Real ID Act a Real Intrusion On Rights, Privacy By Bob Barr

Dandelion Salad

By Bob Barr
ICH 02/12/08
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution02/06/08

The federal government for several years now has been fighting a guerrilla action with citizen groups and a number of state legislatures over imposing on the states and the citizenry this privacy-intrusive and costly mandate. With the announcement Jan. 11 of the final regulations, the debate is fully joined and pits those who support the principle of states’ rights against the legions of Big Government advocates.

Big Government advocates are personified by the current Bush administration, favoring central control of virtually every facet of activity in our society, from education to transportation and from the plumbing in our bathrooms to the bulbs in our lamps. While the Real ID debate shares some elements with its sister debate concerning voter ID, mixing the two as if two sides of the same coin dilutes the host of fundamental constitutional concerns and responsibilities affected by the Real ID Act program now being forced down the throats of the states.

Let’s leave aside for the moment the underlying federalism question — where does the federal government get the power to dictate to the states who can get a driver’s license? — to focus on civil liberties that would be undercut by the Real ID Act.

If, as proposed in the law, a person must have a Real ID Act-compliant card in order to access a federal building, access any regulated or interstate mode of transportation, or obtain any federal benefit, then we have surrendered to the federal government (that is, federal bureaucrats) the power to deny citizens all manner of activities guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Consider:

  • A person not possessing a Real ID Act-compliant identification card could not enter any federal building, or an office of his or her congressman or senator or the U.S. Capitol. This effectively denies that person their fundamental rights to assembly and to petition the government as guaranteed in the First Amendment.
  • A person seeking to exercise their right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment could henceforth be denied that ability if they do not possess a precious Real ID card, because the federal bureaucracy known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives probably will decree that such a form of identification is necessary to meet federal requirements for purchasing a firearm.
  • Very possibly the Real ID card will be required in order to vote in any election for federal office.
  • A veteran may be denied access to a VA hospital because he or she lacks the requisite Real ID card, perhaps because they did not have the money required to purchase it or because they could not locate the background forms the Department of Homeland Security required to obtain one.
  • A business traveler, unable to afford to travel by private jet, is denied the ability to make a living because their job requires air travel and they do not have a Real ID card — even though they demonstrably pose no danger whatsoever to their fellow travelers.
  • Even though individual states, such as Georgia, may provide greater legal protection for private information of its residents than other states or the federal government, this will mean nothing in the Real ID Act world, because all the data under that law will be subject to the lower federal standards, thereby subjecting residents to a higher likelihood of identity theft than they would risk under the laws of their state.
  • And, they would have no recourse to correct erroneous data, or prevent identity theft pursuant to the Real ID regulations.

On the other side of the ledger, arguing in favor of this intrusive and expensive federal mandate, are hollow promises of “security” — not freedom or liberty — but “safety,” the promise of which trumps all else in this post-9/11 world, at least for this Congress and this administration. I, for one, commend the state of Georgia and those other states that are standing against this assault on states’ rights and the Bill of Rights.

Copyright© 2008 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Leaked UK gov’t doc reveals plan to “coerce” Brits into national ID register – MIRROR THIS FILE!

Dandelion Salad

Posted by Cory Doctorow
January 29, 2008 3:01 AM

Phil from the UK anti-ID-register group NO2ID sends in this nugget — note the call to action there. We’ve got a sensitive government document revealing the British government’s plan to trick us into a database state and we need as many copies as possible, as quickly as possible!

Continue reading

American Liberty Teetering on Edge of Abyss By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
January 27, 2008

“Your papers please”
has long been a phrase associated with Hitler’s Gestapo. People without the Third Reich’s stamp of approval were hauled off to Nazi Germany’s version of Halliburton detention centers. Today Americans are on the verge of being asked for their papers, although probably without the “please.”

Thanks to a government that has turned its back on the US Constitution, Americans now have an unaccountable Department of Homeland Security that is already asserting tyrannical powers over US citizens and state governments. Headed by the neocon fanatic Michael Chertoff, the Orwellian-sounding Department of Homeland Security has mandated a national identity card for Americans, without which Americans may not enter airports or courthouses.

There is no more need for this card than there is for a Department of Homeland Security. Neither are compatible with a free society.

However, Bush, the neocons, Republicans and Democrats do not want America to any longer be a free society, and they are taking freedom away from us just as they took away the independence of the media.

Free and informed people get in the way of power-mad zealots with agendas.

It is the agendas that are supreme, not the American people, who have less and less say about less and less.

George W. Bush, an elected president, has behaved like a dictator since September 11, 2001. If “our” representatives in Congress care, they haven’t done anything about it. Bush has pretty much cut Congress out of the action.

In truth, Congress gave up its law making powers to the executive branch during the New Deal. For three-quarters of a century, the bills passed by Congress have been authorizations for executive branch agencies to make laws in the form of regulations. The executive branch has come to the realization that it doesn’t really need Congress. President Bush appends his own “signing statements” to the authorizations from Congress in which the President says what the legislation means. So what is the point of Congress?

As for laws already on the books, the US Department of Justice (sic) has ruled that the President doesn’t have to abide by US statutes, such as FISA or the law forbidding torture. Neither does the President have to abide by the Geneva Conventions.

Other obstacles are removed by edicts known as presidential directives or executive orders. There are more and more of these edicts, and they accumulate more and more power and less and less accountability in the executive.

The disdain in which the executive branch holds the “separate and equal” legislative branch is everywhere apparent. For example, President Bush is concluding a long-term security agreement with the puppet government he has set up in Iraq. Prior to September 11, 2001, when the President became The Decider, a defense pact was a treaty requiring the approval of Congress.

All that is now behind us. General Douglas Lute, President Bush’s national security adviser for Iraq says that the White House will not be submitting the deal to Congress for approval. Lute says Bush will not be seeking any “formal inputs from the Congress.”

“There is no question that this is unprecedented,” said Yale Law School Professor Oona Hathaway. [Bush plan for Iraq would be a first, By Charlie Savage, The Boston Globe, January 25, 2008]

Bush can do whatever he wants, because Congress has taken its only remaining power—impeachment—off the table.

The Democratic Party leadership thinks that the only problem is Bush, who will be gone in one year. Besides, the Israel Lobby doesn’t want Israel’s champion impeached, and neither do the corporate owners of the US media.

The Democrats are not adverse to inheriting the powers in Bush’s precedents. The Democrats, of course, will use the elevated powers for good rather than for evil.

Instead of having a bad dictator, we’ll have a good one.

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington;  Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Liberty Does Not Mean Security by William Mac


This Week in Time

By William Mac
This Week in Time

featured writer
Dandelion Salad


We are led to believe that, through legislations such as The Real ID act, Patriot Act and Protect America Act as well as President Bush’s claims that Iran is a threat to our security is supposed to keep us safe. We are led to believe that these legislations and claims are patriotic (hence the names). However, you will never be safe, the security you feel you have is only an illusion. Yet, in light of this, it doesn’t make any sense to give up your liberty and freedom under the illusion of security. Liberty can, was, and will remain a truth – a tangible fact. Fight for Liberty and stop giving it up for false security.

In this week’s episode I attempt to illustrate how Liberty and freedom are not easy to live with. It forces men and women to constantly be on their toes, to fight hard and to be self-sufficient. After all, Liberty is the essence of privacy and self-sufficiency.

