There should be no surprise that politically aligned rags . . . Respected news and media outlets are touting statistics on the regular purchase of firearms by alleged terrorist on the watchlist. All the while omitting the ongoing failures of the watchlist in deterring any actual terrorist who committed an act of terror – it’s your fault, the system made them terrorist, it’s the act of an inanimate object, and no one is individually accountable.
I’ve been hearing a lot of talk from people using the terms, Hilter, and Nazi – that’s strange. Considering that these, ‘cry wolf’ activists are acting the most like a Hitler or a Nazi. They endorse and form secret lists, attack those who don’t share their points of view, support a national-socialist agenda, endorse collectivism, edit the truth, and seek the removal of individual rights.
Again, not shocking as we live in an era where our national leadership champions as Social Justice Warriors for any actual terrorist while blaming the citizens for their failures. It’s an act of opportunity for our elected elite to continue a trend started with the Patriot Act and now sits as an attack on the Second Amendment. Any attack on America seems to equate to an attack on the Constitution and your civil rights. – National mass punishment.
Your Fifth Amendment right has already been circumvented, “life, liberty or property without due process of law.” Thanks to, ‘national security,’ a U.S. citizen can not discover or challenge their inclusion on the no-fly list because they were “listed as a result of undisclosed intelligence and surveillance.”
Moreover, you may not even be on any list, but you could still be denied travel or the ability to purchase a firearm. A matter-of-fact within a biased, vindictive, and poorly managed data system, which leads to you being listed and rejected. Congratulations, your flight’s been canceled; simply because your, date-of-birth, description, name, or travel pattern/destination is remotely similar to someone on the list.
The Famously Disconnected Ruling Class
If anything, this recent political dialog should showcase the real importance of being more active and involved in your local and state elections. That is versus the common-idiocracy behind the POTUS election – As the Senate is pushing this legislation, much as they and Congress, not the President, activates most of the legislation that people complain about.
In line with the administration who appointed him, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said,
Gun control is now a critical element of protecting the U.S. homeland and keeping Americans safe.
We have to face the fact that meaningful gun control has to be a part of homeland security. We need to do something to minimize the opportunity for terrorists to get a gun in this country.
The Lunatics Are Running the Asylum – and They’re Ravenous
The rhetoric of safety over freedom has passed its expiration date – it’s rotten. In Poor Richard’s Almanack (1738,) Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.” Although the quote is commonly paraphrased as; Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither. Even so, both statements present a just and reasonable argument as we continue to play a long game in a Global War on Terrorism, of all things. A matter of fact issue that our nation has faced since 1785 when we opposed the Barbary Coast Pirates, and the American navy forced Tunis and Algiers into breaking their alliance with Tripoli. An act that ensured freedom of movement for U.S. ships, free trade, and regional stability.
Now, we must look past accepting security over freedom as a way of life; being that there is no time like the present to scare us about the past. Realistically, the ability for a madman to kill is as old as time and can be a rock in the hand of a brother, a kamikaze pilot in WWII, or a terrorist today. There is no new threat. Bad guys always have and always will do bad-guy things, and as our leadership coddles them – they will persistently grow and we will continue to lose. The question is, do we live in fear, under rocks; or deny them any victory by not allowing their cowardly attacks to impacts our lives?
Perceived threats to liberty by the military-industrial complex that gave great cause for concern in the past have given way to fears of a security state, which has fueled perception of a perpetual danger requiring endless war. Clearly delineated distinctions between law enforcement and war have blurred. At the same time, pressures on democratic principles have increased and leaders are hard-pressed to respond quickly and effectively. In this climate, accumulated emergency powers remain in effect indefinitely, and the nature of individual freedom gradually evolves.
The Kurt Vonnegut Novel, Mother Night, presents the statement ,”We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” I wondered at what level of madness in media we are at, when the lives of the victims are consistent stomped on again and again as a terrorist is brought into the headlines. The terrorist is glamorized, the dead forgotten, and politicians and pundits conduct soapbox sermons upon their graves, shouting nonsensical shock doctrine and hyperbole to push their own agendas. Politicos will haul as many bloody bodies in front of the cameras as it takes to get your attention and sympathetic support – for their cause. They do not seek the court of public opinion in an act of justice, remembrance, meaningful insight, or even as a means for a reasonable plan of action. The standard operating procedure is to push too far, so they can present the image of what is meaning for you, while saying what they want, but not what they mean.
As a result of this spectacle, we remember the act of terror, the terrorist, the politicians and pundits with their agendas. Although we rarely remember the names of the victims, most commonly, we only recall the number of the dead and the nonsense some talking head told us. At home, presented with jaded angles in easy to swallow form, we don’t truly question beyond the statements presented. Heaven forbid, if one of us were to formulate our own opinion.
Some Governmental Sense
Despite this, FBI Director James Comey, recently provided a ray of light as he refused to use the Orlando terrorist’s name. He rightfully refused to add to the “twisted notion,” and “fame or glory,” which could come from carrying out a terrorist attack. – Don’t make scum-bags famous.
Speaker Paul Ryan, politically jumped on the side of reason in this POTUS election, knee-jerk- political action cavalcade, and said, of the bill, dubbed “No fly, no buy,”
[It] could trample on Second Amendment rights if it blocks gun sales to those put on the lists erroneously.
We want to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. … But as we look at how to proceed, we also want to make sure that we’re not infringing upon people’s legitimate constitutional rights. That’s important.
He then aligned with FBI Director James Comey, supporting the current broken system. The system that has overtaxed itself and is overly mandated by executive oversight, which notifies law enforcement when someone on the watchlist purchases or attempts to legally purchase firearms. Ryan then cited warnings from FBI Director James Comey that the, No fly, no buy Bill could compromise federal investigations by defacto alerting suspected terrorists that they under scrutiny.
