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Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Z3PR, Apr 28, 2002.

  1. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

    Mar 30, 2002
    Likes Received:
    <A HREF="http://www.disinfo.com/pages/article/id730/pg1/">Snitch Culture: Jim
    Redden Watches the Watchers</A>
    (Excellent article from <A HREF="http://www.disinfo.com/">Disinformation</A>
    on the book.)





    As American enters the New Millennium, this country is in the grip of a
    government-created surveillance system which permeates every aspect of our
    lives. The economy is booming and things couldn¹t be better for the vast
    majority of citizens. Serious crime is at a 30-year low, with murder and
    other violent felonies dropping in every region of the nation. Minorities are
    earning more than ever before, and the schools have never been safer. And
    yet, despite this good news, large segments of the population live in fear -
    a fear created and exploited by opportunistic politicians and power-hungry
    law enforcement officials to justify the most sophisticated police state ever

    And at the heart of this nightmare is the snitch, the government's weapon of
    choice against criminals and law-abiding citizens alike. People gather
    incriminating information on us even before we¹re born. Pregnant women are
    routinely tested to see if they¹ve exposed their fetuses to alcohol or
    illegal drugs, with doctors reporting "drug affected" babies to social
    service and law enforcement agencies.

    If we enroll in the public schools, we are spied on by other students, our
    teachers, and our counselors. Many schools provide anonymous telephone tip
    lines for students to squeal on their classmates. A growing number of school
    administrators are paying for incriminating information. Teachers and
    counselors are encouraged to report students with "anti-social tendencies" to
    the police. Reports of typical juvenile schoolyard behavior now result in
    suspensions, expulsions and arrests.

    College campuses are riddled with informants. Politically active teachers are
    monitored by students who oppose their views. Student political organizations
    are infiltrated by undercover operatives gathering information on
    controversial campus speakers and upcoming demonstrations. Foreign students
    are targeted for surveillance, especially Muslims of Arab ethnicity.

    Informants track us after we graduate and enter the workforce. Many potential
    employers run background checks on job applicants, asking friends and
    neighbors about their private lives. Some bosses hire undercover agents who
    pose as workers and spy on everyone in the company, reporting on everything
    from suspected thieves to employees with poor morale. If we own a business,
    the government might send over fake customers to see if they can trick us
    into breaking civil rights laws. These so-called "testers" report our
    reactions to federal officials who can assess fines or even throw us in jail.

    Our neighbors are encouraged to spy on us. If our children cry, they report
    us to social workers for abuse. If we have a large number of visitors, they
    call the police and accuse us of dealing drugs. If we drive a new car, they
    call the Internal Revenue Service and say we're not paying our taxes.

    Family members routinely turn each other in to the police, especially for
    illegal drug use. Encouraged by government snitch programs, children rat on
    their parents, parents squeal on their kids, and children report their
    siblings to the authorities. Wives and husbands turn on each other in divorce
    proceedings, triggering criminal investigations by accusing their former
    mates of everything from domestic violence to child abuse to hiding their

    Unconventional political and religious movements are also infiltrated by
    snitches. Law enforcement agencies and private, politically-oriented advocacy
    groups spy on liberal and conservative organizations alike, along with tiny
    churches and obscure religious sects. No group is too small or
    inconsequential to escape the prying eye of the government or its agents.

    Discussions with doctors and lawyers are no longer confidential. Government
    regulations require doctors to report patients with HIV and other contagious
    diseases to health authorities. Medicare recipients who suspect their doctors
    are padding their bills are encouraged to report them to Washington
    bureaucrats. Lawyers have gone to jail for not telling the feds which client
    The intrusions don't even stop when we die. Government agencies routinely ask
    doctors if drugs, both legal and illegal, contributed to the death.
    Physicians must report whether their deceased patients smoked cigarettes or
    drank alcohol. Passengers who die in car crashes are tested for alcohol, with
    the results transmitted to transportation officials for their reports on
    alcohol-related traffic fatalities. Police use the results of such tests to
    justify their own brutality, arguing that unarmed people they kill were drunk
    or stoned.

