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Who Will Watch the Watchers? by Christopher S. Bentley
What would it take to force people to accept the loss of their privacy? Could people be terrified into surrendering their priceless right to be left alone by the state? How could a population be persuaded, or compelled, to accept such radical measures as implantable data chips in the name of "public safety" ? even when they knew that doing so would radically expand the power of a corrupt government?
For citizens of Mexico, these are not hypothetical questions. And as the drive accelerates to consolidate the Western Hemisphere under a single economic, political and security structure ? known as the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) ? those questions will become increasingly important for citizens of this nation as well.
We are already importing many of Mexico?s (and the rest of Latin America?s) social and economic problems, such as crime, poverty and unskilled labor. If our political systems become "harmonized" ? and ultimately merged into a continent-wide or hemispheric-spanning security perimeter ? it is likely that we would adapt to Mexico?s small but expanding anti-kidnap program involving the use of implantable digital information chips. After all, the reasoning would be, since the crime of kidnapping would no longer be limited by borders, neither should the solution.
Mexico?s "chipping" program, while more advanced that anything presently underway in the U.S., shares crucial assumptions found in Washington?s approach to Homeland Security. Merger with Mexico would certainly provide a pretext to adopt increasingly radical security measures, particularly as migration (no longer called immigration) ? including infiltration by Middle Eastern terrorists ? -escalates.
Thus it?s important for Americans who value national independence and personal autonomy to appreciate the fashion in which the population of Mexico has been manipulated into accepting a surveillance program that, if fully developed, would make an Orwellian future a reality.
"The videotapes and photos arrived every few days. They showed a young woman, bound and scared, crying out as her kidnappers slapped her face and beat her. The pictures, the sounds of pain, tore at her uncle Gerardo like a dull razor."
On the tapes or in the phone calls ? which always came in the middle of the night ? the kidnappers would ask, "when do you want us to stop?" continued the September 17, 2002 Washington Post account.
Demanding $5 million in ransom, the kidnappers "threatened that the next time they would send her tongue, her eye, her ears, [or] her fingers." This was no idle threat. In some kidnapping cases throughout Mexico, victims have indeed been returned to their families ? one piece at a time.
Gerardo was also warned that his niece, mother or children would be killed if he called the police. Chillingly, the kidnappers knew enough about Gerardo to offer "specific suggestions about which of [his] properties and businesses he could sell" to raise the ransom money.
This tragic and horrifying account typifies a growing plague south of the border. In Mexico, "a kidnapping occurs every six hours on average," observed the September 17, 2002 Christian Science Monitor ? a statistic that calculates to over 1,400 abductions per year. Other sources now place that figure as high as 3,000 or 4,000 annually ? a discrepancy that should be considered significant, for reasons we will examine shortly.
As the numbers of victims mount, the brazenness and bestiality of the kidnappers increases. The June 27, 2004 Washington Post noted that in Mexico "front-page news stories of horrific kidnappings and of their victims ? including two brothers recently killed and dumped in a garbage bin after their family paid the ransom ? have become commonplace in recent weeks." Added the June 17 Economist, "kidnappers have become more violent. In the past, victims were rarely molested. Now female captives are usually raped, and men are often beaten and mutilated."
Not surprisingly, a continual state of fear has gripped much of the country. And with that fear has come a desperate willingness to do whatever it takes to end the onslaught.
On June 27, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Mexico City to demand government action to end the kidnapping epidemic. Their sentiments were summarized by one demonstrator, who told the Washington Post, "we can?t bear it any longer. Something has to change."
Contrived Crisis, Corrupt Opportunity
Unfortunately ? if predictably ? these desperate people were looking for help from the same government that was implicated in creating the crisis in the first place.
As previously noted, estimates of kidnap victims in Mexico vary widely. One reason for this discrepancy, according to some private investigators, is that anywhere from less than one-third to one-quarter of the victims? families ever report a kidnapping. This is because of a widespread fear of, and suspicions about, the involvement of Mexico?s notoriously corrupt law enforcement in the kidnappings. And that fear is amply justified: An April 14 BBC report on the kidnapping plague in Mexico stated that "legal representatives of victims claim at least 70% of kidnaps involve police or ex-police participation."
Pedro Fletes Renteria, director of a private school in Mexico City, was kidnapped at gunpoint while on his way to work in March 2001. As was in the case of Gerardo and his niece, Fletes? abductors "knew -everything about him," reported the Post.
After being released from nearly two months of captivity, Fletes hired private investigators to find out who was behind his kidnapping. His team found evidence of involvement at the very top of Mexico City?s police department. According to Jose Antonio Ortega, head of a security committee conducting the investigation, "telephone records show that the cell phone used by the kidnappers was also used to make calls to the home of a top official from the department?s anti-kidnapping unit."
