Posts tagged George W. Bush

There is no such thing as a limited police state

Use of sneak-and-peek secret search warrants in federal investigations 2006-2009.

A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin - not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.

The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant’s Constitutional right to a fair trial.

— John Shiffman and Kristina Cooke, U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans
Reuters news wire, quoted by Matt Welch at Reason (August 5, 2013)

Well of course the NSA’s secret data-gathering, spying and warrantless wiretaps have been used to prosecute American drug cases. Every single fascist National Security monitoring program, secret search and seizure method, surveillance policy, financial regulation, foreign-aid slush fund, paramilitary police program and executive power that has been created over the last 20 years in the name of counter-terrorism — including large sections of Clinton’s AEDPA and large sections of Bush Jr.’s PATRIOT Act — has been utilized, over and over again, by federal prosecutors and the DEA in order to gather evidence and coerce testimony in drug cases. Every single National Security state program, regardless of its alleged purpose, has been used to strengthen the narcs’ hand, and to double down on the federal government’s insane and destructive prosecution of a War on Drugs. This one is just as outrageous; but it’s no different, and no more surprising.

Now, even if there were such a thing as a limited National Security state — even if there were some way to create a counter-terrorism-only police state, which would focus on a single threat without creating a general, all-powerful police state in the process — it would still mean shredding civil liberties, targeting people and activities which ought to be presumed innocent, and it would still be destructive and wrong.

But, in any case, there is no such thing. There is no way to focus a police state on only one group of people or one part of life; there are no partial or limited police states. There is only a police state — one which will come for you sooner, or later.

Wednesday Lazy Linking

Monday Lazy Linking

Monday Lazy Linking

This is why I spy on people.

For those who have been following some discussions elsewhere, this one goes out to dukemeiser. Because Axe Cop is the world’s greatest defender of the Bush-Obama doctrine of surveillance and Homeland Security:

Ask Axe Cop #31: Q: Dear Axe Cop, I think my girlfriend might be a villain. How can I tell? A: Has she been acting kind of strange? ... Acting like she wants to punch you? ... This is why I spy on people. Axe Cop: "Yep, she's a BAD GUY.&quot. ... [AXE COP crashes through the window with his axe out, yelling:] "STOP!" [GIRLFRIEND screams as the axe is swung over her head.] [CHOP!] Boyfriend: "You... CHOPPED my girlfriend's HEAD OFF!" ... Axe Cop: "She was on my list of ALL THE BAD GUYS." ... Axe Cop: "I just SAVED YOUR LIFE."

What I like about the comic is that it really does seem to be a pretty accurate representation of how War on Terror-hawks think the world ought to work. Why shouldn’t it? To hell with courts and civil liberties and all those other chickenshit liberal axe-blocks. Since the government has a list of ALL THE BAD GUYS, wouldn’t you want them to chop their heads off?

And I’ve got to say, the kind of police-state and assassin-state policies that they insist on as simple common sense really do sound like something that you get when some bright policy wonk comes up with some legal verbiage and precedents to trick out an idea which, at its core, is something that he got from the ideas and fantasies of his 5 year old little brother.