An Enemy of the State?

FPF-fwd.: Doug Thompson - Capitol Hill Blue
An Enemy of the State?
Tue Nov 8, 2005 13:48
 


AN ENEMY OF THE STATE?

Below, Doug Thompson who is a very good journalist, writes about how this Bush version of 'Hooverism' [http://tinyurl.com/dyea3] has classified him as "An enemy of the State.''

Stories like these always remind me of the man who said: "I may be paranoid, but that does NOT mean they're not after me!"

Under the present circumstances being declared ''An Enemy of the State'' is an honour bestowed on one, like the 'Legion d'Honneur of the Resistance':

White House keeps dossiers on more than 10,000 'political enemies'

By DOUG THOMPSON - Publisher, Capitol Hill Blue

Nov 8, 2005 - Spurred by paranoia and aided by the USA Patriot Act, the Bush Administration has compiled dossiers on more than 10,000 Americans it considers political enemies and uses those files to wage war on those who disagree with its policies.

The “enemies list” dates back to Bush’s days as governor of Texas and can be accessed by senior administration officials in an instant for use in campaigns to discredit those who speak out against administration policies or acts of the President.

The computerized files include intimate personal details on members of Congress; high-ranking local, state and federal officials; prominent media figures and ordinary citizens who may, at one time or another, spoken out against the President or Administration.

Capitol Hill Blue has spoken with a number of current and former administration officials who acknowledge existence of the enemies list only under a guarantee of confidentiality. Those who have seen the list say it is far more extensive than Richard Nixon’s famous “enemies list” of Watergate fame or Bill Clinton’s dossiers on political enemies.

“How is that you think Karl (Rove) and Scooter (Libby) were able to disseminate so much information on Joe Wilson and his wife,” says one White House aide. “They didn’t have that information by accident. They had it because they have files on those who might hurt them.”

White House insiders tell a disturbing tales of invasion of privacy, abuse of government power and use of expanded authority under the USA Patriot Act to dig into the personal lives of anyone the administration deems an enemy of the state.

Those on the list include former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, former covert CIA operative Valarie Plame, along with filmmaker and administration critic Michael Moore, Senators like California’s Barbara Boxer, media figures like liberal writer Joe Conason and left-wing bloggers like Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (the Daily Kos).

“If you want to know who’s sleeping with whom, who drinks too much or has a fondness for nose candy, this is the place to find it,” says another White House aide. “Karl (Rove) operates under the rule that if you ... with us, we’ll ... you over.”

Rove started the list while Bush served as governor of Texas, compiling information on various political enemies in the state and leaking damaging information on opponents to friends in the press. The list grew during Bush’s first run for President in 2000 but the names multiplied rapidly after the terrorist attacks of 2001 and passage of the USA Patriot Act. Using the powers under the act, Rove expanded the list to more than 10,000 names, utilizing the FBI’s “national security letters” to gather private and intimate details on American citizens.

National security letters, which can be issued by an FBI supervisor without a judge’s review or approval, allows the bureau to sweep up the records of virtually any American citizen, examining their telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of ordinary Americans.

The FBI issues some 30,000 national security letters a year to employers, credit bureaus, banks, travel agencies and other sources of information on American citizens. The Patriot Act also forbids anyone receiving such a letter to reveal they have passed on information to the federal government.

“Those letters helped us build files quickly on those we needed to know more about,” says a former White House aide.

The database of political enemies of the Bush administration is not maintained on White House computers and is located on a privately-owned computer offsite, but can be accessed remotely by a select list of senior aides, including Rove. The offsite location allowed the database to escape detection by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald during his investigation of the Valerie Plame leak. The database is funded by private donations from Bush political backers and does not appear on the White House budget or Federal Election Commission campaign reports.

Bush is not the first President to use the FBI to keep track of his enemies. Richard M. Nixon used FBI files to try and discredit his opponents, including Daniel Ellsberg, the Department of Defense employee who leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times. Bill Clinton used the FBI to compile dossiers on critics like Conservative Congressman Bob Barr and legal gadfly Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch.

But worried White House insiders say the intelligence gathered by the Bush administration is far larger, more extensive and potentially more damaging than the excesses of previous occupants of the White House. Even worse, it dovetails into a pattern of spying on Americans that has become commonplace since Bush took office.

“We’re talking about Big Brother at its most extreme,” says one White House staffer. “We know things about people that their spouses don’t know and, if it becomes politically expedient, we will make sure the rest of the world knows.”

The White House press official did not respond to a request for an interview on this story and did not return phone calls seeking comment.

2005 Capitol Hill Blue - Story Url.: http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7625.shtml

AND HERE IS HOW IT CAN HIT PEOPLE:

An enemy of the state

By DOUG THOMPSON

Nov 7, 2005, 08:14 - According to a printout from a computer controlled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice, I am an enemy of the state.

The printout, shown to me recently by a friend who works for Justice, identifies me by a long, multi-digit number, lists my date of birth, place of birth, social security number and contains more than 100 pages documenting what the Bureau and the Bush Administration consider to be my threats to the security of the United States of America.

It lists where I sent to school, the name and address of the first wife that I had been told was dead but who is alive and well and living in Montana, background information on my current wife and details on my service to my country that I haven’t even revealed to my wife or my family.

