I won’t tell you that I am an expert on intelligence gathering, it is not my field of specialty. At the same time, I am intelligent enough to take from personal life experiences and use logic and reason to know the government is not being honest with the public. The narrative of needing to gather all of our digital documents and communications records to keep the public safe just doesn’t ring true.
Starting from a simple point, growing up I witnessed the communist Soviet Union when my dad was stationed at the American Embassy in Moscow from 1979 to 1982. The KGB tapped our phones, bugged our apartment and car, and put radioactive dust on door knobs so they could track our movements. I also came to understand that the KGB constantly spied on their own citizens to find anyone who thought or spoke illegal ideas. The Soviet narrative was that the KGB was serving the public common safety by stopping revolutionaries and troublemakers. The Soviet people lived in fear of their government.
By the time I was nine I knew my dad was a spy. He worked on the tenth floor of the American Embassy, and only people with special security clearances had access to those offices. I understood he wasn’t James Bond like in the movies, but was in intelligence gathering of some sort. Of course he couldn’t talk about his job because it was classified, but he did explain things as best as he could when I asked questions.
I asked once what the difference was between what he did and what the KGB did. He explained that his organization was only allowed to spy on foreign enemies. In America, he continued, it was illegal for the government to spy on the general public. The Constitution constrained the government from spying on, searching, or detaining a citizen or their property without a reasonable cause. The government first needed to provide evidence of suspected wrong doing to a judge to obtain a warrant. He continued by explaining the KGB used 80% to 90% of their resources to spy on their own population to keep them oppressed. Their spying on their public kept the population thoroughly cowed, and secured the governments place of dominance to do as they wished.
Growing up I believed that narrative because everything I learned in school backed up my dad’s explanation. It wasn’t until I was reading a fictional book about the OSS in World War II, that I suddenly found a reason to research the FBI. It didn’t surprise me that it was created under the progressive reign of Theodore Roosevelt who eagerly sought to increase the power of the federal government. Nor did its primary reason for it being created, which was to keep an eye on, or spy on the anarchist movement in our country.
May 27, 1908, was the first attempt to create the BOI (Bureau of Investigation). Since they were trying to tap the Secret Service for agents for this new agency, Congress forbade its formation fearing the BOI would become a secret police for the Executive Branch. So after Congress left for the summer, the DOJ hired thirty-four people, including some veteran Secret Service agents to start the BOI anyway. They notified Congress of this action in December 1908. It later was renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation or FBI in 1935
The BOI was primarily tasked with investigating specific crimes. Under J. Edgar Hoover in the 1920s, it quickly turned to spying via wiretapping telephones and using listening devices or bugs without obtaining a warrant. This was a murky point under the law and prompted Congress to pass the Communications Act of 1934 that outlawed unwarranted tapping of phone lines.
It didn’t take long for the FBI to turn to fascist tactics and begin surveilling thousands of suspected radicals and organizations Hoover perceived as a threat. He also began collecting secret files on prominent politicians and business tycoons not for the purpose of prosecution of criminal acts, but to secure his own power. This allowed him to remain the Director of the FBI from 1924 to 1972. It came as no surprise that at our entry into WWII, Hoover already had a custodial detention list targeting leaders of the Japanese, German, and Italian Americans for immediate unwarranted arrest at the start of hostilities. President Roosevelt decided to not go with this Soviet style purge arrest system proposed by Hoover, but instead chose to use the NAZI style mass arrest and detention method for the Japanese American population when he issued the Executive Order 9066.
WWII opened the doors fully to the FBI to spy as Roosevelt tasked the agency with being the primary intelligence gathering agency for the Americas. This of course led to a turf war with the OSS in South America over who was operating legitimately. The levels of spying by the FBI on private Americans of course increased exponentially as they kept the public claim that they were actually a law enforcement agency.
I always noticed that my dad never spoke fondly of domestic federal law enforcement agencies. In fact he was downright critical of them in our conversations although he never outright condemned them. In my research in I found plenty of reasons to condemn the unwarranted spying on American citizens that the FBI practiced on a daily basis in the early 1990s.
