Off the Rails: Big Oil, Big Brother Win Big in the State of the Union
Published by Greg Palast January 24th, 2007 in Articles
by Greg Palast
Tuesday, 23 January, 2006
There was that tongue again. When the President lies he’s got this weird nervous tick: He sticks the tip of his tongue out between his lips. Like a little boy who knows he’s fibbing. Like a snake licking a rat.
In his State of the Union tonight the President did his tongue thing 124 times — my kids kept count.
But it wasn’t all rat-licking lies.
Most pundits concentrated on Iraq and wacky health insurance stuff. But that’s just bubbles and blather. The real agenda is in the small stuff. The little razors in the policy apple, the nasty little pieces of policy shrapnel that whiz by between the appearances of the Presidential tongue.
First, there was the announcement the regime will, “give employers the tools to verify the legal status of their workers.” In case you missed that one, the President is talking about creating a federal citizen profile database.
There’s a problem with that idea. It’s against the law. The law in question is the United States Constitution. The Founding Fathers thought the government had no right to keep track on a citizen unless there is evidence they have committed, or planned to commit, a crime.
But the Founding Fathers didn’t imagine there were millions and billions of dollars to be made by private contractors ready to perform this KGB operation for the Department of Homeland Security, tracking each and every one of us to keep tabs on our “status.”
These work databases will tie into “voter verification” databases required by the Help America Vote Act. And these will tie to the databases on citizenship and so on.
Will Big Brother abuse these snoop lists? The biggest purveyor of such hit lists is Choice Point, Inc. – those characters who, before the 2000 election, helped Jeb Bush purge innocent voters as “felons” from Florida voter rolls. Will they abuse the new super-lists? Does Dick Cheney shoot in the woods?
There were several other little IEDs (improvised execrable policy devices) planted in the State of the Union. Did you catch the one about doubling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve? If you’re unfamiliar with the SPR, it is supposed to be the stash of oil we keep in case the price of crude gets too high.
Read it all here.