    Obeying the law is no protection against informants. Snitches frequently set
    people up, tricking them into breaking the law. Or they simply lie, making up
    stories and swearing to events that never happened. Criminals routinely
    perjure themselves in exchange for special treatment, sending innocent people
    to jail and even Death Row. Many people have lost their jobs, been thrown out
    of their homes, gone to jail - even lost their lives - because of lies told
    by informants.
    s are paying with cash.

    We're so used to being tracked that we don¹t even notice how often we're
    being urged to report our friends, neighbors, family members and complete
    strangers to the authorities. A billboard in Harlem asks citizens to join
    "Gunbusters Anonymous" and report "illegal guns" to the New York Police
    Department. Neighborhood "crime watch" programs send thousands of people into
    the streets every night to look for "suspicious activity." Newspapers across
    the country publish weekly "Crime Stopper" stories, running descriptions and
    photographs of people wanted by law enforcement authorities. Public service
    announcements on late night television urge neighbors to "take a bite out of
    crime" by watching each other. Police officers visit the public schools,
    telling children to report their friends and parents for suspected drug use.
    Wanted posters in post officers are so common we look right past them.

    Snitching has become entertainment, a growing staple of network and cable TV
    channels. America's Most Wanted serves up a half-dozen new suspects every
    week, using hokey crime re-creations to make us pick up the phone and report
    anyone who even resembles the actors and actress parading across the screen.
    Tabloid programs such as The Jerry Springer Show use informants to shame
    their guests, exposing hidden love affairs and embarrassing personal faults
    for our amusement. Cheating husbands and two-timing wives are physically
    attacked on stage when their darkest secrets are revealed by vengeful
    ex-lovers, the studio audience roaring its approval like the Coliseum crowds
    of ancient Rome.

    More recently, "reality-based" TV shows such as Survivor and Big Brother
    offer up round-the-clock surveillance for our amusement. The constant
    monitoring is said to reveal the true character of the people in stressful
    situation. Viewers vote on who they don¹t like, punishing unpopular
    participants with digital banishment.

    But the modern surveillance society is not a passing form of entertainment.
    And its consequences are far more severe than any passing humiliation. Our
    most personal information is now being fed directly into a massive system of
    interlocking computer databases maintained by government agencies, law
    enforcement officials, for-profit businesses and private intelligence
    networks. Our school, employment, medical, psychiatric, banking, credit,
    automobile, housing, TV viewing, computer use and gun ownership records are
    all stored electronically by people we¹ve never met, accessible at the stroke
    of a computer key.

    And now the government is adding our DNA, the unique genetic code found in
    our every cell, to their files. All 50 states have laws requiring that DNA
    samples be taken from convicted criminals and sent to the National Offender
    Database maintained by the FBI. By May 2000, about 280,000 samples had been
    placed online and another 750,000 were still waiting to be processed. Some
    politicians are already pushing for DNA samples to be taken from anyone
    merely arrested for a crime. How long will it be before everyone¹s DNA is
    simply tested at birth? And what will happen if a lab researcher tells the
    government our genes say we're bad?

    Such tips can trigger a broad range of responses by federal, state and local
    authorities, from home visits by child care and mental health specialists to
    deadly raids by heavily-armed SWAT units. Governments have spent billions of
    dollars in recent years militarizing local police departments across the
    country, and creating special federal units with overwhelming firepower. They
    are all ready and waiting for an informant to send them on their next
    mission. The result of all this snitching has been boiled down to a simple
    bumpersticker that can be seen on cars and trucks in all 50 state: "I love my
    country, but fear my government."

