Our Big Brothers (and Sisters) Are Watching

The U.S. government is using its vast law-enforcement apparatus to monitor Americans, a new level of scrutiny triggered by 9/11.

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The U.S. government is engaged in an unprecedented effort to monitor the activities of Americans, the Washington Post reports. The paper says the FBI, Homeland Security, local police and military-intelligence officials are tracking the activities of thousands of U.S. citizens, most of whom have not been accused of wrongdoing. The government's goal is to have all of these resources feed information to the FBI, which is responsible for terrorism investigations in the U.S. The paper describes this domestic scrutiny as part of the Top Secret America infrastructure that has been built since the World Trade Center attacks, an organism so large that no one knows its total size or reach into American life.

We all want to be safe, but the chilling report talks about lawful gatherings being reported on, so-called experts on extremism feeding useless information to law enforcement and as much as $31 billion given to states for homeland-security purposes. We know what happened in the 1960s when black militancy was seen as a national-security threat and the FBI went out of control. Now it's Islamic extremism. Somehow we don't feel safer.

Read this important investigative report at the Washington Post site.