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Homeland Security opening private mail

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posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 06:45 AM
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But accountability is already tying up to many resources and restricting effectiveness in the time of War.


Without reasonable transparency and full accountability, foreign wars are the least of our problems. You're more concerned about the foreign criminals who have a 1 in a billion chance of ever effecting your life in any way, than you are with the domestic criminals who put all of our lives in severe danger every single day, and that baffles me.



The powers of Evil are now enmasse to destroy not only your privacy but your entire existence and the world as you know it.


The powers of Evil? This isn't Dungeons and Dragons. International politics is a tad more complicated. It's much easier to think along those lines, but I don't think such paradigms do justice to the complexity of the issues.



I say save accountabilty for when we are again free.


I say without governmental accountability and personal responsibility, a democratic society is impossible. You may trust the government to do what's best for you, but the majority of Americans do not. Most of us recognize that politicians lie, and I've never met a person who liked being lied to or who would be comfortable turning their decision making duties over to a self-interested pack of liars. But that's just what's happened, strangely enough.



And no where are no longer as free as we used to be, but there is plenty of room to lose even more freedom, thats why we have so much at stake.


I don't understand what you're trying to say.



Freedom is perhaps the defining charactoristic of being a Westerner, and that is in essence what we are fighting for.


We're fighting to open a market. Freedom can't be lost or stolen or guaranteed by the government. It's something you take for yourself, and are fully responsible for maintaining. Nobody can take your freedom from you if you refuse to give it up.

Some folks in America have refused to give up their freedom. Others acquiesced quite readily. Who knows why, probably some misconception about cooperation being easier than resistance.
I'm being sarcastic of course, cooperation is much easier if you value comfort and safety above honor and dignity.



So much to lose and so many wanting to help us lose it.


See above. No terrorist can take your freedom if you refuse to give it up. They can take your life, but statistics show the chances of that happening are infintesimal compared to your chances of dying from everything else. We're spending hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives to protect against the chance of getting hit by lighting, while ignoring the countless, actionable problems that surround us and define our daily lives.

The only reason I can imagine anyone falling in for such an obviously pointless excercise is if they are afraid of the boogeyman, more than they're afraid of the real dangers.

We could make terrorists irrelevant through responsible foreign policy, actual homeland defense instead of the current model of overseas aggression, and domestic programs to reduce the threats posed by our toxic environment, our perennial natural disasters, and our woefully inadequate criminal justice system.

People are literally going crazy with fear over a non-threat, while ignoring or even contributing to the larger, more pedestrian problems. It reeks of foolishness, mob mentality, and the inevitable decay of a society willing to exchange freedom and responsibility for comfort and the illusion of safety. Each of us pay for our individual failings, and of course the country continues to suffer for our collective failures.




posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 06:55 AM
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“All mail originating outside the United States Customs territory that is to be delivered inside the U.S. Customs territory is subject to Customs examination,” says the CBP Web site. That includes personal correspondence. “All mail means ‘all mail,’” said John Mohan, a CBP spokesman, emphasizing the point.

“This process isn’t something we’re trying to hide,” Mohan said, noting the wording on the agency’s Web site. “We’ve had this authority since before the Department of Homeland Security was created,” Mohan said.


Well that pretty much makes this a non story for me, but do continue with your thread, it is serving it’s purpose in falsely alarming people.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 06:59 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
People are literally going crazy with fear over a non-threat, while ignoring or even contributing to the larger, more pedestrian problems. It reeks of foolishness, mob mentality, and the inevitable decay of a society willing to exchange freedom and responsibility for comfort and the illusion of safety. Each of us pay for our individual failings, and of course the country continues to suffer for our collective failures.


I could not have said this better myself!

WATS to you WyrdeOne!



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 07:33 AM
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From the article:


received a letter from his friend in the Philippines that had been opened and resealed with a strip of dark green tape bearing the words “by Border Protection” and carrying the official Homeland Security seal.


So, are they required to do this? I would have larger concerns if they can do it without you being notified that they have done it.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 09:03 AM
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Bravo WyrdeOne.


It both amazes me and scares the heck out of me that even intelligent people are "going crazy with fear." And it seems to me to be carrying over into the general social structure. The brilliant - you're either with us or against us - attidude has really taken hold. Soon we'll be cowering with fear at the sight of an 81 year old at the post office.

I actually had to think twice this year about calling an old friend in London to wish him and his family a merry Christmas.

Yes, we need to be careful and take measures to prevent another 9/11. But I think, more importantly, we need to be careful about how we're being careful. It makes little sence to me to fight an enemy that supposedly wants to take our rights and freedoms away, with a strategy that makes it easier to do these very things. With all the secrecy and indictments and money flow and what appears to me to be substantial corruption right here at home, it's difficult to know who to trust.


