Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pope Benedict's Impending April 2008 Mass at Nationals Stadium

The Saga Continues:
the Vatican and Washington Nationals Stadium

One year to the day after I posted this about the Nationals Stadium -- G.W. Bush -- Vatican power play, the very same blog Wispers in the Loggia (which published the letter calling for the resignation of Cardinal Egan that I reported here), published the following about Pope Benedict's April 2008 visit to the U.S.
As currently planned, the trip's first full day will see the pontiff's 81st birthday. As reported in mid-September, the plans continue to point toward the visit's start in Washington. While most of the previously-noted itinerary of the Catholic University of America and diplomatic courtesies at the White House appear to remain in place, one reported change has the venue for Benedict's DC Mass pegged not for the expanse of the National Mall, but -- as with New York -- the new stadium of the Washington Nationals, currently projected to open barely a week before the visit takes place. (On a related note, Major League Baseball's scheduling for 2008 is still in its tentative stages and has not been publicly released.) Built to house a game capacity of 41,000, Nationals Park would likely seat closer to 50,000 for a papal liturgy.
This marks a change from what was reported previously by the Catholic News Agency:
Washington DC, Sep 17, 2007 / 10:15 am (CNA).- Details about Pope Benedict XVI’s much-anticipated apostolic journey to the United States next year have begun to emerge. Anticipated stops for the Pope’s first-ever US visit include, New York, Washington, Boston and possibly Baltimore.

The tentatively scheduled April 15 to 20 trip is centered around a papal speech before the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon personally invited the pontiff to address the UN.

However, plans for the voyage remain unconfirmed. George Weigel, in comments to CNA, said that "[i]f the Pope comes to the UN next spring, he'll obviously do one or two other American cities.” “Nevertheless, there is no decision I'm aware of on which it would be.”

Sources familiar with the plans for the papal visit say that the pontiff will visit New York, where he will celebrate Mass at Central Park, give an address in St. Patrick's Cathedral, and pause for a moment of reflection at Ground Zero.

The trip, however, will reportedly begin in Washington, where the Pope is expected to meet with the president, visit Catholic University of America and say Mass on the National Mall.

He will be holding Mass literally in the baseball stadium ON the Mall- that is the aborted South Capitol Mall.

This stadium -- now under construction and bearing essentially the name of that stadium in Santiago Chile made infamous by the Pinochet dictatorship -- Nationals Stadium, was politically rammed through with its knife edged clubhouse of the 'King of the World' -- the words of Jacqueline Dupree -- that essentially extends southward the building line of the sole building along South Capitol Street saved by the South Capitol Mall's abortion: St Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church


The South Capitol Extending the Legacy plan would have been the 1st major extension of monumental Washington D.C. since the western extension of the National Mall with the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial.

The complete blackout by the mainstream media and the "environmentalist" and land planning related organizations of this conflict, with the public receiving no explanation for the Vatican's opposition to even relocating the St. Vincent de Paul Church, and with Cardinal Egan's closing and planned demolition of church structures in New York in the face of passionate parishioner opposition, such as with St. Brigid Church that faces Tomkins Square Park, serves as a monumental if not mysterious display of the Vatican's social and political power in the U.S.

South Capitol was to have a monumental promenade

But instead we'll get yet another K Street.

Mark Touhey, then Chairman of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission involved with this miserably located stadium and a member of the Board of Trustees of Washington Jesuit Academy, Gonzaga HS and Catholic University of America


Sunday, October 28, 2007


Something to think about

Your electronic confessional, facilitating making all sorts of details of your person life accessible to ...

Friday, October 26, 2007

TelCon Treason: Motorola to Hire Retiring DEA Head Karen Tandy

Considering a Motorola cell phone? Then consider the following:

From Stop the Drug War:

DEA Administrator Karen Tandy announced her resignation today, marking her 4-year tenure with another trademark Tandyism:

"It just doesn't get any better than this," Tandy said in a statement about her time at DEA. [Washington Post]

Well, at least somebody had a good time. Now Tandy is moving into the telecom industry:

Tandy told employees she was leaving to take a job as a senior vice president of Motorola, DEA spokesman Garrison Courtney said. Motorola is a leading sponsor of a DEA traveling museum exhibit about global drug trafficking and terrorism…

Did you guys hear that? Motorola is a major private funder of insidious drug war propaganda and decorates its highest offices with exhausted anti-drug soldiers. Let's all make a mental note of how socially conscious this company is.

