It is pretty scary when people (Retired Navy no less) cannot distinguish between listening in on the Enemy's military communication and listening in on random phone calls into the US with regular US citizens on the other end. This is the beginning of the end for all personal liberties. I wonder who really has won? It appears we are moving far closer to what the USSR was then not.Well, I'm impressed. I thought I was just a small voice in the blogsphere, yet I have found out from Kevin that I have the ability to cause the downfall of society by my very (in his opinion) bad analytical abilities regarding a analogy of history..... I would submit his mindset has limited him to refusing to accept progress. What a sad state of life that must be. Yes, at the time of the Battle of Midway, there were no cellphones to be tapped by FDR. Kevin's world view would then suggest we cannot use the methods of finding out what the enemy's intentions are via SIGINT must be limited to just those we used in WWII (I'm taking his statement of me not being able to understand the difference between "enemies" and American citizens as acceptance of the "rightness" of "wiretapping" the Japanese Naval communications in WWII as a good and proper thing to do...). So, now that the world does have cellphone and commincations technology as the Internet, that those methods of communication between those who would harm us are off limits to those in elected and paid employ of the US Government because they are not of the earlier era. The element missing in his analysis of my analysis is a simle concept: R.E.A.L.I.T.Y. Kevin, if you're reading this, I urge you to embrace reality® and join the rest of us. Imagine this: In WWII, the Germans (I mention them, so you will understand my concept of enemy, even if I'm not referring to the Japanese) routinely landed their agents along the eastern seaboard of the US. I am not specifically aware of the Japanese doing the same thing, but I suspect that it occured, or they infiltrated the US by other routes, but the concept (hang with me, Kevin!) is enemy "spies" (what we used to call them, regardless of what their born or naturalized status is/was) were within our borders, specifically to gather intelligence to support the execution of war against us (tough concept, but a recognized one in all of recorded history). Today, we know from the 9/11 Commission report, and other research of the events leading up to the attacks on 9/11/2001, that the men who carried out those attacks were all within our national boundries for some time before conducting their attacks. Interestingly enough, when that came out, to include the traffic stops of some of them just days before 9/11 and the FBI office in the midwest that wanted to pick up one of them (but were told they could not, for fear of violating civil rights of the suspect), the papers were full of calls to punish all of our law enforcement people for not "connecting the dots." It certainly is all so clear after the attacks that "SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN!!!" Yeah, like all the people hollering actually preform at an exceptional level of psychic ability every day and just those in the government are stupid beyond belief... As I have thought about this post for a few days, it scares me that a man who served in the Army doesn't have enough discernment to figure that not all phone calls answered or made from within the US borders are made by US citizens. Kevin would have no calls monitored, to make sure that not a single US citizen is impacted, while a foreign national easily conspires against us at will, knowing he will not be found out in that method of communications. Additionally, some US citizens actually are invested in making us fail. John Walker comes to mind in this case. Would Kevin think it was acceptable to actually hold those people accontable for their sedition, or, are they shielded as perfect because they are US citizens? If that was the case, then we'd need not statues regarding treason. Once more, back into the reality breech: Those people exist, and to ignore that fact is at our peril. Add to it that spies within an enemy's borders, with the ability to pass intelligence back to the homeland, have been around since Thucydides chronicles the Pelloponnisian War between Athens and Sparta. Is it reasonable to allow those in authority to find and arrest those who are involved in this sort of effort to destroy a country? I submit the answer is yes. The next discussion would be what would that look like, and this is the discussion worth having over this entire issue. In WWII, FDR wholesale dispensed with worrying about chasing phone calls, and had the Japanese ancestry put behind barbed wire, for ease of monitoring. The travesty in the long run is the most decorated regiment in the history of the US Army (the record stands to this day) was the single Nesei unit, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Over the years, there have been efforts to recognize the egregious violation of the Japanese-American's rights, where the internment also meant the loss of their personal and business properties (an early version of the SCOTUS Kelo decisions, with out using the Supreme Court) Toss this detail in: I'd think any person in the profession of arms would have a concept of the OODA loop and understand