I’m sure that all have met that sheltered child sometime in our life thus far. You know the one. His/her mother dresses him, makes him go to bed at 8:00 PM every night, doesn’t let him watch the TV shows or movies everyone else gets to watch, doesn’t get to cross the street, doesn’t get to go Trick or Treating, doesn’t get to drive a car, doesn’t get to eat candy or fast food, doesn’t get to go to parties or get-togethers,

That child is usually not a happy one and his/her parents are often referred to as “over protective”. They are afraid that their child will become corrupt, become injured or become killed and the fear consumes them.

Why let the government do these same things to us? Better yet, why ask for it?

Life is full of danger – Liberty is dangerous. You will never be safe. You are always in danger of terrorism either from abroad or from within. You are always in danger of dying at any time – nothing on earth will be able to save you from what – not your nice neighbors or neighborhood watch, not gun control, not police, not microchip trackers or Real Ids or the War on Terror, not tags, not security cameras, not jails, not police, not your gated houses – nothing.

You can eat all of the right foods and stay away from drinking and smoking, but you’ll never live forever and will always be under the threat of sickness virus and cancer. You can be raped, murdered, robbed and tortured – nothing will ever change that.

The only security you have is the faith in the illusion thereof. Just like your money has no value except for people’s belief in what its value is, so is your false hope of security.

It makes no sense to give up our freedoms while we are alive so that we can enjoy this false sense that security is protecting us. You may be less assessable to attack if you are tagged and caged and monitored – it’s true – but you’ll still be tagged and caged nonetheless.

The primary thing that makes life worth living is our ability to live through it freely and to struggle to maintain that freedom. It is our ability to be private, to have rights and to exercise the use thereof. It is the freedom to protect ourselves and remain self-sufficient – it is Liberty.

I am reminded from the book of Job in the Bible – chapter 3 verse 25 – when Job laments,

“For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me”.

Job lived his life fearing only one thing – that his children would die. It was the only thing he was afraid of. And yet, what he feared the most was thrust upon him.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe this to be a universal fact – that which we greatly fear will always come upon us. So… fear nothing and be free in the peace the lack of it brings.

Thomas Jefferson, in my opinion, was one of the wisest and most grounded of all the founding fathers of his time. I quote him often because I believe his words to be timeless and applicable in a variety of current situations. Here are a few thoughts Jefferson had on Liberty, quoted from various letters he sent over the years:

“The natural progress of things is for Liberty to yield, and government to gain ground”

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much Liberty than those attending too small a degree of it”

“Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of Liberty”

“The boisterous sea of Liberty indeed is never without a wave”

I would also like to provide some Jefferson quotes regarding the Bush administration’s fuck-ups with foreign relations, especially concerning his unfounded threats and warnings on Iran whilst he entangles himself with other even less favorable alliances throughout the globe:

“We certainly cannot deny other nations that principle whereon our own government is founded, that every nation has the right to govern itself internally under what form it pleases, and to change these forms at its own will: and externally to transact business with other nations through whatever organ it chooses, whether that be a king, convention, assembly, committee, president, or whatever it be. The only thing essential is the will of the nation”

“As to everything except commerce, we ought to divorce ourselves from them [nations] all”

“Commerce with all nations, alliance with none should be our motto”

“Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none”

“Unmeddlling with the affairs of other nations, we presume not to prescribe or censure their course. Happy, could we be permitted to pursue our own in peace, and to employ all our means in improving the condition of our citizens”

“Not in our day, but at no distant one, we may shake a rod over the heads of all, which may make the stoutest of them tremble. But I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power, the greater it will be”


Institutionalized Spying on Americans by Stephen Lendman

Police State America – A Look Back and Ahead by Stephen Lendman

Homeland Security to press ahead with Real ID by Anne Broache

Prisoners ‘to be chipped like dogs’ by Brian Brady



Police State

Patriot Act

Institutionalized Spying on Americans by Stephen Lendman

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, January 17, 2008

Homeland Security’s National Applications Office (NAO)

This article reviews two police state tools (among many in use) in America. One is new, undiscussed and largely unknown to the public. The other was covered in a December article by this writer called Police State America. Here it is updated with new information.

The National Applications Office (NAO)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established a new domestic spying operation in 2007 called the National Applications Office (NOA) and described it as “the executive agent to facilitate the use of intelligence community technological assets for civil, homeland security and law enforcement purposes within the United States.” The office was to begin operating last fall to “build on the long-standing work of the Civil Applications Committee (CAC), which was created in 1974 to facilitate the use of the capabilities of the intelligence community for civil, non-defense uses in the United States.”

With or without congressional authorization or oversight, the executive branch is in charge and will let NAO use state-of-the-art technology, including military satellite imagery, to spy on Americans without their knowledge. Implementation is delayed, however, after Committee on Homeland Security Chairman, Bennie Thompson, and other committee members raised questions of “very serious privacy and civil liberties concerns.” In response, DHS agreed to delay operating (officially) until all matters are addressed and resolved.

Given its track record post-9/11, expect little more than pro forma posturing before Congress signs off on what Kate Martin, the director of the Center for National Security Studies, calls “Big Brother in the Sky” and a “police state” in the offing.

DHS supplies this background information on NAO. Post-9/11, the Director of National Intelligence appointed an Independent Study Group (ISG) in May, 2005 to “review the current operation and future role of the (1974) Civil Applications Committee and study the current state of Intelligence Community support to homeland security and law enforcement entities.”

In September 2005, the Committee produced a “Blue Ribbon Study,” now declassified. Its nine members were headed by and included three Booz Allen Hamilton officials because of the company’s expertise in spying and intelligence gathering. Its other members have similar experience. They all have a vested interest in domestic spying because the business potential is huge for defense related industries and consultants.

ISG members included:

Keith Hall, Chairman
Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton

Edward G. Anderson
LTG US Army (Ret),
Principal, Booz Allen Hamilton

Thomas W. Conroy
Vice President
National Security Programs
Northrop Grumman/TASC

Patrick M. Hughes
LTG US Army (Ret)
Vice President, Homeland Security
L-3 Communications

Kevin O’Connell
Director of Defense Group Incorporated (DGI)
Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis (CIRA)

CIRA is a think tank that calls itself “the premier open source and cultural intelligence exploitation cell for the US intelligence community.” Its business is revolutionizing intelligence analysis.

Jeff Baxter
Independent Defense Consultant with DOD and industry ties

Dr. Paul Gilman
Oak Ridge Center for Advanced Studies

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
US Department of Energy

Kemp Lear
Booz Allen Hamilton, and

Joseph D. Whitley, Esq
Alston & Bird LLP, Government Investigations and Compliance Group, former Acting Associate Attorney General in GHW Bush administration, and former General Counsel for DHS under GW Bush

The ISG’s report produced 11 significant findings and 27 recommendations based on its conclusion that there’s “an urgent need for action because opportunities to better protect the nation are being missed.” It “concluded a new management and process model (is) needed to effectively employ IC (Intelligence Community) capabilities for domestic uses.”