And let's all note her likely work in assisting the government with criminal wire-taping of telecommunications, given her background at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (in market protection for pharmaceuticals, alcohol and Tobacco- a scheme that betrays the public health by manufacturing its own justification by shifting markets from safer plants to far, far, far more dangerous concentrated refined substances).

Add Motorola to the boycott against Verizon and other telcon traitors.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More Widespread TelCom Bribery for Immunity on Criminal Warrantless Surveillance

According to The New York Times

I suspect that Verizon facilitated my being targeted through Homeland Security for such writings as this, this, and this, in my blog spotlighting the blacked-out issue of the abortion of what would have been Washington, D.C.'s South Capitol Mall.

Published: October 23, 2007

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 — Executives at the two biggest phone companies contributed more than $42,000 in political donations to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV this year while seeking his support for legal immunity for businesses participating in National Security Agency eavesdropping.

The surge in contributions came from a Who’s Who of executives at the companies, AT&T and Verizon, starting with the chief executives and including at least 50 executives and lawyers at the two utilities, according to campaign finance reports.

The money came primarily from a fund-raiser that Verizon held for Mr. Rockefeller in March in New York and another that AT&T sponsored for him in May in San Antonio.

Mr. Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, emerged last week as the most important supporter of immunity in devising a compromise plan with Senate Republicans and the Bush administration.

A measure approved by the intelligence panel on Thursday would add restrictions on the eavesdropping and extend retroactive immunity to carriers that participated in it. President Bush secretly approved the program after the Sept. 11 attacks.


AT&T and Verizon have been lobbying hard to insulate themselves from suits over their reported roles in the security agency program by gaining legal immunity from Congress. The effort included meetings with Mr. Rockefeller and other members of the intelligence panels, officials said.

The companies face suits from customers who say their privacy was violated. Administration officials say they worry that the suits, pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, could bankrupt the utilities.

House Democrats have balked at the immunity, refusing to include it in a bill they drew up and saying they would not even consider it unless the administration produced long-sought documents on the origins of the program.

Mr. Rockefeller received little in the way of contributions from AT&T or Verizon executives before this year, reporting $4,050 from 2002 through 2006. From last March to June, he collected a total of $42,850 from executives at the two companies. The increase was first reported by the online journal Wired, using data compiled by the Web site OpenSecrets.org.

Neither Mr. Rockefeller’s predecessor as committee chairman or his House counterpart received increases in contributions from the phone companies, records show. But industry executives have given significant contributions to a number of other Washington politicians, including two presidential contenders, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain.

Open Secrets

Mukasey OK with Government Crime

Just don't define it as such

Posting Date: October 22, 2007

Mukasey’s Support of Tyranny

Conservatives are all aglow over President Bush’s selection of Michael B. Mukasey to replace Alberto Gonzalez as U.S. attorney general. The conservative love-fest for Mukasey comes as no surprise, especially given his positions:

1. Mukasey says he’s against torture. Yawn. So is President Bush. So is the CIA and the Pentagon. That’s not the point. The point is the definition of torture. These people simply define torture to exclude everything that they are doing to people. Once they puts their new, ever-changing, subjective definition of torture into effect, voila!, no more torture because whatever it is that they’re doing to people does not fall within their definition of torture. Mukasey adopts that position, which is why he could not bring himself to contradict his boss on whether the ancient art of water-boarding — i.e., forced drowning — is really subjecting somebody to torture.

2. Mukasey buys into the “enemy combatant” doctrine, the post-9/11 power assumed by the president and the military to label anyone, including American citizens, an “enemy combatant” in the “war on terror” and treat him accordingly. That is, without even the semblance of a constitutional amendment, Mukasey, a former federal judge, accepts the radical notion that a terrorist attack, historically a criminal act, automatically gave the president and the military the power to take any American into custody, subject him to water-boarding or other acts of non-torture (see above), and detain him indefinitely, even perhaps for the rest of his life. Equally bad, Musasey says that in any habeas corpus action, all that is needed to keep an American (or a foreigner) in military control is “some” evidence that he is in fact an “enemy combatant” in the “war on terror.”

