Monday, June 27, 2005


The Golden State Joins the National Security State

Just when it can't get more ridiculous, it does. California National Guard spies on families of soldiers killed in Iraq for daring to lawfully protest. Although Guard officials said the new unit would not collect information on American citizens, top National Guard officials have already been involved in tracking at least one recent Mother's Day anti-war rally organized by families of slain American soldiers, according to e-mails obtained by the Mercury News. And who is the ultimate commander of the Kuhlifornia National Guard? Why, our own Bavarian princeling, the Verminator. The first guy that set up the so-called intelligence unit was a bit clumsy, The intelligence unit was quietly established last year by Major Gen. Thomas Eres, the National Guard leader who was forced by the Schwarzenegger administration to retire earlier this month. Eres left amid allegations that he failed to prove his shooting skills for a trip to Iraq, set up a questionable military flight for a Republican friend's political group, and improperly used money meant to stem the flow of drugs for anti-terrorism programs. so he hired another Col. Robert J. O'Neill, a veteran intelligence officer who started last week as director of the new program, said he envisions his team as being a one-stop shop for local, state and national law enforcement to share information. Intelligence officers will have access to sensitive national security information that they can analyze and potentially share with state and local law enforcement, he said. Great. Maybe they can work with Choicepoint and integrate your voting registration, music preferences, and choice of dining establishment into the intelligence files. Last month, a group of anti-war activists, including the parents of American soldiers killed in Iraq, held a small Mother's Day rally at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial near the California Capitol to call for the return of all National Guard troops by Labor Day. Three days before the rally, as a courtesy to the military, an aide in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's press office alerted the Guard to the event, according to e-mails obtained by the Mercury News. The information was passed up the chain of command directly to Eres and other top Guard officials including Col. Jeff Davis, who oversees O'Neill's operation. ''Sir,'' Guard Chief-of-Staff Col. John Moorman wrote in the e-mail to Eres that was copied to Davis and other top commanders. ''Information you wanted on Sunday's demonstration at the Capitol.'' In response, Davis indicated that Guard intelligence officers were tracking the rally. ''Thanks,'' Davis wrote. ''Forwarding same to our Intell. folks who continue to monitor.'' That rainy Sunday, the protest organized by Gold Star Families for Peace, Raging Grannies and CodePink, drew about three-dozen supporters. This is beyond pathetic, using the California National Guard to spy on a few dozen people memorializing their slain children. Where are all the people who spread scare stories about abuse of governmental power under Clinton? If they weren't being total hypocrites, they should be out protesting this.
Outrage overload. Arrgh.

Twas ever thus. We just didn't have an Internet to find out about it while the tea was still boiling.

I hope this will lead to a complete renunciation of Schwarzenegger.
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