-The Orwellosphere: Anglo-American Drive to ‘Total Security State’ Rolls On.

Posted: October 11, 2008 in 2008, Articles
Tags: , , ,

Empire Burlesque (snippet):

“technology to wipe out truth is now available. not everybody can afford it but it’s available. when the cost comes down look out!” — Bob Dylan, “World Gone Wrong”

“toleration of the unacceptable leads to the last round-up.” — Dylan, ibid.

In the whirlwind of anxiety and confusion surrounding the global economic meltdown, one thing is certain: governments will use the crisis to augment their own power.

This may occur directly, as with the Bush-Paulson bailout plan, which gives the Treasury Secretary virtually unlimited and unsupervised power to give billions of taxpayer dollars to his cronies on Wall Street, while also allowing him to override the few restrictions left on the machinations of raw greed in the financial markets. (Yes, of course, all of this will change completely after Barack Obama is elected: instead of Hank Paulson and George Bush doling out bailout pork to their Wall Street pals, a brand-new Treasury chief and Obama will be doling out bailout pork to their Wall Street pals.)

But the economic freak-out will also be employed as a distraction, with governments using it to enact measures hugger-mugger while public attention is obsessively focused elsewhere. A prime — and chilling — example of this can be found in a new law slouching its way through the legislative process in Britain, where it is likely to emerge in the stark light of day next year. And it is a very rough beast indeed; the measure will, as Jenni Russell puts it in the Guardian

[create a] centralised database that will track, in real time, every call we make, every website we visit, and every text and email we send. That information will then be stored and analysed – perhaps for decades. It will mean the end of privacy as we know it.

Or rather, what’s left of privacy as we used to know it. And Americans should not take comfort in the fact that this truly Orwellian law is being prepared across the sea. Britain has long been a bellwether for repressive measures in the United States, blazing a path on detention without charges, omnipresent camera surveillance, “strenuous interrogation,” and other liberty-stripping “counterterrorism” measures, many of them honed in the glory days of the dirty war with the IRA. [For more on how British dirty war tactics cross-pollinated American black ops in Iraq, see “Ulster on the Euphrates.”]

Full article.


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