In March 2006, DHS unveiled the new agency to implement ISG’s recommendations called the National Applications Office. In May, 2007, Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Michael McConnell, named DHS as its executive agent and functional manager. At least in principle according to DHS, Congress agreed with this approach and to provide funding for it, beginning in the fall of 2007.

The public knew nothing about this until a feature August 15, 2007 Wall Street Journal story broke the news. It was headlined “US to Expand Use of Spy Satellites.” It noted that for the first time the nation’s top intelligence official (DNI’s McConnell) “greatly expanded the range of federal and local (civilian law enforcement agencies that) can get access to” military spy satellite collected information. Until now, civilian use was restricted to agencies like NASA and the US Geological Survey, and only for scientific and environmental study.

The Journal explained that key objectives under new guidelines will be:

— border security,

— securing critical infrastructure and helping emergency responders after natural disasters,

— working with criminal and civil federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, and

— unmentioned by the Journal, the ability to spy on anyone, anywhere, anytime domestically for any reason – an unprecedented act using state-of-the-art technology enabling real-time, high-resolution images and data from space.

NAO will also oversee classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and other US agencies involved in dealing with all aspects of national security, including “terrorism.”

NSA was established in 1952, is super-secret, and for many years was never revealed to exist. Today, its capabilities are awesome and worrisome. It eavesdrops globally, mines a vast amount of data, and does it through a network of spy satellites, listening posts, and surveillance planes to monitor virtually all electronic communications from landline and cell phones, telegrams, emails, faxes, radio and television, data bases of all kinds and the internet.

NGA is new and began operating in 2003. It lets military and intelligence analysts monitor virtually anything or anyone from state-of-the-art spy satellites. Both NSA and NGA coordinate jointly with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) that designs, builds and operates military spy satellites. It also analyzes military and CIA-collected aircraft and satellite reconnaissance information.

Combined with warrantless wiretapping, pervasive spying of all kinds, the abandonment of the law and checks and balances, intense secrecy, and an array of repressive post-9/11 legislation, Executive Orders and National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directives, NAO is another national security police state tool any despot would love. It’s now established and may be operating without congressional approval.

Using spy satellites domestically “is largely uncharted territory,” as the Wall Street Journal noted. Even its architects admit there’s no clarity on this, and the ISG’s report stated “There is little if any policy, guidance or procedures regarding the collection, exploitation and dissemination of domestic MASINT (Measurement and Signatures Intelligence).”

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is the main DOD spy agency. It manages MASINT that’s ultra-secret and sophisticated. It uses state-of-the-art radar, lasers, infrared sensors, electromagnetic data and other technologies that can detect chemicals, electro-magnetic activity, whether a nuclear power plant produces plutonium, and the type vehicle from its exhaust. It can also see under bridges, through clouds, forest canopies and even concrete to create images and collect data. In addition, it can detect people, activity and weapons that satellites and photo-reconnaissance aircraft miss, so it’s an invaluable spy tool but highly intrusive and up to now only for military and foreign intelligence work.

Further, military spy satellites are state-of-the-art and superior to civilian ones. They record in color as well as black and white, use different parts of the light spectrum to track human activities and ground movements and can detect chemical weapons traces and people-generated heat in buildings.

This much we know about them. Their full potential is top secret and available only to the military and intelligence community. The Journal quoted an alarmed Gregory Nojeim, senior counsel and director of the Project on Freedom, Security and Technology, that advocates for digital age privacy rights saying: “Not only is the surveillance they are contemplating intrusive and omnipresent, it’s also invisible. And that’s what makes this so dangerous.”

Anyone for any reason may be watched at all times (through walls) with no way to know it, but a June 2001 (before 9/11) Supreme Court decision offers hope. In Kyllo v. United States, the Court ruled for petitioner 5 to 4 (with Scalia and Thomas in the majority). It voided a conviction based on police use of thermal imaging to detect heat in his triplex to determine if an illegal drug was being grown, in this case marijuana.

The Court held: “Where, as here, the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of a private home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a Fourth Amendment ‘search,” and is presumptively unreasonable without a warrant….To withdraw protection of this minimum expectation would be to permit police technology to erode the privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment” protecting against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

In 1981, Ronald Reagan seemed to agree in Executive Order 12333 on United States Intelligence Activities. It bars the intelligence community from most forms of home eavesdropping while providing wide latitude to all government agencies to “provide the President and the National Security Council with the necessary information (needed to) conduct….foreign, defense and economic policy (and protect US) national interests from foreign security threats. (Collecting this information is to be done, however,) consistent with the Constitution and applicable law….”

That was then, and this is now. It’s hard imagining congressional concern or DHS meaning that NAO will “prioritize the protection of privacy and civil liberties” and citing the Reagan Executive Order and the 1974 Privacy Act. That law mandates that no government agency “shall disclose any record (or) system of records by any means of communication to any person, or to another agency, except pursuant to a written request, or with the prior written consent of, the individual to whom the record pertains.” The Privacy act requires the US government to maintain an administrative and physical security system to prevent the unauthorized release of personal records.

Post-9/11, the Patriot Act ended that protection, so DHS is shameless saying NAO must comply with civil liberties and privacy laws and be subject to “oversight by the DHS Inspector General, Chief Privacy Officer, and the Officer for Civil Rights and Liberties” plus additional oversight. No longer post-9/11 when the national security state got repressive new tools to erode the constitution, ignore democratic principles, and give the President unrestricted powers in the name of national security. NAO is the latest one watching us as our “Big Brother in the Sky.” Orwell would be proud.

Real ID Act Update – Another Intrusive Police State Tool

The Read ID Act of 2005 required states to meet federal ID standards by May, 2008. That’s now changed because 29 states passed or introduced laws that refuse to comply. They call the Act costly to administer, a bureaucratic nightmare, and New Hampshire said it’s “repugnant” and violates the state and US Constitutions.

The federal law mandates that every US citizen and legal resident have a national ID card that in most cases is a driver’s license meeting federal standards. It requires it to contain an individual’s personal information and makes one mandatory to open a bank account, board an airplane, be able to vote, get a job, enter a federal building, or conduct virtually all essential business requiring identification.

States balked, and that doomed the original version. On January 11, changes were unveiled when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued binding new rules. Under them, states have until 2011 to comply (instead of 2008), until 2014 to issue “tamper-proof licenses” to drivers born after 1964, and until 2017 for those born before this date. DHS said the original law would cost states $14 billion. The new regulations with an extended phase-in cuts the amount to around $3.9 billion or $8 per license.

These numbers may be bogus, however, the true costs may be far higher, and that’s why the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) is lobbying for Real ID’s passage. Its members include high-tech card makers like Digimarc and Northrup Grumman and data brokers like Choicepoint and LexisNexis that profit by selling personal information to advertisers and the government.

Under new DHS rules, licenses must include a digital photo taken at the beginning of the application process and a filament or other security device to prevent counterfeiting. They must also have three layers of security that states can select from a DHS menu. In addition, states must begin checking license applicants’ Social Security and immigration status over the next year.

As of now, a controversial radio frequency identification (RFID) technology microchip isn’t required. It may come later, however, and here’s the problem. It’ll let cardholder movements and activities be tracked everywhere, at all times – in other words, a police state dream along with other pervasive spying tools.

Even worse would be mandating human RFID chip implants. It’s not planned so far (but not ruled out), and three states (California, Wisconsin and North Dakota) preemptively banned the practice without recipients’ consent.

