Friday, June 23, 2006

This is the end my friend. There is no place to hide.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse after finding out from Ron Suskind that the government has been helped to spy on the credit card records of all Americans by First Data and Western Union; now comes the news in the NYT that:

"Under a secret Bush administration program initiated weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, counterterrorism officials have gained access to financial records from a vast international database and examined banking transactions involving thousands of Americans and others in the United States, according to government and industry officials."

But have no fear, "The program is limited, government officials say, to tracing transactions of people suspected of having ties to al-Qaeda by reviewing records from the nerve center of the global banking industry."

Just like the NSA domestic phone spying program and the internet data mining were "limited,"

The Times writes that, "Treasury officials did not seek individual court-approved warrants or subpoenas to examine specific transactions, instead relying on broad administrative subpoenas for millions of records from the cooperative, known as Swift." Naturally, why go through the filter of the law? But you can trust W. & Co.

One official in the article is quoted as saying that "The capability here is awesome or, depending on where you're sitting, troubling. . . the potential for abuse is enormous."

Frank Church warned back in 1974 that if the government was able to unleash its vast powers against the American people,

"No American would have any privacy left-- such is the capacity to monitor everything, telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide . . . There would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know." [truthout]

I think that's the point we're at about now. What is left that they haven't gotten their tenticales into? Who knows? The Congress certainly doesn't, nor does it care to apparently, except for Arlen Specter, who is still playing political ping pong with Dick Cheney. Meanwhile, the battle has already been lost.

All you need to wait for now, is them to get around to getting to you.


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