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The Violation of Your Civil Rights Which You Never Know Occurred!(Secret Police Intelligence Should

There is an ancient riddle that people used to ask, which is “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound.” The obvious answer which any logical mind states is “Of course it does.” To which the riddle poser then usually states, “Well, how do you know, if no one is around to hear it?” The riddle and mental exercise are to get one to begin to think about human perception and realization. What is so interesting, is just how relevant this form of abstract thinking is now becoming as it applies to the theoretical and actual practice of the invocation of the civil rights of Americans.

It’s no surprise to many American’s that local and federal law enforcement agencies have experienced an immense growth and expansion of their technological and surveillance deploying capability. However, what is some what disturbing, is the issue which this article explores. That issue is the erosion of the civil rights and privacy of American citizens, which has been allowed to occur almost exclusively due to the growth and expansion of those technological and surveillance deployment capabilities. Now, before you roll your eyes, and think to yourself “Yeah… Of course, dummy.” Have you ever stopped to ask yourself just why that is? In other words, just because law enforcement agencies possess a technological or surveillance gathering capability does that automatically and naturally mean that law enforcement agencies should utilize those capabilities? Especially when, as is the increasing case these days, those increased capabilities are the cause of an ever-greater decrease in the levels of privacy being experienced by American citizens and erosion of our civil rights.

What is an even more disturbing phenomenon and practice being undertaken by law enforcement agencies, is the ever-increasing practice of police and law enforcement secrecy and intelligence gathering. Especially since this increased level of law enforcement secrecy is often undertaken in order to keep the general public ignorant of the capabilities, technologies, abilities, and intelligence gathering practices utilized by law enforcement agencies. The defenders of this issue usually respond with the half-thought-out excuse or explanation that “Well, they don’t want the bad guys to know their techniques, so they can thwart those techniques.” So, if no one has yet to do so, I’ll be the first to call bullshit on that defense of this new practice of policing procedures. Moreover, I’ll even explain exactly why that defense is complete bullshit!

So, allow me to untangle this web of bullshit, first by stating that law enforcement are not keeping their newest technologies and techniques secret from the general public in order to make sure “bad guys” or criminals don’t know and thereby avoid these new technologies and capabilities from being utilized against them. First, most of the techniques and technologies to which I am referring, and which are being utilized by law enforcement in secret simply cannot be avoided, even if one has a knowledge of exactly how those technologies work. Secondly, and more importantly, the real reason why law enforcement continues to utilize these technologies and techniques in secret is due to the fact those law enforcement agencies know for a fact that these new technologies and techniques are not morally or ethically defensible, and if the general public actually knew exactly just what many of these technologies and techniques entailed and just how intrusive they actually were the general public would have a very real and justified issue with the utilization of these new law enforcement technologies and tactics. In other words, its not the bad guys law enforcement doesn’t want to know about their newest technologies and tactics, but those so-called decent society Americans who law enforcement claim to need to utilize these clandestine technologies and techniques in order to protect.

Now, let me be clear. I’m not talking about intelligence or military agencies charged with defending America. Those agencies have a real need and right to utilize every and any tool this nation can muster to aid them in defending this country and her citizenry. However, what I do have a problem with, and which we have seen a disturbing and growing trend in this country is the deployment of of those same tactics and tools usually reserved and utilized by intelligence and military agencies in defense of this country, only those same tactics and technologies now being utilized by local and federal law enforcement agencies in this country in order to combat what has always been seen as domestic crime. Be that crime petty or organized. In other words, the same tactics and technologies used to keep this country safe from terrorist airline jackers, should not be made available to those law enforcement agencies looking to bust the local street corner drug dealers.

Now, before you dismiss this article as being pro-crime or something like that, just allow me to explain exactly why I have a problem with American law enforcement deploying technologies and techniques traditionally reserved for American intelligence agencies, and why you should be equally as disturbed by this increasing trend occurring with-in law enforcement agencies. This is especially true about the practices and policy of secrecy which is an absolute life and death necessity for intelligence agencies, but which are unconstitutional and promote distrust by the communities patrolled when practiced by law enforcement. Most frighteningly and unfortunately the practice of secrecy being inherited and adopted by law enforcement agencies in America along with the technologies and techniques being past from intelligence agencies to domestic law enforcement agencies are eroding the civil rights of all-American citizens in a very fundamental way.

