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A real thrillerPosted Friday, September 7, 2012, at 8:07 AM
It's the stuff spy novels and suspense thrillers are made of.
The government of one of the strongest nations in the world sets up a massive network of cameras, personnel and other tools across the nation to "monitor" the general populace. This detailed surveillance system has been created by former senior intelligence officials and is "more accurate than modern facial recognition technology"
Reminiscent of what things were like in the Soviet Union 1920 until even now, the system is woven throughout the common places of the everyday lives of ordinary people. Data from the system is received every few seconds from surveillance points in major cities and popular landmarks around the country. It is then encrypted and delivered instantly to a fortified central database to be mixed with other "intelligence."
Sounds like an excerpt from Alexander Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago" doesn't it?
Sorry to say, it is apparently happening right here in the good ol' U.S.A.
Various web-based reports have referred to a government program called "Trapwire." And the notion that the government might be spying on its citizens (oh no -- say it isn't so) seems to have gotten the attention of many, with internet searches for the term recently jumping from 34,000 to over 240,000 in just one day. That spike in searches was reason enough for the folks holding the reigns of the media to have the New York Times do a piece -- a sort of disclaimer -- about Trapwire.
In related news, with a cursory web search you can find information about how some of the folks in Washington D.C. are fighting in federal court for the ability to imprison American citizens-- and anyone else -- without charge or trial, on suspicion alone.
So let's take stock of what we have going on right here at home right now in this place in time: First, we have a widespread network of surveillance cameras and personnel across America monitoring us and reporting our activities to a centralized data center. Second, we have some in the government fighting for the ability to imprison people -- via military force -- on the basis of what they deem to be suspicious activity alone.
I suppose the smart thing to do would be to leave well-enough alone. But that would be, at the very least, irresponsible. Most of you know I have long held that we are slowly but surely losing many of the freedoms our founding fathers risked so much to secure.
I recommend we all do a search and find out what we can about Trapwire, and that we reread Orwell's 1984, Randy and Sara Weaver's Ruby Ridge, and Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago" to prepare ourselves for what might be ahead. Call it conspiracy, or paranoia, or just plain crazy -- but it all gives me the willies.
"It starts when you're always afraid ... get outta line, the man comes, and takes you away."*
So beware of those little black globes mounted in odd places around your neighborhoods, parks, airports, shopping malls and train stations.
Oh yeah, if I suddenly turn up missing, please send someone out to find me.
* From "For What It's Worth" by Stephen Stills.
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Bob Stewart is pastor of Union Baptist Church. His long-running column ranges in topic from matters of faith to observations about life in Saline County, politics and the sights to see in travels throughout America.