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InfraGard: Who's Watching the Watchers?

 article about infragard
Like something out George Orwell's 1984, a new and dangerous entity has quietly emerged that may well threaten the very foundation of our republic.

In collaboration with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, private industry has assembled a paramilitary force that operates in concert with law enforcement, but without the knowledge or consent of our elected officials.

Operating under the code name InfraGard, a group of private citizens has been deputized (Unofficially) and given instructions to shoot to kill in the event they happen upon, or suspect certain individuals involved in terroristic acts against the United States.

Members of this secret paramilitary group are given a heads-up about potential terrorist even before local law enforcement in the area and they spring into action without any fear of repercussion from their actions should loss of life occur.

At last count, the group had over 23,000 members. Remember, this effort has the backing of private industry. That means that many of InfraGard's membership are fortune 500 employees. It is understandable then that part of the group's mandate is to protect industry, banking, and the infrastructure.

Apparently, militias need no longer concern themselves with running around in the woods honing their military skills in preparation for war. The Government has made it possible for people of that mentality to engage in that type of paranoia under the auspices of the FBI; the very Government they had planned to fight against.

But now there is a new enemy on the horizon whose presence has made possible a call to arms that may even appeal to the militias. It would be a case of irony indeed.
Bu is the threat real, and is such a response called for? Shockingly, a website has been set up with a list of things recruits should look for when scanning civilians for possible threats. Many of them seem eerily similar to the mentality and perception that white people had of blacks during Jim Crow. It could best be described as an instruction manual on how to act paranoid.

They are told to be on the lookout for people who are overly concerned about privacy. Well that certainly narrows down the list since the overwhelming majority of Americans want their privacy respected.

People who use cash are a clear indication that said persons are potential terrorists. That puts every poor person at the head of the terrorist watch list.

Anyone displaying nervous or suspicious behavior is also a target. Translation: anyone who acts differently. Again, black people have gone through this type of scrutiny before and most of them would still fit that description, depending on who the observer is.

Those are only a few of the things that InfraGard's grads are schooled on what to be on the lookout for while patrolling the streets of the land of the free. But, if you think that's shocking, wait until you hear what they are told to do in the event they spot suspicious behavior. These would-be protectors of our freedom are to write down the license plate number, make and model of the car, and, more importantly, the person's race and the language he speaks. So while you were in the grocery store shopping, an InfraGard may have been outside writing down your tag number.

As stated earlier, these guys have the full backing of the FBI. In fact, the FBI is the one who vet InfraGard's recruits. In addition, the director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, spoke at their convention in 2005.

In a 2004 report, the ACLU warned that this could happen. They feared that InfraGard could turn corporate America into eyes and ears for the FBI. With what we've learned recently about how communications companies have been forced to turn over sensitive information about their clients, their fears may have already been realized.

If what you've heard so far isn't enough to scare the pants off of you, hold on to your hat. InfraGard members also have full access to the FBI's secure network, including its VPN. This allows them to view the FBI's webmail, listservs, and message boards. So you got 23,000 civilians with no, or very little, official oversight capable of delving into the FBI's most sensitive data at will. Who's watching the watchers indeed?

We applaud our Government for wanting to institute programs designed to protect the American people, but this one case where paranoia has taken over and reason and common sense has taken a back seat. This is a program that is begging to be abused; and when it does, America will be the loser.


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