Using Bees To Effect Vengeance

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Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Simply brain-boggling idiocy that would be laughable if it weren't so dangerous. California's anti-terrorism unit was keeping tabs on war protestors. What does one have to do with the other? Let the California Anti-Terrorism Information Center (CATIC) spokesman take you through the impeccable reasoning:

"You can make an easy kind of a link that, if you have a protest group protesting a war where the cause that's being fought against is international terrorism, you might have terrorism at that (protest)," said Van Winkle, of the state Justice Department. "You can almost argue that a protest against that is a terrorist act."

If the late S.I Hayakawa had been alive to hear that prize specimen of dis-logic, he would have had no choice but to deliver a linguistic judo chop to the back of that moron's skull.

M. Van Winkle continues: "I've heard terrorism described as anything that is violent or has an economic impact, and shutting down a port certainly would have some economic impact. Terrorism isn't just bombs going off and killing people."

Well, then Herr Van Winkle, what is terrorism, then? "The state's anti-terror center also operates without a clear definition of terrorism. Asked for one, Van Winkle replied: "I'm not sure where to go with that. But as a state organization, we have this information and we're going to share it."

And people wonder why civil libertarians like myself argue that "benign" governmental information-gathering invariably gets put to inappropriate ends. It's because of idiots like Obergruppenfuhrer Van Ribbentrop, that's why.

In a totally un-related story, the Defense Department's nakedly unconstitutional civilian electronic surveillance program called "Total Information Awareness" has now been re-named "Terrorist Information Awareness".

[via fellow Costello-lister Unqualified Offerings]


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