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Mike German was fired by the FBI for exposing their cover up. He now works for the ACLU and is speaking out about how the government targets people based on religion and politics, with little oversight.  (Source: Network World)
Feds have little respect for your privacy, Constitution

The police are watching you.  If you're the wrong religion, they'll spy on your every move.  If you voice the wrong political opinions they'll be watching you.  According to Mike German, a 16-year veteran with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations, this is happening right in the U.S.

Mr. German has become the FBI's worst nightmare.  Fed up with the abuses of privacy he was seeing, he complain to higher authorities and was promptly fired by the FBI.  Recently he became the ACLU's Policy Counsel on National Security, Immigration and Privacy [press release]. And he's speaking up about what he witnessed.

States Mr. German in a recent interview with Network World:

The most disturbing thing we've uncovered is the scope of domestic intelligence activities taking place today. Domestic spying is now being done by a host of federal agencies (FBI, DOD, DHS, DNI) as well as state and local law enforcement and even private companies. Too often this spying targets political activity and religious practices. We've documented intelligence activities targeting or obstructing First Amendment-protected activity in 33 states and DC.

He says that this Orwellian atmosphere could leave the U.S. a far different beast than the proud beacon of freedom it once was.  He states, "The biggest threat is that the increase surveillance of political activity will create a chilling effect that will dissuade people from exercising their rights, which will cause significant harm to participatory democracy."

He states that the "War on Terror" will continue to serve as an excuse for federal agencies to trample civil liberties.  He says that there are no clear-cut guidelines as to when you get put on a "watchlist" and are spied on by federal agents.  It's impossible to find out if your on a list and equally impossible to dispute or ask to be removed from a list.  

He also blasts TSA "enhanced pat-down" procedures and body scanners, calling them "unreasonable invasions of privacy that do not enhance security."

Given the Supreme Courts interpretation that privacy is a fundamental human right and thus Constitutionally protected by the Ninth Amendment, and given the First Amendments protections concerning freedom of speech and religion, Mr. German's claims are alarming.  Are U.S. federal employees deliberately spying on citizens and violating their rights, without the slightest legal accusation?

It'd be easy to dismiss Mr. German's claims as the words of a disgruntled employee.  But consider Mr. German's story of his departure from the agency:

I left the FBI when the DOJ Inspector General failed to investigate an FBI cover-up of a failed FBI counterterrorism investigation I reported, or protect me from official retaliation that resulted. I reported the information to Sen. Grassley and resigned. Grassley put pressure on the IG, so almost two years later the IG issued a report that showed the FBI falsified and backdated records about the case and retaliated against me for reporting it. I joined the ACLU two years later because I knew from my counterterrorism work that protecting civil liberties and keeping law enforcement accountable is what keeps America safe from terrorism and other crime.

Mr. German was clearly vindicated in the case that led to his dismissal.  The fact that the FBI tried to cover up its own wrongdoing and then punished Mr. German certainly damages its credibility and offers support for Mr. German's claims.

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By dgingeri on 2/8/2011 12:08:09 PM , Rating: 0
you truly are a sad person in a sad, sad state of mind. you've been brainwashed into thinking the government is actually a good thing. it is a necessary evil, and must be watched carefully or else it gets out of control.

It's like the bacteria in your mouth. you have to keep brushing your teeth to keep it in check or it will rot your teeth and infect your gums, but it keeps other, more harmful, bacteria out of your mouth so you can still live.

In a free society, people flourish, but certain elements have to be kept in check or they overwhelm the weak and stifle creativity and freedom. Anarchy is merely slavery to the strong. However, if those same elements are allowed to take over the government, then they seize power a free government becomes a dictatorial government. As all past governments have shown, it will happen. It is just a matter of time. We have to keep a vigilant watch over the government in order to keep that in check.

Recently, we have become complacent in our comfort and allowed certain people to erode the power of the people. It has become more of an aristocracy than ever before in our history, just in the last 10 years. This needs to change.

If you want to know the positions of politicians, don't listen to what they say, look are who are supporting them. The recent Democrats are being supported by former communists and old money families: aristocracy. Look at who supports the Republicans: new money, small business, country folks: people who work for a living.

By The Raven on 2/8/2011 12:20:22 PM , Rating: 2
He went off a bit there, but he is't is a necessary evil. If everyone was perfect, we wouldn't need it. If it was perfect, we wouldn't want it. It is there to protect freedom (the US gov't anyway). When it does more than that, it should be stopped.

If you disagree, I wonder what you think the gov't is for.

By eggman on 2/8/2011 2:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
Who's freedom?

By The Raven on 2/10/2011 11:00:16 AM , Rating: 2
The freedom of it's citizens. What's not to get?

By FITCamaro on 2/8/2011 1:07:42 PM , Rating: 4
Yes because your clear ability to speak and bring forth a well thought out argument just reeks of a well educated person.

By eskimospy on 2/8/2011 8:12:40 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you get these absurd generalizations? People who work for a living?

Go look at the top 10 states for median income in the United States, then correlate them with who they voted for in the last presidential election. 9 out of 10 were blue states. (and 8 out of 10 are perennially blue) The 10 least productive states by median income are overwhelmingly Republican. 'Country folk' work for a living? Apparently not as productively as those librul folks do.

I know I'm silly to bring facts into an internet political argument, but some things are just too ridiculous to let slide.

By YashBudini on 2/14/2011 11:05:52 PM , Rating: 2
Republicans: new money, small business

Yeah small:

Wall St

all mom and pop shops.

It's hard work to maintain premeditated obliviousness, isn't it?

Look at who supports the Republicans: new money, small business, country folks: people who work for a living.

Pfft, not only does Rupert Murdoch not work he's outspent Soros on his multi-facteted propaganda campaign many times over since the FCC first started giving him bj's.

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