Are These Beginnings of a Police State?

According to the Washington Times, Maryland State Police and federal agents in full body armor arrived at 4:30 a.m. at the home of Audrey Hudson, an award-winning former investigative journalist for the Washington Times who had exposed problems in the Homeland Security Department’s Federal Air Marshals Service. They had a warrant to search for unregistered firearms and a “potato  gun”  suspected of belonging to her husband, Paul  Flanagan, a Coast  Guard employee. Flanagan has not been charged with any wrongdoing  since the raid. But they took the records of the wife while they were there. Apparently, the agents got access to the home to raid the husband for unregistered firearms, and went after the records of a journalist who had made trouble for them. Was that a lucky coincidence?

In another story, the NSA and the Department of Homeland Security are coming after Dan McCall, a man who sells mugs and T-shirts parodying these two agencies. They have sent him a cease-and-desist under the pretense he is using the seal of the agencies illegally.

Isn’t a 4:30 a.m. raid on a potato gun owner and journalist critical of the government a little overkill? Where is that freedom at home in our nation that prides itself for standing up for freedom the world over?

This reminds me of a quote by Martin Niemöller, a Nazi dissident:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

Should I start all over again?

First they came for the journalists and the parodists, and I did not speak out.

Then they came for the Socialists….


Saying It Out Loud

The Germans don’t like it that the NSA in monitoring their phone calls. Check this out:

Say it out loud

1: Hi…

2: Hey…

1: I am on the way home. Any idea what we can do?

2: You know what I want!

1: I want you to say it out loud!

3: Yeah, Baby! We all want you to say it out loud!

Losing our Freedom in the U.S.

I bet you thought this was about the government “trampling on the constitution and trying to take away our guns.” We have certainly heard enough from the gun lobby, lead by the NRA with LaPierre’s face out front to remind us daily of this bogus loss of freedom, while right under our very eyes, aided by us every day, the real, oppressive, 1984-esque trampling is going on. We have already given away our freedom, and with much more serious implications than any gun legislations would ever have.

Were you as astonished as I was how quickly the Boston bombers were found? It looks like there were thousands of pictures and videos of them that came out after they were identified. Once they were on national TV and the Internet, the noose closed very quickly around them.

I have read a transcript of a conversation between Erin Burnett, the CNN host of Outfront, and several other people, one of them Tim Clemente, former FBI counter- terrorism expert.

In the investigation after the Bombing in Boston, Catherine Russell, the widow of Boston bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, spoke to her husband on April 18, after his picture was released by the FBI. Did she know he was the terrorist at that time? If yes, she didn’t report him, and that makes her guilty of aiding terrorism. Further, how could she, living with the bomber in a very small apartment, not know about the plot ahead of time? If she did, she is in even more trouble.

Here is the exchange that bothers me terribly:

BURNETT:  Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It’s not a voice mail.  It’s just a conversation.  There’s no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?

CLEMENTE:  No, there is a way.  We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation.  It’s not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her.  We certainly can find that out.

Is it just me, or did Clemente just tell us that all our phone calls are being recorded?

Let’s face it, with digital technology permeating our lives, it’s trivial for Verizon or AT&T, or any other phone company to record that call and save it off. Not just the call, by our texts, everything we search online, all is going through the same tight funnel of the phone companies. If the government simply taps into this, it can know everything we do, we communicate, we say, we opine, we search for at any time for any reason.

You didn’t think about this going on when you texted someone this morning? You didn’t think about this when you made the last phone call, at work or at home?

Right, I didn’t either.

Everything we communicate using our smart phones is apparently being recorded – and of course nobody is telling us about this.

Call me paranoid?

No – call me an unfree citizen. Background checks for guns seem a ridiculous trifle in comparison.