Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Last Roundup

Do you really want to read something scary? If so, check out the excellent Radar article, The Last Roundup, a primer on how the BA turned surveillance into an art form.

"The Continuity of Governance program encompasses national emergency plans that would trigger the takeover of the country by extra-constitutional forces. In short, it's a road map for martial law"

The part that really rocks my world is the implication of just how easy it would be to eliminate the Constitution if another 9/11 happens as the security system, built in sync with the surveillance environment, is ready to do the deed if the right circumstances arise.

"Let's imagine a harrowing scenario: coordinated bombings in several American cities culminating in a major blast—say, a suitcase nuke—in New York City. Thousands of civilians are dead. Commerce is paralyzed. A state of emergency is declared by the president. Continuity of Governance plans that were developed during the Cold War and aggressively revised since 9/11 go into effect. Surviving government officials are shuttled to protected underground complexes carved into the hills of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Power shifts to a "parallel government" that consists of scores of secretly preselected officials. (As far back as the 1980s, Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of a pharmaceutical company, and Dick Cheney, then a congressman from Wyoming, were slated to step into key positions during a declared emergency.) The executive branch is the sole and absolute seat of authority, with Congress and the judiciary relegated to advisory roles at best. The country becomes, within a matter of hours, a police state."

The stuff of dreams continues with the recent Salon articles detailing the Bush Administration's historic abuse of power with particular emphasis on again, you guessed it, unbridled surveillance, the linchpin for all dictatorships whether it be 1984, Soviet Russia or the emerging superpower, China.

To get another take on spying US style, click on the above image to get specifics on how various US agencies work together to get the goods on us with impeccable coordination. After reading this, one learns Enemy of the State has nothing on how the real thing works in the real world. To read BRT's analysis, click here, you won't be disappointed.
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