Originally posted by loam
Think abuses wont happen? Try to identify a single example in human history where unfettered power was not abused. Why is now so different?


This is a very good point that we all need to consider.

I think we're going down a very dangerous path.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 09:16 AM
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Originally posted by NumberCruncher
They opened his mail, big deal .....



Originally posted by gammahelixx
... if you aren't doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about.


If you guys really feel this way, I'd like to invite you to disclose your sleeping habits, sexual preferences, past sexual experiences, criminal record, childhood expolits and television viewing habits. And a list of you friends' names and telephone numbers.

Also, please answer the following questions:
How many times a week do you have sex?
How much do you make?
Have you ever had a venereal disease?
What do you pay in income tax?
Have you ever had illicit sex?
How much do you pay for health insurance?
Have you ever had an affair?
How do you spend your money?
Have you been cheated on?
Ever cheated on your income tax? (honestly, now)
Have you ever lied to your spouse?
What kind of savings you have (CDs, retirement finds, etc.)?
How do you spend your money?
Have you ever broken the law (even speeding or parking)?

No? You don't want to answer?
Why not? Because it's none of our business? Because this information is private? Because it's your information and your decision to choose to share or not?

Well... if you haven't done anything wrong, what are you worried about?


Originally posted by NumberCruncher
National security is there to protect you!


Keep telling yourself that.
NSA SHOULD be there to protect us, but that's a fantasy these days.

[edit on 7-1-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 09:21 AM
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All i wish is that they would do it all covertly. Forget the sticky tape, forget the court orders just change the Laws.

What you dont know about never hurt yah



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 09:24 AM
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Originally posted by NumberCruncher
All i wish is that they would do it all covertly. Forget the sticky tape, forget the court orders just change the Laws.

What you dont know about never hurt yah


hmmm... DDT is not bad for you, I'll send you some to sugar cakes with...

then we can go stockcar racing in my ford Pinto...



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 10:40 AM
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Cheers WyrdeOne!

You get a vote from me!


Your point is one that many people choose to overlook.
If the point of this whole war on terrorism is to save lives, we're certainly being hypocritical. Our retaliation has caused way more loss of life than those lost on 9/11. In addidion, if we're so concerned with saving lives, now and in the future, why not wage war on disease, poverty, homelessness and education...and all it would take is a portion of what we spent in this "unwinnable war on terror"

Im still amazed at how many people think that a never ending war will bring peace and safety...



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 10:45 AM
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And if the goal of the 'terrorists' was to get us to lose our freedoms, they're certainly winning. If their goal was to change our lives forever, they're certainly winning. But not from what they've done to us, but from what our own government is doing to us.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 11:39 AM
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Originally posted by NumberCruncher
I agree with what you have to say ...

But accountability is already tying up to many resources and restricting effectiveness in the time of War.

The powers of Evil are now enmasse to destroy not only your privacy but your entire existence and the world as you know it.

I say save accountabilty for when we are again free.

And no where are no longer as free as we used to be, but there is plenty of room to lose even more freedom, thats why we have so much at stake.

Freedom is perhaps the defining charactoristic of being a Westerner, and that is in essence what we are fighting for. So much to lose and so many wanting to help us lose it.


Why do you hate America? Why do you hate freedom so much?

You, sir, are dangerous. Both to America, and its citizens. You can coil up at the feet of the state if you wish, but I'll choose not to, thank you. You can suckle at the teat of those in power, and cower under your bed, praying to your king that you survive for yet one more day.

Then again, that's cowardice, and that's what makes you dangerous. You're willing to live your life in a bomb shelter, like so many red coats around you, and doom others to a life of slavery. That's a moral pejorative, and a sign of weak character.

You don't really want freedom, because you're using doublespeak. "We need to protect freedom by killing it". On the contrary, you quite hate freedom, and you're exploiting the grief of 9/11 to your own, totalitarian way of thinking. Dangerous and pathetic.

The war on terror is simply an excuse, because people of the above "way of thinking" are essentially a "peeping toms". Sneaking into people's bedrooms, sniffing through their drawers, shuffling through their mail, devling into the secrets of other people's lives, because they remain unsatisified with their own. They're gossipy, old Puritan housewives - on a global scale.

Nixon spied on Americans because he was an insecure, petty little man who saw enemies in every shadow, and behind every half closed door. Americans rejected this way of thinking in 1972, and they've rejected it again in 2006.

Now, you can happily live your life in serfdom, but I'll make my own decisions. I choose my civil liberties over my own life, so I'll thank you to stop crusading in my name, and stop ruining my country. I know that must be a difficult concept for you to bare - what with your life boat mentality and all. But, go live on an island, you'll be save there.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 12:40 PM
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“All mail originating outside the United States Customs territory that is to be delivered inside the U.S. Customs territory is subject to Customs examination,” says the CBP Web site. That includes personal correspondence. “All mail means ‘all mail,’” said John Mohan, a CBP spokesman, emphasizing the point.

