Chris's Rants

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Once again... the Bushco administration is

breaking the law:
The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.
But new details about the information being retained suggest that the government is monitoring the personal habits of travelers more closely than it has previously acknowledged.
The activists alleged that the data collection effort, as carried out now, violates the Privacy Act, which bars the gathering of data related to Americans' exercise of their First Amendment rights, such as their choice of reading material or persons with whom to associate. They also expressed concern that such personal data could one day be used to impede their right to travel.
No, it's worse than that. The Preznit has decreed himself the authority to declare anyone an "enemy combatant" and that gives him the "right" to detain that person without according them the protections that most of us, I suspect, believe we have under the constitution such as access to a lawyer, to be told why you are being held against your will, and of the right to a speedy trial before a jury of your peers.
He said that travel records are among the most potentially invasive of records because they can suggest links: They show who a traveler sat next to, where they stayed, when they left. "It's that lifetime log of everywhere you go that can be correlated with other people's movements that's most dangerous," he said. "If you sat next to someone once, that's a coincidence. If you sat next to them twice, that's a relationship."
So, if by mere coincidence, you happen to get seated next to Osama Bin Terrorist, say because you happen to be a frequent flyer on a typical commuter route, you could be flagged as a potential terrorist, and there is nothing you can do to clear your name, or defend against false charges, because the preznit doesn't have to charge you with a crime... he can just lock you up and throw away the key, like Josef K, caught in a constantly unfolding nightmare.


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