3. Mukasey also believes that because the president is “at war,” which presumably means the “war on terror” (as compared to the war on drugs or the war on poverty), his “commander-in-chief” status means that he doesn’t have to comply with constitutional or congressional restrictions on this power, a position that Bush (and Vice President Cheney) have long held. Not surprisingly, Mukasey failed to explain how this is different from dictatorship — i.e., a ruler who has omnipotent powers to do “the right thing.”


Monday, October 22, 2007

Verizon Bribes U.S. Senator Rockefellor for TelCom Immunity

A trio of men in need of arrest and prosecution for involvement with bribery for Constitutional subversion, to wit the 1st and 4th Amendments:

For offering a bribe:
Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg
Chairman and CEO ($19,425,000 annual compensation 2005),
Executive VP and President and CEO of Verizon Wireless CEO Dennis Strigl
($11,209,600 annual compensation 2005)
For receiving a bribe:
U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller.
From http://kipesquire.powerblogs.com/posts/1192978834.shtml
Verizon & AT&T Buy a Senator (and Possibly NSA Immunity)

While one moral defective gets caught with her campaign contribution hand in the Chinatown fortune cookie jar, another moral defective gets caught with his votes-for-sale hand on the wiretapped telephone:
Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) is reportedly steering the secretive Senate Intelligence Committee to give retroactive immunity to telecoms that helped the government secretly spy on Americans.

He has also recently benefited from some interesting political contributions.

Top Verizon executives, including CEO Ivan Seidenberg and President Dennis Strigl, wrote personal checks to Rockefeller totaling $23,500 in March, 2007. Prior to that apparently coordinated flurry of 29 donations, only one of those executives had ever donated to Rockefeller (at least while working for Verizon).
More interesting facts:

--The Verizon donations all occurred in a single month: March 2007. Curious.

--Almost all the AT&T donations occurred on two single days: May 22, 2007, and June 1, 2007. Curiouser.

--Rockefeller, despite being worth over $100 million, actually needs the money, having "selflessly" pledged to spend none of his own fortune for his 2008 re-election campaign (in "very red" Red State West Virginia).

--The flood of telco executive donations to Rockefeller only began after the Democrats took control of the Senate; as one commenter notes, "It doesn't make sense to bribe a member of the minority party, does it?"

Meanwhile, Rockefeller's Senate Intelligence Committee passed the "telco immunity" version of the warrantless wiretapping authorization. Further hurdles await in the Senate Judiciary Committee and in the House. Let's see how much more telco cash finds it way into politicians' pockets.
Having been targeted by law enforcement while carrying a Verizon cell phone registered in my name as apparent revenge for my blog questioning the Vatican role in the U.S. government aborting its South Capitol Mall, and in the planning of the Washington Nationals Stadium, I do believe that Verizon knows that it violated the U.S. constitution.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mukasey Unable to Define Torture (and perhaps anything else!)

From Sam Smith:

WASHINGTON POST - President Bush's choice for attorney general, Michael B. Mukasey, embraced some of the administration's most controversial legal positions yesterday, suggesting that Bush can ignore surveillance statutes in wartime and avoiding a declaration that simulated drowning constitutes torture under U.S. laws. .

Mukasey aroused Democrats' concerns by testifying that there may be occasions when the president's powers as commander in chief could trump a federal law requiring that a special court approve intelligence-related wiretaps. . .

Mukasey also repeatedly demurred when asked whether an interrogation technique that involves simulated drowning, known as waterboarding, constitutes torture and is therefore illegal. "I don't know what's involved in the technique," Mukasey said. "If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional."

"That's a massive hedge," responded Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). "I mean, it either is or it isn't." Mukasey never directly answered the question. . .

Waterboarding generally involves strapping the prisoner to a hard surface, covering his face or mouth with a cloth, and pouring water over his face to create the sensation of drowning, according to human rights groups. The practice has been prosecuted as torture in U.S. military courts since the Spanish-American War.


Check list:

- Judges need to experience more of the life activities that they rule upon.
- Judges can not belong to any secretive societies, and any such membership and organizations need to be studied and exposed.

A free society can demand no less.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The N.Y. Times: We were left wondering who is really in charge ...