The reasons why law enforcement uses of intelligence agency techniques and technologies is so overwhelmingly harmful to our country and democracy as a whole, is due to the fact you can’t use the tools developed to protect democracy to promote democracy. What do I mean by that? Glad you asked. What I mean is that despite incredibly stupid policies being enacted where they try their hardest to cast jihadi terrorists and foreign national spies in the same light as Carlos the smack dealer who lives down the street, or as some how the same type or level of threat to American citizens in order to increasingly allow law enforcement receive ever larger budgets and ever fancier toys to catch Carlos with, the fact of the matter is you are dealing with two completely separate lets call them clients, both of which having very different concerns and issues to consider, and most definitely two separate and vastly disproportionate threat levels of danger or harm ultimately being dealt with by intelligence agencies verses law enforcement. And no… A criminal is not a criminal, is a criminal, and while terrorism is technically a crime just a selling smack is a crime. Just as it would seem like major over-kill to send a platoon of marines and an Abrams Main Battle Tank to go bust Carlos for peddling dope. It is equally just as nonsensical and form of major overkill to grant law enforcement the same surveillance and analytical tools utilized by intelligence services to determine when, where, and if to send marines and tanks somewhere in the world, for law enforcement to utilize to build cases against Carlos the smack peddler.

Aside from the use of inappropriate tactics and secretive technologies being deployed by law enforcement agencies, the number one biggest and most disturbing issues with law enforcement utilizing intelligence agency technologies and techniques is that the operating environment, bad guys they’re meant to catch, operational needs, risk tolerances, threat levels, as well as the possibility of actual investigations themselves harming American’s are so vastly different that the tools and tactics don’t interchange as well as law enforcement agencies want the public to believe. Which is also a large problem overlooked by law enforcement agencies which is the simple fact that, they DO NOT GET TO BE SECRETIVE!!! Whereas intelligence agencies tactics, capabilities, and operations must necessarily be secretive to work, when and if that same type of secrecy is attempted to be applied to domestic law enforcement agencies there is going to be the very natural and intentional issues with constitutional law protections belonging to American citizens.

It is exactly at this point whereby the system breaks down so fundamentally that one could argue very successfully that the pre-9/11 separations that existed between law enforcement and the intelligence agencies was a much more preferable manner which these agencies operated, than the increasing levels of intelligence agencies operating on US soil under the guise of law enforcement, as well as the increased utilization by law enforcement of intelligence agency tactics and technologies. This is especially true if the stated goal of intelligence agencies truly is to uphold and defend the United States Constitution, and not treat it as if it were a meaningless two-hundred and fifty-year-old piece of old ass wipe.

There is a fundamental flaw in any logic which at its root operates on the theory that one must destroy that which one seeks to protect, in the name of protecting that object, ideal, country, or set of fundamental freedoms and civil rights. In other words, the hypocrites must refrain from telling us how much safer our democracy is today, due to the erosion of our civil rights. Most specifically and fundamentally privacy being at the forefront. Don’t tell me you are protecting my freedom, by monitoring me against my will and without my knowledge 24/7. That you are seeking to prevent tyranny, by eavesdropping on my conversations, reading my emails, and tracking my wear abouts at all time. It is not a valid argument, despite what your propagandists try to convince the American citizenry through the mass media apprentice. What’s the old joke? Obama says to Putin, “I demand you stop spying on American citizens!” To which the Russian leader says, “You first!”

In coupling law enforcement with the intelligence agencies there has occurred a culture infection transmuted from the culture of the intelligence agencies infecting the culture of American law enforcement with its world view. It’s understandable why it happened, and I’ll with-hold any judgements or accusations that this was done maliciously. It’s understandable how law enforcement agencies looked to the intelligence agencies or community post 9/11 for advice on new ways to do their own jobs more effectively, even though intelligence agents are most certainly not trained law enforcement officers. I get there was a “never again” sort of attitude driving a lot of what has happened since 9/11 in this country, and maybe both law enforcement agencies and the intelligence community in this country suffered from a bit of an inferiority complex after 9/11 or at least guilt. I’m sure from a law enforcement agency point of view, it was easy to be seduced. The intelligence agencies have way better toys and technology, they have no one to answer to except for a special sworn in segment of the Congress Intelligence Committee and the President, they’re not handcuffed and forced to contend with issues concerning civil rights, and every other sort of cooler and less restricted operating environment which the intelligence agencies operate in in comparison to American law enforcement agencies.