that if we have to battle to beat the MSM to the airwaves during a war, we darn sure have to speed up our intelligence gathering loops. Side note: Col John Boyd, the recognized leader in the formualtion of the stratgies of the current US Air Force, is the man who came up with the OODA Loop. Col Boyd served with Congressman Sam Johnson, too. Back to the story: If the enemy can get inside your decision making or action taking loop on a time line, you're, how shall I say this delicately? "YOU'RE SCREWED!" and you lose....With nearly indistingiushable from the speed of light communications capabilities today, it makes sense to figure out how to integrate the intelligence gathering domestically into our laws, rather than act like we're all safe and the greatest danger is a call to a married person's extramarital playmate, that goes no further, is the downfall of all of our civil rights, as Kevin strongly implies. We face a similar, but far less deadly (unless you're from the music, TV or movie industry) in the world of copyrights. With the near the speed of light capability to "rip off" the artists, the ability to make the single, legally authorized archivial backup is being taken away from us. In contrast to the issue of terrorists, where we fall all over ourselves to make sure even foreigners get every advantage granted under US law, in the copyright discussion, the RIAA and others of that type have convinced judges at many levels that the only reason anyone would use a recording device (starting with the introduction of the VCR) is to steal. That is in complete juxtaposition to the case at hand. I doubt there is any serious rebellion by those who see us as being painted as a society as thiefs with a broad brush, screaming it it's beginning of the end of our civil rights.... Quite honestly, I'm baffled that Kevin (pardon the 3rd person reference, Kevin, if you are reading this) has a limited grasp of the procedures in the Soviet Union, being as how he stood nose to nose with them as an Armor Officer in Germany, while he was in. Here's a comment I will conduct my flawed analysis on:
All these crazy "security" reasons are the reasons given in the USSR why people were controlled by the Government.This sort of helps put Kevin's frame of mind out there for analysis: The 50s through the 90s were the times of the Cold War. We (those of us in the service) regularly took the time (or were required to attend lectures) on how the Soviets operated. Within these training sessions or manuals were descriptions of the society, so you cold frame their actions accrodingly. Domestic spying, in a very organized manner occured in every venue of life, for military and civilians. The military units each had their own Communsit Party member, the "Commisar," who had authority over even the commanding officers, to make sure everything was done in accrodance with the party line, specifically, in a centralized command structure (and in all of society at large, as well), you sure didn't question orders, or step outside of the box, or you got a train ticket (all expenses paid) to the Gulag...That constitutes 'crazy "security" reasons' Kevin discusses, not what has happened here in the US.
I now start all my conversations on the phone with random words.. Al Queda, Bomb, Down with US etc... just trying to drive the NSA crazy!Advice to Kevin: Sounds like fun, but are you hoping they will come with a SWAT Team so you can have an audience with them and then spout off how George Bush is Satan's brother? I don't think you'll get the coverage, as you are a white guy. Sorry, me, too, but it seems only a few white guys get any press these days, when they think they have a message to convey. Reality: I doubt even your effort will get you noticed, but have fun playing with President Bush's mind. You know, I bet he hasn't heard a single tapped conversation, but we do know LBJ used to listen to tapes of Martin Luther King, Jr. "having his way" with women in hotel rooms. In fact, LBJ played them for others to listen to, while enjoying alcoholic beverages. In this case, I submit 1) LBJ was far scarier than President Bush in his wiretapping and 2) MLK, Jr. was an American citizen, ergo, you need to be more afraid of Democratic presidents invading our rights this way than Republicans.... On top of it all, it's sad to think that someone can live under a self imposed shadow of doubt and fear (read Kevin's blog). I can't imagine thinking only a few people in this country can make it into what he is so afraid of. I have faith that there are many thinking people, most everyone of them, concerned deeply about doing the right thing. In a nation of almost 300 millions people, even if 1% were those trying to take away our civil rights, the newspapers and TV would have 3 million to comment on. Given a number that large, it would be easy to sink into depression and figure it is the beginning of the end, unless you realize the rest of the population is standing to prevent it. The bottom line: As new threats appear, it's time to figure out how to handle it, within our body of law, not how to obfuscate the process. Update 2/24/2006: Welcome to readers from Command T.O.C. Feel free to post comments, as this has always been an option....(note: "no comments" just menas no one has yet posted any on the topic, not that you cannot voice your opinion).