With Democrats Like These ...
The New York Times | Editorial

Saturday 20 October 2007

Every now and then, we are tempted to double-check that the Democrats actually won control of Congress last year. It was particularly hard to tell this week. Democratic leaders were cowed, once again, by propaganda from the White House and failed, once again, to modernize the law on electronic spying in a way that permits robust intelligence gathering on terrorists without undermining the Constitution.

The task before Congress was to review and improve an update to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA, that was pushed through the Capitol just before the summer break. That bill endorsed warrantless wiretapping and gutted other aspects of the 1978 law.

House Democrats drafted a measure that, while imperfect, was an improvement to the one passed this summer. But before the House could vote, Republicans tied up the measure in bureaucratic knots and Democratic leaders pulled it. Senate Democrats did even worse, accepting a Potemkin compromise that endorsed far too much of the bad summer law.

We were left wondering who is really in charge, when in a bipartisan press release announcing the agreement, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Kit Bond, described the bill as "a delicate arrangement of compromises" that could not be changed in any way. The committee's chairman, Jay Rockefeller, didn't object.

As the debate proceeds, Americans will be told that the delicate compromises were about how the government may spy on phone calls and electronic messages in the age of instant communications. Republicans have already started blowing hot air about any naysayers trying to stop spies from tracking terrorists.

No one is doing that. The question really is whether Congress should toss out chunks of the Constitution because Mr. Bush finds them inconvenient and some Democrats are afraid to look soft on terrorism.

FISA requires a warrant to spy on communications within the United States or between people in this country and people abroad. After 9/11, Mr. Bush ordered the National Security Agency to spy, without a warrant, on communications between the United States and other countries. The N.S.A. obtained data from American telecommunications companies by telling them it was legal.

After The Times disclosed the program in late 2005, Mr. Bush looked for a way to legalize it retroactively. He found it this summer. FISA also requires a warrant to intercept strictly foreign communications that happen to move through data networks in the United States.

That Internet age flaw has a relatively simple fix. But the White House seized the opportunity to ram through the far broader bill, which could authorize warrantless surveillance of Americans' homes, offices and phone records; permit surveillance of Americans abroad without probable cause; and sharply limit the power of the court that controls electronic spying.

Democrats justified their votes for this bad bill by noting that the law expires in February and by promising to fix it this fall. The House bill did, in fact, restore most judicial safeguards. But the deal cooked up by Mr. Rockefeller and the White House doesn't. It would not expire for six years, which is too long. And it would dismiss pending lawsuits against companies that turned data over to the government without a warrant.

This provision is not primarily about protecting patriotic businessmen, as Mr. Bush claims. It's about ensuring that Mr. Bush and his aides never have to go to court to explain how many laws they've broken. It is a collusion between lawmakers and the White House that means that no one is ever held accountable. Democratic lawmakers said they reviewed the telecommunications companies' cooperation (by reading documents selected by the White House) and concluded that lawsuits were unwarranted. Unlike them, we still have faith in the judicial system, which is where that sort of conclusion is supposed to be reached, not in a Senate back room polluted by the politics of fear.

There were bright spots in the week. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon managed to attach an amendment requiring a warrant to eavesdrop on American citizens abroad. That merely requires the government to show why it believes the American is in league with terrorists, but Mr. Bush threatened to veto the bill over that issue.

Senator Christopher Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat, said he would put a personal hold on the compromise cooked up by Senator Rockefeller and the White House.

Otherwise, it was a very frustrating week in Washington. It was bad enough having a one-party government when Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. But the Democrats took over, and still the one-party system continues.
But of course since both parties are flip sides of the Washington, D.C. criminal apostate shadow government directed through Jesuit Georgetown University.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Verizon Wireless CEO Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Jesuit Canisius College

Dennis Strigl
Exec. VP and President & CEO of Verizon Wireless
$11,209,600 compensation 2005

Another one who probably should be arrested for conspiracy to subvert the 1st and 4th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

Dennis Strigl, is a member of the class of 1974, and is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Jesuit Order's Canisius College.
Officers for the 2006-2007 Canisius College Board of Trustees include Chairman Dennis F. Strigl ’74, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless; Vice Chairman Rocco J. Maggiotto ’72, MBA ’78, Executive Vice President and Director of Customer Development for Zurich Financial Services; Secretary John J. Hurley ’78, executive vice president and vice president for college relations at Canisius; and Treasurer Patrick E. Richey, vice president for business & finance/treasurer at Canisius.
(L-R): Bill Gates; Palm, Inc. President and CEO Ed Colligan, and Verizon Wireless President and CEO Denny Strigl announce a strategic alliance to expand the Smartphone market with a new line of Treo Smartphones from Verizon Wireless. San Francisco, Sept. 26, 2005.

