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ACTION ALERT !!! CONTACT YOUR SENATORS NOW !!!

by Bill 'O Rights! Monday, Nov. 18, 2002 at 10:33 AM

STAY FOCUSED: if the TOTAL INFORMATION AWARENESS part of HOMELAND SECURITY isn't amended then there will be no future dissent; it's "BIG BROTHER"! CONTACT YOUR SENATORS NOW! (they're voting on it THIS WEEK!)





If the “Total Information Awareness" portion of the "Homeland Security Act" passes then U.S. military computers will be keeping a record of every transaction YOU make! every web-site YOU go to! every movement YOU make!

THE SENATE IS VOTING ON IT THIS WEEK!

Please stay FOCUSED on this one issue, it is by far the most important issue now, more than any other, because if the TOTAL INFORMATION AWARENESS isn't amended then there will be no future dissent. You will be a suspect.

Help pass this info on to "Liberal" AND "Conservative" sites, there isn't much time left!!!

E-MAIL AND CALL YOUR SENATORS NOW!

http://www.congress.org /



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------





By WILLIAM SAFIRE



WASHINGTON — If the Homeland Security Act is not amended before passage, here is

what will happen to you:

Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and

medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive,

every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book and

every event you attend — all these transactions and communications will go into what the

Defense Department describes as "a virtual, centralized grand database."

To this computerized dossier on your private life from commercial sources, add every

piece of information that government has about you — passport application, driver's

license and bridge toll records, judicial and divorce records, complaints from nosy

neighbors to the F.B.I., your lifetime paper trail plus the latest hidden camera surveillance

— and you have the supersnoop's dream: a "Total Information Awareness" about every

U.S. citizen.

This is not some far-out Orwellian scenario. It is what will happen to your personal

freedom in the next few weeks if John Poindexter gets the unprecedented power he seeks.

Remember Poindexter? Brilliant man, first in his class at the Naval Academy, later earned

a doctorate in physics, rose to national security adviser under President Ronald Reagan.

He had this brilliant idea of secretly selling missiles to Iran to pay ransom for hostages, and

with the illicit proceeds to illegally support contras in Nicaragua.

A jury convicted Poindexter in 1990 on five felony counts of misleading Congress and

making false statements, but an appeals court overturned the verdict because Congress

had given him immunity for his testimony. He famously asserted, "The buck stops here,"

arguing that the White House staff, and not the president, was responsible for fateful

decisions that might prove embarrassing.

This ring-knocking master of deceit is back again with a plan even more scandalous than

Iran-contra. He heads the "Information Awareness Office" in the otherwise excellent

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which spawned the Internet and stealth

aircraft technology. Poindexter is now realizing his 20-year dream: getting the

"data-mining" power to snoop on every public and private act of every American.

Even the hastily passed U.S.A. Patriot Act, which widened the scope of the Foreign

Intelligence Surveillance Act and weakened 15 privacy laws, raised requirements for the

government to report secret eavesdropping to Congress and the courts. But Poindexter's

assault on individual privacy rides roughshod over such oversight.

He is determined to break down the wall between commercial snooping and secret

government intrusion. The disgraced admiral dismisses such necessary differentiation as

bureaucratic "stovepiping." And he has been given a 0 million budget to create

computer dossiers on 300 million Americans.

When George W. Bush was running for president, he stood foursquare in defense of each

person's medical, financial and communications privacy. But Poindexter, whose contempt

for the restraints of oversight drew the Reagan administration into its most serious

blunder, is still operating on the presumption that on such a sweeping theft of privacy

rights, the buck ends with him and not with the president.

This time, however, he has been seizing power in the open. In the past week John Markoff

of The Times, followed by Robert O'Harrow of The Washington Post, have revealed the

extent of Poindexter's operation, but editorialists have not grasped its undermining of the

Freedom of Information Act.

Political awareness can overcome "Total Information Awareness," the combined force of

commercial and government snooping. In a similar overreach, Attorney General Ashcroft

tried his Terrorism Information and Prevention System (TIPS), but public outrage at the

use of gossips and postal workers as snoops caused the House to shoot it down. The

Senate should now do the same to this other exploitation of fear.

The Latin motto over Poindexter"s new Pentagon office reads "Scientia Est Potentia" —

"knowledge is power." Exactly: the government's infinite knowledge about you is its

power over you. "We're just as concerned as the next person with protecting privacy," this

brilliant mind blandly assured The Post. A jury found he spoke falsely before.



Copyright The New York Times Company

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 4 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
. . Monday, Nov. 18, 2002 at 12:25 PM
Well, in the meantime... John Monday, Nov. 18, 2002 at 3:06 PM
Call & e-mail today!!! John Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2002 at 4:58 PM
The New Total Information Awareness Resource Center maxglick Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2002 at 5:30 PM

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