Think it can’t happen? Consider a January 13 article in the London Independent headlined “Prisoners ‘to be chipped like dogs.’ ” The article states that civil rights groups and probation officers are furious that “hi-tech ‘satellite’…. machine-readable (microchip) tagging (is) planned (for thousands of offenders) to create more space in jails.” Unlike ankle bracelets now sometimes used, tiny RFID chips would be surgically implanted for monitoring the way they’re currently used for dogs, cats, cattle and luggage. They’re more reliable, it’s believed, as current devices can be tampered with or removed.

Ken Jones, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), was quoted saying: “We have looked at….the practicalities and the ethics (and we concluded) its time has come.” The UK currently has the largest prison population per capita in western Europe. It sounds like authorities plan to expand it using fewer cells. It also sounds like a scheme to tag everyone after testing them first on prisoners. And consider the possibilities. RFID technology is advancing, and one company plans deeper implants that can vibrate, emit electroshocks, broadcast a message to the implantee, and/or be a hidden microphone to transmit conversations. It’s not science fiction, and what’s planned for the UK will likely come to America. In fact, it’s already here.

In 2004, the FDA approved a grain-of-rice sized, antenna-containing VeriChip for human implantation that allows vital information to be read when a person’s body is scanned. The company states on its web site that it’s “the world’s first and only patented, FDA-cleared, human-implantable RFID microchip….with skin-sensing capabilities.” Reportedly, about 2000 test subjects now have them, but it may signal mandatory implantation ahead. Consider for whom for starters – prisoners, military personnel and possibly anyone seeking employment. After them, maybe everyone in a brave new global surveillance world.

It gets worse. Katherine Albrecht authored a report called “Microchip-Cancer Report – Microchip-Induced Tumors in Laboratory Rodents and Dogs: A Review of the Literature 1990-2006.” After reading it, Dr. Robert Benezra, Director Cancer Biology, Genetics Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center said: “There’s no way in the world, having read this information, that I would have one of those chips implanted in my skin, or in one of my family members. Given the preliminary animal data, it looks to me that there’s definitely cause for concern.”

Albrecht’s report evaluated 11 previously published toxicology and pathology studies. In six of them, up to 10.2% of rats and mice developed malignant tumors (typically sarcomas) where microchips were implanted. Two others reported the same findings for dogs. These tumors spread fast and “often led to the death of the afflicted animals. In many cases, the tumors metastasized and spread to other parts of the animals. The implants were unequivocally identified as the cause of the cancers.”

Report reviews, conclusions and recommendations were to immediately stop further human implantations, inform people with them of the dangers, offer a microchip removal procedure, and reverse all animal microchipping mandates.

Debate Ahead on New DHS ID Rules

DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said new ID rules require states to verify each cardholder’s personal information (including a person’s legal status in the country) by matching it against federal Social Security and passport databases and/or comparable state ones.

States have time to adjust, but Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy wasted no time saying he’ll recommend legislation to ban Real ID drivers’ license provisions because “so many Americans oppose” them. They’re intrusive, burdensome, and federal databases are full of false or out-of-date information that’s hard to disprove, but unless it is Americans will be denied their legal right to a driver’s license.

The ACLU also strongly opposes Real ID because it violates privacy, lets government agencies share data, and its “tortured remains” represent an “utterly unworkable” system that will “irreparably damage the fabric of American life.” An ACLU January 11 press release further states that DHS “dumped the problems of the statute on future presidents like a rotting corpse left on (its) steps (and) whoever is president in 2018.” Congress must “recognize the situation and take action.” The Real ID Act and new DHS rules must be “repealed and replaced with a clean, simple, and vigorous new driver’s license security law that does not create a national ID” or violate Americans’ privacy.

Futuristic Hi-Tech Profiling

On January 14, Computerworld online revealed more cause for concern in an article called “Big Brother Really is Watching.” It’s about DHS “bankrolling futuristic profiling technology….” for its Project Hostile Intent. It, in turn, is part of a broader initiative called the Future Attribute Screening Technologies Mobile Module. It’s to be a self-contained, automated screening system that’s portable and easy to implement, and DHS hopes to test it at airports in 2010 and deploy it (if it works) by 2012 at airports, border checkpoints, other points of entry and other security-related areas.

Here’s the problem. If developed (reliable or not), these devices will use video, audio, laser and infrared sensors to feed real-time data into a computer using “specially developed algorithms” to identify “suspicious people.” It would work (in theory) by interpreting gestures, facial expressions and speech variations as well as measure body temperature, heart and respiration rate, blood pressure, skin moisture, and other physiological characteristics.

The idea would be detect deception and identify suspicious people for aggressive interrogation, searches and even arrest. But consider what’s coming. If developed, the technology may be used anywhere by government or the private sector for airport or other checkpoint security, buildings, job interviews, employee screening, buying insurance or conducting any other type essential business.

Aside from Fourth Amendment issues, here’s the problem according to Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer at security consultant BT Counterpane: “It’s a good idea fraught with difficulties….don’t hold your breath” it will work, and a better idea is to focus on detecting suspicious objects. Schneier further compares the technology to lie detectors that rely on “fake technology” and only work in films. They’re used because people want them although it’s acknowledged, even when well-administered, their median accuracy percentage is 50% at best.

This technology is worse, it may never be reliable, but may be deployed anyway in the age of “terror.” Something to consider next time we blink going through airport security, and ACLU Technology and Liberty Project director Barry Steinhardt states the concern: “We are not going to catch any terrorists (with it), but a lot of innocent people, especially racial and ethnic minorities, are going to be trapped in a web of suspicion.” Even so, DHS spent billions on this and other screening tools post-9/11. Expect lots more ahead, and here’s the bottom line:

As things now stand, Washington, post-9/11, suspended constitutional protections in the name of national security and suppressed our civil liberties for our own good. This article reviewed their newest tools and wonders what’s next. This writer called it Police State America in December that won’t change with a new White House occupant in 2009 unless organized resistance stops it. Complacency is unthinkable, and unless we act, we’ll deserve Aleksandr Herzen’s curse of another era – to be the “disease,” not the “doctors.”

Stephen Lendman is Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). He lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at

Stephen Lendman is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Stephen Lendman

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Police State America – A Look Back and Ahead by Stephen Lendman

Homeland Security to press ahead with Real ID by Anne Broache

Prisoners ‘to be chipped like dogs’ by Brian Brady

So much for the number of the Beast



Police State

Prisoners ‘to be chipped like dogs’ by Brian Brady

Dandelion Salad

by Brian Brady
Whitehall Editor
The Independent
13 January 2008

Hi-tech ‘satellite’ tagging planned in order to create more space in jails

Civil rights groups and probation officers furious at ‘degrading’ scheme

Ministers are planning to implant “machine-readable” microchips under the skin of thousands of offenders as part of an expansion of the electronic tagging scheme that would create more space in British jails.

Amid concerns about the security of existing tagging systems and prison overcrowding, the Ministry of Justice is investigating the use of satellite and radio-wave technology to monitor criminals.But, instead of being contained in bracelets worn around the ankle, the tiny chips would be surgically inserted under the skin of offenders in the community, to help enforce home curfews. The radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, as long as two grains of rice, are able to carry scanable personal information about individuals, including their identities, address and offending record.

