Their hunger for control and hunger for information

are essentially the same impulse. It’s eating the alarmists on the Right alive.

Apparently, they don’t care who they have to deal with to get your info, either:

Three years later, the DEA would learn of Hank [Asher]’s smuggling planeloads of cocaine from the Bahamas in the 80’s, and he would be forced out of his company. Friends in high places made sure he never faced charges.

Hank founded another personal data gathering venture, Choicepoint, which was mysteriously hacked into, causing thousands of people to have their identities stolen. Hank was kind enough to offer the victims “credit monitoring services” for life. Then he sold the company, pocketing about $148 million. The new owners hit him with a lawsuit alleging major theft of source codes and hardware. Hank, you see, was opening up a new company across the street: Seisint.

Although he was a Democrat, Hank suddenly started writing big checks to Governor Jeb Bush and the Republican party. Two days after 9/11, coincidentally, he was sipping a martini in his $8 million Boca Raton home, when he had the genius idea to use his massive database to see if he could create a “terrorist suspect list.”

By cross-referencing the 30 billion personal records Seisint had access to, he came up with 419 suspect names, and his pal Jeb Bush flew him to Washington so they could both show Vice President Cheney.

(Of course, the argument could be made that these right wing spooks have been in the cocaine business a long time, and therefore this is not really big news. Somehow, I don’t find this at all comforting.)

I think that the most frightening aspect of all this is its seeming inevitability. When one considers the combined avariciousness of the Authoritarian Cultists desire for Total Control (which is just a function of their paranoid worldview) and the flaccid defense of our privacy we’re getting from the Fourth Estate, prospects for putting the toothpaste back into the tube look pretty thin.

As Billy Bragg once said, “Wearing badges is not enough on days like these.”

On the other hand, I don’t have a whole lot of other options to offer. Anyone?

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