Thursday, May 1, 2008
As a new article by investigative reporter Christopher Ketcham reveals, a governmental unit operating in secret and with no oversight whatsoever is gathering massive amounts of data on every American and running artificial intelligence software to predict each American's behavior, including "what the target will do, where the target will go, who it will turn to for help".
The same governmental unit is responsible for suspending the Constitution and implementing martial law in the event that anything is deemed by the White House in its sole discretion to constitute a threat to the United States. (this is formally known as implementing "Continuity of Government" plans).
As Ketcham's article makes clear, these same folks and their predecessors have been been busy dreaming up plans to imprison countless "trouble-making" Americans without trial in case of any real or imagined emergency. What kind of Americans? Ketcham describes it this way:
"dissidents and activists of various stripes, political and tax protestors, lawyers and professors, publishers and journalists, gun owners, illegal aliens, foreign nationals, and a great many other harmless, average people."Do we want the same small group of folks who have the power to suspend the Constitution, implement martial law, and imprison normal citizens to also be gathering information on all Americans and running AI programs to be able to predict where American citizens will go for help and what they will do in case of an emergency? Don't we want the government to -- um, I don't know -- help us in case of an emergency?
Bear in mind that the Pentagon is also running an AI program to see how people will react to propaganda and to government-inflicted terror. The program is called Sentient World Simulation:
"U.S defense, intel and homeland security officials are constructing a parallel world, on a computer, which the agencies will use to test propaganda messages and military strategies.The continuity of government folks' AI program and the Pentagon's AI program may or may not be linked, but they both indicate massive spying and artificial intelligence in order to manipulate the American public, to concentrate power, to take away the liberties and freedoms of average Americans, and -- worst of all -- to induce chaos in order to achieve these ends.
Called the Sentient World Simulation, the program uses AI routines based upon the psychological theories of Marty Seligman, among others. (Seligman introduced the theory of 'learned helplessness' in the 1960s, after shocking beagles until they cowered, urinating, on the bottom of their cages.)
Yank a country's water supply. Stage a military coup. SWS will tell you what happens next.
The sim will feature an AR avatar for each person in the real world, based upon data collected about us from government records and the internet."
Should We Trust These People?
The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution in order to prevent tyranny, which they had experienced first-hand in the British monarchy. They knew that worrying about whether or not something was a "conspiracy theory" was a waste of time. What was important was making sure that there was a separation of powers so that no single group of people could gather too much power, and that individual freedoms were protected through a strong legal framework.
The Founding Fathers knew that merely trusting the government to protect the rights of citizens was a recipe for disaster, and that unless people's rights were rigorously protected, any government would slide back into tyranny.
As Congressman Peter DeFazio, on the Homeland Security Committee, recently said of the White House's asking that people trust it even though it was refusing to reveal details of Continuity of Government plans:
"They say, trust us. Trust us, the people who brought us Katrina, to be competent in the face of a disaster? Trust us, the people who brought us warrantless wiretapping and other excesses eroding our civil liberties? Trust us?" ... The American people need their elected representatives to review this plan for the continuity of government.And as Senator Feingold recently stated :
“More than any other Administration in recent history, this Administration has a penchant for secrecy. To an unprecedented degree, it has invoked executive privilege to thwart congressional oversight and the state secrets privilege to shut down lawsuits. It has relied increasingly on secret evidence and closed tribunals, not only in Guantanamo but here in the United States. And it has initiated secret programs involving surveillance, detention, and interrogation, some of the details of which remain unavailable today, even to Congress.Concentrating within the same small group of people the powers to declare an emergency, suspend the Constitution, institute martial law, imprison Americans, spy on citizens, and model their behavior in times of crisis is not only unacceptable and dangerous, it is unAmerican.
In a democracy, the government must be accountable to the people, and that means the people must know what their government is doing.... An executive branch that operates pursuant to secret law makes a mockery of the democratic principles and freedoms on which this country was based."