What is the solution to an epidemic of kidnappings staged with the help of top-echelon Mexican law enforcement personnel, who have access to detailed personal information about their victims? According to the Mexican government, it is to provide that same corrupt law enforcement elite with unprecedented powers to keep the entire population under surveillance.
In mid-July, Rafael Macedo de la Concha, Mexico?s attorney general, "announced that several senior members of his staff plus 160 employees at a new crime database center have ? received ? [a subdermal] ?anti-kidnap? chip," reported the United Kingdom?s Register. In a story bearing the revealing headline, "Kidnap-wary Mexicans Get Chipped," the Register explained that Mexico?s attorney general took the "unusual step of having an ?anti-kidnap? chip stuck in his arm and then making the fact public...."
In a significant admission against interest, Macedo stated that his reason for being implanted was because of "widespread corruption" in his own government, which is "considered to be a major factor in the authorities? lack of success in tackling the kidnap problem." It was further announced that the surveillance system would "serve both as an identity device and a tracking mechanism should they be kidnapped."
In addition to Macedo and his 160-member staff receiving the chip, "more [federal employees] are scheduled to get ?tagged? in coming months, and key members of the Mexican military, the police and the office of President Vicente Fox might follow suit," noted a July 15 Associated Press report. Macedo said that the chips "were required to enter a new federal anti-crime information center."
Even though Mexican officials quietly began receiving the implants in November 2003, Macedo used the current political climate to make the announcement. Having cultivated the kidnapping crisis, the corrupt Mexican government is now reaping the benefits ? to the detriment of its hapless population.
Of course, measures like "chipping" do nothing to protect the recipients from kidnap gangs, who could simply amputate the implanted appendages and send them to family members as tokens of a ransom demand. But terrifying people into accepting the implants will leave them branded like cattle ? stripped of their remaining freedoms and trapped in a total web of surveillance.
One Continent, Under Surveillance
It?s imperative to recognize that what?s happening in Mexico is of immediate concern to U.S. citizens. This is true because of the huge, largely undefended border we share with Mexico, and because of the growing problem of illegal immigration ? including infiltration by radical Islamic terrorists ? from that country. It is also true because our own leaders are determined to merge our nation with Mexico and Canada in a "continental security perimeter" that would eventually encompass the entire hemisphere under an FTAA regional government. (For more information regarding this treasonous plan, see the ad on page 16.)
This process inevitably means not only absorbing Mexico?s crime and corruption, but also adapting to the measures undertaken by that government supposedly to combat those problems. And, as we will see, similar efforts to impose "biometric identifiers" ? including implantable data chips ? are underway both here and abroad.
Just as the Mexican people are being worn down to accept microchip implants for their kidnapping plague, Americans are being softened up psychologically by the threat of terrorism to cave in to similar surveillance state solutions. The American people are continually being held in suspense and bombarded with warnings that sooner or later terrorists will strike again ? even as our nation?s leaders refuse to correct our porous border problem.
Jerry Hauer, a former director of New York City?s Office of Emergency Management, pointed out to the July 30 ABC News: "Al Qaeda has recognized that one of our vulnerabilities is our [in]ability to completely seal and control access through Mexico." According to the Tombstone Tumbleweed, a weekly newspaper published in that storied Arizona town, Middle Eastern terrorist groups have exploited that weakness.
The Tumbleweed reported in late July that "a flood of middle-eastern males have been caught entering the country illegally east of Douglas." Although a spokesman for the Tucson, Arizona, sector of the Border Patrol disputes the account, the paper stands by its claim.
The weekly declared that it "has confirmed at least two documented accounts of Border Patrol agents encountering large groups of [non-Spanish speaking] males in the Chiricahua foothills...." Border Patrol agents, speaking to the newspaper on condition of anonymity, stated that these men spoke Arabic and that they "all had brand new clothing," unlike the poorly clad, impoverished Latin Americans usually detained at the border.
This disputed account is buttressed by information provided to the August 8 Houston Chronicle by Texas Representatives Solomon Ortiz (D) and Henry Bonilla (R). The congressmen reported that "federal law enforcement officials have told them that suspicious foreigners have been detained on the Texas border," who "claimed to be from South or Central American countries, but couldn?t speak Spanish."
Sheriff A. D?Wayne Jernigan, of Del Rio, Texas, is outraged by what federal prosecutors scathingly call the government?s "catch and release" program of illegal immigrants who are classed as "Other than Mexican" (OTM). He told the Chronicle that "entering this country illegally is a crime, and we?re turning our heads and ignoring it." Homeland Security officials acknowledge that 70 percent of those released have disappeared from "law enforcement?s radar," which calculates into the U.S. currently having a fugitive population of 400,000 OTM?s.
