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Big Brother Inc. Tries to Fool Randi Rhodes -- And That's Not Nice

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I smell mendacity! The sticky-sweet Atlanta drawl of the PR flack for America's private KGB was dancing in rhetorical circles with Randi Rhodes, Air American, on her broadcast yesterday. Unfortunately for the Bush-friendly Spies-R-Us contractor, Randi also has a keen nose for the telltale scent of pure bullshit.

By "private KGB," I mean ChoicePoint, Inc., the Atlanta company that keeps over 16 billion records on Americans which it sells to the FBI, Homeland Security and, through a bit of a slip-up, identity thieves.

They are watching you because George and Dick don't have time to track everyone in America (and that would be illegal, to boot), ChoicePoint does it. Then turns over the electronic you -- cross-matched profiles of voting registration, your DNA info and who knows what else -- for a price.

Randi was on the phone to one James Lee, Marketing Director of ChoicePoint. He was trying to explain some of the good work they do for government -- and responding to the evil lies spread about his corporation by a reporter (me).

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I was listening in from a glass booth. The Eichmann treatment was required by ChoicePoint -- they wouldn't let her interview the company if anyone else was in the room. They also warned her, her interview would be "taped" ... AND, they didn't have to add, they know where she lives -- and where she votes and a whole lot more about Randi that maybe Randi herself doesn't know. Just a friendly warning.

It seems the data guys were upset that she had me on her show on Monday to talk about my investigations of the company which I conducted for BBC-TV, for Harper's and for my new book, Armed Madhouse. [Yeah, that's a plug: order it here.]

The company's name came up because of the Bush regime's getting caught with their hands in the data jar: spying on Americans, sucking our phone records into data bases where George and Dick can peruse them at leisure, without warrants.

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ChoicePoint's the big banana in the data game, with fat no-bid contracts with Big Brother Bush's agency and the Department of Fatherland Security. (Homeland? Deutschland? Whatever.) Other governments, including Mexico, threatened ChoicePoint operatives with arrest for their use and misuse of data, but Dick and George like'm just fine. That's because ChoicePoint provides just the data that suits their needs -- not necessarily accurate, but accurate is not what is needed.

For example, ChoicePoint is the company that gave Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush the list of Florida voters, most of them Black, which were removed as "felons" before the 2000 election. The list was ridiculously inaccurate -- these were innocent citizens -- but the African-Americans lost their voting rights anyway and Jeb's brother thereby took the White House.

That's not nice, what Jeb and Katherine did -- but ChoicePoint kept silent. In return, they received a high, and highly suspect, fee for their "work."

And that's dangerous. Because, after ChoicePoint selected our president for us, our president selected them for no-bid jobs to save us from terrorists -- which they do by keeping track of us. (Odd, I thought Americans were the VICTIMS of terror -- they've made us the SUSPECTS.)

In Armed Madhouse, I reveal that one ChoicePoint executive confidentially told me they were seeking to build a national DNA database. Dracula's got nothing on these guys: they are already the biggest providers of DNA info to the FBI, they boast. They boast about it one week -- then they deny it another. This week's flavor is denial.

Back to Randi. I wasn't allowed in the room with her, so I waited in the glass booth. ChoicePoint had a huge list of complaints about my latest comment on their activities made relevant by the outing of the National Security Agency's sucking up every American's phone record.

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I thought it important for the public to know how these private "data mining" companies drill into you and sell up the valuable nugget they find to Mr. Bush's spy apparatus.

As a public service -- everyone needs a laugh once in a while -- I'm reprinting their inventive rebuttal to my report, "The Spies Who Shag Us."

The company uses some clever rhetorical sleights of hand: "No data files or 'dossiers' exist at ChoicePoint." Now that's just darn strange for a data company.

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Greg Palast's investigative reports appear in Rolling Stone, the Guardian and on BBC Television. His latest film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, on how Donald Trump stole the 2016 election, is available on Amazon. Palast is Patron of the Trinity (more...)
 

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