This should make you feel more secure:
The Defense Department has expanded its programs aimed at gathering and analyzing intelligence within the United States, creating new agencies, adding personnel and seeking additional legal authority for domestic security activities in the post-9/11 world.
What? You don’t find that comforting?
“We are deputizing the military to spy on law-abiding Americans in America. This is a huge leap without even a [congressional] hearing,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a recent interview.
Of course, if we had a Congressional hearing, then it wouldn’t be such a huge leap.
Wyden did manage to get some changes to upcoming legislation. But
Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies, said the data-sharing amendment would still give the Pentagon much greater access to the FBI’s massive collection of data, including information on citizens not connected to terrorism or espionage.
The measure, she said, “removes one of the few existing privacy protections against the creation of secret dossiers on Americans by government intelligence agencies.” She said the Pentagon’s “intelligence agencies are quietly expanding their domestic presence without any public debate.”
As I wrote to one of my Senators, who is assigned to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: the fact that Northcom, according to the article, has almost fifty percent more intelligence analysts than the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research is an indication of seriously flawed thinking. If we as a country worked harder on getting along with the rest of the world, and less on creating reasons for fear and the resulting bloated “defense” budget, the entire world, including us, would be better off. We do not need an entity like CIFA “exploiting commercial data” with “leading edge information technologies and data harvesting”.
This sounds an awful lot like the return of Poindexter.