Fast forward to today. The leaks by Edward Snowden revealed to the public that the NSA now has a mandate to spy on Americans in America. That had been illegal before the Patriot Act. They claim they need all of your phone records not to look at, but to keep you safe. The FBI sends up helicopters with communications systems set up to imitate a cell phone tower so they can intercept telecommunications. Currently politicians are talking about outlawing encryption technology to keep you safe.
Fact is, much like Soviet Russia, our government is now trying to monitor every part of our lives that they can. They claim it is to make us safe while at the same time educating our law enforcement that the most possible domestic terrorists are
1. Those that talk about “individual liberties”
2. Those that advocate for states’ rights
3. Those that want “to make the world a better place”
4. “The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule”
5. Those that are interested in “defeating the Communists”
6. Those that believe “that the interests of one’s own nation are separate from the interests of other nations or the common interest of all nations”
7. Anyone that holds a “political ideology that considers the state to be unnecessary, harmful,or undesirable”
8. Anyone that possesses an “intolerance toward other religions”
9. Those that “take action to fight against the exploitation of the environment and/or animals”
13. “The Patriot Movement”
14. “Opposition to equal rights for gays and lesbians”
15. Members of the Family Research Council
16. Members of the American Family Association
17. Those that believe that Mexico, Canada and the United States “are secretly planning to merge into a European Union-like entity that will be known as the ‘North American Union’”
18. Members of the American Border Patrol/American Patrol
19. Members of the Federation for American Immigration Reform
20. Members of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition
21. Members of the Christian Action Network
22. Anyone that is “opposed to the New World Order”
23. Anyone that is engaged in “conspiracy theorizing”
24. Anyone that is opposed to Agenda 21
25. Anyone that is concerned about FEMA camps
26. Anyone that “fears impending gun control or weapons confiscations”
27. The militia movement
28. The sovereign citizen movement
29. Those that “don’t think they should have to pay taxes”
30. Anyone that “complains about bias”
31. Anyone that “believes in government conspiracies to the point of paranoia”
32. Anyone that “is frustrated with mainstream ideologies”
33. Anyone that “visits extremist websites/blogs”
34. Anyone that “establishes website/blog to display extremist views”
35. Anyone that “attends rallies for extremist causes”
36. Anyone that “exhibits extreme religious intolerance”
37. Anyone that “is personally connected with a grievance”
38. Anyone that “suddenly acquires weapons”
39. Anyone that “organizes protests inspired by extremist ideology”
40. “Militia or unorganized militia”
41. “General right-wing extremist”
42. Citizens that have “bumper stickers” that are patriotic or anti-U.N.
43. Those that refer to an “Army of God”
44. Those that are “fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”
45. Those that are “anti-global”
46. Those that are “suspicious of centralized federal authority”
47. Those that are “reverent of individual liberty”
48. Those that “believe in conspiracy theories”
49. Those that have “a belief that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack”
50. Those that possess “a belief in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism”
51. Those that would “impose strict religious tenets or laws on society (fundamentalists)”
52. Those that would “insert religion into the political sphere”
53. Anyone that would “seek to politicize religion”
54. Those that have “supported political movements for autonomy”
55. Anyone that is “anti-abortion”
56. Anyone that is “anti-Cathol
57. Anyone that is “anti-nuclear”
58. “Rightwing extremists”
59. “Returning veterans”
60. Those concerned about “illegal immigration”
61. Those that “believe in the right to bear arms”
62. Anyone that is engaged in “ammunition stockpiling”
63. Anyone that exhibits “fear of Communist regimes”
64. “Anti-abortion activists”
65. Those that are against illegal immigration
66. Those that talk about “the New World Order” in a “derogatory” manner
67. Those that have a negative view of the United Nations
68. Those that are opposed “to the collection of federal income taxes”
69. Those that supported former presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr
70. Those that display the Gadsden Flag (“Don’t Tread On Me”)
71. Those that believe in “end times” prophecies
72. Evangelical Christians
This makes me wonder if needing all that information isn’t to keep us safe, but to compile a new list of people who will be immediately arrested at the beginning of the next national crisis. The need for all of this information on the general population and the reasoning that it is for the common good, is a scam.