THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND CONTROL
The six of us finally got our luggage hauled up to the ticket counter only to be told, "You have been selected for an extra security search." We were yanked from the counter and immediately led over to a very expensive looking line-up of bomb sniffing x-ray machines. As we stood sheepishly under the watchful gaze of the armed, stern-looking TSA employees, all of our bags got a thorough going over.
Now please understand, I certainly do not want any bomb-carrying psychos waltzing onto the flight I am about to board. I really don't. So I would like to think that somewhere in the great TSA security database there is a profile of a known, potentially dangerous terrorist that would read something like this:
"Be on the lookout for a white, middle aged, heterosexual male, wearing shorts and a stupid looking shirt. Likely to be accompanied by a stunning woman, similarly dressed, with four children."
Because then I would feel better knowing that the intrusive search performed on my family was helping to make the world a safer place. But of course, that is nonsense. The "security" precautions are only a sham, designed to fool us into thinking our government is serious about protecting us.
If securing the homeland were really the objective, then Sec. 102 of the USA Patriot Act would not make the ludicrous argument that "no particular culture, people or religion is responsible for terrorism." Which is just another way of saying that every single one of us is a suspect. What a total crock!
I don't know about you, but it is pretty clear to me which cultures, people and religions have a propensity to blow themselves up on their way to martyrdom. And it's not some guy like me who is just trying to take his family on vacation!
If you and I can figure out which cultures, people and religions pose a danger to us, then our government has figured it out too. So when we are told that a completely random search of all 280 million Americans is an effective way of catching the bad guys, it means they really have no intention of actually catching the bad guys.
So just as it is with almost every aspect of our government these days, the Homeland Security Agency is not quite what it appears to be.
The Homeland Security Act, The Patriot Act, and the soon-to-be-unleashed Patriot Act II have very little to do with providing security to the homeland. They have everything to do with providing our government with a myriad of new powers for keeping all of us under control.
Do you feel safer knowing the federal government is snooping around in your private affairs? Do you feel safer knowing the federal government is looking into your spending habits, bank accounts and medical history? Do you feel safer boarding an airplane after you and the elderly couple next to you are strip-searched? Do you feel safer knowing that the e-mails you write and the web sites you browse are subject to warrantless searches?
It's not about homeland security. It's about homeland control!
It is nearly impossible to make the least bit of sense out of the combined 170,000 words of gibberish contained in The Homeland Security Act, The Patriot Act I or The Patriot Act II. In an attempt to make these Acts all the more impossible to read, much of the verbiage is actually a cryptic modification of other, equally unintelligible laws. It would take an army of researchers just to get all the amended documents together in one place. Which means you can be sure that not a single member of Congress read these Acts before they voted to approve them. Let alone understood the impact of them.
If that is not enough, there is another agency lurking about called the TIA, or the Total (itarianism) Information Agency. This is the one where every piece of information about you is fed into a computer that is so huge they had to make up a whole new unit of measure, the petabyte, to describe the enormous size of the hard drives that will be required to store the mountains of information the TIA is collecting about you.
In a very strange twist, the TIA is headed up by Retired Admiral John Poindexter. Now on a personal level, we should all be happy that the Admiral's five Iran/Contra related felony convictions were overturned. But we seem to have scraped way past the bottom of the barrel and reached the mud and rocks, if we had to recruit a man with his record to such a sensitive job. A wholly unconstitutional job, I might add.
It gets even better. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has just issued contract bids for a new control mechanism called LifeLog. This is going to be a new computer system that will analyze all of our "behavior, habits and routines" in order to "capture each persons experience in and interactions with the world."
Why does our government need to know every detail of our lives? Just what do these people have in store for our Republic?
And not to be forgotten, the Terrorism Information and Prevention System, or TIPS was designed to recruit everyday people to spy on their neighbors and report any suspicious activity to the government. If TIPS had been enacted, there would be roughly one government snoop for every 24 Americans. This would mean that every time the repairman finished fixing your dishwasher, there would be a government report filed about any "suspicious" activities in your house.
The failure of the TIPS program to get enacted last year is irrelevant. They still want it and you can bet that some flavor of TIPS will morph its way back into one of the laws that are part of what has now become an avalanche of new "security" measures.
How could this be happening in America?
If our government were really serious about homeland security, there would be large men with guns, patrolling our borders in Humvees. There would be some sanity in our immigration and visa issuing policies. We would restore our second amendment rights aboard airplanes, so knife-wielding lunatics will never be able to crash them into buildings again. We would be searching the thousands of shipping containers that enter the country each day. We would ban travel to and from a long list of countries. And we would kick out the bad guys that managed to sneak in - immediately!
But none of those things are even being talked about.
Instead, we need a whole new dictionary just to keep track of the names of all the agencies that are snooping around in our private affairs, as if we are all somehow at fault for the events of 9/11. Things have gone completely nuts!
Understanding the full impact of these new laws is not very likely. There is just too much there for the average person to digest. But then that is exactly the intent! There are enough new restrictions, definitions and coded phrases, such that any one of us could be caught up in this new "homeland security" net without ever knowing what we did wrong.
Take all these new powers, along with the ability to hold Americans captive for indefinite periods without any Constitutional protections, and it becomes clear that our own government is doing more to destroy America than any terrorist organization could ever have hoped to.
Like the pieces in a giant game of chess, the mechanisms to eliminate our few remaining freedoms are rapidly being placed into position. We do not know how long it will be before the inevitable "checkmate" is called.
Let's hope we can wake up enough people before we get that knock on the door, "We're here from the Homeland Security Department and we'll need to see your right hand…
© 2003 David Brownlow - All Rights Reserved
"The Homeland Security Act, The Patriot Act, and the soon-to-be-unleashed Patriot Act II have very little to do with providing security to the homeland. They have everything to do with providing our government with a myriad of new powers for keeping all of us under control.
If our government were really serious about homeland security, there would be large men with guns, patrolling our borders in Humvees."