One database to rule them all,
one database to find them,
one database to bring them all,
and in the darkness bind them,
in the Department of Homeland Security,
where the shadows lie.
When the Bush Administration proudly announced the creation of the Total Information Awareness program, the American public was justifiably shocked and terrified. The Total Information Program was run by Iran-Contra alumnus John Poindexter, and was designed to gather every available scrap of information about Americans' private activities into a single, gigantic database. This One Database would rule all other lesser databases, extracting their power in spite of any qualms about personal privacy.
The American public rose up in outrage against Poindexter and his Total Information Awareness. But Poindexter was merely a representative of the true Dark Lord of the One Database, who remains always hidden within the White House, but bends his eye to cover the entire American nation.
Assenting to the demands of the American people, the Senate passed legislation forcing the Total Information Awareness program to shut down until it could be reviewed. Thus, the Dark Lord of the One Database appeared to be defeated, but he was not. As long as there is a program to sustain the One Database, the Dark Lord cannot be destroyed.
In response to the censure of the Senate, the Pentagon has recently announced that there will no longer be any program with the name "Total Information Awareness" at its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Does this mean that the infamous Total Information Awareness project is going away? No, it means that they're just changing its name. It's just being renamed as the "Terrorism Information Awareness" program.
How does changing the program's name take the fangs out of Total Information Awareness? Well, the answer is that, of course, the changes are merely cosmetic. The fangs remain. The program, when it is finally implemented, will still be used to gather information on American citizens, controlling a vast array of small, commercial databases in order to pull all the information, and power, into the One Database of the Total Information Awareness program.
Other than the name change, there are no meaningful changes to plans for the deployment of Total Information Awareness. As long as its dark masters in the Bush Administration are allowed to rule, the Total Information Awareness program lives. The workers hidden in the dark halls of the Pentagon have never stopped their preparations of the One Database. Within this vast, secret fortress, they continue scanning huge databases containing private information about American citizens' lives, like medical history, library records and credit card purchases.
Oh, the military insists that it's making changes, and so it seems, until one reads the fine print. All the changes made to Total Information Awareness are temporary illusions. These so-called changes apply only to the research phase of the project, not to the program's actual implementation.
This kind of crass public relations ploy shows that the Bush Administration is still intent upon allowing government agents to use the latest technology to assemble detailed profiles of the most private details of Americans' lives. As the old adage goes, information is power, and the Bush Administration is still creating the mechanisms to draw power in from every home and business, into their One Database.
There's a provision against this kind of effort in the Bill of Rights. It's called freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. Apparently, the Bush Administration doesn't believe that it's unreasonable to enable its staff members to read through records of your phone calls, to scan your private emails and to keep track of your personal travel habits. Do you agree? Are you that afraid, that you will give George W. Bush and his minions that kind of power?
George W. Bush is exploiting Americans' fears in order to gain a kind of power for his agents that no politician has ever before possessed. Bush says that we ought to trust him not to abuse this electronic surveillance of American citizens. He says that he'll use the power for good purposes.
Can we trust Bush with this kind of power? Can trust John Ashcroft with this program? Power corrupts, and the power of the One Database is absolute power.
We should not forget that the servants of George W. bush already abused its new Homeland Security Powers. The Bush Administration recently used the new spying powers of the Department of "Homeland Security" to track the movements of Texas Democrat politicians and report this information to Bush's aides, and then directed local law enforcement officials to destroy related documents to cover it up. The question is not whether the Bush Administration will abuse its new powers, but rather how will they use these powers next?
Don't be duped by cheap public relations tricks. Renaming the Total Information Awareness program doesn't change the extreme danger it poses to American democracy. Pay attention to the details, and then let your representatives you won't stand for these gross invasions of your privacy. It's still Total Information awareness, no matter what they would prefer to call it.
We urge you to call on your Congressional Representatives and Senators NOW, to let them know that you will not stand by idly while the Bush Administration installs the Total Information Awareness program to scan through your private life.
There is still time to destroy the One Database! Act now, before it's too late!
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