Saturday, October 27, 2001

Continuing its failing propaganda war, the US has been dropping wind-up radios on Afghanistan. They are capable of receiving only one frequency. You're probably thinking right now about the irony of sending radios that can only receive American propaganda as a way of pluralism. Or maybe you're thinking about the FCC's decision this week to let Rupert Murdoch own as much of a single market as he wants. But think again about it, and you'll realize that anyone caught with this radio does not have the excuse that he was using it to listen to the Pakistani top ten, so anyone caught with this radio is likely to be killed.

Speaking of unremarked details, I haven't belabored the "anti-terrorism" legislation, with its elimination of any procedural safeguards, privacy, civil rights etc., so I'll just talk about one aspect, which some idiot reporter didn't notice when talking about it on Washington Week in Review yesterday. She said that the CIA has just mounds of data awaiting this bill to pass so that it could share it with law-enforcement officials under the provision allowing for the sharing of info between agencies. OK, first obviously there was nothing stopping the CIA from doing that before, except the fact that the CIA doesn't share information. But what this provision really did was make it possible for evidence collected in, say, grand jury proceedings, to be handed over to intelligence agencies. The criminal justice system was just coopted by the intelligence establishment, and that does not bode well at all.

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