The tags, labelled “spychips” by privacy campaigners, are already used around the world to keep track of dogs, cats, cattle and airport luggage, but there is no record of the technology being used to monitor offenders in the community. The chips are also being considered as a method of helping to keep order within prisons.

A senior Ministry of Justice official last night confirmed that the department hoped to go even further, by extending the geographical range of the internal chips through a link-up with satellite-tracking similar to the system used to trace stolen vehicles. “All the options are on the table, and this is one we would like to pursue,” the source added.

The move is in line with a proposal from Ken Jones, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), that electronic chips should be surgically implanted into convicted paedophiles and sex offenders in order to track them more easily. Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is seen as the favoured method of monitoring such offenders to prevent them going near “forbidden” zones such as primary schools.

“We have wanted to take advantage of this technology for several years, because it seems a sensible solution to the problems we are facing in this area,” a senior minister said last night. “We have looked at it and gone back to it and worried about the practicalities and the ethics, but when you look at the challenges facing the criminal justice system, it’s time has come.”

The Government has been forced to review sentencing policy amid serious overcrowding in the nation’s jails, after the prison population soared from 60,000 in 1997 to 80,000 today. The crisis meant the number of prisoners held in police cells rose 13-fold last year, with police stations housing offenders more than 60,000 times in 2007, up from 4,617 the previous year. The UK has the highest prison population per capita in western Europe, and the Government is planning for an extra 20,000 places at a cost of £3.8bn – including three gigantic new “superjails” – in the next six years.

More than 17,000 individuals, including criminals and suspects released on bail, are subject to electronic monitoring at any one time, under curfews requiring them to stay at home up to 12 hours a day. But official figures reveal that almost 2,000 offenders a year escape monitoring by tampering with ankle tags or tearing them off. Curfew breaches rose from 11,435 in 2005 to 43,843 in 2006 – up 283 per cent. The monitoring system, which relies on mobile-phone technology, can fail if the network crashes.

A multimillion-pound pilot of satellite monitoring of offenders was shelved last year after a report revealed many criminals simply ditched the ankle tag and separate portable tracking unit issued to them. The “prison without bars” project also failed to track offenders when they were in the shadow of tall buildings.

The Independent on Sunday has now established that ministers have been assessing the merits of cutting-edge technology that would make it virtually impossible for individuals to remove their electronic tags.

The tags, injected into the back of the arm with a hypodermic needle, consist of a toughened glass capsule holding a computer chip, a copper antenna and a “capacitor” that transmits data stored on the chip when prompted by an electromagnetic reader.

But details of the dramatic option for tightening controls over Britain’s criminals provoked an angry response from probation officers and civil-rights groups. Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: “If the Home Office doesn’t understand why implanting a chip in someone is worse than an ankle bracelet, they don’t need a human-rights lawyer; they need a common-sense bypass.

“Degrading offenders in this way will do nothing for their rehabilitation and nothing for our safety, as some will inevitably find a way round this new technology.”

Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of the National Association of Probation Officers, said the proposal would not make his members’ lives easier and would degrade their clients. He added: “I have heard about this suggestion, but we feel the system works well enough as it is. Knowing where offenders like paedophiles are does not mean you know what they are doing.

“This is the sort of daft idea that comes up from the department every now and then, but tagging people in the same way we tag our pets cannot be the way ahead. Treating people like pieces of meat does not seem to represent an improvement in the system to me.”

The US market leader VeriChip Corp, whose parent company has been selling radio tags for animals for more than a decade, has sold 7,000 RFID microchips worldwide, of which about 2,000 have been implanted in humans. The company claims its VeriChips are used in more than 5,000 installations, crossing healthcare, security, government and industrial markets, but they have also been used to verify VIP membership in nightclubs, automatically gaining the carrier entry – and deducting the price of their drinks from a pre-paid account.

The possible value of the technology to the UK’s justice system was first highlighted 18 months ago, when Acpo’s Mr Jones suggested the chips could be implanted into sex offenders. The implants would be tracked by satellite, enabling authorities to set up “zones”, including schools, playgrounds and former victims’ homes, from which individuals would be barred.

“If we are prepared to track cars, why don’t we track people?” Mr Jones said. “You could put surgical chips into those of the most dangerous sex offenders who are willing to be controlled.”

The case for: ‘We track cars, so why not people?’

The Government is struggling to keep track of thousands of offenders in the community and is troubled by an overcrowded prison system close to bursting. Internal tagging offers a solution that could impose curfews more effectively than at present, and extend the system by keeping sex offenders out of “forbidden areas”. “If we are prepared to track cars, why don’t we track people?” said Ken Jones, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo).

Officials argue that the internal tags enable the authorities to enforce thousands of court orders by ensuring offenders remain within their own walls during curfew hours – and allow the immediate verification of ID details when challenged.

The internal tags also have a use in maintaining order within prisons. In the United States, they are used to track the movement of gang members within jails.

Offenders themselves would prefer a tag they can forget about, instead of the bulky kit carried around on the ankle.

The case against: ‘The rest of us could be next’

Professionals in the criminal justice system maintain that the present system is 95 per cent effective. Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is unproven. The technology is actually more invasive, and carries more information about the host. The devices have been dubbed “spychips” by critics who warn that they would transmit data about the movements of other people without their knowledge.

Consumer privacy expert Liz McIntyre said a colleague had already proved he could “clone” a chip. “He can bump into a chipped person and siphon the chip’s unique signal in a matter of seconds,” she said.

One company plans deeper implants that could vibrate, electroshock the implantee, broadcast a message, or serve as a microphone to transmit conversations. “Some folks might foolishly discount all of these downsides and futuristic nightmares since the tagging is proposed for criminals like rapists and murderers,” Ms McIntyre said. “The rest of us could be next.”

h/t: Mariné

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States within the USA need to rebel By Jim Kirwan

California could become third state to ban forced microchip tag implants (RFID) by Orr Shtuhl (09.07)

Homeland Security to press ahead with Real ID by Anne Broache

Repress U – How to Build a Homeland Security Campus in 7 Steps By Michael Gould-Wartofsky



States within the USA need to rebel By Jim Kirwan

Dandelion Salad

By Jim Kirwan
13/01/08 “ICH

Bush & his Bandits have been watching too much FOX Television. Someone needs to tell George that he’s not living an episode of “24,” and that his view of a national threat is being influenced by believing in too many of his own skewed fantasies about national security. (1)

In view of yesterday’s declaration by the Media that ‘all States will comply with the National ID Act by this coming May, or their citizens will be refused permission to fly’—The governor’s of the States within the United States need to rebel, as a body, against this completely unwarranted ORDER from the White House via Michael Chertoff, whose own US citizenship is in doubt. (2)

When the Decider took away the State’s National Guard Units, to use them for his private war on Iraq: Bush violated both the spirit and the reasons behind the need for the National Guard in the first place. There are over two and half million men and women in US military uniforms, but apparently that was not enough force to complete his failed mission in Iraq. He claimed to NEED the services and equipment of all our National Guard units as well.