However, the problematic disconnect seems to be for law enforcement agencies is that the reason why the intelligence community gets to do the things they do is because they operate over-seas! They are not dealing with American citizens, and for better or worse we as a country have determined we are OK with us doing to other countries and their citizens things that we will not tolerate done to ourselves or fellow Americans. So, when police forces go to work with an us verses them sort of attitude, as if they are soldiers operating in a hostile conquered, excuse me liberated, country or territory of course the shit is going to hit the fan. This is after-all exactly what we are seeing pan out in the media in this country and is exactly the very issue or idea which had Collin Kaepernick protesting in the manner which he was doing.

However, it goes even beyond that, where it is grossly inappropriate for police forces or American policing agencies to develop and keep “Terrorist Watch List” styled databases comprising American citizens regardless of the believed levels of criminal activity law enforcement believes certain American citizens to be engaged in, whether those beliefs are justifiable or a figment of overzealous policing activities which have been made to conform to a model or mode of operations entirely inappropriate for American police agencies to adopt or mimic. That example being of course those of the intelligence agencies and community. What’s more, is it is even more inappropriate, if not out right unconstitutional for law enforcement to at the same time seek to adopt the culture of secrecy which is mandatory for foreign intelligence agencies, and to do so in order that law American enforcement agencies may keep from the public scrutiny and public discussion the appropriateness of exactly those intelligence agency style tactics, technologies, or practices which are being utilized on American soil and citizens by law enforcement agencies. This is why for example California’s Gang Task Force list is entirely inappropriate if not illegal, especially in regards to the difficulties baked into the system surrounding the ability of citizens to determine their inclusion in or upon such a database or another as of yet unknown law enforcement watch list comprising American citizens uncharged with crimes.

At the Federal level, Federal policing agencies must stop seeking to blend and blur the lines drawn between terrorism, espionage, and domestic criminal activity, in order that those law enforcement agencies and agents may skirt or even outright deny the civil rights and protections guaranteed all American citizens to the targets of would be investigations. The increasing trends of illogically stretching and trying to define what is or is not terrorism, in order that law enforcement agents may the seek to supplant lowered civil rights protections and increasingly sophisticated types of surveillance in exchange for tried and true crime detection and evidence gathering techniques conducted in the strictest observances of constitutionality and legality. A prime example of this is the use of unwarranted information gathering practices and requests beings made upon internet and cellular phone service providers by federal or local agents, in increasing numbers, and which also are accompanied by threats not to inform the targets of such information requests. The plain and truthful fact of the matter is there are no exigent circumstances justifiable for information collection, whereby the time can not be taken to draft and have approved by a neutral judge a warrant based upon probable cause and being sufficiently limited in scope and length of time.

Just because the modern age has made surveillance much easier to conduct, does not mean that then grants law enforcement the right to conduct unwarranted monitoring or surveillance. In fact, the increased ease in which such monitoring and surveillance can be conducted serves only to prove that now more than ever before constitutional protections must be strictly and faithfully observed by law enforcement agencies and their agents. What is even less appropriate are the deployment of intelligence agency styled tactics against unsuspecting and unaware law enforcement targets, whereby opportunities, funds, or other benefits rightfully earned or belonging to law enforcement targets are blocked, denied, rerouted, or otherwise denied to innocent and unaware targets of law enforcement investigations which often times but for the denial of the benefit, employment opportunity, funds, or other beneficial opportunity by law enforcement to the target and denied beneficiary, the so called offending or possible criminal behaviors would had ended had the denied beneficiary target received the opportunity for a better and improved lot in life.

By allowing the unconstitutional creation of databases full of law enforcement “hot lists” of individuals who are routinely surveillance against their will and without their knowledge, we have given law enforcement the ability to create second class citizens. This is especially true as employment opportunities and even the granting of government benefits increasingly may be denied individuals not based on convictions, and thereby observing and practicing “innocent until proven guilty,” but based on arrests alone. Aside from being illegal, this dangerous new practice grants law enforcement ever greater ability to completely ruin the lives of innocent targets. This in turn can and often does tend to create more criminals, as due to baseless arrests by mean spirited and lazy law enforcement whom make arrests based upon little to no probable cause, the legitimate opportunities for social or economic advancement experienced by the victims of such arrests become diminished due to such arrests. Now, employers and even government agencies have decided to inquire not about convictions, but arrests as well. In so doing innocent victims of lazy, vindictive, or just careless law enforcement practices and arrests can find themselves left with little to no other options to feed themselves and their families but through criminal enterprises and schemes. This despite the fact they are innocent and may even have the charges dismissed. It matters not utilizing these new and illegal employment and government benefit denying practices, of inquiring and utilizing arrests and not convictions of individuals to deny employment of those individuals not yet frustrated enough by repeated and unfair denials of employment due to these practices to stop applying or looking for lawful employment.

