You might have missed it. It’s easy to do. We’re moving rapidly into territory once reserved for totalitarian regimes. Spying, prison camps, aggressive wars and invasions.
That’s our America. The new, improved America!
Not that everyone’s cooperating. Congress heard about this funny little program called Total information Awareness. Run by former Iran-Contra badguy John Poindexter, the TIA quickly came into being after 9-11. It was designed to monitor all communications and gather copious information domestically to help the Pentagon do…something. Websites visited, purchases made, divorce records, driving records, parking tickets…everything. Collated and cross-referenced…your life at their disposal.
So, those backwards thinkers in Congress who were not quite comfortable with that sort of thing decided to pull the plug. Nixed the funding. Caused a minor, if widely unreported, uproar. But don’t worry…the Executive branch is on the job.
The TIA lived on beyond Congressional reach. The program was renamed Basketball, moved around to other agencies…and the sub-programs also renamed. You see? TIA was ended. There is no TIA. Only Basketball. It’s so bouncy, now. It’s a game!
And that’s what it is. A game. If the Congress outlaws it…start playing games. They had a black budget…secret and without scrutiny. So they kept it going. Funded and finding…out…about us all.
It’s like Bush announcing in the State of the Union that he wants America to reduce use of foreign oil by 75%. Hooray! Well, two days later his chief economic advisor and Treasury Sec’y John Snow both said that W didn’t mean that “literally.” No, it was a metaphor. There were no plans or intentions to reduce our foreign oil consumption by 75%.
See? It’s so clear.
The there is a troublesome little blogger who filed a Freedom of Information Act query and, viola!, he got notes from Rummy immediately after 9-11. And it was reported in Britain…not here, of course.
Now we have a paper trial that shows Rummy wanting to connect 9-11 to Saddam immediately. Whether or not it was warranted.
The handwritten scrawls say, among other things:
“Hard to get good case. Need to move swiftly.”
“Near term target needs – go massive – sweep it all up, things related and not.”
“Best info fast. Judge whether good enough [to] hit SH at same time – not only UBL [Pentagon shorthand for Usama/Osama bin Laden].”
“Tasks. Jim Haynes [Pentagon lawyer] to talk with PW [probably Paul Wolfowitz, then Mr Rumsfeld’s deputy] for additional support … connection with UBL.”
But there was no link. We know that now and some of us knew that then. They knew that. Richard Clarke knew that. Wrote about it. And was eviscerated for saying so.
Perhaps Rummy was speaking metaphorically. Like last week when he assured the press that the Pentagon wasn’t paying Lincoln Group to spread propaganda around Iraq, but then was contradicted by the facts the next day.
But wait…there’s more. The new, improved America is taking that great prison camp idea…once known as a gulag or concentration camp and now known as Guantanimo and Abu Ghraib…and bringing home where it belongs.
Under something the administration calls “New Programs,” the US is beginning to build holding camps. You know…in case we need to put up large numbers of citizens should there be an “emergency.” A sorta HoJo for those who cannot be out there on their own.
It almost funny that Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root got the $385 million contract to build these detention centers at undisclosed locations around the US. Hey…they built Camp X-Ray at Gunatanimo. They know how to do this sort of thing.
Don’t worry, though. This is all part of the new freedom we will enjoy more and more as the old freedoms go the way of the paper ballot.
This is the new, improved America, my friend. A place where the Presidency is all-powerful, what he says is exactly the opposite of what you get…and where a few of us can decry the morphing of our politics into something almost fascist…and we can rest assured that our minders at TIA and the NSA are fully aware of the arguments we’re making in emails, hone calls and blogs like this.
Oh yeah…not the TIA…our friends who like to play Basketball.Tweet