Has anyone in the thoroughly tarnished administration even heard of “states rights” – maybe the State’s of the United States have NO RIGHTS AT ALL anymore! We know people no longer have any rights in the USA – now the same is apparently true for our supposedly sovereign States as well? (3)

However Bush has now gone further—he is threatening the citizens of every State that has made a choice against the National ID Card Act, with refusing to allow their citizens to fly. Bush has exceeded his authority because apparently he has never understood that in this country the individual States do have rights, especially when they confront the Federal Government. We have not yet become a total dictatorship!

This new “law” came into existence in complete secrecy, and was signed into law on 5-5-05. Why was it exactly that congress needed to pass the Real ID card legislation without ANY public discussion at all: and then after this piece of national treachery was signed, why was it essentially hidden by a near total news blackout – until now?

Its one thing to tell the nation what is needed – but another thing entirely to just pass a law by fiat – and then compound this obscenity by threatening to bar citizens from flying unless their individual States comply with the autocratic-will of an out-of-control executive branch. (4)

First this government (the same one that was supposedly blind-sided by 911) needs to conclusively prove to every citizen that they KNOW anything at all about “SECURITY” or data theft – and then the nation needs to have an open and very public discussion about the specifics of the supposed ‘need’ for this national ID Card.

Security does not come from make-believe credentials that can always be forged—the record of this fact goes all the way back to the very earliest beginning of recorded history itself. Real security involves using ‘intelligence’ to detect plans before they can commence. But in this case there has only been the total failure of ‘our’ supposed Airport Security Screeners, (TSA) virtually every time they’ve been actually tested. – and there have been no further attempted hijackings: Ergo what “threat” are these Bandits going to protect us from?

Yesterday’s ‘demand’ also contained warnings about some need to prevent con men and others from fraudulently stealing identities and other minor crimes – this is not enough reason to subject every American citizen to divulging all their personal information to any jerk with a badge, that might think a given person might present a problem. In fact that’s why the Amendments to the Constitution were written—specifically to protect PEOPLE from the government; and NOT the other way round.

To solve this current attack upon the right of citizens and States to refuse to abide by a secretly written federal mandate: The States should jointly refuse to collect Federal Income Taxes for the federal government, until Chertoff is sent back to Israel, and Bush rescinds this bogus threat against the rights of every American citizen to be secure in their person, their papers, and their lives.

Chertoff does not make the laws, and the Congress had the obligation to publicly debate this obscenity before they passed it—just as the media had an obligation to report on this ‘ACT’ at the time. None of this was done in the interests of the public that is now expected to not only suffer from it, but to pay for it as well. The Constitution is clear about how legislation is to be handled, so that the public is represented in ALL matters that concern the freedom and the individuality of both the States and the people.

This is an attempt by the administration to begin to turn this nation into a very thinly disguised concentration camp, and they must be stopped cold in this flagrant and illegal imposition against the people of this country!

1) ABC News – video

2) Michael Chertoff – the man & his Star-crossed Past

3) The National Governors Association

4) New ID Rules May Complicate Air Travel

Background: Our CRIMINAL Justice System

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California could become third state to ban forced microchip tag implants (RFID) by Orr Shtuhl (09.07)

Homeland Security to press ahead with Real ID by Anne Broache

Repress U – How to Build a Homeland Security Campus in 7 Steps By Michael Gould-Wartofsky



It’s time to impeach our VP and Pres:

California could become third state to ban forced microchip tag implants (RFID) by Orr Shtuhl (09.07)

It’s a bit dated, but still has useful info.  ~ Lo

Dandelion Salad

by Orr Shtuhl

Global Research, January 12, 2008 – 2007-09-18

It would be an interesting feature of an employee’s first day: sign a contract, fill out a W-2 and roll up your sleeve for your microchip injection.

Sounds like sci-fi, but it’s happened, and now a handful of states are making sure their citizens will never be forced to have a microchip implanted under their skin.

If Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signs a bill passed Sept. 4, California would join Wisconsin and North Dakota in banning human implanting of these tags without consent.

No one’s quite sure how real a threat these forced implants might be, or why states are feeling compelled to protect their residents from being physically tagged. Lawmakers are calling the legislation pre-emptive, while the industry that produces the technology sees the states’ action as fear mongering.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags – tiny, data-storing microchips about the size of a grain of rice – are in passports, in Wal-Mart factory shipments and in subway passes in cities from New York to Taiwan. They are also in humans. On one less-than-likely episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” a paranoid actor Bob Saget even uses one to monitor his adulterous wife.

Unlike Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, which is used for constant, real-time tracking, RFID tags are scanned at close range – usually from a few feet to a few inches. The tags are tracked by scanners installed at checkpoints, such as office doors or warehouse loading docks. The systems are also commonly used in highway toll collection and as theft protection in car keys.

In humans, they have been used to store medical information, to track movement and to gain access to locked rooms. To date, 2,000 RFID chips have been sold for implantation in humans, says VeriChip Corp., the only manufacturer with a Food and Drug Administration-approved implantable chip.

The company is focusing its technology on medical patient identification, and about 400 patients, including those with Alzheimer’s disease, have RFIDs implanted. Other VeriChip human implants have been used by a Spanish nightclub to allow VIPs with implanted chips to bypass entrance lines and by the Mexico attorney general’s staff to safeguard identity information at a time when the kidnapping of government officials there is not uncommon.

Some customers are using them as high-tech keys. Ohio security firm raised eyebrows in 2006 when it requested that some of its employees be “chipped,” or implanted with tags for access to certain rooms. According to published reports, only two employees got the implants before the company dropped the program. has since shut down.

But forced chipping has been a rare practice, leading some industry spokespeople to decry regulation as “scare tactics.”

Wisconsin enacted the first RFID ban in May 2006, and North Dakota in April. Colorado and Ohio have bills in committee, and Oklahoma and Florida saw theirs die last session. Except for one U.S. House proposal to use RFID tags to track prescription drugs, Congress has not widely addressed the technology.

Legislators admit that the few laws being enacted are pre-emptive. Wisconsin state Rep. Marlin Schneider (D) had never heard of when he drafted the first implant ban.

“I had heard about this device from CNN or someplace, and I went into the office and said, ‘Get a bill drafted that prohibits this,’” he said. “This is beyond even what Orwell imagined.”

State Sen. Joe Simitian (D), who authored California’s bill, said he first looked into RFID legislation after grade schools in Sutter County, Calif., required students to wear IDs containing the chips to help monitor attendance. The move prompted privacy complaints from parents, and the school eventually stopped using the technology.

Simitian introduced four other RFID bills, dealing with criminal punishment for identity theft, security standards and use of these tags in driver’s licenses and school IDs.

All four proposals were originally pieces of California’s Identity Information Protection Act of 2006, which passed but was vetoed by Schwarzenegger. In a statement, he recommended waiting for standards from the federal Real ID Act, a plan to organize states’ driver’s licenses into a national system. The governor has until Oct. 14 to sign or veto the newly passed bill.

The lack of security in the chips is particularly alarming, Simitian said, and is a major reason he thinks the state should step in with regulation. A May 2006 story in Wired Magazine featured Jonathan Westhues, a 24-year-old engineer who demonstrated how he could (and did) covertly scan a company’s RFID employee badge and break into the office – all with a cheap, homemade reader. He’s since posted detailed instructions on how to make the reader on his Web site.

