Tuesday, May 13, 2008

1984, 17 Years On


In this broadcast exclusive on Democracy Now!, Army Sgt. Adrienne Kinne (Ret.) reveals that as an Intelligence officer and Arabic language specialist, she was assigned the mission to illegally monitor and intercept cell phone calls of journalists, humanitarian aid organizations and non-governmental organizations including the International Red Cross, Red Crescent and Doctors Without Borders. Ms Kinne also discloses that she was personally ordered to eavesdrop on Americans working for news organizations and NGOs in Iraq. She monitored cell phone transmissions from Iraq and Afghanistan between December of 2001 and August of 2003 while stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia.

This is 1984, folks, 17 years on. It just showed up a little behind Orwell’s schedule.

FYI, United States Signals Intelligence Directive [USSID] 18 prohibits eavesdropping on Americans except in very limited cases when the Attorney General is allowed to grant permission. This little detail – upholding the Constitution and the 4th Amendment right to privacy - was discarded in the wake of the panic and hysteria which followed 9-11.

During an interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! (which primarily focused on the shelling of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad in 2003) Ms Kinne revealed that her unit’s mission changed after the September, 2001 attacks. She was given a verbal waiver on the Constitution. She and the other members of her unit were told they could listen to Americans and citizens of allied countries from humanitarian aid organizations, journalists and NGOs. Two reasons for this gross violation of the Constitution were given.

First, they were told that US citizens and allies were ‘eyes on the ground’ and if they stumbled upon the location of WMDs, and if they then pass the location of the WMDs over the phone to others, the military would be able to pass that location of the WMDs directly on to military superiors more expeditiously.

Well, there you go, then. We can’t let a little piece of paper like the Constitution stand in the way of efficient military intelligence gathering, can we?

The second rationale to justify spying on Americans is even more preposterous than the first. Sgt Kinne and her fellow eavesdroppers were told that if an American or ally lost their satellite phone, a terrorist could pick it up and start using it. If that happened, Sgt Kinne’s unit would then have to monitor all the phones to make sure that if such a loss (or theft) took place, they would be able to monitor the terrorists.

Huh!? How many hypotheticals can you pile one on top the other?

So, to recap: during Sgt Kinne’s mission, the justification for spying on Americans was that terrorists might steal or find our cell phones and begin using them for evil-doing.

Please, go to Democracy Now! to hear this interview for yourself. Our republic, our Constitution and our rights as citizens are in gravest danger.

Impeach Bush!

Impeach Cheney!

Impeach Scalia!

Prosecute the war criminals and the defilers of our Constitution.

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