Before you assume these subjects or topics are not related, let me assure you that due to the usual manner law enforcement has adopted and adapted the practices of intelligence agencies the two notions are linked together more than ever. How? Well, lets look at exactly how law enforcement targets get treated. They are instantly and unknowingly placed in a jailcell of sorts, whereby with modern technologies law enforcement can now literally control the flow of information to an individual. These tactics are lifted straight out of the espionage and counterintelligence play books. So, by placing an individual flow of information to an individual by either denying them information about good employment or housing opportunities which they may qualify for, denying them access to certain news articles which would allow an individual to gain insights into investment opportunities, or how to mitigate losses, and all the way up to actually intercepting, reading, and filtering for content an individual e-mails, phone calls, or text messages. The point is that the modern age has made it possible to place people into information bubbles, maintain the information flows into and out of such bubbles, and do so across nearly all information receive platforms. So, while not perfect, in that the target could always pick up a printed copy of the daily paper, let us face it 90% of information obtained by all modern people is by internet be it cell phone or computer. It is not like any useful information can be taken from broadcast news, as that information is all subject to manipulations and agendas of their own design. That design usually being crafted by the people over at the Council on Foreign Relations.

When added with unknown “information requests” made to your cellphone and internet providers, it is now possible for law enforcement to know where you have been, who you have seen, what you did, and even where you are going with increasingly frightening levels of accuracy. Take license plate recorders for example. Most people do not realize just how long the data is stored in or on these systems. I am talking years. Why not? All it is is a little line of code that license plate number 1234ABC went through the intersection at A Street and 1st Street, at 3PM, on 01/23/2020. That does not take much storage at all. So then say law enforcement wants to know where you have been or were located at a certain time. Well, they merely feed you license number into the database, and from there it is a veritable smorgasbord of not just where you go, but how often. The fact that you go through an intersection more than others, can prove or make obvious patterns which you may not want known. All of this can and is done of course without warrant, as Courts have yet to realize what can be done with the license plate recorders, and are still just trying to make canonized different theories of law involving when warrants are required for cell phone location data. Good news by the way, recent Supreme Court Case says cops need a warrant before obtaining the most recent last seven days of location data from your cell phone. But for some reason, can read every one of your emails not deleted which are older than six months.

All of these technologies and tactics, cell tower spoofing with “Stingray” devices, drone surveillance, information requests from cell and internet providers, gps in your car, the fact that they can turn your cell phone into a bug or listen in without you knowing, surveillance cameras on every corner, when added with facial recognition, behavior analytics and recognition, speech recognition software, and you quickly understand just how totally immersive and privacy destroying the full range of technologies already being deployed by American law enforcement agencies, which are taken directly from intelligence agencies, only being deployed on Americans, and you really start to ask yourself “Is that necessary?” Stronger even still, is the question of “Is that right?” However, as stated earlier the fact law enforcement claims these technologies and tactics need not be made well known to the general public under the guise of “police intelligence” prevents the happening or occurrence of the number one most fundamental difference between law enforcement and the intelligence agencies. That occurrence is public discourse and the notion of community acceptance of practices. See, terrorists can bitch all day long about the advantages or extreme practices of intelligence agencies, and no one cares. Well, short of torture. However, law enforcement is beholden to the opinions of the same general public that they mean to utilize these technologies on, or at the very least the same people law enforcement could deploy these technologies on.

Therefore, the general public has an absolute need to know about every technology and tactic which American law enforcement agencies utilize, in order to decide whether we want those technologies and capabilities in the hands of American law enforcement agencies. As such, police intelligence and police secrecy will always draw a great deal of very deserved and justified close public scrutiny. The reason is police intelligence and police secrecy simply have no place in a democracy, so when they appear people will and do act appropriately suspicious.

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