State of Affairs

Since 9/11, America Has Traded Liberty for Security, And We’re Almost Out of Both

Since 9/11, America Has Traded Liberty for Security, And We’re Almost Out of Both

Immediately following the attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush promised Americans he would exact revenge on those who dare attack the empire.

“Dubya’s” program of “Shock and Awe” gave the American public an upfront look at what the U.S. military was prepared to do to the enemies of “freedom and democracy.”

The bombing of Iraq was only the beginning of a larger conflict that the Bush Administration dubbed “The Global War on Terror.” The War on Terror did not end in the physical battlefield, however. The U.S. government was determined to root out all possible terrorist activity and in the process roll back as many of America’s hard-earned liberties as possible. Many of the bills passed in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks have contributed to the rise of a Surveillance State.

The new mini-documentary, The Modern Surveillance State examines the state of privacy in modern America. Beginning with The PATRIOT Act, the film examines a number of bills and programs which have been used to erode away at privacy and grant the government and their corporate partners access to the public’s private information in a manner which dictators of the past only dreamed.

The Modern Surveillance State encourages viewers to ask how we found ourselves living in the current paradigm by exposing programs like Total Information Awareness, the Patriot Act 2, National Security Letters, the National Defense Authorization Act, and social media monitoring. The documentary also looks at the possibility that companies like Google and Facebook may have been funded by the CIA.

Please watch and share this important documentary to help wake others up to the fact that Americans are living in a state of perpetual surveillance.

Transcript and sources:

The War on Terror

Immediately following the attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush promised Americans he would exact revenge on those who dare attack the empire. Dubya’s program of “Shock and Awe” gave the American public an upfront look at what the U.S. military was prepared to do to the enemies of “freedom and democracy.”

The bombing of Iraq was only the beginning of a larger conflict that the Bush Administration dubbed “The Global War on Terror.”

The War on Terror did not end in the physical battlefield, however. The U.S. government was determined to root out all possible terrorist activity and in the process roll back as many of America’s hard-earned liberties as possible.

The Patriot Act

Only 45 days after the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. Congress passed the infamous USA PATRIOT Act, known simply as the Patriot Act. The full Orwellian title is the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.”

The Patriot Act dramatically expanded the U.S. government’s abilities to monitor emails and landline phone calls, and allowed access to voicemail through a search warrant rather than through a traditional wiretap order. For the first time, US government agencies could legally justify gathering any and all information on its enemies. In addition, section 215 of the Patriot Act is used to justify mass surveillance programs by the National Security Agency.

What we examine the state of civil liberties in America in 2018, what we see is the advancing tyranny of information gathering that has come directly from the Patriot Act, and the security-related bills which preceded and followed it. The bulk of American communications are now scanned, monitored, stored in a database, and analyzed for signs of terrorism. The NSA has even built a giant database in Utah to handle all of this data. Big Brother and Big sister are listening through an array of devices. If you’re trying to remain unmonitored, this is what you’re up against in modern America: Cell site simulators aka stingraysAutomatic License Plate Readers, Audio recording devices aka gunshot detectorshidden cameras and microphones in public, thermal imaging planes and drones. We now know that all of this technology is used to collect data about you at all times. We know that the surveillance landscape today far exceeds even the limitations of spying of the original Patriot Act.

The Patriot Act was the catalyst for the national security tech complex to do what it does today. Whether or not it was the original intent, the Patriot Act paved the way for the government to gather all of your data without your consent, constantly, across all devices, whether you are connected to a so-called ‘terrorist’ activity or not.

Total information Awareness:

The Patriot Act is foundational legislation upon which the military industrial complex has built legal justification for direct cooperation between government employees, directors of private tech and intelligence companies, and military officials.

There are many other steps taken by the U.S. government in their misguided War on Terror, which erode away at the civil liberties Americans were once afforded.

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