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Feel the Fear: October (Part 2 of 2)

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Political Pressure -- Today's PSI (Police State Index) is: Orange


Pentagon Wants to Use Valium Gas on Domestic Crowds
Al Martin
almartinraw.com, Sept. 30, 2002

"The Department of Defense has petitioned the UN for a ruling on the use of its new compressed high potency Valium gas for the purposes of domestic riot control. The United States is a signatory in an agreement that allows domestic law enforcement to use tear gas and pepper gas, but since the UN Commission makes no specific mention of it, the Department of Defense wants a specific ruling as to whether it can dispense to the Office of Homeland Security and other domestic law enforcement agencies (including US troops based on US soil) its new high potency Valium gas for use against US citizens for the purposes of riot control."

[Read article]

Commentary: Hooboy, where do you start with this? Tear gas and pepper gas aren't enough it seems to stop those pesky protesters. Now they want to narc 'em to sleep/stupor too. Unfortunately Valium has a few side effects and can cause serious problems up to and including death to children, old people and people who have alcohol in their systems. This might be enough of a cross section in a general crowd control situation that deaths due to it would no doubt occur. Also since it is dispersed in air, different people will be inhaling different levels of it, and places with high exposure could also be high death zones.
Since when did attending a protest in the US warrant being drugged and/or killed by "peace officers"??? By all means if there are individuals in a crowd that are acting illegally arrest them, subdue them, etc., but given the seeming inability for the current crop of enforcers to do anything except apply the most severe actions to the entire group, giving them this kind of enforcement tool is not a good idea. "Just Say NO. (Any drugs we want you to have in your bodies WE will put there when it serves our interests!)"


National ID Card Quest Continues
Editorial, The Washington Times
October 5, 2002

"A national Identification card - complete with biometric identifiers, such as fingerprints or retinal scans - is coming. Only it's not being called that. House Resolution 4633 - the Driver's License Modernization Act of 2002 - would effectively create a national ID if it's passed. The bill would require each state to adopt a uniform standard for driver's licenses and link their motor vehicle databases to a central computer registry."

[Read article]

Commentary: Every couple of years they try to slip this into one bill or another. They'll keep trying until its passed and in your wallet, too. They assure you it will never be used for inappropriate purposes. Of course this is what they said about the Social Security Cards too.
Think a minute of the ramifications of having every citizen tagged with a biometric and electronic ID tied into a national database. It will become the de facto standard for buying and selling, using public transportation, paying tolls, etc., and woe unto those of you who fail to carry their papers! You will be an un-person, no right to drive, work, cash checks, use public transportation, buy items over a certain amount, and so on. It would also be a live time electronic leash, giving anyone with access to the database an up to date accurate record of almost everywhere you go and what you do. That's the real goal here, control, not security. Read this excellent FAQ by the Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. Protection against terrorism and theft may be what's for sale, but your privacy and freedoms are the coin.


Military Now Filming Protesters (click here for the pictures)
Photos: The Memory Hole (http://www.thememoryhole.com)
Sept. 27-29, 2002
Article: Shawna Bader, DC- Indymedia Oct. 1, 2002
(http://dc.indymedia.org)

"Besides being a probable violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, any governmental filming of people who are engaged in peaceful protest is a sign of a police state, pure and simple."

[Read article about a particular protest where this was done.]

Commentary: Its bad enough when the FBI does it on the sly, but when GI Joe is out there casing/filming the crowd like they were planning a military operation, something is seriously amiss. This is what the Stasi and the KGB used to do when people gathered together to protest the latest 5 year pogrom, then rounded up the most visible troublemakers to keep the rest in line.
In the particular protest above, I personally don't support the anti-capitalism/socialism-based protesters, but I support their rights to do it peacefully. It doesn't matter to the hair-trigger grunts in the front lines what you are protesting, all they see is fresh meat when the whistle blows and the gas flows. An ounce of restraint is worth a pound of civil unrest.


FBI: Fumblers, Blunderers & Incompetents?
Article by The Associated Press
Via FOX News
Oct. 10, 2002

"FBI agents illegally videotaped suspects, intercepted e-mails without court permission and recorded the wrong phone conversations during sensitive terrorism and espionage investigations, according to an internal memorandum detailing serious lapses inside the FBI more than a year before the Sept. 11 attacks. "

[Read article]

Commentary: All of this happened during a sample 90 day period. This was before the vastly increased powers given to them and all the other 3 letter boys after 9/11. When they say "Trust us, we won't abuse the new authority!" it is obvious that the opposite is true. What about reasonable suspicion, evidence, warrants and due process? Well, sacrifices have to be made.


Military Madison Avenue: US Army Psy-Ops Forces
Article by Ian Urbina
The Village Voice, Oct. 9-15, 2002

"Part ad men and part ethnographers, these specialists, some of whom are just back from Afghanistan, are dispatched regularly to front lines in the Middle East for hearts-and-minds campaigns aimed at undercutting the enemy's military morale and winning over civilian support. Many are waiting eagerly for a call to Iraq. With the U.S. military deploying in every corner of the globe, demand is booming in the psychological-warfare industry these days, and Psy-Ops is especially eager to recruit outsiders who have experience or interest in the Middle East. Hence, the barbecues, accompanied by war stories-actually, psy-war stories."

[Read article]

Commentary: Military propaganda has always been present. The US, home of Hollywood and pioneers of all things crass and commercial, has it down to an art form. Today the propaganda kings don't even keep the double-speak and spin to the enemy forces, they even work for CNN. If the media was as much a tool of the State 30 years ago as it is now, nobody would've complained about Vietnam and M*A*S*H would have been cancelled in the first season.


