A detailed, in-depth report from the Washington POST on the state of surveillance – your government keeping an eye on you:
Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators.
The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation’s history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.
The government’s goal is to have every state and local law enforcement agency in the country feed information to Washington to buttress the work of the FBI, which is in charge of terrorism investigations in the United States…
The Cold War is over. Excepting the federal bureaucracy has decreed the security interests of the nation are best served by keeping an eye on you. A bigger, stronger, better-funded apparatus for spying on American citizens than anything ever deemed useful in the bad old days.
Today’s story, along with related material on The Post’s Web site, examines how Top Secret America plays out at the local level. It describes a web of 4,058 federal, state and local organizations, each with its own counterterrorism responsibilities and jurisdictions. At least 935 of these organizations have been created since the 2001 attacks or became involved in counterterrorism for the first time after 9/11…
* Technologies and techniques honed for use on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan have migrated into the hands of law enforcement agencies in America.
* The FBI is building a database with the names and certain personal information, such as employment history, of thousands of U.S. citizens and residents whom a local police officer or a fellow citizen believed to be acting suspiciously. It is accessible to an increasing number of local law enforcement and military criminal investigators, increasing concerns that it could somehow end up in the public domain.
* Seeking to learn more about Islam and terrorism, some law enforcement agencies have hired as trainers self-described experts whose extremist views on Islam and terrorism are considered inaccurate and counterproductive by the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies.
* The Department of Homeland Security sends its state and local partners intelligence reports with little meaningful guidance, and state reports have sometimes inappropriately reported on lawful meetings.
RTFA. You may as well know who’s behind the wheel of that black Crown Vic parked down at the foot of your driveway.
Oh, and please – my dear Liberal friends, understand that Barack Obama’s dedication to conformity, spying on citizens, jive rationales for budget-busting copper connivance is in no way different from George W. Bush. The bigot-based followers who transferred their xenophobia from Russians to Arabs aren’t a niche phenomenon.
Craven acquiescence to Big Brother wasn’t limited to conservatives in the day of Uncle Joe McCarthy. Dishwater liberals are just as likely to vote in Congress for “enhanced” security measures as anyone else.
Same as it ever was.