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TerrorSpeak:
Panopticism in the "free world"

News and views on homeland security, terrorism, democracy and freedom in the United States (archives)

On this page: News - Resources - Links

See also: 21st Century Warfare - Right-To-Know or Left-To-Wonder? - Worst Case Scenarios: Terrorism & Industrial Chemicals

The DARPA Information Awareness Office (IAO)
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Total Information Awareness (TIA) System

"Homeland Security" presents a clear and present danger to our freedoms, our civil liberties, our privacy -- our democracy.

News:

Iraq on the record - 237 Misleading Statements by the Bush administration: A report by Representative Henry Waxman.

9/11 Chair: Attack Was Preventable: Bush administration could have prevented 911 attack.

Bush gives in to chemical companies, leaving the nation vulnerable.

Worrisome Move To Remove Presidential Term Limit from Constitution.

Peter Coyote's letter to Barbara Boxer on voter fraud.

If You Want To Win An Election, Just Control The Voting Machines.

Recent Articles by William Rivers Pitt

Background Articles by William Rivers Pitt

Homeland Security Agents Pull Ohio Libraries' Haz-Mat Documents.

The Project for the New American Century: Roadmap to Iraq and beyond.

Sweeping Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Act.

Santa Cruz Fights Back: CIA watching library users and book buyers.

History Repeating Itself? Striking parallels to a horrific past.

Wear a Peace T-Shirt, Go to Jail! New York attorney jailed for wearing "Give Peace A Chance" t-shirt.

Rowley: Exponential Increase in Terrorist Threat to U.S -- FBI Unable to Stem the Flood.

Hell Might Come on Wheels, But Schools and Railroads Keep Terror Risks Secret.

Bush's 9/11 Reichstag Fire.

Revealed: Truth Behind US 'Poison Factory' Claim.

Powell represents plagiarized document as fact: Real Authors of Iraq Dossier Blast Blair.

Alleged Al Qaeda Ties Questioned: Experts Scrutinize Details of Accusations Against Iraqi Government.

Blix Says Powell's Claims Not True.

A Citizen's Response to the National Security Strategy of the United States of America by Wendell Berry.

Despite Terrorism Threat, Chemical Industry Succeeds In Blocking Federal Security Regulations. Click here for new report from Common Cause.

Target Baghdad - 800 Cruise Missiles: Bush to unleash war of terror on Iraqi civilians.

Behind the Homefront: The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. A daily chronicle of news in homeland security and military operations affecting newsgathering, access to information and the public's right to know.

San Francisco Condemns USA Patriot Act.

Center for Democracy and Technology -- Resources and information about Total Information Awareness (TIA), Patriot Act, Homeland Security, detainees and imigration and more.

“Big Brother” is No Longer a Fiction, ACLU Warns in New Report -- The United States has now reached the point where a total “surveillance society” has become a realistic possibility, the American Civil Liberties Union warned in a report being released today.

End of Right-To-Know? Terrorism, Patriotism, and Environmental Law - "Congress should remember that the toxic cloud slaying the innocent people of Bhopal, India, was not the result of a terrorist act but the consequence of business as usual."

Smallpox in America: Forced Vaccination? - A far more grave threat, however, is the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA, MEHPA, or EHPA), portions of which were incorporated into the Homeland Security Act (HSA). The EHPA provides for forced vaccinations and confiscation or destruction of personal property under the mere threat of a threat of an outbreak.

COMPLEXITY, TRUST, AND TERROR by Langdon Winner.

Ashcroft's Shadowy Disciple - Someone to Watch Over Us.

HOMELAND SECURITY BILL PASSES SENATE 90-9! Geared to Focus on Terrorism; Vote Ends Months of Debate -- Faced with the strong possibility the bill would not be approved today, Mr. Lott scrambled to quell the rebellion by promising his caucus to undo what they considered to be the three most egregious House provisions. When Mr. Chafee and others asked for a similar promise from the House, Mr. Lott tracked down Speaker J. Dennis Hastert in Turkey, along with the incoming House Majority Leader, Tom Delay, and extracted their promises to do the same.

Mr. Daschle questioned whether the Republicans were serious about removing the provisions next year.

``We've heard promises like that before,'' he said. ``And I have to say, if they are so bad, why didn't they take them out now, you know? Why wait? I think it's always harder to take things out than to put them in, and it will get even harder as we go into the next Congress. So I'm very dubious.''

THE HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002: Senator Robert Byrd and Senator Debbie Stabenow Delivered on the Floor of the US Senate -- It has not been before any committee. There have been no hearings on this bill. There have been no witnesses who were asked to appear to testify on behalf of the bill or in opposition to it. It did not undergo any such scrutiny.

It was just placed on the Senate Calendar. It was offered as an amendment here. And so here it is before the Senate now. There it is. That is not the way in which our children are taught how we make our laws--not at all.

Home Front Confidential: How the War on Terrorism Affects Access to Information and the Public's Right to Know

Poisonous Procedural ‘Reform’: In Defense of Environmental Right to Know -- The Georgetown Environmental Law & Policy Institute released a paper today which responds to industry criticisms of environmental right to know programs and explains how industry’s proposed “procedural” reforms threaten to undermine these valuable programs.

