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Why Domestic Spying is a Violation of Civil Liberties

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Message Barbara Tutor
Recent exposures in the New York Times and USA Today of the NSA project to collect all telephone and email activity records within the U.S. did not reveal possible uses of this extensive data collection.

The Times reported in December that, "The agency had gained the cooperation of American telecommunications companies to get access to records of vast amounts of domestic and international phone calls and e-mail messages. The agency analyzes communications patterns, the report said, and looks for evidence of terrorist activity at home and abroad."

The USA Today article on Thursday went further saying, "The N.S.A. had created an enormous database of all calls made by customers of the three phone companies in an effort to compile a log of 'every call ever made' within this country. The report said one large phone company, Qwest, had refused to cooperate with the N.S.A. because it was uneasy about the legal implications of handing over customer information to the government without warrants."

As a systems analyst I pondered the purpose of the reported NSA spy project. Since complete electronic data on suspected Al Qaeda terrorists is being collected from both domestic and overseas messages as a separate project, there would be little value in an exhaustive domestic data collection on all telephone calls. For what other purposes could this data be used?

Consider the value of mass communications patterns relative to intelligence for elections. Clusters of activity related to calls for public protests or responses to promotion of specific "talking points" and events could help identify pockets of resistance, as well as, success of propaganda. This intelligence would be vital to campaign strategies; giving the holder of such intelligence data insight on: 1) effectiveness of attacks used in election ads, 2) impact of campaigns for or against the "War on Terror," and 3) domestic issues such as the patriot act, "privatization of Social Security," tax-cuts, healthcare, so-called "values" campaigns, etc. This type of project has Karl Rove's fingerprints all over it.

It is not enough for neo-conservative bullies to take-over election processes and voting machinery, they seek to use every devious means available to win elections and insure Republican control of government. The main tactics of Bush-Cheney-Rove-Rumsfeld strategies are spying and propaganda. The military, under this administration, has been restructured into a psych-ops force that is implementing an extensive electronic spying and propaganda system for use not only in global expansion of U.S. Corporatists via wars of terror and annihilation, but also to control dissent and foster indoctrination throughout the homeland.

Activists are fully informed on the intent and the multitude of projects supporting the neo-con strategic plans. Why would a domestic surveillance approach be required at this time in history? The answer is, because U.S. imperialists, who finance both elections and global expansion, are losing the worldwide struggle for the hearts and minds of people. Even primitive societies in South America and Africa have figured out that rape of their lands is not in the interest of humanity. People all over the world are beginning to demand their basic human rights, and are confronting free-trade free-enterprise capitalist aggression.

People in the U.S. are slower to perceive the havoc wrought on others in distant lands, after being heavily indoctrinated with commercial ads and political propaganda for generations. But the brutality cannot be hidden forever in files marked top secret. Crimes are being exposed more fully every day. People will not allow themselves to be treated as animals in a factory farm, even when propaganda is used as mind-control drugs. This gang of war criminals will have to pay. Keep the pressure on by getting the word out to as many people as possible. When critical mass is reached, action will follow.
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Barbara Tutor is a Social Activist, Writer, Systems Analyst, and Nature Lover residing in Wild Wonderful West Virginia.
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