Photos as this should alert to the surveillance threat through anything these men sell the public, e.g. things with Microsoft software, and/or a GPS= great for real time tracking!

What such people are creating is an electronic confessional.

I was carrying a Verizon cell phone registered in my name when I was ambushed by law enforcement as revenge for spotlighting the Vatican's dirty deal to kill Washington, D.C.'s South Capitol Mall...and the potential involvement of then Washington Archbishop Theodore McCarrick...

It would figure that Verizon Wireless is lead by a Jesuit!

In this age of free speech beneath U.S. Homeland Security, consider that Verizon cell phone, with its fake gps "off switch" as a potential jesuitical confessor!

South Capitol Mall Blogger Douglas A. Willinger Ambushed, Arrested (while carrying his Verizon cell phone)

Verizon CEO

Ivan Seidenberg
Chairman and CEO ($19,425,000 annual compensation 2005)

- probably should be arrested for conspiracy to subvert the 1st and 4th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

"For millions of customers every day, a Verizon network -- wired or wireless -- is the gateway to communication, and our fundamental mission is to make that connection as powerful and reliable as possible. Building a strong base of diverse suppliers is critical to our mission. These relationships contribute to customer loyalty, stimulate economic development and tap into the innovation and entrepreneurship we need to win in a competitive marketplace."

Verizon CEO, Ivan Seidenberg

Verizon Betrays the Public

Verizon Says It Turned Over Data Without Court Orders


16 Oct 2007 Verizon Communications, the nation's second-largest telecom company, told congressional investigators that it has provided customers' telephone records to federal authorities in 'emergency cases' without court orders hundreds of times since 2005. Verizon also disclosed that the FBI, using administrative subpoenas, sought information identifying not just a person making a call, but all the people that customer called, as well as the people those people called... From January 2005 to September 2007, Verizon provided data to federal authorities on an emergency basis 720 times, it said in the letter. The records included Internet protocol addresses as well as phone data. In that period, Verizon turned over information a total of 94,000 times to federal authorities armed with a subpoena or court order, the letter said.


Phone Utilities Won't Give Details on Eavesdropping
16 Oct 2007 The three biggest phone carriers have refused to tell members of Congress what role, if any, they had in the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program. The utilities said it would be illegal to divulge classified information. [Yeah, that's the like the kid who kills his parents and asks for mercy from the court because he's an orphan. --LRP]

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Criminal Bush Adminstration Wiretaps

Attorney Talks About Lawsuit Against Bush, NSA Over Wiretaps

Truthout's Jason Leopold writes: "Recently, I sat down with attorney Jon Eisenberg who sued George W. Bush, the National Security Administration (NSA), and other federal agencies, on behalf of two Washington DC-based lawyers who allege their telephone calls were illegally monitored by the NSA in March 2004. The lawyers, Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor, appear to be the only American citizens who say they have hard evidence that proves the government spied on them."

Intelligence Chief Appears to Have Misled Congress on Wiretaps

Dan Eggen, The Washington Post, writes: "Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell told Congress last week that a May wiretap that targeted Iraqi insurgents was delayed for 12 hours by attempts to comply with onerous surveillance laws, which slowed an effort to locate three US soldiers who had been captured south of Baghdad."

Ex-White House Lawyer: Eavesdropping Program Was Illegal

Pamela Hess of The Associated Press reports: "A former top lawyer for the Bush administration said on Tuesday said that parts of President Bush's controversial eavesdropping program were illegal."

Friday, October 05, 2007

Information Is Power and Power Will Be Abused: Video Surveillance and the 4th Amendment

Written by Dave Nalle
Published October 01, 2007


A couple of weeks ago they put in a stoplight where our street meets the new highway that goes by our neighborhood. No one asked our neighborhood association. No one felt the need to poll the population. It certainly wasn't put to a vote or even brought up at a planning association meeting. Just as a matter of course that new stoplight included a set of video cameras covering all approaches to the intersection.

