Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This is how bad it's gotten, this article is from DAILY KOS, not a conspiratorial site (to say the least)

Are YOU One of the 8 Million Targeted for Roundup?

Senior government officials have leaked detailed information about a database of 8 million Americans targeted for detention in case of a declared national emergency.

Called "Main Core," the database's origins date back to the 1980s when the Reagan administration began its "Continuity in Government" planning. The Bush administration stepped up the effort to the point that even John Ashcroft and his deputy, James Comey objected on constitional grounds, leading to the dramatic confrontation between Ashcroft and Comey on on side and Alberto Gonzales (then Bush's lawyer) and Andrew Card on the other as Ashcroft lay critically ill in an intensive care unit.

Christopher Ketcham reports in the latest issue of RADAR:

According to a senior government official who served with high-level security clearances in five administrations, "There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived 'enemies of the state' almost instantaneously." He and other sources tell Radar that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core. One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.

How do you get on the list? Ketcham reports that the software used makes predictive judgments of targets' behavior and tracks their circle of associations with "social network analysis" and artificial intelligence modeling tools." The data that serves as the basis of these predictions includes financial information collected from banks, credit card companies and credit agencies, the fruits of the government's illegal wiretapping and email surveillance, data gathered from private sources like ISPs and cell phone companies. A partial list of the data:

The following information seems to be fair game for collection without a warrant: the e-mail addresses you send to and receive from, and the subject lines of those messages; the phone numbers you dial, the numbers that dial in to your line, and the durations of the calls; the Internet sites you visit and the keywords in your Web searches; the destinations of the airline tickets you buy; the amounts and locations of your ATM withdrawals; and the goods and services you purchase on credit cards. All of this information is archived on government supercomputers and, according to sources, also fed into the Main Core database.

Smaller, targeted "enemies lists" are included: no-fly list (now nearing 500,000), border scrutiny list (750,000 nearly a year ago) and people on a list created by a Pentagon project targeting antiwar and environmental groups. These much smaller lists grow to 8 million because of the "social networking" factor. If you've emailed or called someone on those lists, you get added to the master list.

Ketcham has reviewed previous lists created by FEMA (under whose authority all this take place) and the FBI, and finds that diversity rules. Typically, one finds "dissidents and activists of various stripes, political and tax protesters, lawyers and professors, publishers and journalists, gun owners, illegal aliens, foreign nationals, and a great many other harmless, average people."

Enemies lists and mass roundups are nothing new in American history. Lincoln employed them during the Civil War. FDR put the Japanese in detention camps. J. Edgar Hoover had his lists.

But the Main Core programs roots trace back to Reagan, and more specifically, to Iran-Contra figure, Oliver North. North was involved in the creation of REX-84, a martial law plan that would have suspended the constitution, rounded up 400,000 illegal aliens and unknown numbers of American citizens and placed them in detention camps set up at military bases. When Texas Congressman Jack Brooks attempted to question North about the plans at the Iran-Contra hearings, even his fellow Congressmen shut him off.

Rex-84 tools included PROMIS, a database program that North used to track dissidents' movements in the 80s. The program was never halted. Instead, it went into turboboost after 9/11.

These new leaks revealed by Ketcham are an opportunity to push for a Congressional investigation of marital law plans. Peter DeFazio and Bernie Thompson have requested detailed information about "Continuity of Government" plans, but, incredibly, have been rebuffed by DHS and the Bush administration.

Congress has itself been complict, enacting a number of laws since 9/11 that make such data gathering, targeting and detention easier. The 2002 NORTHCOM funding bill included a provision allowing military adminstration in the U. S. in times of declared emergency. The 2006 Military Commissions Act suspended habeas corpus for declared enemy combatants, even American citizens. And the 2006 Warner Defense Act allows deployment of military forces even in the case of natural emergencies. John Yoo claimed in a 2002 memo that the 4th Amendment would have no application to military forces deployed on U. S. soil. Current AG Mukasey refused to disavow Yoo's memo when he testified before Congress last month.

This is the current state of things:

If Bush or any other President declares a state of emergency because of a terrorist attack, assassination, natural disaster or large scale protests, millions of Americans will be targeted. It may be a letter in the mail or a phone call requiring them to come to a local government office to register and answer questions. It may be a knock on the door from local or federal law enforcement officials wanting to have a little chat. Or it may be a squad of Marines busting down the door, shooting first and asking questions later.

Are you one of the 8 million?

Original article posted here.

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