By leaving our borders porous and largely undefended, Washington is allowing Middle Eastern terrorist groups to build cells and networks in the U.S. ? thereby increasing the likelihood of catastrophic terrorist attacks and, inevitably, the draconian counter-terrorist measures that would result.
Because the U.S. Border Patrol doesn?t have the manpower to stop the flood of immigrants, calls for the technology to do so are starting. According to an August 24 Associated Press story, T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, made this disturbing recommendation: "It should be simple for any law enforcement officer, anywhere in the world, if they encounter someone suspicious to run one biometric check that would link them to all this information so that they would know if this person is a suspected terrorist or a criminal." (Emphasis added.)
This biometric control mechanism is also one of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Its report states: "Secure identification ? [means] biometric identifiers [that] measure unique physical characteristics, such as facial features, fingerprints, or iris scans, and reduce them to digitized, numerical statements called algorithms." The report added: "Americans should not be exempt from carrying biometric passports."
Such a totalitarian recommendation is no surprise. Half of the 10-member (supposedly "independent, bipartisan") 9/11 Commission was comprised of members of the world-government promoting Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). CFR members on the commission included Thomas H. Kean, who served as chair, and Lee H. Hamilton, the vice chair, along with Jamie S. Gorelick, Bob Kerrey, and John F. Lehman. Philip D. Zelikow (CFR), one of three members of the commission?s staff, was the executive director.
If biometric identification is deemed insufficient, the "solution" would be to make unique ID more "tamper-proof," such as by implanting the microchip, as is now beginning to take place in Mexico. A July 27 Associated Press report noted that Applied Digital, which manufactures the chips being used in Mexico and elsewhere, is positioning itself to market implantable microchip technology in the United States ? where thus far it has received a chilly reception.
According to its publicity materials, Applied Digital plans to promote the technology, known as the VeriChip, for a variety of uses, including "homeland security and secure-access applications." Company literature describes the VeriChip as "a miniaturized, implantable radio frequency identification device (RFID) that has the potential to be used in a variety of security, financial, and other applications."
Each microchip implant is about the size of a grain of rice, with a unique verification number, which is captured through the use of a proprietary scanner. The company is also attempting to develop an implant that would contain a Global Positioning System, which would allow the implanted carrier to be pinpointed anywhere on the planet.
"Mexico is the first country to go public with its use of the microchip for law-enforcement purposes," observes VeriChip?s president Keith Bolton. Russia, Switzerland, Venezuela and Colombia have also purchased an undisclosed quantity of chips. And Italy?s Ministry of Health announced last April that it would be putting the chips to use in hospitals as part of a six-month trial.
Bolton told the August 4, 2004 Christian Science Monitor that VeriChip?s executives were "inspired to use the device on humans after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when they saw firefighters heading into the twin towers ID-ing themselves by writing on their arms with magic marker." At that moment, Bolton said, "we then realized that our chip was also a product for the human market."
Either Mr. Bolton suffers from a memory lapse, or he is being disingenuous. One year before 9/11, the company?s Web site claimed that "future versions of the device [subject to FDA approval] may be able to be implanted within the body" and that it was specifically designed "for use with humans." As with many federal proposals ? from creation of a Homeland Security department to the war on Iraq ? introduction of the VeriChip is being piggybacked on the 9/11 tragedy as a way of gaining mainstream acceptance.
Applied Digital proposes that the system would be used to control authorized access to sundry public and private institutions, such as government installations, private-sector buildings, nuclear power plants, national research laboratories, prisons and jails, and sensitive transportation resources. It would also be used to enhance security for airports, airlines, cruise ships and ports.
"In these markets," notes the official Web site, "VeriChip could function as a stand-alone, tamper-proof personal verification technology or it could operate in conjunction with other security technologies such as standard ID badges and advanced biometric devices (i.e. retina scanners, thumbprint readers or face recognition devices)." Additionally, the company "recently unveiled VeriPass? and VeriTag?, which will allow airport and port security personnel to link a VeriChip subscriber to his or her luggage (both during check-in and on the airplane), flight manifest logs and airline or law enforcement software databases."
Bluntly stated, should this technology be fully implemented, it would be the nucleus of an all-encompassing global network of continual surveillance of everywhere we go and everything we buy. It would no longer be necessary for security officials to demand "your papers, please." It would simply be a matter of limiting people?s access to where they are permitted to travel, where they will live, or where they will work.