Attorney General Ashcroft News Conference Transcript: Regarding Decision of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review -- Today I'm directing a series of actions to be taken in light of the court's decision affirming our interpretation. First, we will continue to make operational improvements to streamline the foreign intelligence surveillance act approval process. The department is implementing a secure, computerized system that would permit agents in the field to draft FISA, or foreign intelligence surveillance applications, and to transmit them in real time to FBI headquarters and to the Department of Justice for approval. The Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, known as OIPR, will notify me when it rejects a request for a FISA application so that the director of the FBI and I can bring our judgment to that particular decision.

Broad U.S. Wiretap Powers Upheld: Secret Court Lifts Bar on Terror Suspect Surveillance -- A secretive appeals court yesterday cleared the way for the Justice Department to use broad new authority to conduct wiretaps and other surveillance of terrorism and spying suspects in the United States, overturning a lower court that had blocked Attorney General John D. Ashcroft's efforts out of fear the new powers would be abused.

Powell Attacks Christian Right -- Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, condemned America's Christian right yesterday for propagating hatred against Muslims, in what appeared to be a coordinated White House campaign to confront anti-Islamic rhetoric from a constituency that includes some of the Bush administration's staunchest supporters.

Conyers Condemns Today's FISA Court Decision -- "The Administration's race down the slippery slope of eroding constitutional safeguards seems to have no end in sight. Today's disappointing decision constitutes an embarrassing step backwards for civil liberties in this country. Piece by piece, this Administration is dismantling the basic rights afforded to every American under the Constitution.

Showdown Could Impact Homeland Security Bill -- White House officials signaled they would paint a vote to change the bill as an effort to slow its progress. They used that tactic successfully during the fall congressional campaigns, in which the GOP captured Senate control and enlarged their House majority.

Toeing the Fault Line of Fear -- In the name of American safety, the once unthinkable is being done: In Yemen two weeks ago the CIA unapologetically killed six labeled terrorists, a legitimizing of extra-judicial execution. Assassination abroad is being openly proposed, and totalitarian controls at home are being installed. Under cover of escalating citizen anxiety, the administration is masterfully reshaping foreign and domestic policy both - according to pre-set ideological dispositions. The policies promise ''safety,'' but Bush's recast America feels less safe than ever.

Homeland Security = Payoff to pharmaceutical campaign contributors -- Drug Maker Tells Congressional Staff That They Won't Produce Smallpox Vaccine Without Amendment Granting Immunity From Mercury Vaccine Lawsuits.

Making Sense of Government Information Restrictions -- The new restrictions on public access to government information have been undertaken in a largely ad hoc and sometimes knee-jerk fashion. Although the need to respond quickly to an uncertain security environment by imposing temporary controls on an amorphous body of materials is understandable, this is not a satisfactory approach in the long term. Among other things, it is inconsistent with the body of law and policy that governs information disclosure and lacks the associated safeguards against abuse.

You Are a Suspect. This ring-knocking master of deceit [Poindexter] is back again with a plan even more scandalous than Iran-contra. He heads the "Information Awareness Office" in the otherwise excellent Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which spawned the Internet and stealth aircraft technology. Poindexter is now realizing his 20-year dream: getting the "data-mining" power to snoop on every public and private act of every American.

Total Information Awareness - Remarks by Poindexter. Total Information Awareness - a prototype system -- is our answer. We must be able to detect, classify, identify, and track terrorists so that we may understand their plans and act to prevent them from being executed. To protect our rights, we must ensure that our systems track the terrorists, and those that mean us harm.

Background on Iran-Contra criminal Poindexter who as of february 2002 heads the Pentagon's Information Awareness Office. Poindexter was convicted of conspiracy, lying to Congress, defrauding the government, and destroying evidence and now he's back.

Osama is Under Your Bed. All 484 pages of the Homeland Security Department legislation will pass through Congress soon, likely unread by a majority of those casting the votes. At some point, the teeth of this legislation will sink in, but it will be too late to do much of anything about it. If anyone tries, you can be sure of a new burst of incredibly dire warnings coming down from on high. Osama bin Laden is under your bed. He's alive again, and planning to eat your children. Head for the hills, and never mind your constitutional rights.

We Have Played Straight Into Bin Laden's Hands. The reappearance of Osama bin Laden has, at least, answered one question: why the dramatic increase in communications traffic among al-Qa'ida ranks, which in turn has set off Tony Blair's warning earlier this week that "something big is about to happen"? The text of Bin Laden's message has also confirmed why the British, in particular, have become so nervous. Contained in it is the clear warning that it will be a European country that will be targeted as a "punishment" for supporting America.

Fascism Comes On Little Cat Feet. Fascism doesn't descend on a nation overnight. A nation has to be prepared for it first. In California, we long ago accepted checkpoints for imported fruits and vegetables. In the last decade or so, the whole nation has accepted sobriety checkpoints.

