Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Big Brother is watching...

By Libby

The latest corporate welfare program, a boondoggle estimated to ultimately cost at least $7.6 billion, is a "virtual fence" at the Mexican border.
It comes in the form of nine nearly 100-foot-tall towers with radar, high-definition cameras and other equipment rising from the mesquite and lava fields around this tiny town.

...If successful, hundreds of such towers could dot the 6,000 miles of the Mexican and Canadian borders.
It's off to a less than auspicious start, since Boeing has already squandered $20 million out of $67 million on the prototypes that don't work particularly well, but that's not the really troubling part. Of more concern is this.
The cameras, set off by radar, are to beam high-quality images of targets miles away to field commanders and agents, making it possible to determine almost instantly whether they are watching a family outing or a group of illegal immigrants.

The information is to flow over a high-speed wireless network into laptops in dozens of Border Patrol vehicles that, in theory, would respond quicker and more efficiently to breaches than they do now.

The towers are ringed with a six-foot-tall chain-link fence, and the Border Patrol can warn people away through a loudspeaker. Private guards are at the towers now.
Just who are these private guards do you think? My money's on Bush's private army, Blackwater and do you want to have to justify your family picnic to some overzealous paid goon? Even more concerning is the location of the towers.
Residents near the towers have raised concerns, questioning why most towers are miles from the border and whether they will allow unscrupulous agents to peer into their bedrooms.

“We don’t live in clusters,” said Roger Beal, who runs a grocery store in the isolated town of Arivaca, the site of a tower and about 10 miles from the border. “The homes here are not 10 feet apart. People value their privacy here, and we are just not used to being observed. Do it at the border. This isn’t it.”

Mr. Aguilar, the Border Patrol chief, said: “We are members of the community. We recognize their sensitivity. But we feel confident our officers are going to follow policy and common sense. Can I guarantee you nothing is going to happen? No, we are all human.”
So in other words, lock up the women and get blackout curtains for your bedrooms because we can't guarantee that some bored border guard won't be watching your teenager getting dressed or checking out what you and the missus are doing in the kitchen.

Mr. Aguilar said after the system is fully functioning, “the net will be very, very tight.” The question is are they going to use it to keep illegals out, or to keep us in? Any fence, works both ways.

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Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

There's really no line between an open and free society and an authoritarian or police state, but there is no doubt about which we are moving toward at increasing speed.

They are chiseling away at the constitution, they are building camps and have established the mechanisms for putting us in them. Secret and private armies, the loss of habeas and posse comitatus, warrantless surveillance, kidnapings and disappearances and on and on. They don't even seem to need to explain away their actions any more - they just do it and we just keep watching American Idol.

A CNN poll today shows that a good sized majority approves of the censorship of student speech and if enough people care about the loss of freedom to do something about it, I haven't seen the signs.

This is an illegitimate government and I fear we're losing the chance to do anything about it by acting within the law.

9:38:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

The shortsightedness of the public never fails to astound. How they don't get the danger of suppressing speech they don't agree with actually endangers them too, is beyond me.

I fear as you do, that by the time they wake up, it will be because the storm troopers are at their door.

By the way, I'm proud to say I have never seen American Idol.

10:29:00 AM  
Blogger J. Otto Pohl said...

I used to live in Arivaca until recently. The private guards at the tower are provided by Pinkerton. I have quite a bit on my website on the tower.

12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Well that's a bit of a relief, I think. If memory serves Pinkertons aren't mercenaries. They're just regular guards.

I'll check out your site. I finding this project interesting.

7:11:00 PM  

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