Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I'm a Soldier, Not a Spy

Lieutenant Colonel Grant Doty
Washington Post:
As Americans take stock of the news that the government has been involved in domestic warrantless eavesdropping as well as surveillance of "potentially threatening people or organizations inside the United States," many people are troubled, including me.

Although the government may be interested in my ACLU membership, my wife's participation in war protests or my affiliation with the liberal United Church of Christ, my real anxiety stems from the fact that I am a soldier and may now be under suspicion from my friends and neighbors.

Specifically, given the information slowly leaking out of Washington, it may not be farfetched for some to think that when I "stumble across people or information" that might be of interest to the government, I might report it to the Pentagon's three-year-old Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA).

While such a conclusion would be false (I hadn't heard of CIFA before reading about it in the news this month), in an Orwellian world, the protestations of someone labeled the "eyes and ears" of the state are reasonably suspect...(read the whole thing)

Yes, I took an oath to defend the United States against all enemies "foreign and domestic," but the implication of domestic intelligence-gathering by the military, even by a limited number of soldiers, should be sufficiently disturbing for American citizens in and out of uniform that we think long and hard about crossing the line, even a little.
Big Brother Is Watching and Listening To You (And I. Hi Big Bro! 8^P )

lewrockwell.com: Americans should not be shocked to learn that Big Brother has been eavesdropping on their telecommunications. It’s been an open secret for years that the hush- hush National Security Agency’s big electronic ears on the East and West coasts of the USA have been hoovering up all international phone, fax, and email communications.

When you call your aunt in Palermo, or your friend in Egypt, or your girlfriend in Paris, NSA’s super computers pick up and process the transmission. State of the art programs search the messages for key words, locations, repetitions and patterns of interest. This process has been going on long before 9/11.

I have always wondered what government listeners do with highly sensitive financial information passing between corporations, banks and securities or commodity markets. Obviously, there is enormous potential for the state listeners to profit from secret information about mergers, acquisitions, large trades of stocks or commodities, and the movement of currencies.

One may expect a huge scandal to erupt one day when it is revealed that US intelligence agencies used secret financial data to speculate in markets and produce huge profits to pay for "black" operations not authorized by Congress. A prime example of such hanky panky was the Reagan administration’s notorious arms for hostages deal back in 1980's and the diversion of funds from Iran to pay for the Nicaraguan contras... (
more)

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