Westhues likens RFID chips to “a repurposed dog tag. … The Verichip is built with no attempt at security, and is therefore not very special to clone,” he writes on his Web site.

How low-tech are these homemade readers?

Determined to show the security flaws to skeptics in the Legislature, Simitian asked a tech-savvy grad student from his office to build one. The student then wandered the state Capitol one afternoon with the reader in his briefcase. In the process, he stole the security numbers of nine representatives. The reader could send out any of those numbers, getting him past any locked door a state senator would have access to. And he would appear as the senator in the electronic records.

Manufacturers and industry representatives say that no cases of such identity theft have been documented. But depending on the desired level of security, cameras and guards should be used in addition to RFID tags, says the AeA (formerly the American Electronics Association).

The technology is being embraced by a few government agencies. Both Vermont and Washington state have agreed to work with the Department of Homeland Security to test RFID driver’s licenses, although they won’t be required by citizens. The U.S. Department of Defense has been tracking shipments with RFID tags since 2003.

Besides possible privacy breaches, the new technology also has raised health alarms. Studies of implants used in the past 12 years have linked RFIDs to cancer in lab mice and rats, according to The Associated Press.

The studies did not have control groups for the cancer, and manufacturers report no complications with the millions of pets that have had various chip implants over the last 15 years. But the results were enough for some scientists to question the FDA’s approval of the technology.

Comment on this story in the space below by registering with, or e-mail your feedback to our Letters to the editor sectionat  

Contact Orr Shtuhl at

Related stories:

California law on ID theft seen as model
Real ID dropouts leave security holes
States’ rebellion at Real ID echoes in Congress
Two states lead revolt against Real ID
Real ID deadline delayed
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Homeland Security to press ahead with Real ID by Anne Broache

Repress U – How to Build a Homeland Security Campus in 7 Steps By Michael Gould-Wartofsky



Homeland Security to press ahead with Real ID by Anne Broache

Dandelion Salad

by Anne Broache
Jan. 11, 2008

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Friday plans to take the next step in getting its controversial Real ID plan off the ground, despite opposition from numerous states and privacy groups.

At a midday press conference in Washington, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is scheduled to take the wraps off final regulations for the electronic identification card mandate and to make another pitch for the scheme’s perceived importance in keeping Americans safe from terrorist threats.

read more | digg story


Repress U – How to Build a Homeland Security Campus in 7 Steps By Michael Gould-Wartofsky



The Big Brother Agenda – Britain’s Spy Cameras and ID cards by Trevor Murphy

by Trevor Murphy
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
December 3, 2007

It is interesting to point out at this juncture, that 3500+ laws that have been passed, causing massive reduction of civil liberties, countless examples of infringements of human rights, the placement of over 4,000,000 cameras in England (accounting for over 20% of the worlds total of CCTV), police are now all equipped with head cameras and spy drones flying over our cities watching our every move and all over the country councils are introducing spy cameras in our bins to ensure ‘the correct amount of recycling’ (it’s the stuff of pure science fiction movies depicting a world hundreds of years into a sinister future) the introduction of shameful ID card that we will all be forced to carry thereby enriching the cronies of Blair to the tune of approximately £90.00 for every man woman and child in the country (the same ID cards, no doubt, that obviously stopped the Madrid train bombers if that story can be believed).

Continue reading

It’s Time to Fire Washington! by Debbie Lewis (Homegrown Terrorism)

Dandelion Salad

by Debbie Lewis
Global Research, November 2, 2007

When will United States Citizens ever decide enough is enough and fire Washington?

Congress is pulling another fast one and no one is paying attention. As if wanting to control the entire population via the latest proposed commission, H.R. 1955, otherwise known as the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007,” is a slick piece of legislation. The way it reads, we are heading straight for an Authoritarian style government (like we are not in one already!).

This new bill is to be added to Title VIII of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, another questionable piece of legislation. Where, may one ask, is representation for “We the People?” The vote for passage in the House of Representatives was 404 ayes to 6 nays and 22 representatives not voting. People on the right or the left think their representation is the best, but quite frankly, there is clearly little difference. Of the fifteen sponsors for this bill, eleven of them are Democrats. The bill has now moved to the Senate for approval, with its two sponsors being Republican.

The title, alone, is offensive. “Homegrown Terrorism?” It will come as no surprise, but the language is also extremely vague. Take the very first line: “To prevent homegrown terrorism and for other purposes.” The Senate version has similar language: “To establish the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism, and for other purposes.”

Honestly, “…for other purposes?” We pay these people how much and we get “…for other purposes” in a piece of legislation governing the United States of America? Can they be more vague? Furthermore, why aren’t more US citizens outraged at such unclear language?

The definitions for the phrases “violent radicalization,” “homegrown terrorism,” as well as “ideologically based violence” are almost as interesting as the terminology “…for other purposes.”

To radicalize means to go through sweeping change, while radicalization means to go from an active or passive stance to one of a more militaristic or intense stance. Are they talking about the United States citizens or the US government? Our government has taken on a vastly more violently radicalized stance in this War on Terror, but, so far, the citizens are taking a more peaceful approach, that of public protests. Do they mean to say that these protests are somehow violently radicalizing? I attended the rather large End the War rally in Washington DC on September 15, 2007, and it wasn’t violent at all. In fact, it was inspiring!

What about the oh-so-cleverly coined phrase “ideologically based violence?” According to the framers of this piece of legislation, this string of words is to mean the “use, planned use or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual’s political, religious or social belief.” First of all, planned use? Are they now referring to thought crimes? Secondly, what about the threats of government to try and force the Real ID card on us, or vaccines, or the loss of our civil liberties? Would that not fall under this same category? If so, it appears to me the first casualty of this new legislation should be…The USA PATRIOT Act!

In light of these definitions, one must wonder if the current Congress would see our founding father’s actions as homegrown terrorism using violent radicalization and ideologically based violence to set our country free from the tyrannical government of England. Better yet, can the citizens of the United States consider the current administration as using violent radicalization and ideologically based violence to promote their agenda around the world or promote an idea, here at home?

This is sounding more and more like the War on Terror is coming home, and not in a good way! The internet has been sited as an aid in “facilitating violent radicalization….” (Our government hasn’t figured out a way to take a controlling interest in the internet yet, now have they?) Also, according to HR 1955, preventing such behavior cannot be readily brought about by the “traditional Federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts.” They plan to include state and local efforts, as well as including the US Postal Service and university-based Centers of Excellence, these latter being established by the Secretary of Homeland Security. This Commission sounds like it is being governed by…The USA PATRIOT Act!

If I’m not mistaken, though, I do believe President Bush did say, “…either you are with us, you are with the terrorists.” In light of the growing disenchantment of the US citizens with regards to this illegal war, does that make United States citizens the enemy of the United States government it elects? Apparently so, hence the need for this commission and legislation!

This newly proposed ten member Commission for the prevention of these so-called violent radicalizations, homegrown terrorists, and ideologically based violent groups and individuals is going to look toward governments in other countries that have knowledge and “significant experience” in dealing with such behavior, such as the UK, Canada and Australia. We know that the UK is one of the most surveilled countries on the planet and Canada was financially worse off than the US, until recently. I guess I didn’t realize the UK, Canada, and Australia had such problems with their citizens behaving so badly!

