Notebook: 26 November 2010 – Black Friday

If you need to wonder why the Patriot Act and police state tactics of the suppression of dissent is a bad idea, then consider that the BU student newspaper reports that a 2010 graduate, David House, was detained at O’Hare airport, had his laptop and other electronics gear seized because of his participation in the Bradley Manning support network:

“I am not, as far as I know, under investigation, neither is Jake Appelbaum,” House said. “I have not been told that the information acquired is being used for any purpose – it seems that the government is just kind of, I don’t know, securing the computers of people they think are dissidents in hopes of finding something. And that strikes me as being a little bit odd.”

According to the story, he was also questioned about wikileaks, which he appears to have no part of.

This is not the first instance of ordinary people’s civil rights being violated for their legitimate political activity, and as for the missing gear which the DHS/FBI seized, where are the “rights of property above all else” crowd to protect House’s property from government seizure?

* * *

Speaking of Wikileaks, they’ve made the entire dump available for copy by torrent. I’ve saved both the .csv and the SQL versions and have made these available for propagation. As a War Logs evaluator, I’ve looked at some 1600 entries, placing me number five overall of people who have evaluated entries.

Thus far, I haven’t seen anything which I hadn’t already come across in the news, and if anything, Wikileaks has gone overboard in their redactions as far as I can tell. Having said this, what strikes me most about these entries is the sheer size of the IED problem (which our troops seem to be doing a pretty damned good job in dealing with), as well as the scale of murder and assassination taking place in Iraq. If the number of entries, considering how few entries I’ve seen, about victims being found is any indication, then Iraq was (or is) on the brink of civil war.

Better to go the refugee route than chance this low-grade, but ubiquitous, warfare.

* * *

And then there are these anti-war activists from the heartland who are facing another Grand Jury subpeona as the government goes on another fishing expedition . . . . I wonder if they ever got their seized property back?


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