The Baltimore Gulag
Article by George Phillies
Liberty For All Online, Sept. 29, 2002
(libertyforall.net)

"The Baltimore Gulag is not a Brig. A Brig is a navy prison established and operated as provided for by the Laws of the United States and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as allowed by the Constitution: "The Congress shall have the power...To make rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval forces..." Brigs hold sailors and marines. To refer to the Baltimore Gulag as a brig is an insult to every sailor and marine who was lawfully imprisoned over the past two and quarter centuries."

"The Baltimore Gulag is a prison camp, no different from the prison cells in the bowels of Stalin's Lubyanka except that it is not so full. Yet."

[Read article]

Commentary: Another problem with being able to label US citizens "unlawful combatants" when Congress hasn't declared war and you haven't officially charged them with crimes: where do you put them for that indefinite period? Limbo is currently various military prison camps. This is not a new phenomenon; Abe Lincoln rescinded the writ of habeas corpus and suspended many Constitutional rights at the start of the Civil War. Of course half of the country was trying to leave the Union. Somehow invoking the terror card to install selective martial law looks a little weak. Until they find a way to make it official, it will have to do.


Pentagon Re-Thinking Small Nukes for Bunkers and Caves
Article by Andrew Koch
Popular Science, 2002

"Faced with the prospect of "asymmetric" warfare against rogue powers or terrorist organizations with weapons of mass destruction tucked in their basements, the Pentagon has begun to consider the previously unthinkable: developing specially designed nuclear weapons for attacking buried caves and tunnels."

[Read article]

Commentary: While I'd like them to flush out Bin Laden as much as the next guy, I don't think they should risk spreading fallout in the region to do so. Am I off base here? The fact that this is in "Popular Science" makes it seem like its on the same level as the next generation Ford Mustang.
Their existing latest bunker busters ("thermobaric bombs") seem quite sufficient for most of what they are supposed to do. Small nukes are... quicker, easier, more seductive. Consume you they will. Resist the dark side!


Fortress Washington
Article by James Tucker
American Free Press, Sept. 9, 2002

"In less than a year, Washington has become a city under siege, with national guard troops deployed and ugly "security" fences defacing what was once one of the most beautiful capitals of the world."

[Read article]

Commentary: This is the future for every American city if we decide to play "forever war" and keep giving up our freedoms drop by drop for promises of security (promises they can't deliver on either). As a symptom of this security-uber-alles disease, doing things like photographing art and architecture is now deemed a threat to the Republic. Why worry about taking pictures and developing film when there are authorized postcards and file photos? Cameras are just another terror tool, we need to register them immediately!


All of North America Under US Military Command
Article by Master Sgt. Bob Haskell and Sgt. 1st Class Paul Mouilleseaux
US Army News Service, Sept. 8, 2002

"The Northern Command consolidates under a single, unified command, existing missions that were previously executed by other Department of Defense organizations," officials explained. "This provides unity of command, which is so important to accomplishing our mission."
"Its area of responsibility includes all air, land and sea approaches into the United States and encompasses the continental United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico and the surrounding water out to approximately 500 nautical miles, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands."

[Read article]

Commentary: Homeland security now includes Canada and Mexico too. I'm not sure that given the differing politics of peoples there that they really want to be connected to the US military. Canadians and Mexicans were unavailable for comment, though I imagine the topic has been given some editorial coverage in their press.


New Mobile Phone Technology Allows for Visual Tracking in Realtime
Article by Jason Burke and Peter Warren
The Observer (UK) October 13, 2002

"The radical new system, which has outraged civil liberties groups, uses mobile phone masts to allow security authorities to watch vehicles and individuals 'in real time' almost anywhere in Britain."
The technology 'sees' the shapes made when radio waves emitted by mobile phone masts meet an obstruction. Signals bounced back by immobile objects, such as walls or trees, are filtered out by the receiver. This allows anything moving, such as cars or people, to be tracked. Previously, radar needed massive fixed equipment to work and transmissions from mobile phone masts were thought too weak to be useful. "

[Read article]

Commentary: As always, on the breaking crest of the Big Brother surveillance society wave, the Brits have developed a way to use cellphones to see people and locate them to new precision. I'm sure the US will be allowed to lease the technology soon. Not to worry though, they will only use it for good, they promise. Righto, chap.


Police State Index Code Key
Code Green: Constitutional Republic with little censorship or abuse of power. People are pretty much left alone if they don't harm anyone else. [Arguably existent only in late 1700's] Code Orange: Emergencies used to justify "temporary" loss of critical freedoms. Dissidents are discouraged and harassed openly. Massive surveillance infrastructure implemented and expanding. Despite all this, they tell you it is still a free society (move along).
Code Blue: Minor restraints on freedoms, some interference with the free market and beginnings of involuntary taxation. Pressure from special interests to go off commodity based monetary standard. Occasional corruption but government is still trusted...mostly. Code Red: Open attempts to legislate away earlier freedoms and centralize power to the Executive Branch. Federal troops used to overturn State mandates and laws. The Press no longer dares criticize administration and political checks and balances are out the window in the name of expediency in the latest "crisis". Stay low and look into emigration possibilities while still available!
Code Yellow: Mandatory taxation, welfare state almost in full swing. Political dissidents are marginalized but allowed. Gun control is widely advocated by vocal minorities. Travel freedoms partially restricted by increasing security systems. Code Black!: Full Martial Law has been declared with no end in sight. Get out the tinfoil hats, report for your new National ID chip and inhale the chill air of a full high tech surveillance Police State. You probably are going to be disappeared for even going to Annoy.com, so get packing and Trust No One. Good luck!

 
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