so, the article did admit that

    "...many are concerned that the system could be abused to collect economic and political information."

Yeah, well, perhaps. When the preznit decides that laws don't pertain to him 'cause he's the new king, and he's going to turn the gummint and the military into his own Speznatz. Give you the warm fuzzies there?

According to an April, 2000 article in PC World magazine, experts who studied Echelon concluded that

"Project Echelon's equipment can process 1 million message inputs every 30 minutes."

Whoopdedoo. I installed a message server that delivered (for one of the second-tier U.S. carriers) a half million messages an hour. Hate to say it, but I'm not impressed. I've seen much bigger proposals on the board, and that's not even a fraction of worldwide traffic.

    "A lady had been to a school play the night before, and her son was in the school play and she thought he did a-a lousy job. Next morning, she was talking on the telephone to her friend, and she said to her friend something like this, 'Oh, Danny really bombed last night,' just like that. The computer spit that conversation out. The analyst that was looking at it was not too sure about what the conversation w-was referring to, so erring on the side of caution, he listed that lady and her phone number in the database as a possible terrorist."

    "This is not urban legend you're talking about. This actually happened?" Kroft asked.

That's crap. Nice for scaring the masses, but that's crap.

So, during the Clinton Administration, evidence existed (all of the information used in this article was available at the time) that:

    -an invasive, extensive domestic eavesdropping program was aimed at every U.S. citizen;

    -intelligence agencies were using allies to circumvent constitutional restrictions;

    -and the administration was selling at least some secret intelligence for political donations.

This is even a bigger load of horse-patooties. If you're believing people that are teling you this, you're being played for a sucker.

I do have some knowledge in this field from a technical standpoint, and while I am sympathetic to privacy rights, I don't want people to cry wolf too often, particularly based on bogus stories. It makes the real incursions into our privacy, when they happen, sound like more of the same hysteria mongering. I've personally come out against the "free bite at the apple" that the FBI has asked for under the CALEA act, and against the "emergency" taps. I think these are way too prone to misuse; "emergencies" happen because the cops are too lazy to do the legwork they need to do to get a proper warrant (the Mark Furhman jumping the wall at Brentwood is a prime example). I think, even in cases of "extreme national emergency", if the LEAs think they need to do something urgently, then go for it and break trhe law to do what you think you have to do. Just don't expect that the results will hold up in a court of law, and don't expect a lot of sympathy from a judge when you say you did it. But if it's such a freakin' emergency, then you will have the satisfaction of having done the "right thing" in your mind, and if you really were justified, you'll have the satisfaction of having achieved some "greater good". For this, you can give yourself a pat on the back, and maybe if others think (in the cold light of facts afterwards) that you indeed did something for the greater good, they may go easy on your law-breaking. This would cut back a bit on people who are just using the "emergency" as an excuse, or who really weren't doing anyone a service. FWIW, I think that perhaps half of the trap'n'traces I saw on the board one place were actually "emergency" locations, used to try and find missing people, rather than actual snooping on the bad guys. And a number of letters of thanks for helping out in finding these people (I would guess, suicidal people or missing kids, and the like). A public service, I'd say. But even in these cases, AFAIK they were done with a warrant.

These revelations were met by the New York Times and others in the mainstream media by the sound of one hand clapping.

Bcause they weren't particularly credible.

Now, reports that the Bush Administration approved electronic eavesdropping, strictly limited to international communications, of a relative handful of suspected terrorists have created a media frenzy in the Times and elsewhere.

Mainly because they were being done without oversight and without warrants and probable cause. That is to say, in direct contravention of the law.