Now when my neighbors go to work in the morning and come home at night, some faceless bureaucrat in a gray suit has access to a video record of their comings and goings. Admittedly that information isn't a lot of use, unless you want to do something like send marshals out to search their house while they're gone, or make sure they're home when you serve a warrant. For that matter, a corrupt peon working for some video monitoring contractor could use that video to figure out when to send his cousin the burglar to stop by and pick up your new home theater system when you're not home. Or if they're so inclined they can see if you've got your mistress in your passenger seat instead of your wife.

The arrival of big brother's little electronic eyes in our exurban community is troubling, but discomfited though we may be by the possibilities, our woes are just the tip of the surveillance iceberg, which is on display in all its scary grandeur in Chicago.

Under the impressive name Operation Virtual Shield, a new software system commissioned for the Chicago police department and based on technology from IBM will allow them to tie together all of the public and private video cameras in the city, plus hundreds of new cameras which they are installing and run the data through a processing program which will identify potential crimes and suspicious activity and alert a human observer. This is very much like the data mining of phone calls which has drawn criticism for the NSA, but instead of sorting through the words of a conversation the computer will sort through people's actions. Combined with technology like face recognition software this will allow the police to keep track of individuals and their actions extremely effectively and as the network expands they will be able to track suspects and know their every action, or identify potential suspects based on their actions and pursue them electronically.

Tony Ruiz of the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications explained that "Mayor Richard M. Daley has had, for many years, a grand plan to incorporate cameras from public entities and private sector businesses into a single unified system allowing first responders access to real time visual data."

This sounds great when it's all about preventing crime, but what happens when the people running the program decide to broaden the definition of crime or misapply the system for political or personal purposes? Remember, this system is in the hands of a city run by the Daley political machine and they're not exactly known for their political scruples. A system like this could be used to dig up dirt on political opponents or to intrude on the privacy of ordinary citizens for any of a number of reasons, some of which may sound legitimate, but all of which involve a fundamental violation of privacy rights under the 4th Amendment to the Constitution.

Everyone's complaining about President Bush's overreaching warrantless surveillance under the PATRIOT Act and the FISA program, but those surveillance programs have been used to monitor the actions of a tiny number of people under very special and limited circumstances. Under the administration of the oldest and most powerful Democratic party machine in the country, the Chicago police are setting up a surveillance network which will monitor the actions of virtually every citizen in the city without the slightest hint of a warrant or anything resembling probable cause. They're just going to watch everyone all the time because they have the technology and they can do it.

Somewhere in all of this the Bill of Rights seems to have been forgotten. The privacy rights promised in the 4th Amendment have been qualified out of existence. The streets are public space and private businesses own the rights to their video and choose to cooperate with the program voluntarily. If the police wanted to set up video and audio surveillance on someone they'd need to get a warrant, but if the cameras are already there then all protections are out the window.

Years ago when I lived in the Soviet Union I learned to accept the fact that I had no real privacy, that there could be people watching me and listening to me even in the most apparently private and personal moments. It's a disturbing thought, but the truth is that you get used to it and learn to accept it. You operate on the assumption that your life is so mundane that it will likely put the watchers to sleep, plus you really don't have anything to hide. In that situation it was also very clear what you did and did not do and say. The KGB's interests were very limited and very specific.

The problem is that today the dividing line between normal activity and crime has become blurry. We've moved into an era of 'super crimes' with their names written in capital letters like the War on Drugs and the War on Terror, where even the erroneous impression of behavior associated with those high-concern crimes can land you in a lot of hot water. The pressure on law enforcement is intense and the result can be overreaction, like the recent case of the MIT student arrested at gunpoint at Logan Airport for wearing a peculiar homemade t-shirt.

More surveillance, even when computer assisted, means more opportunities to make a mistake or overreact or take something the wrong way. The car circling a building too many times, or the guy standing for too long on the wrong corner, or a bulgy jacket at a crowded event, or any of a hundred other things that raise a red flag and which people do for innocent reasons on a daily basis could lead to disaster. And that's just the mistakes. The potential for intentional abuse, or excessive enforcement or a self-righteous crackdown on trivial crimes is even more troubling. Even the possibility of our courts being clogged up with petty drug offenders and every prostitute and John on the streets is disturbing. [more]