    The Snitch Culture did not come about by accident. It was deliberately
    created by Democrats and Republicans alike, working with federal, state and
    local law enforcement officials to build a nationwide intelligence-gathering
    network which is impossible to escape. This surveillance system did not
    spring to life overnight. It was assembled in pieces over the past century in
    reaction to one manufactured threat to the American way of life after
    another, each requiring new laws, new law enforcement agencies, and new
    informants to enforce. Our political and law enforcement leaders repeatedly
    seize on bizarre but isolated incidents to create the image of a country
    under attack from all sides. The threats have ranged over the years from
    anarchists to marijuana to Communists to heroin to Muslims to methamphetamine
    to white supremacists, but in each case the government¹s response has been
    the same - a new domestic war. The War on Crime. The War on Drugs. The War on
    Terrorism. The War on Youth Violence.

    The establishment press plays along with the charade, creating a parallel
    universe where death and destruction waits around every corner. With the
    advent of satellite trucks and 24-hour news channels, the result is a
    constant media bombardment of ever greater dangers, all requiring us to spy
    on our neighbors, friends and family members.

    President Bill Clinton exploited the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing to channel
    hundreds of millions of dollars to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to
    greatly expand its domestic political surveillance programs. The FBI opened a
    new counter-terrorism center and established a series of multi-jurisdictional
    task forces, working with state and local authorities to gather intelligence
    on suspected dissidents in their regions. The far right neo-Patriot movement
    was the original target but, by the end of the decade, the government had
    shifted its focus to the left-leaning anti-globalization movement that
    debuted at the <A HREF="http://www.konformist.com/botm/volume03/botm1199.htm">
    World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle</A>.

    The Columbine High School massacre became an excuse for America¹s public
    school students, teachers, counselors and administrators to turn on any child
    who didn't fit in. Within hours of the shootings, the press was running
    in-depth reports about homicidal teenagers raised on a corrosive diet of
    morbid goth music, violent video games and blood-drenched movies - an entire
    generation of young people with no regard for human life. Clinton went on
    national television and urged students across the country to report any
    classmates who seemed anti-social. Hundreds if not thousands of students were
    suspended, expelled and even arrested for typical adolescent behavior, or for
    bringing something as innocuous as nail clippers to class.

    The message is clear: Americans must spy on each other, reporting all signs
    of suspicious activity or aberrant behavior to the authorities. And if the
    people won't tattle, the government will monitor their every waking moment
    anyway. Video cameras line the freeways. Bank transactions are monitored.
    Even our computers are being used against us, collecting and sending personal
    information through private companies to federal law enforcement agencies.

    The ultimate symbol of this power is Echelon, a massive system of space age
    listening devices and supercomputers maintained by the U.S. government¹s top
    secret National Security Agency. Created over the course of the Cold War,
    Echelon is an information vacuum cleaner which can monitor virtually every
    phone call, e-mail, fax, radio transmission, television broadcast, and other
    form of electronic communication in the world today. Legal concepts such as
    the right to privacy are a joke to this computer-driving monitoring system
    which can eavesdrop on practically everyone at the same time.

    The result is a society driven by manufactured mass paranoia, where personal
    betrayal is seen as a virtue instead of the lowest form of human behavior.
    And as the 21st Century begins to unfold, this perverse version of reality is
    being exported around the world. Seamless global surveillance is the ultimate
    goal. All it takes is a tip from a snitch to make you a target.
  2. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

    Jun 1, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Lubbock, TX
    I definatley have a problem with law enforcement. Down the street some kid on a skateboard was holding onto an Explorer and now he's in the hospital, not sure what happened. This was about an hour ago. This street is pretty wide, and there was a police car, and then the Explorer double parked next to it. The speed limit is 30, and I rolled by at about 20 as I hear the cop yell at me "Slow down!" I know he was under a lot of stress and he has a hrad job, but that just pissed me off a lot. I stopped my trcuk got out and asked him why I need to slow down when I'm goin 10 under and doing it safely. He just said "get back in the car before I write you a ticket for endangerement." I feel pretty stupid cause I yelled at a cop, but I'm sick of those people. They are on the biggest power trip of anyone and they just like to push around teenagers. I told him that if it was my dad who drove through there at the same speed, I know he wouldn't have yelled at him and he just told me to leave. I'm sorry but I really hate the cops in thise city. All they do is harass us, pull us over and search our cars or check for drunks and crap when we aren't doing anything wrong. I think it is total bullshit. Sorry if this isn't really the topic of your post, I didn't really read the whole thing. Just wanted to vent.
  3. Corey 78K5

