Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Battlefield USA

Two rather scary articles from Russia Today continues to cast doubts about the path the United States is on as a nation.

Rand Paul vs Battlefield USA: "A provision to the National Defense Authorization Act going before the Senate today would turn America into a“battlefield,” says supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina.), and would allow the president of the United States the power to detain citizens domestically without trial, allowing the US military to act as law enforcement over their own civilians." Rand Paul wants to strike that provision.

Drones cleared for domestic use across the US: "Foreign policy aside, politicians have shown support for bringing drones to America. Now that the FAA has given it the go ahead, it is only a matter of time before the robotic whizzing of robotic crafts being a regular occurrence."

Ever since 9-11 the nation has taken a decidedly right turn using terrorism as the justification to "militarize" law enforcement in the country. The lessons and technology coming from our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan are being adapted by local law enforcement agencies with the aid of federal monies. The JTTF is just one example of the blurring of national and local law enforcement.

The fight against drug distribution has added to "need" to use extreme force and surveillance  The recent killing of a Marine is but one example of a militarized police department. See too the many articles on the New York City police department activities, e.g., see my post and this one too.

And Internet and communication businesses have created databases on individuals that are open to the government perusal. Constitutional rights like privacy continues to be eroded. Free speech is rapidly becoming a facade.

Interesting - the Internet thought to be a tool of free expression has turned into a tool to monitor Internet users. See the recent article about Governor Brownback. A teenager's tweet to her friends ended up being monitored by the governor's staff that contacted her school apparently seeking to quash her comments.

While the story garnered attention because of the free speech angle - the ease of monitoring of her comments and the ability to apply pressure to stop her comments were glossed over. Fortunately, as to the latter the teenager and family stuck to their free speech rights and refused to apologized despite her schools' pressure.

If this governor's office could so easily monitor the Internet - think what the feds can do. If this governor's office found it so easy to apply pressure - think what the feds can do. And if you happen to be a Muslim or your name has the right sound to it - your rights of privacy and free speech doesn't exist.