Martin Luther King, “I have a Dream.”
And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.” August 1963.
Is freedom ringing?
Criticism of color barely begins to describe what the American government did to pry into King’s personal life and so many others during the 50’s and 60’s. If you disagreed with the government, you were shall we say likely to have been, ‘looked after.’ Is it any different today?
From the Church Final Report-http://www.icdc.com/~paulwolf/cointelpro/churchfinalreportIIIb.htm
From December 1963 until his death in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was the target of an intensive campaign by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to “neutralize” him as an effective civil rights leader. In the words of the man in charge of the FBI’s “war” against Dr. King:
No holds were barred. We have used [similar] techniques against Soviet agents. [The same methods were] brought home against any organization against which we were targeted. We did not differentiate. This is a rough, tough business. 1
The FBI collected information about Dr. King’s plans and activities through an extensive surveillance program, employing nearly every intelligence-gathering technique at the Bureau’s disposal. Wiretaps, which were initially approved by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, were maintained on Dr. King’s home telephone from October 1963 until mid-1965; the SCLC headquarter’s telephones were covered by wiretaps for an even longer period. Phones in the homes and offices of some of Dr. King’s close advisers were also wiretapped. The FBI has acknowledged 16 occasions on which microphones were hidden in Dr. King’s hotel and motel rooms in an “attempt” to obtain information about the “private activities of King and his advisers” for use to “completely discredit” them.
King spoke about the “Security of Justice,” and in this era of terrorism, it gives new meaning to the balance of security and justice.
COINTELPRO inserted spies into Martin Luther King Jr.’s inner circle to report on all his movements and activities, and it effectively destroyed the Black Panther Party by encouraging armed action against other black nationalist groups, smear campaigns against key members and outright targeted attacks. The result was that the group became splintered and the rest of the country didn’t take them seriously as a political force.
Even though COINTELPRO activities were exposed and banned by the ’70s, we still see little baby COINTELPRO efforts pop up today, like when the FBI targeted “domestic terrorist organizations” like Greenpeace and PETA along with evil Quakers. Or when one Obama adviser suggested infiltrating conspiracy theory message boards with secret agents who would discredit “false conspiracy theories about the government.” Because apparently, people on conspiracy theory message boards would never appreciate the irony. Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_18955_6-crackpot-conspiracy-theories-that-actually-happened_p2.html#ixzz1BEapsUlg
In 2011, where do we find the balance between privacy and security? Was Dr. King really a threat? To what, to whom? Is Assange of WIKI leaks fame a rapist, terrorist, journalist? Facebook and Social Media certainly provide the opportunity for anyone or government to track your whereabouts.
Cookies used to be about sugar and flour, they are now about leaving a trail of crumbs on which websites you have visited. How fast we learned about Jared Loughner and his erratic rants on YouTube, MySpace, etc. Here are just a few examples http://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/giffordsshotpalin/.
Is it so humiliating to get felt up in the airport security line for the greater good? Tough call. On the one hand, maybe an inspection of my, “junk” is a deterrent to evil shitheads. On the other hand it seems to be a violation of the 4th Amendment, when there is no probable cause or reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. More insulting, is that an airplane cargo hold likely gets less of an inspection than my junk. Go figure.
Back to MLK. We had the day off, schools and banks closed. Many lived the American dream being good capitalists and spent the day at the mall using traceable debit and credit cards, facebooking our locations, tweeting the day away, going about our business while someone somewhere, if they really cared ran COINTELPRO on you. Too bad someone didn’t connect the dots fast enough to Arizona to prevent the shooting spree. Too bad someone didn’t connect the dots before the events of 911. Maybe they did.
Even though COINTELPRO was supposed to have ceased long ago, both the Bush and Obama administrations have likely been utilizing what we’ll call, large scale information manipulation and monitoring. Cass Sunstein heads up the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, where he oversees policy relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cass_Sunstein
From Glenn Greenwood at Salon,http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/01/15/sunstein :
Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.” He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government).
Whatever one wants to call intelligence these days, someone smart enough, if they wanted to: knows where you are, what you are doing, what books you have bought on your Kindle or Amazon accounts, the books you have borrowed from the library, can find your address and phone number on Google, identify your computers IP address, knows what products you buy from your frequent shopper cards, can predict what your behavior might be, what memberships you may have in the NRA or YMCA, what your political party affiliation is, and on and on.
Are you old enough to remember “the party line, ” phone calls where you shared phone lines? One could listen in, and someone could listen to you so you had to watch what you might say about Mrs. Spillane and Mr. DeLuca down the street. Privacy was paramount.
What privacy we don’t give away today, someone tomorrow can sure find out. Were MLK alive today, we wonder if he would champion civil liberties as much as he did civil rights.
Let freedom ring.
For more thoughts on Internet Censorship, read http://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/internet-censorship-agenda/
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