If we do this wrong, like the president is proposing, we can actually blow our ongoing terrorist investigations. So we want to get this right so we don’t undermine terrorist investigations.
Kafkaesque Lists – Secretive, With Zero Accountability
According to a National Counterterrorism Center document titled, “Watchlisting Guidance,”
Irrefutable evidence of terrorist activity and connections is also not necessary. Reasonable suspicion is sufficient.
Realistically, “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” are required to add anyone to the watchlist as a terror suspect.
The 166-page document is plagued with vague legalism and verbiage written in opposition to the matter-of-fact expected from a legal document. In open for interpretation formatting, worthy of the Ministry of Truth, as the document is a politician’s enforcement guide to essentially rid themselves of whoever they so choose to define as either a terrorist, suspected terrorist, supporter of terrorism –
. . . having engaging in terrorism or having a direct connection to a terrorist organization is not necessary for inclusion on the list. Parents, spouses, siblings, children and “associates” of a suspected terrorist.
You could also be listed for a social media post that “raises suspicion.”
Someone could have also called you in, to the man as, seeming like a terrorist. Just because they don’t like your face.
Get in line or get on the list. After all, you can appear on the list without any suspicion of terrorist involvement. A list that is spinning out of control, with the last official numbers, revealed for 2007, at 700,000 names which grew steadily at approximately 20,000 a month – at the time.
If that growth was to remain steady, today’s number is, 2,900,000. Nearly three million Americans on on the watchlists via 2007 standards, without presenting a speculative number. Yet, reflecting upon an increase in counterproductive legislation, increased surveillance and collection technologies, and new fronts on the Global War on Terrorism – that number of a measly three million numbers is likely dwarfed by the real current total.
The general policy of the U.S. Government is to neither confirm nor deny an individual’s watchlist status. You can contact the FBI’s, Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), who operates the Terrorist Screening Database or TSDB that is central terrorist consolidated watchlist. Although, if you aren’t already on the list; be assured that your call will put you on it.
There are even more meaningless and overtaxed lists to levy the public into fervor or fear. As a growing national records-keeping effort of bloated, compartmentalize databases attempt to catalog any voice in dissent of the momentary national agenda. According to the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE),
Creating an environment of more efficient terrorism-related information sharing is a key mission of the PM-ISE. Consequently, by supporting the ability of front line screening agencies to positively identify known or suspected terrorists trying to obtain visas, enter the country, board aircraft, or engage in other activity, the consolidated Terrorist Watchlist is one of the most effective counterterrorism tools for the U.S. government. A number of federal government agencies participate in this mission process:
The National Counterterrorism Center manages the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), which serves as the U.S. government’s central repository of information on international terrorist identities as established by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. TIDE supports the USG’s various terrorist screening systems or “watchlists” and the U.S. Intelligence Community’s overall counterterrorism mission.
The Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) maintains the U.S. government’s consolidated Terrorist Watchlist – which supports the ability of front line screening agencies to positively identify known or suspected terrorists trying to obtain visas, enter the country, board aircraft, or engage in other activity. While undertaking these activities, TSC is also dedicated to ensuring the data it stores is maintained in a manner consistent with protecting the privacy and civil liberties of Americans.
Similarly, the Transportation Security Administration uses Secure Flight, an aviation security program that enhances the security of domestic and international commercial air travel through the use of improved watchlist matching.
These listed are part, but not limited to of an additional network of government lists – what a dark chapter of history American,
- No-fly list – Department of Homeland Security
- Selectee list – Department of Homeland Security
- Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS) – Department of Homeland Security
- National Automated Immigration Lookout System (NAILS) – Department of Homeland Security migrated to Treasury Enforcement Communication System (TECS)
- Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS) – Department of State
- Criminal Justice Information Services Division Warrant Information – Department of Justice
- Violent Gang and Terrorist Organization File (VGTOF) – Department of Justice
- Interpol Terrorism Watch List – Department of Justice
- Air Force Office of Special Investigations Top Ten Fugitive List – Department of Defense
- Automated Biometric Identification System – Department of Defense
- Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System – Department of Justice
The system works for our current administration, with 260,000 veterans who have been stripped of their gun rights. Thanks to the Department of Veterans Affairs who has made it a practice to list veterans and report them to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check system.
Lyman Latin, a Marine Corps veteran, was denied a Veterans Administration compensation and pension, disability hearing and was restricted travel.
The federal watchlists that the compilers of rap sheets draw on for these notations are notoriously arbitrary and inaccurate. People are placed on these lists without ever being told why or given an opportunity to contest their listing. – Ramzi Kassem, an associate professor at CUNY School of Law
The system, also clearly sucks and has generated a number of false positives – including a 4-year-old-boy.
The latest Justice Department vague rhetoric targets anti-government extremists – ballparking the NRA. The push is designed to force federal law enforcement to find more concrete charges and essentially lock up these trouble starters and opponents to the status quo. Although the National Counterterrorism Center – refuses to list any terrorist group within the United States. Although there are plenty of predominately white and Christan terrorists, such as the Army of God, the KKK, the Animal Liberation Front, Earth Liberation Front, and so on . . .
Despite all of this nonsense, I know that I’m already on many of these lists, and that my opposition to these measures has been noted and often argued against. Many believe that we must blindly trust our government, or you’re not patriotic or a criminal . . . Strange, though. I’m fairly certain that the people who got together to form this great nation, were directly opposed to a tyrannical and secretive government and equally opposed to the demand of unquestioning allegiance by the citizens. I personally never trust any, “yes-man” or someone who constantly demands that one must always toe-the-line for the greater good.
Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Robert Lang
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