Friday, January 05, 2007

Just Another Common Garden-Variety Outrage

So, it turns out that while you were busy with the holidays last month, the President of the United States was busy too. Besides not listening to the Iraq Study Group, the Generals, the Troops, the Democrats, many of the Republicans, the pundits and anyone else who bothered to weigh in, George W. Bush made sure he COULD listen to you – if you are an American or send mail to one.

He had already established that he may listen in on your phone calls and emails; his latest signing statement claims the right to read your mail – without warrant – if he feels like it, or something of that nature. “Exigent circumstances” is the wording reported.

Another nugget of info that didn’t seem to be widely reported last month was that thing about the FBI being able to use your cell phone’s microphone to listen in on you – even if the phone is turned off. And they have actually done it to gather evidence for criminal trials, according to the report on ABC News.

That sounded too much like a moonbat conspiracy theory claim, so I did a little checking. Looks like it’s for real, since a caution about this technological quirk turns up on a website for US Government employees meant to instruct them on their own security issues. It’s part of the US Department of Commerce/Office of Security, Western Regional Security Office, Employees’ Guide to Security Responsibilities, specifically, the page relating to cell phone vulnerabilities.

As scary as the Bush Administration's continuing erosion of civil rights is, I find something here even scarier: it hardly even makes news anymore. Some of the reactions I’ve seen to the postal signing statement include, “Well you know there are people that want to kill us!” to “So what, they have been doing that for years, anyway.”

Maybe "they" have been doing it for years – but not legally without a warrant, and that makes a very big difference. The results of the recent election imply that more voters are waking up to the reality that the United States is becoming something other than what it purports to be; the President and his Administration need to be told, in no uncertain terms, that this perversion of rights and freedoms in the name of preserving rights and freedoms is an oxymoron that Americans cannot tolerate.

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