Thursday, March 27, 2008
The implications of the Homeland Security and Terrorism industry, or did the FBI frame Briana Waters?
You have to look no further than the local "security" presence at any nearby corporation to understand that what began as a friendly guard at the reception desk ten years ago has grown to include scanners, id checks, electronic gates, holding pens and security armies. And that's just at the corporate level.
The attacks of 9/11 and the ensuing hysteria have created a homeland securities industry which has grown in much the same way as the military industrial complex Eisenhower warned about after World War II. In the "give them an inch and they'll take a mile" mode, security firms (you know some by name, like Blackwater) have seen opportunities to blossom and grow into dark armies of the night.
In the federal bureaucracy, the growth has been abetted by congressional acts which have redefined terrorism, and given intelligence organizations frightening new tools.
In a recent trial in Washington State, Briana Waters was convicted of eco-terrorism and faces up to 30 years in prison. However, she maintains her innocence in the face of evidence that the FBI coerced testimony and withheld evidence that may have proven her innocence to the jury (the FBI has demonstrated a considerable lack of restraint in using the new anti-terror tools provided to them - here in Connecticut they went after librarians). Waters, a mother, and a talented fiddler, has had her life torn apart as a result of associations with eco-protest groups in her college years.