Sunday, July 06, 2008

You Won't Even Know They're There

The best thing about losing your Constitutional liberties is if it's done right, you won't even know they're gone. On Saturday morning Dina Temple-Raston gets an inside tour of the FBI's surveillance routines.

Linda Wertheimer tells us the "the FBI has an entire army of people whose only job is to do surveillance whether tracking a terrorist suspect or mobster or potential spy....the secret is all about blending in." Golly, Linda forgot to mention a few other targets of the FBI surveillance, like say peace groups in California, Maine, and Michigan, raging grannies, and potential GOP convention protesters.

Temple-Raston adds that if the FBI surveillance "team is doing the job right, you won't even know they're there." That's comforting...Hey, but it was an exciting adventure for Temple-Raston; she got to call the agents by aliases and learn their cool tactics. As she says, the surveillance teams "have all kinds of techniques, and they all have catchy names like Picket and Web or Leapfrog." Wowzer! Groovy! Like Wertheimer, Temple-Raston also forgot to mention a few other FBI tricks, like other hip surveillance tactics that the G-Men (and women) have used for surveillance in our post 9/11 world.


Porter Melmoth said...

A perfect story for the ideal NPR target audience: those who think they're being protected BY WHATEVER MEANS IT TAKES. That's all that matters, even though they are simultaneously being taken to the cleaners, rights-wise.

Anonymous said...

You know, that Stasi done blended right well in East Germany too. You couldn't tell if they were family, friends, strangers, anything! I'll be they had COOL code names too!

Mytwords said...

It was especially galling to hear this piece after visiting "Memento Park" in Budapest recently and viewing the fascinating film there called "Life of an Agent." And like WOWO I also was thinking of the film The Lives of Others when I heard NPR's homage to surveillance.

Anonymous said...

Awww, Temple-rastin' the Jellicle Cat breaks it gently to the rubes. Iz we any safer yet?