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IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, November 14, 2002
2002 Ron Paul 103:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to read You are a Suspect by William Safire in todays New York Times. Mr. Safire, who has been one of the medias most consistent defenders of personal privacy, details the Defense Departments plan to establish a system of Total Information Awareness. According to Mr. Safire, once this system is implemented, no American will be able to use the internet to fill a prescription, subscribe to a magazine, buy a book, send or receive e-mail, or visit a web site free from the prying eyes of government bureaucrats. Furthermore, individual internet transactions will be recorded in a virtual centralized grand database. Implementation of this project would shred the Fourth Amendments requirement that the government establish probable cause and obtain a search warrant before snooping into the private affairs of its citizens. I hope my colleagues read Mr. Safires article and support efforts to prevent the implementation of this program, including repealing any legislation weakening privacy protections that Congress may inadvertently have passed in the rush to complete legislative business this year.
2002 Ron Paul 103:2
YOU ARE A SUSPECT
(By William Safire)
2002 Ron Paul 103:3
To this computerized dossier on your private life from commercial sources, add every piece of information that government has about you — passport application, drivers license and bridge toll records, judicial and divorce records, complaints from nosy neighbors to the F.B.I., your lifetime paper trail plus the latest hidden camera surveillance — and you have the supersnoops dream: a Total Information Awareness about every U.S. citizen.
2002 Ron Paul 103:4
This is not some far-out Orwellian scenario. It is what will happen to your personal freedom in the next few weeks if John Poindexter gets the unprecedented power he seeks.
2002 Ron Paul 103:5
Remember Poindexter? Brilliant man, first in his class at the Naval Academy, later earned a doctorate in physics, rose to national security adviser under President Ronald Reagan. He had this brilliant idea of secretly selling missiles to Iran to pay ransom for hostages, and with the illicit proceeds to illegally support contras in Nicaragua.
2002 Ron Paul 103:6
A jury convicted Poindexter in 1990 on five felony counts of misleading Congress and making false statements, but an appeals court overturned the verdict because Congress had given him immunity for his testimony. He famously asserted, The buck stops here, arguing that the White House staff, and not the president, was responsible for fateful decisions that might prove embarrassing.
2002 Ron Paul 103:7
This ring-knocking master of deceit is back again with a plan even more scandalous than Iran-contra. He heads the Information Awareness Office in the otherwise excellent Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which spawned the Internet and stealth aircraft technology. Poindexter is now realizing his 20-year dream: getting the data-mining power to snoop on every public and private act of every American.
2002 Ron Paul 103:8
Even the hastily passed U.S.A. Patriot Act, which widened the scope of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and weakened 15 privacy laws, raised requirements for the government to report secret eavesdropping to Congress and the courts. But Poindexters assault on individual privacy rides roughshod over such oversight.
2002 Ron Paul 103:9
He is determined to break down the wall between commercial snooping and secret government intrusion. The disgraced admiral dismisses such necessary differentiation as bureaucratic stovepiping. And he has been given a $200 million budget to create computer dossiers on 300 million Americans.
2002 Ron Paul 103:10
When George W. Bush was running for president, he stood foursquare in defense of each persons medical, financial and communications privacy. But Poindexter, whose contempt for the restraints of oversight drew the Reagan administration into its most serious blunder, is still operating on the presumption that on such a sweeping theft of privacy rights, the buck ends with him and not with the president.
2002 Ron Paul 103:11
This time, however, he has been seizing power in the open. In the past week John Markoff of The Times, followed by Robert OHarrow of The Washington Post have revealed the extent of Poindexters operation, but editorialists have not grasped its undermining of the Freedom of Information Act.
2002 Ron Paul 103:12
Political awareness can overcome Total Information Awareness, the combined force of commercial and government snooping. In a similar overreach, Attorney General Ashcroft tried his Terrorism Information and Prevention System (TIPS), but public outrage at the use of gossips and postal workers as snoops caused the House to shoot it down. The Senate should now do the same to this other exploitation of fear.
2002 Ron Paul 103:13
The Latin motto over Poindexters new Pentagon office reads Scientia Est Potentia knowledge is power. Exactly: the governments infinite knowledge about you is its power over you. Were just as concerned as the next person with protecting privacy, this brilliant mind blandly assured The Post. A jury found he spoke falsely before.