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Government Blurs the Lines Between Bad Guys and Average Americans
Posted By Washingtons Blog On September 30, 2013 @ 1:30 am In Think Tank,War/Defense | Comments Disabled
Preface: Whether you believe this is a conspiracy by the government – or just over-reaction, incompetence or cronyism – the end result is idiotic … and counter-productive .
Former NSA boss Michael Hayden compared privacy advocates to terrorists :
“If and when our government grabs Edward Snowden, and brings him back here to the United States for trial, what does this group do?” said retired air force general Michael Hayden, who from 1999 to 2009 ran the NSA and then the CIA, referring to “nihilists, anarchists, activists, Lulzsec, Anonymous, twentysomethings who haven’t talked to the opposite sex in five or six years”.
“They may want to come after the US government, but frankly, you know, the dot-mil stuff is about the hardest target in the United States,” Hayden said, using a shorthand for US military networks. “So if they can’t create great harm to dot-mil, who are they going after? Who for them are the World Trade Centers? The World Trade Centers, as they were for al-Qaida.”
Hayden provided his speculation during a speech on cybersecurity to a Washington group, the Bipartisan Policy Center, in which he confessed to being deliberately provocative.
Similarly, Slate reported  last year:
If you’ve ever cared about privacy while using the Internet in public, you might be a terrorist. At least that’s the message from the FBI and Justice Department’s Communities Against Terrorism initiative. The project created flyers to help employees at several types of businesses—including military surplus stores, financial institutions, and even tattoo shops—recognize “warning signs” of terrorism or extremism. An admirable goal, perhaps, but the execution is flawed—particularly for the flyers intended to help suss out terrorists using Internet cafes.
Complaining about the taste of your tap water  could also get you labeled as a potential terrorist.
Complaining about U.S. drone assassinations  could get you labeled a terrorist.
So could expressing fears of big brother or of economic collapse  … or otherwise believing that we’re in a crisis . (Irony alert: if you’re afraid of the government, the government might go after you?)
For example, the following actions may get an American citizen living on U.S. soil labeled as a “suspected terrorist” today:
And holding the following beliefs may also be considered grounds for suspected terrorism:
In other words, the “terrorism” label has become so ridiculously broad as to lose all meaning … and some government officials are simply using it to harass anyone they wish to punish.
Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog
URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2013/09/government-blurs-the-lines-between-bad-guys-and-average-americans/
URLs in this post:
 counter-productive: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/top-security-expert-treating-everyone-like-a-potential-terrorist-weakens-our-ability-to-protect-america.html
 compared privacy advocates to terrorists: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/aug/06/nsa-director-cyber-terrorism-snowden?CMP=twt_gu
 reported: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/02/02/communities_against_terrorism_initiative_on_internet_cafes_.html
 collected 25 documents: https://www.slatt.org/CAT
 puts it: http://publicintelligence.net/do-you-like-online-privacy-you-may-be-a-terrorist/
 Complaining about the taste of your tap water: http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/you-might-be-terrorist-if-you-complain-about-your-tap-water
 “strange odors”: http://oathkeepers.org/oath/2011/08/10/7769/
 Complaining about U.S. drone assassinations: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/25/nsa-uk-drone-opponents-threats
 expressing fears of big brother or of economic collapse: http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/ridiculous-dhs-list-you-might-be-domestic-ter
 otherwise believing that we’re in a crisis: http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/2161-docs.pdf
 any American: http://www.activistpost.com/2013/08/72-types-of-americans-that-are.html
 labeled as a potential terrorist: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130924/10470524637/documents-obtained-aclu-show-fusion-centers-broad-surveillance-americans-everyday-activities.shtml
 by our government: http://www.infowars.com/dod-training-manual-suggests-extremist-founding-fathers-would-not-be-welcome-in-todays-military/
 on a whim: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/12/the-fbi-drowning-in-counter-terrorism-money-power-and-other-resources-will-apply-the-term-terrorism-to-any-group-it-dislikes-and-wants-to-control-and-suppress.html
 Being young: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/10/insider-threat/
 fair game: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/06/u-s-labels-all-young-men-in-battle-zones-as-militants-and-american-soil-is-now-considered-a-battle-zone.html
 see this: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/12/no-child-left-behind.html
 Reporting or doing journalism: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/09/in-america-journalists-are-considered-terrorists.html
 here: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2010/dec/19/assange-high-tech-terrorist-biden
 here: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/06/11/rep-peter-king-punish-journalists-who-report-classified-information/
 Speaking out against government policies: http://www.counterpunch.org/cohn09302006.html
 Protesting anything: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/11/in-modern-america-liking-peace-is-considered-terrorism.html
 “Occupy”: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/25/nyregion/occupy-movement-was-investigated-by-fbi-counterterrorism-agents-records-show.html?_r=0
 “Tea Party”: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/60421.html
 war reduces our national security: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/04/four-stories-this-week-prove-that-the-war-on-terror-is-a-farce.html
 this: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/11/nobel-prize-winning-economist-war-is-widely-thought-to-be-linked-to-economic-good-times-nonsense.html
 Criticizing the government’s targeting of innocent civilians with drones: http://www.salon.com/2012/02/06/top_official_drone_critics_are_al_qaeda_enablers/singleton/
 increases terrorism: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/01/nice-work-creating-new-terrorists-you.html
 this: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/10/why-were-losing-the-war-on-terror.html
 public Congressional hearing: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/02/02/documentary-filmmaker-josh-fox-arrested-at-fracking-hearing
 Paying cash at an Internet cafe: http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2012/02/06/fbi-enlists-internet-cafe-owners-to-spy-on-customers-2/
 Creating alternative currencies: http://www.nysun.com/editorials/a-unique-form-of-terrorism/87269/
 Stocking up on more than 7 days of food: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXKfEsgLLRU&feature=related
 Mormons are taught to stockpile food: http://jenny-evans.suite101.com/why-do-mormons-store-food-a284336
 Hawaiians store up on extra food: http://whatreallyhappened.com/node/156535
 Having bumper stickers saying things like “Know Your Rights Or Lose Them”: http://www.infowars.com/doj-funded-training-manual-lists-bumper-stickers-as-terrorism/
 Investigating factory farming: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment/la-me-gs-fbi-tracking-animal-videotapers-as-terrorists-20111229,0,5919114.story
 Infringing a copyright: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/counter-terror-gone-crazy-copyright-infringement-is-being-treated-as-terrorism.html
 Taking pictures or videos: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2008/09/in-a-fascist-state-cameras-equal-terrorism.html
 Talking to police officers: http://www.infowars.com/dhs-video-characterizes-white-americans-as-most-likely-terrorists/
 Not having a Facebook account: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2184658/Is-joining-Facebook-sign-youre-psychopath-Some-employers-psychologists-say-suspicious.html
 the Founding Fathers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oP1Ke70Mi8
 anti-tax, anti-regulation or for the gold standard: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/07/us-usa-fbi-extremists-idUSTRE81600V20120207
 “reverent of individual liberty”: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/02/government-uses-anti-terror-laws-to-crush-dissent-and-help-big-business.html
 inside job: http://www.columbuspolice.org/Units/TEW%20Info/recognizing_sleepers_word2007trifold.pdf
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