Thanksgiving For Big Brother Too?
Even before President Bush
signed into law the Homeland Security Act this week,
creating a governmental
behemoth that swallows 22 existing agencies and
turns them into one giant fist poised to crush civil
liberties, the national media knew very well what the
law that stitched together the new department meant.
Here is what the Christian Science Monitor
reported about the DHS on Nov. 21, two days after
the Senate followed the House in passing the law:
"Make a call from a pay
phone at the ballpark, and it may be tapped. Pay for a
sandwich with a credit card, and the transaction may
wind up in an electronic file with your tax returns,
travel history, and speeding tickets.
"These are some of the
ways that the biggest reorganization of the federal
government in half a century could trickle down into the
minutiae of the daily life of Americans."
The question Americans might want to ask, while it is
still legal to ask questions at all, is: why didn`t the
press report these trickle-down effects before Congress
passed the law?
In fact, some people did
discuss the threats to freedom and privacy the
Homeland Security bill represented,
me among them. Most Americans were too frightened of
terrorism, too trusting of the federal leviathan, and
generally too ignorant about the dangers their freedom
was facing to pay much attention.
But the vast new agency just created is not the only
threat they need to worry about.
The same day the Monitor was belatedly telling
us about the erosion of liberty the new agency will
cause, the Washington Times was belatedly
reporting that the Pentagon had confirmed that "a
high-tech data collection system [that] will monitor
credit-card transactions and airline ticket purchases
… is being created to thwart terrorist attacks."
This is entirely separate from the behemoth down the
street at the DHS. This
behemoth will reside across the river in the
Pentagon itself and is demurely named the "Total
Information Awareness" (TIA) program.
But then again, the leviathan may not really need new
laws, vast bureaucracies, and secret programs driven by
technologies out of science fiction to throttle what
remains of American freedom. Already, inebriated with
the air of the Zeitgeist, prosecutors are starting to
crack down — not on "terrorism," necessarily, but on
dissent and eccentric ideas that are really what
worries the architects of the New World Order.
In Great Britain, a newspaper columnist for the
Robin Page, was arrested this month on a charge of
inciting "racial hatred." Mr. Page, the Telegraph
reported on Nov. 22, had spoken at a county fair,
arguing that if Londoners had the right to celebrate
"black and gay pride," then rural minorities also had
the right to celebrate their own culture. "All I
said was that the rural minority should have the same
rights as blacks, Muslims and gays," Mr. Page
Shortly after his speech, Mr. Page was asked by
county police to come down for an interview because of
"complaints" they`d received about his remarks. He did,
but he refused to answer questions without his lawyer
present, was arrested and thrown in a jail cell. He
agreed to answer questions without a lawyer to avoid
spending the night in jail. He was then asked if he was
a racist and told to report back to the police in
Great Britain is
obviously a different country, but it shares the
same Zeitgeist as this one, and such tales are not far
from reality here either.
Last week in Orange County, California, the county
prosecutor rounded up a local leader of the neo-Nazi
Aryan Nation and two others "suspected of being
neo-Nazis," the Orange County Register reports. [Pay
archive.] They were nabbed allegedly because they
possessed "bomb-making materials," and one had
supposedly violated parole by possessing a firearm, but
"no specific attack plans are alleged." The real reason
arrests was blatantly political. Deputy District
Attorney Nick Thompson told the paper, "… I hope it
would have a chilling effect on those people who are
sitting on the fence regarding whether to throw their
allegiance to racist causes."
I have little use for "neo-Nazis," but if prosecutors
can openly boast of how they intend to use the law to
chill free expression and ideas they dislike, then
aren`t the only ones facing problems. Neither of
the arrests in England or in California was the result
of the Homeland Security Department or the Total
Information Awareness Program; they merely illustrate
the Zeitgeist that has descended upon the Western world
since Sept. 11, 2001. And they merely foreshadow how
these government agencies and programs, among others,
will be used in the future. When the Zeitgeist knocks
at your door some night, don`t say no one warned you.
of Sam Francis` columns, America
Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The Disintegration
Of American Culture, is now available from
Americans For Immigration Control.]
November 28, 2002