Monday, May 15, 2006

When Life Imitates FOX

According to an AP report, the U.S. government is using satellites to spy on Americans. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which normally monitors foreign troop movements and looks for nuclear sites and the like, "has been spending significantly more time watching U.S. soil."

According to the report, "the quality of pictures NGA receives from classified satellites is believed to far exceed the one-meter resolution available commercially," a fact that has privacy advocates worried. The head of the NGA, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, sees his mission in a different way.

"He said the work the agency did after hurricanes Rita and Katrina was the best he'd seen an intelligence agency do in his 42 years in the spy business. 'This was kind of a direct payback to the taxpayers for the investment made in this agency over the years...'" Considering the quality of the job the federal government did after Katrina, this might be "payback" we'd rather do without.

This revelation, coming as it does in the wake of several highly-publicized NSA domestic spying scandals, only underlines the need for a thorough investigation into the government's domestic spying capabilities and practices. According to USA Today, and contrary to previously published reports, a majority of Americans oppose the massive NSA database of telephone records.

It's fun to watch 24, but it's not supposed to be true to life. After all, this season features a duplicitous U.S. president who lies to the American public and uses the threat of terrorism as an excuse for illegal acts. Perhaps I've said too much...

Update: Thanks to Dayv for pointing out this chilling revelation from an ABC News blog:
A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we call in an effort to root out confidential sources. "It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation.
Andrew Sullivan has blogged about this as well. Where does Bush end and Nixon begin? This administration keeps sinking lower and lower. Pretty soon 30% approval numbers are going to seem like a distant happy memory for Bush and his cronies.
Listed on BlogShares