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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/12/13

Surveillence To Keep Us Safe. Not.

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Americans have recently learned that Verizon (and most likely AT&T, T-Mobile, and all other phone companies) has released its data bank of all phone calls made by every phone in the United States. That information is but a fly on the elephant's butt.

Data on all emails sent has also been released, with an emphasis on those coming and going from outside the U.S.

This invasion of our privacy, we are told, is to keep us safe. We are further told that it is being done for reasons of under national security.

This data mining began prior to September 11, 2001, under the Bush/Cheney cabal. In March, 2012, the Obama Administration instituted an enhanced sweep of information on all citizens, even those with no reason to be snooped on.

Several officials were against such an unwarranted invasion of privacy. However, the Attorney General quickly signed all changes into effect. He was quick to install the changes, even though he has still not investigated any financial thugs for wrongdoing in the theft of trillions of taxpayer dollars.

The rules now allow the little-known National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC) to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them. That is a departure from past practice, which barred the agency from storing information about ordinary Americans, unless a person was a terror suspect or the subject of an investigation. One might ask: If this surveillance program was already in effect, why the turmoil over Ed Snowden's revelations?

Now, the NCTC can copy entire government databases--flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students, and many others. This agency now has new authority to keep data about innocent U.S. citizens for up to five years, and to analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior. Previously, both were prohibited. Data about Americans "reasonably believed to constitute terrorism information" may be permanently retained.

The changes also allow databases of U.S. civilian information to be given to foreign governments for analysis of their own. In effect, U.S. and foreign governments would be using the information to look for clues that people might commit future crimes.

This is all being done in the name of "National Security," in order to keep citizens safe. Are citizens not "national?" Or maybe only the government is.

In reality, there is nothing in this data retention program that keeps citizens safe from "terrorists" who have already invaded their lives. We have seen our FBI and CIA leading citizens into "false" acts of terror in order to show the people how they are protecting us.

"Terrorists" presently are attacking our nation's aquifers, contaminating the water systems that provide drinking water as well as water for our foodstuff--crops and animals alike. These "terrorists" are a combination of legislators who are paid by corporations to pass laws given them by the likes of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC): in effect, the legislators pass bills that have been written by the corporations. In at least one case, a moron legislator presented a bill she was given, without having the intelligence to insert the state's name and other information that were prompted by the boilerplate document handed her.

Not only is our food and water being contaminated through a variety of processes--fracking mining, oil pipelines, GMO poisoning (which is banned in foreign countries)--but the processes themselves are actually promoted by corporate media propagandists. Is there any investigation going on as to the increased number of youngsters getting cancer? Are there any studies about why one in 88 youngsters is born with autism?

How does the invasion of our privacy keep us safe from being bilked by the financial institutions who robbed us of trillions of dollars? How does it protect us from the private Federal Reserve, which has printed over $16 billion without the approval or knowledge of our elected officials? Why wasn't that action by the Fed considered counterfeiting? After all, they printed unauthorized money. Yet we, the taxpayers who have their privacy invaded in order to "keep us safe," wind up going in debt forever. Why isn't bankrupting our economic system considered an act of terror? And how about those wealthy "freeloaders" who camp their money offshore, in order to escape paying their fair share of taxes? Again, their bought-and-paid-for legislators create laws that make this legal, without regard to the damage it does to our overall economy. We are seeing the economic well-being of the elderly, sickly, and disabled in our society being threatened by the loss of benefits from Social Security and Medicare, and the loss of food stamps to those living below poverty levels.

Meanwhile, as all of the information on each of us is being gathered and retained, even shared with foreign governments, we continue to see our healthcare system making it more difficult to remain healthy and to live a longer life. During the past decade, our average lifespan has actually declined by two years, and citizens in several Third World countries now have longer lives than we do. To help us reach our "end" more quickly, drug companies are now being allowed to distribute drugs that have not been adequately vetted and are actually causing serious health issues, even death. At the same time, we have over 30 million citizens living in fear of getting ill, because they're unable ri afford health insurance. Yet, little is done by our legislators to protect us. Certainly, they should be getting the information needed to do so from the massive government invasion of our privacy.

Another threat that is not remedied by the government's invasion of our privacy is a decaying system of education, which now appears to be breeding a generation of citizens who do not question, who do not think critically, and who are being groomed to do nothing but accept and follow. This might well be considered an attack on human development.

As if all of this neglect were not enough, our government, the people who are "keeping us safe," continues to pass laws that enable citizens to commit murder legally, providing they "feel threatened." We are seeing this played out in the "Zimmerman trial," which has finally begun. The individual saw a black youngster, followed him, got out of his automobile and shot him, because he felt "threatened." We are told we need to purchase a gun in order to keep ourselves safe, and, if we feel "threatened," just go for it. I suppose our lawmakers would be excited to see the return to our streets of "shootouts" from the old West. The Corporate Media Propagandists would have a field day with that.

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Dennis Kaiser is an author and consultant focusing on individual rights. As a US citizen Dennis is deeply concerned over how our nation has fallen from being productive and full of hope to one where that hope is being stripped from the majority (more...)

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