Friday, May 12, 2006

In defense of personal privacy...

General Michael Hayden, President Bush's nominee for CIA Director, headed the NSA from March 1999 to April 2005. As NSA Director, Hayden oversaw the agency's domestic phone record collection program, which has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth.

Photo: Roger Wollenberg / Getty Images. (Courtesy of Truthout).

At a personal level I am not really upset that Uncle Sam has a record of the phone calls that I've been making over the last few years. When I was involved as a social activist in the Deep South in the late Sixties I assumed that the FBI had a tap on my phone.

What bothers me about NSA's phone record collection program is that it is just another way to use the tragedy of 9/11 to wage a fake war on terrorism. Why not go after the fuckin' guys who were responsible for 9/11? What the Administration has done is create a "culture of fear" to do whatever they want to do.

As Americans we value our personal freedom. Of course we want the government to protect us from the bad people. What happened on 9/11 was used as an excuse for regime change in Iraq. Now it is been used to undermine the personal privacy we all value as Americans.

Quote from Senator Leahy:

"Are you telling me that tens of millions of Americans are involved with Al Qaeda?"


After reading Georgia 10 over at Daily Kos I realize that NSA considers all of us potential terrorists.