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August 2008
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“bullet” U.S. May Ease Police Spy Rules

The Justice Department has proposed a new domestic spying measure that would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years. […]
Quietly unveiled late last month, the proposal is part of a flurry of domestic intelligence changes issued and planned by the Bush administration in its waning months. […]
Taken together, critics in Congress and elsewhere say, the moves are intended to lock in policies for Bush’s successor and to enshrine controversial post-Sept. 11 approaches that some say have fed the greatest expansion of executive authority since the Watergate era.

Of course, the supposed reason is to fight terror, but as you know…

Jim McMahon, deputy executive director of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, said the proposed changes “catch up with reality” in that those who investigate crimes such as money laundering, drug trafficking and document fraud are best positioned to detect terrorists.

So, supposedly in the search for terrorists, narcotics police can spy on American citizens, share the information with the feds, and keep the info for 10 years. That’s the way it always works. The increased spy power has absolutely nothing to do with terrorists, and is unlikely to catch a single one. It’s about increased power over us.
“bullet” Scanner Being Tested on Cars Taking Ferry at Cherry Branch

The Transportation Security Administration and the N.C. Department of Transportation are collaborating on a four-week test of a vehicle screening program at the Cherry Branch ferry just outside Havelock. All vehicles planning to board the ferry will have to drive through the American Science and Engineering X-ray detection system called the Z-Portal. The device, tall enough for a tractor-trailer to be screened, scans the sides and tops of vehicles to look specifically for concealed threats, explosives and contraband.
“It’s a more detailed picture than you would get with an X-ray at the dentist’s office,” said Jon Allen of the Transportation Security Administration.
Vehicles will roll slowly through the gateway as backscatter X-ray detectors penetrate the metal and plastic, generating a photo-like image of the driver, passengers and all cargo. It’s sensitive enough to see drugs smuggled in a car tire, cigarette cartons in a door panel or plastic explosives in a wheel well, officials said Monday during a demonstration of the system.

This certainly is being promoted by the Department of Homeland Security because of the danger of terrorist attacks… but that’s not what they’ll be looking for. And if a ferry needs to be protected, why not a bridge? Why can’t we put one of these on every road? After all, if you have nothing to hide… There might be terrorists out there. Or marijuana cigarettes. We can’t afford to have a free country anymore…
“bullet” Green Party blasts military-style police measures, drug-war violation of citizens‰ rights

Green Party candidates and leaders called the 24-hour curfew imposed on the city of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, a gross violation of the rights of local citizens and a symptom of the rapid growth of unrestrained police power over the past two decades.
Politicians and law enforcement officials have justified such measures as part of the war on drugs. Greens have endorsed an immediate end to the drug war, calling it a catastrophic failure.
‹These interrogations and checkpoints are comparable to police practices in authoritarian regimes and especially apartheid-era South Africa — which is even more ominous given the fact the residents of these new ëRed Zones‰ are mostly African American and poor,Š said Rosa Clemente, the Green Party‰s nominee for Vice President of the United States (http://www.rosaclemente.com).

Good for them!

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