“This process isn’t something we’re trying to hide,” Mohan said, noting the wording on the agency’s Web site. “We’ve had this authority since before the Department of Homeland Security was created,” Mohan said.


I’m going to post this again because it was ignored, it did not fit the agenda of people so they don't comment on it.These laws have been in place long before the War On Terror, or Homeland Security, is that so hard to understand? Again this is a non story.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 12:50 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
I’m going to post this again because it was ignored, it did not fit the agenda of people so they don't comment on it.These laws have been in place long before the War On Terror, or Homeland Security, is that so hard to understand? Again this is a non story.


Why do you hate freedom so much?

Keep posting it, we'll keep ignoring it. It's only a non story to people who want to replace essential freedoms with totalitarianism.

Like yourself.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 12:54 PM
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I agree this is a non-story. Customs has always been able to open whatever letters or packages mailed into the country it wants to. Even what appears to be a letter could contain drugs or other contraband.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 01:24 PM
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Since I have no degree in international law, politics or economics for that matter I may be out on a limb now.

The best way to keep homeland security out off youmailbox may come as a
shock for some.

Give them no reason. As a country America has been meddling with other countries for quite some time now. Allways with the same result.

A country is chosen for its geographicall location and hopefully closeness to some enemy, money, training, weapons and preferably a new government is supplied. All to form a formidable new weapon, an allie. As for now, all good.

As a young country America has not learned patience yet so it looses all interest rather fast. When that happens the country of the season is left to it's own devises once more. This time with better economy, military and weapons. Allso with a new enemy, the country that just had it from behind.

The problem now is that the old enemy Ie. the neighnouring country of the country just abandoned is not the only enemy anymore.

Regrettfully most countries meddled with are a bit backwardly oriented so the citizens (with a hint of guidance from a higher power) start hating America.

Enter the circus. When CNN (or any newschannel) catch on to yet another country disliking the states they brew up a good storiy to scare Americans black and white, hispanic and native. For what brings us together like a common enemy.

Now we arm for war for the enemy shall be defeated on their own ground preferably before they even think of doing us harm.

Now that we sent all the troops over seas we have no money left nor personell to take care of local catasrophies.

I could go on but I think you get the gist of it, if you don't stirr up the hornets nest you won't get stung.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 05:51 PM
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Just ignore NumberCruncher's paranoid ramblings.

I think I read in a news article that any encryption the NSA is unable to crack is illegal. I'll see if I can find it.

[edit on 7/1/2006 by SwearBear]



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 07:06 PM
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You are probably all the same people who blame your government for 9/11 then if terrorists detonated a WMD or released a deadly Virus would then again go blame your government for not doing enough, and then on top of it youll absolve blame from the terrorists because "we asked for it" !

I wonder who really is dangerous here and a enemy of freedom.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 07:44 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
I agree this is a non-story. Customs has always been able to open whatever letters or packages mailed into the country it wants to. Even what appears to be a letter could contain drugs or other contraband.


And therein lies the bigger question - why only now is everyone freakin' out about this when it has been a common practice for decades now? As you and WP noted anything coming into the States is subject to inspection - whether it be packages, your mail or your person. I made a few phone calls today about this out of curiosity and found something interesting - most mail opened by border control is done so in an effort to crack down on "kiddie porn" and had nothing to do with terrorism.

Personally I would like to see an exemption made for personal correspondence. For most, including me, it is such a violation to have had someone read something as intimate or personal as a letter. Yes, more child pornography will make it to its destination and maybe terrorists will be able to exchange christmas cards, but it is such a futile effort to begin with - akin to locking your doors at night but leaving all your windows wide open.

So while I agree that this is a non-story in that some guy got his mail read in accordance with US law it does shed light on a law that should be changed or modified.


Bleys



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 08:03 PM
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Originally posted by Bleys
So while I agree that this is a non-story in that some guy got his mail read in accordance with US law it does shed light on a law that should be changed or modified.


Bleys


A very salient point.

The whole practice is ridiculous, and does not justify the intrusion it represents.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by NumberCruncher
I wonder who really is dangerous here and a enemy of freedom.


You are.

You hate freedom. You hate civil rights. You hate liberty. You hate the personal freedoms that America is supposed to afford us. You hate them, because you casually disregard them. You want to see the gradual erosion of our Freedom, because you prefer living a state controlled life.

That makes you just as dangerous to my country as the terrorists are.

So, I encourage you to leave America. Live elsewhere, so you can survive. Runaway, with your arms flailing above your head. Because obviously, your life is more important than the country you live in. Surviving is more important than protecting the ideals and the values regarding individuality that our forefathers passed down.

I would rather be killed by a terrorist for the freedoms I have, than live one more day without any freedoms at all. You feel otherwise, and I would think long and hard about that.




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