Projecting the Lines
The new VeriChip/biometric trend syncs up nicely with a recommendation in the September/October 2004 issue of Foreign Affairs, the house journal of the Council on Foreign Relations. In an article entitled "The Neglected Home Front," Stephen E. Flynn (CFR) wrote: "The government must do more to safeguard critical U.S. infrastructure and mobilize the American public to help. For starters, it should create a semi-independent federal agency tapping into private resources that would develop and enforce security standards." That is, a marriage between private and public sectors for developing "security standards" would be arranged ? with government undoubtedly being the senior partner. In Germany and Italy such a perverse partnership was called fascism.
Introduction of the VeriChip system in Mexico takes on an added ominous significance in light of a proposal published in the January/February 2004 issue of Foreign Affairs. In an essay entitled "North America?s Second Decade," Robert A. Pastor (CFR) laid out a plan for a consolidated continental security system ? which would almost certainly include the use of high-tech identification systems.
Referring to the events of 9/11 as a "shock to the North American body politic," Pastor claimed that the emerging political entity called "North America" has two possible courses that lay ahead. The first would "strengthen border enforcement and impede movement." This would strike most Americans as the common sense position. But, in typical fashion, Pastor and his fellow internationalists prefer the opposite course ? that of integration.
By exploiting "security fears ? as a catalyst for deeper integration," the CFR globalists hope to develop "common institutions." Accordingly, Pastor wrote, deeper integration "would require new structures to assure mutual security, [and] to promote trade ? [combined with] a redefinition of security that puts the United States, Mexico, and Canada inside a continental perimeter."
Pastor?s "most important" recommendation is for the "Department of Homeland Security [to] expand its mission to include continental security ? a shift best achieved by incorporating Mexican and Canadian perspectives and personnel into its design and operation." The "perspective" of the incurably corrupt and relentlessly predatory Mexican government is typified by its willingness to use VeriChip technology against its increasingly helpless -population.
Democratic presidential contender John Kerry (CFR) has caught Pastor?s vision for a North American "continental perimeter" of "security." In an August 2004 interview with Poder magazine, Kerry spoke of his intention to "create a ?North American Security Perimeter? to facilitate the legitimate travel of law-abiding citizens and crack down on bad actors trying to enter the United States. By working closely with our neighbors to coordinate our customs, immigration and law enforcement policies, we can better protect the region from terrorist threats."
This is not to say, of course, that a re-elected President Bush would pursue a significantly different course. In fact, he has repeatedly endorsed the political and economic consolidation of the Western Hemisphere via the FTAA "free trade agreement" fraud.
During his first term, Mr. Bush has worked consistently to integrate our economy and security system with that of Mexico. And of course, he has presided over the creation of an immense Homeland Security department with an open-ended mandate to treat U.S. citizens ? not foreign terrorists ? as the chief threat to public order. If elected to a second term, Bush, like Kerry, would undoubtedly pursue a politically merged Western Hemisphere, with a security perimeter that would include both North and South America.
Security Perimeter, or Global Prison?
In such a "security perimeter," the terrorists who have been permitted to infiltrate here would be left inside with the doors closed behind them. And in order to root them out, it would supposedly be necessary to target all people as potential enemies. The easiest "solution" to this predicament would be to uniquely identify everybody with some sort of ID, be it by microchip implant, biometric scanning (such as finger or retina) or a combination of the two.
Over 30 years ago, in an article for the December 1973 issue of American Opinion (predecessor to The New American), author Gary Allen surveyed the predictions made in Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell?s famous novel warning against a totalitarian future. Orwell?s major premise, wrote Allen, "was that government would use technology to establish a surveillance society which would end all privacy."
"A dying George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four as a warning to us," Allen soberly concluded. "His message is that once political and scientific power are centralized we will have no chance to escape tyranny."
It is precisely because we have departed from our Constitution in various ways and degrees that political power is being centralized in this nation. And we are being duped and primed by the same Power Elite ? which has created or exploited so many of our nation?s and the world?s problems ? into accepting a manufactured need for all of these surveillance trappings and high-tech measures.
The Roman satirist Juvenal asked millennia ago: "Who will watch the watchers themselves?" Once total power ? including that of surveillance ? is given to an unaccountable elite, freedom is quickly extinguished.
Fortunately, we?ve not reached that dismal milestone yet. But it?s looming ever larger on our horizon; and it must be -halted.
Americans must act soon to restore our Constitution and Republic, before a universal surveillance state is erected ? and we become inmates in a global prison without walls.
The John Birch Society (of which this magazine is an affiliate) has the program to expose the designs of those who would destroy America and to save our Constitution. For more information about the JBS, go to www.jbs.org.
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