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September 13, 2006 05:49 PM UTC

Living Behind the Iron Curtain

  • by: tmgt

I am seriously going to date myself here.

When I was growing up, I vaguely remember television ads depicting life behind  The Iron Curtain.

“Assure someone behind the Iron Curtain that they have friends―for one dollar, send 1  minute of hope”, there was the deep clunk and hollow ring of steel doors slamming tightly.

They must have been ads for Voice of America, or something like that.  And somehow, in the depths of my very young mind, I knew that these ads spoke of deprivation and suffering.

Moving from the McCarthy era to the Vietnam Era confused me.  Somehow, we were at war with something called “commies”, and the “commies” had managed to move out from behind the Iron Curtain and were spreading something bad in a place called Nam.

When I was old enough to go to school, we learned that Russians were “commies” and Chinese were “commies”.  We didn’t know much about the Chinese commies, but in Russia we had spies.  So we knew what kind of evil the commies did in Russia.  Russia had secret police called KGB who spied on everyone in Russia.  The people in Russia also spied on each other.

Now, flash forward to 2006.  In May I wrote in regard to The Report: “NSA has domestic phone call database-Agency collecting information on tens of millions of Americans”. I was proposing that this activity was making the US look like a KGB agent’s wet dream.

But now, it gets worse.

Dateline Denver:

Counterterrorism Web Site Launched

Colorado counterterrorism officials used the 9/11 anniversary to launch an Internet system that lets ordinary people electronically report “suspicious activity” — ferreting out possible terrorist bombers or plotters in their midst. The system lets anybody with Internet access send a report and photos (via documenting the activity in question. MORE: Denver Post Coloradans could abuse the system “to undermine their neighbors or their enemies,” said State Patrol Sgt. Jack Cowart

While the Bush regime seeks to vest his warrentless spying on American citizens through the Specter/Cheyney bill that would give Congress’s blessing to domestic spying outside of FISA’s strictures, we now have the setup in place for citizens to spy on and report each other.

Deep clunk and hollow ring of steel doors slamming tightly…does anybody else hear it?


3 thoughts on “Living Behind the Iron Curtain

  1. The first time I heard that loud clang was in Mid october 2001 when the USA PATRIOT Act was passed. It only got louder as attempts to pass the Domestic Security act of 2003 (Patriot II) was being circulated, and thankfully never made it to the floor. That little gem gave the Attorney General of the United States the ability to strip any US born citizen of their citizenship and deport them to wherever the AG saw fit. This administration loves to create fear, it is the neo-con way.

  2. Every time I go out with my camera nowadays, hoping no-one thinks I’m suspicious in my picture-taking.  I hear doors clanging shut in the distance whenever I travel, knowing that some people that should have been allowed to board an airplane weren’t, for no good reason and without recourse.  And that ominous sound of locks turning behind me sounds in the background every time I get online and wonder – is the NSA watching what I do?

    What have we done?  Nothing.  Our crime, as it were, is speaking out against tyranny and injustice, and against a Presidency that has done bad things in our name.  Time to stand up proudly and keep to our beliefs; there are worse things than sitting behind bars for standing up for this country’s most basic rights.

  3. What a horrible idea.  This is what happens when counterterrorism funding comes into the state, and the state has no idea how to spend it.  Let’s set up a database!

    Turning Colorado’s citizens against one another, and encouraging them to “report suspicious activity” on each other is indeed going back behind the iron curtain. Red Scare all over again.  Don’t these people study history ?

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