Although the file finds no criminal activity by me or members of my immediate family, it remains open because I am a “person of interest” who has “written and promoted opinions that are contrary to the government of the United States of America.”

And it will remain active because the government of the United States, under the far-reaching provisions of the USA Patriot Act, can compile and retain such information on any American citizen. That act gives the FBI the authority to collect intimate details about anyone, even those not suspected of any wrongdoing.

My file begins on September 11, 2001, the day of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. A Marine guard standing post at the Navy Yard in Washington jotted down the license number of my Jeep Wrangler after I was spotted taking pictures of armed guards at the locked-down military facility.

That night, I found a card stuffed under my door from Agent John Ryan of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. I chuckled at the time because the lead character in Tom Clancy’s novels is named John P. Ryan.

I called Agent Ryan the next day. He wanted to know what the hell I was doing taking photos of a military facility. I explained that I was a journalist and taking pictures was what I did for a living. I directed him to a web site where he could find some of the photos I shot of the Navy Yard’s side gate on that day. He asked for additional information, including date of birth and social security number, which I provided, and then hung up.

I thought the matter was dead until a few weeks ago when an old friend from Washington called, said he was in the area, and suggested lunch. At lunch, he showed me the 100-plus pages of the file on me that grew out of that first encounter with Agent Ryan of NCIS.

“Much of this information was gathered through what we call ‘national security letters,’” he said. “It allows us to gather information from a variety of sources.”

A “national security letter” it turns out, can be issued by any FBI supervisor, without court order or judicial review, to compel libraries, banks, employers and other sources to turn over any and all information they have on American citizens.

The FBI issues more than 30,000 national security letters a year. When one is delivered to a bank, library, employer or other entity, the same federal law that authorizes such letters also prohibits your bank, employer or anyone else from telling you that they received such a letter and were forced to turn over all information on you.

According to my file, the banks where I have both business and checking accounts have been forced to turn over all records of my transactions, as have every company where I have a charge account or credit card. They’ve perused my book borrowing habits from libraries in Arlington and Floyd Counties as well as studied what television shows I watch on the Tivos in my house. They know I belong to the National Rifle Association, the National Press Photographers Association and other professional groups. They know I attend meetings of Alcoholic Anonymous on a regular basis and the file notes that my “pattern of spending” shows no purchase of “alcohol-related products” since the file was opened in 2001.

In the past, when information collected on an American citizen failed to turn up any criminal activity, FBI policy called for such information to be destroyed.

But President George W. Bush in 2003 reversed that long-standing policy and ordered the bureau and other federal agencies to not only keep that information but place it in government databases that can be accessed by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

In October, Bush also signed Executive Order 13388 which expands access to those databases to “appropriate private sector entities” although the order does not explain what those entities might be. In addition, the Bush Administration has successfully blocked legislation and legal actions that have tried to stop the expansion of spying and gathering of information on Americans.

FBI spokesmen defend the national security letters as a “necessary tool” on the so-called “war on terror.”

"Congress has given us this tool to obtain basic telephone data, basic banking data, basic credit reports," Valarie E. Caproni, the FBI general counsel, told The Washington Post. "The fact that a national security letter is a routine tool used, that doesn't bother me."

Obviously it doesn’t. Carponi signed at least one of the letters used to gather information for my file.

When I asked to keep the copy of the file, my friend said “no.”  I promised to keep it and the source confidential.

“You can’t,” he said. “You can’t keep anything hidden. Your life is an open book with us and it will be to the day you die.”

After we left lunch and went our separate ways, I wondered how, if my life was under such scrutiny from Uncle Sam, he could meet me for lunch in a public restaurant and not be discovered? So the next day I went to a public phone in an out-of-the-way location and dialed his direct number.

It was disconnected. So I called the central number and asked to speak to him. The woman who answered the phone wanted my name and phone number so he could return the call.  I hung up.

Then I drove home with one eye glued to the rearview mirror. Didn’t see anything suspicious but if I turn up missing one day, just forward my mail to General Delivery, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

© Copyright 2005 Capitol Hill Blue

Url.: http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/printer_7624.shtml

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The FPF is convinced that the US is in dire need of so called 'Enemies of the State' - to correct the mess as shown by the links below too:

* The Nuremberg principles: "Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor and liable to punishment." - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/byurp

* 'The war in Iraq is illegal' - BBC: video & text-interview of the United Nation's Secretary General Kofi Annan - Url.:http://tinyurl.com/5pl2v

* The leaked 'Downing Street Memos' expose the criminal lies by war criminals like Bush, Blair, Berlusconi (It.) Balkenende (NL) - their collaborating media and all other malignant ilk - Url.:http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/

* MSNBC - Poll: Ninety-four (94) percent believes that George Bush and the neocon media mislead the nation to go to war with Iraq - Url.: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8248969/

* ''The Lancet'' and the ''Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health'' report: ''Over 100.000 killed in the illegal Iraq war''- Url.: http://tinyurl.com/5gys7

* Report on United States War Crimes Against Iraq to the Commission of Inquiry for the International War Crimes Tribunal - Url.: http://deoxy.org/wc/warcrime.htm

* George Bush II interview - ABC: No WMD's but many killed: "It was worth it" - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/6bal9

* Former US/Israeli Secr. of State Madeleine Albright-Korbel, in her comment on half a million dead children in Iraq: "We think it's worth it" On CBS 60' Minutes - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/2vmc8


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