Terror in the Skies…and Below

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As the fedgov scaremongers ramped up the fear factor in advance of the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, no stops were left unpulled to remind us to be scared out of our wits and that despite the necessary fear, we should “just go about our normal routines” because the government was on top of things. Burly men in military gear with machine guns appeared in the metro stations as that fateful anniversary drew near, and up and running were random bag checks of the poor drones headed for work.

News anchors dutifully reported that unconfirmed and uncorroborated but very specific threats had been picked up in the chatter on various of the usual jihadi websites. Nothing specific, but be on the lookout for American citizens driving Budget rental trucks. Thanks a lot.

Now we are told that a military that could not muster an F-16 intercept of known hijacked planes in the midst of the worst attack on American soil, nevertheless scrambled F-16s to intercept a Frontier Airlines jet because a passenger’s bout with diarrhea led to a general panic aboard the plane!

The pattern of psychological manipulation and propagandization using fear has led to a population not only insane with fear, but ready to send a poor fellow with a flatulence problem to Gitmo.

It would be funny if it were not so sick…

Meanwhile, the great James Bamford informs us that shortly after 9/11, everything had changed indeed: The horrifically misnamed National Security Agency turned all of its signals intercept equipment inward, deciding that they have seen the enemy and it is…us!

As Bamford writes:

At the NSA, thousands of analysts who once eavesdropped on troop movements of enemy soldiers in distant countries were now listening in on the bedroom conversations of innocent Americans in nearby states.

“We were told that we were to listen to all conversations that were intercepted, to include those of Americans,” Adrienne Kinne, a former NSA “voice interceptor,” told me….

The [NSA monitoring] equipment…monitored phone conversations and even what pages people view on the Web — the porn sites they visit, the books they buy on Amazon, the social networks they interact with and the text messages they send and receive.

Surely with the arrival of that the champion of ethics and liberty President Obama this Bush era badness was halted.

No, it was accelerated:

Rising in a remote corner of Utah, the agency’s gargantuan data storage center will be 1 million square feet, cost nearly $2 billion and likely be capable of eventually holding more than a yottabyte of data — equal to about a septillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text.

Bamford, a real journalist and a true hero, reminds us of the words of the brave Senator Church who tried some 35 years ago to reign in the proliferating spook agencies that sought total control:

“That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such [is] the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter,” Church said. “There would be no place to hide. If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.”

We are there. It seems too late. Will a modern Sen. Church appear? Or a challenger already appeared only to have someone in a trench coat approach him with a secret file that he “would hate to have to make public”?

5:49 pm on September 12, 2011