    Corey 78K5 1 ton status

    Feb 17, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Humboldt County, CA
    I know what you mean 90K5. Last year I had my K5 parked out in front of the house and my pickup in the drive way. Now since I had a company truck I took home it was kinda hard for me to drive all three all the time let a lone everyday. So at one point I had not driven the Blazer in about a 2-3 week period and it had a bit of dust on it and a few leaves. So I come home one day and there is a parking ticket on it saying I had 24 hr. to have it moved or it would be towed at my expence, WTF. It was registerd, running and insured, I was pissed. So I did what I thought was right. I uncorked the headers and did a nice rumbeling cruise down main street making sure to pump the throttel pedel past every cop I saw. Eventualy they did pull me over (same guy who wrote the ticket) and asked what I thought I was doing. So I explained that I was just trying to get the attention of the police to let them know that it was not abandoned or broke down. I did get a fixit ticket which I had him sign off 30 min. later.
  4. The_Sandman_454

    The_Sandman_454 1/2 ton status

    Sep 9, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Michigan, USA
    A few days ago I clocked a local police officer doing about 60 through a 45 and almost 70 in a 55 using my GPS and following along behind him.

    How did I know he wasn't doing much important stuff or anything urgent? 1) He was well out of his jurisdiction, 2) he had no lights on, etc... If he'd have pulled into one of his favorite speed trap spots I'd have pulled up next to him and said something like "hey boy, you know how fast you were going? I'm afraid I'll have to take your license for careless driving and endangerment..." /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif I *really* wish I would've thought about it or had my video camera along to shoot some video showing the gps screen and the police car *pulling away from me* as it was up that high in a slowish speed limit zone. /forums/images/icons/mad.gif I hate when these SOB's exploit their privellages, and I personally wish they would make a seperate agency to police strictly the police...

    If I'd pulled that crap going that fast on my own and he was behind me I doubt he'd have waited 1 second to hit the lights and pull me over.

    And hopefully nobody brings up "well he's a trained driver", as I'd bet I could outdrive this clown on the test course... /forums/images/icons/crazy.gif

    MOABDADC22 1/2 ton status

    Jul 24, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Cheyenne, Wy
    Sandman and 90k5, Since I am a cop, I am not going to defend the cop, but......................next time that happens....take the unit number or license number and file a complaint.
  6. The_Sandman_454

    The_Sandman_454 1/2 ton status

    Sep 9, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Michigan, USA
    I like the city cops around here... They're all a bunch of good guys it seems, won't needlessly harass people, etc. But these local boys in the small town here seem to be ridiculously obsessed with harassing people and abusing privellages... /forums/images/icons/crazy.gif

    Guess I'll just have to start logging offenses and reporting them... Only downside I can think of is my name will be listed as the one giving a complaint, and could potentially lead to harassment... I guess I could take that to the authorities too if they were to do that but that'd be a hassle... /forums/images/icons/crazy.gif
  7. tomseviltwin

    tomseviltwin 1/2 ton status

    Dec 23, 2001
    Likes Received:
    I know a highway patrol officer who gave a city cop a speeding ticket who was in a hurry to get home in his squad car. You don't see that very often. I don't think I've ever seen a SLC sherrif ever come to a complete stop at a stop sign. I once reported an officer I followed up the road at 20 mph over posted limit and called his chief. I was told it wasn't neccesary to file a complaint and he'ld "talk" to the officer. I bet they laughed all the way to the donought shop.

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