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The Normalization of Totalitarianism

Do you ever watch "Without A Trace"?  Every week, Anthony LaPaglia (Agent Jack Malone) and his crack crew of FBI investigators track down people who have been reported missing by relatives or friends, solving mysteries and crimes as they go.

In other words, an adult American crime-free citizen decides to go silent for a while.  By having someone report them as "missing", this apparently gives the FBI the right to tear that missing person's life apart:  tracking bank accounts, credit cards, travel records, phone lists, interrogating friends and colleagues, interviewing doctors and psychiatrists.  And we cheer on their successes .

By what law can they do this?  Is a judge supervising them?  Isn't this the basest form of warrantless surveillance?

We applaud Jack Bauer in "24", as he uses whatever form of interrogation technique (i.e., torture) that he feels is required to obtain the information he thinks he needs.  The last Bourne movie was about nothing but the government's abilities to track individuals anywhere in the world. Wherever we turn, there are attractive images of lawmen breaking the rules to ensure that "justice" wins in the end.

As Chomsky and Herman's "Propaganda Model" of media shows, this is the normalization of totalitarianism.  If we accept -- neh, applaud -- these illegal actions on entertainment TV, we are more inclined to accept them in real life.  This is a not an accident.  This is what they want to see happen.  This is what they need to happen if their plans for control are to be accomplished. 

We need to fight back.  Write to each network and studio and ask them to explain how the law enforcement officers in their series and movies can operate so wildly outside the laws required for you and me.  Write, and write again.  It is the least we can do, to show that we care about our loss of freedoms.

 

October 20, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Capitalism, Cheney, Dick, Government Intrusion, Right wing, US Justice System | Permalink

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