We are being prepared. In the Southwest, we now have an expanding series of checkpoints. As of last week, similar stations were introduced to the Upper Midwest.

The Boogie Man Is Coming. Once again, especially since the events of September 11, 2000, we witness yet another attempt to frighten us into submission by self appointed authority figures—George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and John Ashcroft. These daring and fearless warriors have brought with them a vast array of Boogie Men designed to frighten us into submission. In the latest incarnation of evil they have brought us such notable ‘golden oldies’ as Osama Bin Laden and their all time favorite whipping boy, Saddam Hussein. And isn’t it wonderful to see that Bin Laden has come back from the dead to make headlines again?

School of the Americas Watch -- Activists Protest Army School in Georgia. Carrying signs that said "Stop Training Terrorists" and "Protect Human Rights," activists of various ages and religious backgrounds took part in a peaceful demonstration calling for the closing of the facility formerly known as the School of the Americas.

The Usa Patriot Act: One Year Later - Part I. On October 26 America observed a dubious anniversary--one year from the signing by President George W. Bush of the USA PATRIOT Act. The year has been an eventful one for all those concerned about the direction of the country and about civil liberties. Unfortunately, it also has a been a year when those who have followed developments since the PATRIOT Act have seen the formation of trends which, left unchecked, may fulfill the most dire predictions of those who have taken a long look at this comprehensive statute.

The Usa Patriot Act: One Year Later - Part II. There are any number of new trends and developments to be identified as coming directly from the PATRIOT Act itself. Of course, we cannot ignore numerous other developments, such as the Office of Homeland Security, dramatic new aviation security measures, several ominous national trends, and the impending war with Iraq, but unfortunately they are outside the present discussion as not being directly related to the PATRIOT Act. As to the Act, least 10 such trends could be noted, and they all deserve increased attention.

Free Speech & G.W. Bush. Sometimes in history, as in daily life, - too often, for many -- there is no one and nothing to whom to appeal. Powerful wrong-doers grab power and retain it, their lies running in the rivers from which we must drink. Those wronged remain unheard and uncompensated, living in an underworld of reverberating silence and pain.

A supersnoop's dream. In what one critic has called "a supersnoop's dream," the Defense Department's Total Information Awareness program would be authorized to collect every type of available public and private data in what the Pentagon describes as one "centralized grand database." Computers and analysts are supposed to use all this available information to determine patterns of people's behavior in order to detect and identify terrorists, decipher plans and enable the United States to pre-empt terrorist acts.

Commission Calls for New Counter-Terror Agency. Saying a huge new Department of Homeland Security was not enough protection from terrorism, a congressional advisory panel on Thursday said another new agency was needed to analyze information on terrorist threats collected domestically and abroad.

U.S. Hopes to Check Computers Globally. The Information Awareness Office, run by former national security adviser John M. Poindexter, aims to develop new technologies to sift through "ultra-large" data warehouses and networked computers in search of threatening patterns among everyday transactions, such as credit card purchases and travel reservations, according to interviews and documents.

Watchdog Urges Bush to Kill Pentagon Data-Mine Plan. "If the Pentagon has its way, every American -- from the Nebraskan farmer to the Wall Street banker -- will find themselves under the accusatory cyber-state of an all-powerful national security apparatus," said Laura Murphy, director of the Washington national office (ACLU).

Lawmakers Make Final Changes to Homeland Bill. The homeland security bill requires the government to pay all damages if someone is sickened or dies from a smallpox vaccination, Fox News has learned. It also grants the airline industry a long-sought extension in government-subsidized terrorism insurance.

Stop the Government Plan to Mine our Privacy (ACLU). In the last several days, media reports have revealed that a little-known Defense Department office is developing a computer system that threatens to turn us all into "suspects" and would provide the government with the ability to snoop into all aspects of our private lives without a search warrant or proof of criminal wrongdoing.

Computer System Peeks at Personal Data of Americans. "This could be the perfect storm for civil liberties in America," said Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington "The vehicle is the Homeland Security Act, the technology is Darpa and the agency is the F.B.I. The outcome is a system of national surveillance of the American public."

Repeal the USA Patriot Act Part I: The USA Patriot Act is an insult to Americans. The name, itself, is insulting, given what the Act contains and what it will someday be known for: its complete abdication of democratic law and principles. It should be called the Constitution Shredding Act.

Repeal the USA Patriot Act Part II: The Wheel of History -- As one legal commentator put it: "The principal objection [to the doctrine of judicial supremacy] is the seeming paradox in a democracy of non-elected officials overruling policy judgments of the people's elected representatives." Or, for that matter, the popular vote.

Repeal the USA Patriot Act Part III: Civil Rights Violations and Torture -- Under the USA Patriot Act, once the Attorney General has "certified" that an alien is a terrorist or a threat to national security, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) may detain him without indictment for seven days before it brings any immigration or criminal charges.

Repeal the USA Patriot Act Part IV: Patriotism or Tyranny? -- Awareness of events in other parts of the world -- poverty, starvation, internal wars, genocide - may make Americans feel reticent to acknowledge the

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