I know you're shocked -- SHOCKED! -- that George
is listening in on all your phone calls.
Without a warrant. That's nothing. And it's
not news. This
is: the snooping into your phone
is just the snout of the pig of a strange,
lucrative link-up between the Administration's
Homeland Security spy network and private
companies operating beyond the reach of the laws
meant to protect us from our government. You can
call it the privatization of the FBI -- thought
is better described as the creation of a
For the full story, see "Double Cheese With
in Armed Madhouse: Who's Afraid
of Osama Wolf
and Other Dispatches from the Front Lines of
the Class War." ********************
The leader in the field of what is called "data
mining," is a company, formed in 1997, called,
"ChoicePoint, Inc," which has sucked up over
billion dollars in national security contracts.
about Dick Cheney listening in Sunday
on your call to Mom? That ain't nothing. You
should be more concerned that they are linking
this info to your medical records, your bill
purchases and your entire personal profile
including, not incidentally, your voting
Five years ago, I discovered that ChoicePoint
had already gathered 16 billion data files on
Americans -- and I know they've expanded
ops at an explosive rate. They
are paid to
keep an eye on you --
because the FBI can't.
For the government to collect this stuff is against
the law unless
you're suspected of a crime.
law in question is the Constitution.) But
can collect if for "commercial"
purchases -- and under the Bush Administration's
suspect reading of the Patriot Act -- our
spying apparatchiks can then BUY the
info from hoicePoint.
Who ARE these guys selling George Bush a piece
of you? ChoicePoint's board has more Republicans
than a Palm Beach country club. It was funded,
and its board stocked, by such Republican sugar
daddies as billionaires Bernie Marcus and Ken
Langone -- even after Langone
was charged by
the Securities Exchange Commission with abuse
of inside information.
I first ran across these guys in 2000 in Florida
when our Guardian/BBC
team discovered the list
of 94,000 "felons" that Katherine Harris had
ordered removed from Florida's voter rolls
before the election. Virtually every voter
purged was innocent
of any crime except, in
most cases, Voting While Black. Who came up
with this electoral hit list that gave Bush the
White House? ChoicePoint, Inc.
they KNEW the racially-tainted list of felons
was bogus. And when we caught
them, they lied
about it. While they've
since apologized to the
NAACP, ChoicePoint's ethnic cleansing of voter
rolls has been amply assuaged by the man the
And now ChoicePoint and George Bush want your blood.
Forget your phone
bill. ChoicePoint, a sickened
of the company told us in confidence, "hope[s]
to build a database of DNA
samples from every
person in the United States ...linked to all
the other information held by CP [ChoicePoint]"
from medical to voting records.
And ChoicePoint lied about that too. The
company publicly denied they gave DNA to the
Feds -- but then told our investigator, pretending
to seek work, that ChoicePoint was "the number
one" provider of DNA info to the FBI.
"And that scares the hell out of me," said the
executive (who has since left the company),
because ChoicePoint gets it
WRONG so often.
We are not contracting out our Homeland Security
to James Bond
here. It's more like Austin Powers,
Inc. Besides the 97% error rate in finding Florida
State Police fired the company
after discovering ChoicePoint had produced test
"results" on rape case evidence ... that didn't
exist. And ChoicePoint just got hit with the
largest fine in Federal Trade
for letting identity thieves purchase 145,000
credit card records.
But it won't stop, despite Republican senators
shedding big crocodile tears about "surveillance"
of innocent Americans. That's
because FEAR is a
lucrative business -- not just for ChoicePoint,
but for firms such as Syntech, Sybase and Lockheed-Martin -- each
which has provided lucrative posts or profits
to connected Republicans including former
Information Awareness chief John Poindexter
(Syntech), Marvin Bush (Sybase) and Lynn Cheney
(Lockheed-Martin). But how can they get Americans
to give up our personal files, our phone
DNA and our rights? Easy.
Fear sells better than
sex -- and they want you to be afraid. Back to
today's New York Times, page 28: "Wider Use
DNA Lists is Urged in Fighting Crime."
is providing the technology?
It comes, says the
Times, from the work done on using DNA fragments
to identity victims of the September 11 attack.
And who did that job (for $12 million, no bid)?
ChoicePoint, Inc. Which is NOT mentioned by the
"Genetic surveillance would thus shift
from the individual [the alleged criminal]
the family," says the Times -- which will require,
of course, a national DNA database of NON-criminals.
It doesn't end there. Turn to the same newspaper,
page 23, with a story about a weird new law
passed by the state of Georgia to fight illegal
immigration. Every single employer and government
agency will be required to match citizen or
worker data against national
databases to affirm
citizenship. It won't stop illegal border crossing,
but hey, someone's going to make big bucks on
selling data. And guess what local boy owns the
data mine? ChoicePoint, Inc., of Alpharetta,
The knuckleheads at the Times don't put the three
stories together because the real players
in the press releases their reporters re-write.
But that's the Fear Industry for you. You
aren't safer from terrorists or criminals
"felon" voters. But the national
several billion dollars lighter and the Bill
of Rights is a couple amendments shorter. And
that's their program. They get the data
mine -- and we get the shaft.