Thursday, August 16, 2007

Your Government Wants You To Know You're Getting A Little Bald On Top

OK, so we like walking out to get the paper in our underwear as much as the next guy, but it looks like we're going to have to give up peeing off the porch because of this.

The United States is expanding the use of spy satellites for domestic surveillance, turning its "eyes in sky" inward. "It's the next logical step of conservative, small government philosophy to totally intrude into every aspect of your life," said White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob. "Oh, and Nancy in Salt Lake City, the wig is nice, but it's not fooling us."

The change will allow more federal and local agencies to collect information that is totally useless in the war on terror, but may be fun to know anyway. It also will expand the kind of intelligence that can be made available to include measurement and signature intelligence, which is used to identify and track targets by their particular physical characteristics, like their voting patterns. "You there, yeah you, the one with the scar over your left eye. You're reading a little too much Glenn Greenwald. Word to the wise, that's all we're saying," US officials said.

Charles Allen, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for intelligence analysis, said the main priority is to make more robust use of intelligence capabilities for civil defense purposes. "The least of my concern is law enforcement," he said in a telephone interview.

Eds. Note: Yes folks, he really said that, but you aren't surprised, are you?

He said spy satellites already have been used on an ad hoc basis to guard against terrorist attacks at political conventions. "And by terrorist attack we mean keeping Cindy Sheehan at least a half mile away from the president."

The Department of Homeland Security envisions using spy satellites to keep closer watch over borders, ports, bridges and other key infrastructure such as librarians, college professors, scientists and of course democrats.

They would use them in responding to disasters like the September 11, 2001 attacks or Hurricane Katrina. When asked how domestic surveillance would help is a disaster like Hurricane Katrina a spokesperson for Homeland Security admitted that it wouldn't but said, "It's fun to watch all the people running around. They look like ants."

The expanded uses raise questions about the implications for US civil liberties, whether the government's intelligence apparatus should be available to use to spy on people inside the United States. "Oh, come on," said Snowjob. "You've been losing your civil liberties for almost six years now. What's a couple more?"

A US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the changes have been vetted throughout the US government and appropriate congressional committees have been briefed and approved a budget re-allocation for the new program. "And by that I mean Cheney said it's OK," he added.

"There is no new legal ground being broken here," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Nothing to see here. Show's over. Just move along. Go on about your business. White women missing over there. Here comes Paris."

As a result of the changes, the Department of Homeland Security plans up to create a National Peeping Thomas Office around October 1 to handle requests for access to intelligence capabilities from civilian agencies. "We were going to go with Voyeurs R Us, but the president can't spell voyeur," said a spokesperson for Secretary Chertoff.

"The NPTO will rely on existing, longstanding practice and procedures established last week to ensure the appropriate protection of privacy and civil rights," a press release issued by the Department of Homeland Security said. "Unless of course we screw this up like we do everything else."

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