It is past time for us, as good US Citizens, to hold our elected officials responsible for the shoddy legislation they are enacting, especially since they are enacting it on our behalf! When will we learn? When will we take up the fight for our own freedoms? When will we be educated enough to realize we need to fire our representatives in Washington and find a better way to preserve our way of life that doesn’t include thousands of pieces of unnecessary legislation?

House of Representatives Text of H.R. 1955: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 House Vote for HR 1955 Senate Text of S. 1959: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 Radicalization is the transformation from passiveness or activism to more revolutionary, militant or extreme postures. Radicalization is often associated with youth, adversity, alienation, social exclusion, poverty or the perception of injustice to self or others. Radicalize-change fundamentally: to undergo fundamental change, or introduce sweeping change in something. Make or become politically radical: to adopt politically radical views or cause somebody to do this. Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People Documentary “One Nation Under Siege” Homeland Security Centers of Excellence

Global Research Articles by Debbie Lewis

Big Brother: House passes the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” by Lee Rogers

One Nation Under Siege – What if everything you were ever told was a lie? (vid; over 18 only)

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Big Brother USA: Surveillance Via “Tagging, Tracking, and Locating” – The Militarization of U.S. Public Service Agencies by Laurel Federbush

Dandelion Salad

by Laurel Federbush
Global Research, September 3, 2007

According to the 2005 Strategy for Homeland Defense and Civil Support, “the terrorist enemy now considers the US homeland a preeminent part of the global theater of combat, and so must we.”

The program of “defense transformation,” initiated by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, included, among other things, two particular concepts: “persistent surveillance” and the need to “deny the enemy sanctuary.” In military thinking, these concepts give rise to the need for constant monitoring of individuals suspected of being terrorists.

There is a special term for that: “Tagging, Tracking, and Locating.” The Defense Science Board’s 2004 Summer Study entitled Transition To and From Hostilities has a whole chapter on this, called “Identification, Location, and Tracking in Asymmetric Warfare.” “Asymmetric warfare,” incidentally, refers to war not against other countries but against unconventional enemies, such as “terrorists.” According to the first paragraph of the Study: “U.S. military forces currently have a superb capability for finding and tracking conventional war targets, such as weapons and military facilities. However, these intelligence assets have a poor capability for finding, identifying, and tracking unconventional war targets, such as individuals and insurgent or terrorist groups that operate by blending in with the larger society.”

The study suggests: “Tagging individuals and material can provide a powerful new tool for locating these modern threats. A tag is defined as something that is attached to the item to be located and/or tracked, which increases its ability to be detected or its probability of identification by a surveillance system suitably tuned to the tag. Tags can be either active (such as radio-emitting tags) or passive (such as radio frequency identification [RFID] tags).” It also says: “The technologies for tagging and associated surveillance represent a very important area for research and technology development.” The report goes so far as to recommend a “Manhattan Project”-like focus on tagging, tracking, and locating. (The Manhattan Project was the effort during World War Two to develop the first nuclear weapons.)

One organization working on tagging, tracking, and locating technologies is the Technical Support Working Group. The Technical Support Working Group, or TSWG, is funded by the Department of Defense and the Department of State, and has many divisions, all of which do research in counterterrorism technology. One of these divisions is the Surveillance, Collection, and Operations Support Subgroup. This Subgroup includes the National Security Agency, the Secret Service, the FBI, the Special Operations Command, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. One of its projects is Tagging, Tracking, and Locating, which is sometimes referred to as “TTL.” The Secret Service, in fact, has been specifically charged by the Department of Homeland Security with spearheading the use of TTL. The subgroup also works on special sensor technologies–sensors being frequently associated with target tracking and other military surveillance applications. According to this subgroup’s own literature, its programs are “classified or highly sensitive. Program requirements, the success of programs, and specific program capabilities cannot be discussed in an open document.”

One of TSWG’s member entities, the Special Operations Command (SOCOM), has been given power, under the Bush administration, to engage in counterterrorism actions all over the world. SOCOM is allowed to operate within the United States under certain circumstances. According to the SOCOM 2002 Report Layout, the Special Operations Command “is more heavily involved in Homeland Defense taskings than originally had been expected, with no let-up in sight.” The Report also observes: “…there is a tendency to suggest new roles and missions for the American military, and in particular SOF [i.e. Special Operations Forces] in the Homeland Defense realm.” The Report expressed the opinion that “care must be taken to avoid diluting SOF’s capabilities by diverting forces to domestic missions, which other agencies should be performing.” Exactly what these domestic missions are, however, is not public knowledge.

Another organization working on TTL technology is the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center–Northeast Region (NLECTC-NE). The NLECTC-NE is actually co-located with the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate, in Rome, New York, which develops various kinds of surveillance technology. The fact that these two entities share a location is no coincidence; in fact, they have a partnership which includes the transfer of military technology to law enforcement.

Another radio frequency identification project being sponsored by the military and developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, at least some of whose details are publicly available, is called “Total Asset Visibility,” and it calls for implantable sensors to be used in American soldiers to monitor their physiological reactions to warfare and to keep track of location. The Army Research Office’s Soldier Status Monitoring Project envisions a day when implantable sensors will enable the military to control soldiers’ physiological reactions from afar. If this kind of dehumanizing technology is being developed for American soldiers, one can only wonder what the U.S. government would be willing to do to those it labels “terrorists.”

These tracking methods are dependent on certain radio systems’ being in place.

The Integrated Wireless Network, or IWN, is a project to link the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and Homeland Security, and later, the Department of Defense, with one secure, interoperable communications system. “Interoperable” means, basically, that all the radio systems and other communications equipment of one department would be compatible with those of the other departments and all the personnel of these different departments could talk to each other without any technological barriers. Development of the IWN has been assigned to the military contractor General Dynamics, along with its various subcontractors. Its systems would be APCO Project 25-compliant, meaning that they would conform to a set of standards developed by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials – International (APCO) to facilitate interoperability. The Special Operations Command, it should be noted, uses APCO Project 25-compliant radios.

The Integrated Wireless Network would operate at 700 MHz, a frequency that enables it to penetrate walls and buildings easily. Needless to say, it also penetrates people easily, and there is evidence linking the 700 MHz frequency to increased risk of cancer.

The Integrated Wireless Network contains an IP backbone, which enables the operation of a number of wireless surveillance devices in the 2.4 Ghz range. Given that this is the same frequency range used by microwave ovens, it is hardly surprising that devices in the 2.4 Ghz range have been linked in certain studies to cancer and other health risks.

Zigbee is one of the 2.4 GHz wireless technologies enabled by the IWN, and it is used in wireless sensor networks, a means of location tracking. Zigbee, of which the Eaton Corporation is a chief proponent, is being marketed as a means of tracking cattle, but it also has the capability for the location tracking of individual people, which is one of the aims of the Secret Service, a primary user of the Integrated Wireless Network.

The militarization of U.S. public service agencies, and the co-opting of public safety radio systems for use as surveillance instruments to track dissidents’ every move, must be resisted if Americans hope to retain any degree of freedom or dignity.

Laurel Federbush is a freelance harpist based in
Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is also an activist against intrusive government surveillance projects as a result of personally witnessing their use against low-income African-Americans in the Detroit area.

Global Research Articles by Laurel Federbush


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