Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Lt. Turncoat

The anti-freedom, far-Left Bush haters have a new puppet to play with and expolit.

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5 comments:

Za said...

Just a question - the fact that the US now has decreased civil liberties because of the policies Bush has put in puts Bush... on the side of freedom and the people who object, against freedom?

I'm just curious, since you call them the "anti-freedom left". See, I just recall that one of the founding fathers once said "Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety".

Indian Chris said...

What civil liberties have been decreased?

Indian Chris said...

And anti-freedom Left means they love their freedoms, especially speech, but they don't think others should have the same freedoms. ie Iraqis.

Za said...

I'll answer your first question, then I'll get onto that last comment.

Since 9/11, the following has been authorised:
- The FBI has been developing a virus for the specific purpose of accessing everything a person types. As far as I'm aware, it does not require a warrant to use, and may be used on anyone.
- The FBI can now get warrants to compell libraries and bookstores to surrender their records of borrowed or sold items.
- The Pentagon now has a massive database dragnet, creating dossiers on Americans containing all their phone bills, medical records, and everything they purchase. This isn't performed based on suspicion, this is to find evidence of suspicious activities, so there is no discrimination between law abiding citizens and terrorists in the violation of privacy.
- The PATRIOT act allows any federal agent to strip search any US citizen.
- You can now be charged with financial "crimes without criminal intent" - so the mere act of forgetting a form for Customs is now a criminal offense.
- The Justice Department has used the PATRIOT act to confiscate bank accounts for alleged crimes of complete irrelevance to terrorism (note that while federal officials brag about the total amount of "terrorst assets frozen", they fail to mention that almost all of the money was later returned after no evidence of wrongdoing could be found).
- It is now legal for the government to put an agent into a protest specifically to start a fight so that the entire protest group may be arrested for being "domestic terrorists". This tactic was used during the 60s by the government, but now they can be classified as terrorists, rather than just being violent.
- Anyone who donates to an organisation the government classifies as "terrorist" (be that Greenpeace, the Gun Owners of America or Operation Rescue), can face long prison terms.
- The Justice Department is now capable of(and indeed has) locked up "special interest" detainees for weeks or months, without allowing them any form of communication, and without charge. A New Jersey judge denounced these acts as "odious to democracy", so Ashcroft put out an "emergency regulation" to overrule the court's decision.
- Which leads me to my next point: the government is capable of rendering court decisions irrelevant.
- It is now illegal to raise your voice at federal officers looking through your belongings (even your underwear) at airports.
- The Justice Department has reinterpreted the Freedom of Information Act so that it's much harder for you to find out what the government is doing about anything.
- Bush issued an executive order that counter-acts the Presidential Records Act, which requires that most of a president's papers be released 12 years after their term ended.
- The Bush administration has informed the supreme court that there are "an infinite number of situations where the government might legitimately give out false information" - effectively stating that they never have to tell you the truth if they feel it unnecessary.
- Homeland Security has informed police departments that critics of the war on terrorism are to be viewed as possible terrorists themselves (which makes no sense - a terrorist wouldn't comment). Local law enforcement has also been informed by Homeland Security to keep an eye on anyone who has "expressed dislike of attitudes and decisions of the US government". And the description of "potential suicide bombers" that local and state police have been given by Homeland Security are so wide and all-including that the list includes having a "pale face from recent shaving of beard", appearing to "be in a 'trance'" as well as the complete opposite - appearing to "be focused and vigilant", or if their "clothing is loose". Or, and here's the best one, if they look like "waiting in a grocery store line becomes intolerable" (that's right - you can now be arrested for not being patient in line - perhaps your clothes were a little too baggy as well?).

There are whole books on the ridiculous level to which the powers the government wields to arrest or infringe on people's privacy or even common decency have been expanded.

As to not wanting to give freedoms to others - please tell us all what freedoms Iraqis have today that they didn't have 5 years ago? They still get bombed for practicing their religion, the yearly death toll is higher than the average yearly death toll under Saddam, they have no police... and all of this was predicted before the war happened by the people who were against it, because they were against it for the way it was being executed and the manner in which the government was handling the issues - not because of "not wanting to give Iraqis freedom".

Za said...

Oh, and just so's you don't wave me off as making stuff up, or being gullible, here's some evidence of the most extreme one:

Testimony 1:
"Section 1540.109 is a new requirement prohibiting any person from interfering with, assaulting, threatening or intimidating screening personnel in the performance of their duties." (Federal Register, Feb. 22, 2002)

"Raising your voice to a screener," said the Seattle security agent I called the next day, is "intimidation."


Testimony 2:
After some more grumbling on my part they eventually finished with me and I went to retrieve our luggage from the x-ray machine. Upon returning I found my wife sitting in a chair, crying. Mary rarely cries, and certainly not in public. When I asked her what was the matter, she tried to quell her tears and sobbed, "I’m sorry...it’s...they touched my breasts...and..." That’s all I heard. I marched up to the woman who’d been examining her and shouted, "What did you do to her?" Later I found out that in addition to touching her swollen breasts – to protect the American citizenry – the employee had asked that she lift up her shirt. Not behind a screen, not off to the side – no, right there, directly in front of the hundred or so passengers standing in line. And for you women who’ve been pregnant and worn maternity pants, you know how ridiculous those things look. "I felt like a clown," my wife told me later. "On display for all these people, with the cotton panel on my pants and my stomach sticking out. When I sat down I just lost my composure and began to cry. That’s when you walked up."

Of course when I say she "told me later," it’s because she wasn’t able to tell me at the time, because as soon as I demanded to know what the federal employee had done to make her cry, I was swarmed by Portland police officers. Instantly. Three of them, cinching my arms, locking me in handcuffs, and telling me I was under arrest. Now my wife really began to cry.
...
The officer was speaking loudly, letting her know that he was planning on doing me a favor... which everyone knows is never a real favor. He wasn’t going to come over and help me work on my car or move some furniture. No, his "favor" was this: He’d decided not to charge me with a felony.

Think about that for a second. Rapes, car-jackings, murders, arsons – those are felonies. So is yelling in an airport now, apparently. I hadn’t realized, though I should have. Luckily, I was getting a favor, though. I was merely going to be slapped with a misdemeanor.