Mankind's only alternative 4   JUL.   22  
Mankind's only alternative

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

Feature Story March 18, 2004
Amerikanskie Siloviki
By Jake Rudnitsky Browse author Email
Page 4 of 6
Technology has been applied to far more invasive ways of tracking, as well. At least people are aware when their prints are taken; not so with facial recognition technology. This basically works by comparing video stills of the faces in a crowd to a database of suspicious people in order to weed out potential troublemakers. This isn't science fiction -- they've already this software at a couple of Super Bowls and the presidential inauguration. Combine that technology with the fact that you can walk for several square miles in midtown Manhattan and never once be off-camera, and you have the potential for an unprecedented level of surveillance.

The brilliance of this technology is that, rather than tracking everybody, it identifies potential threats and deals with them. The only real question is who gets to be considered a potential threat. One hint is an FBI memo leaked to the New York Times a year and change ago that called for close observation of antiwar protesters. In some cases, like at the National Lawyer's Guild at Drake University, federal prosecutors even issued subpoenas to get the membership rolls of antiwar organizations. The Left acted all outraged, but they can't really think that the FBI is out chasing terrorists all day. Contemporary war protesters hardly pose a threat to national security -- their most disruptive action is to block traffic for enough time to make the news, but not inconvenience anyone -- but Siloviki are all about keeping tabs on all their enemies.

Another example that should make you paranoid is Ashcroft's recent attempt to get abortion clinics across the country to provide lists of women who received certain types of once-legal "partial-birth" abortions. Those abortions have since been outlawed by the Siloviki, and you gotta wonder, is Ashcroft going to try to punish these women ex post facto? What else could he want the info for? We've already seen how the Bush Siloviki have disposed of attorney-client privileges; now they're going after confidential medical info as well. Who will they share it with? You gotta bet that some insurance companies who donated to Bush-Cheney '04 wouldn't be upset if they got ahold of all those medical records.

The Siloviki's data acquisition methods are further illuminated by the government's internet data mining projects. The original project, sinisterly titled Total Information Awareness and headed by Iran-Contra cover-up artist retired Admiral John Poindexter, was cancelled as soon as it was scooped. The basic premise was to scour public and private records accessible via the internet for data that might be of use to the security services. Poindexter assured that the government would only gather info on non-US citizens, as if info online has a nationality. After the well-publicized cancellation of Poindexter's project, the AP reported in February that information had come to light that the programs were never cancelled, but rather redistributed to various security agencies with the goal of better concealing the project from the public view.


A surefire way to judge the growing influence of security agencies to gauge just how much government work is transparent. In the States, that's always meant a relatively balanced relationship between the three branches of government, and being able to watch all their power struggles out in the open. There are way too many examples of the American Siloviki concealing their decision-making process to list, so we'll have to settle for a few prominent ones.

Certainly high on the list is the creation of the Department of Homeland Security by uniting various disparate agencies under one uber-ministry. It has some 170,000 employees, making it essentially the largest post-war expansion of the federal government. Wonder what those 170,000 are doing with their time? To quote Wade Gustafson from Fargo, "They're not drinking milkshakes, I assure you!"

Then there's the tired issue of Dick Cheney's Energy Commission. For something as seemingly innocuous, relatively speaking, as discussing US energy policy, he's made a huge deal about keeping the minutes private. Theories as to why range from the paranoid -- the task force was talking about colonizing Iraq even before Sept. 11 -- to the probable -- Cheney doesn't want to admit to the extent that the energy lobby is controlling government policy. The odd-couple pairing of the environmentalist Sierra Club and conservative watchdog Judicial Watch have already gotten three judgments ordering Cheney to release the pertinent documents, and now the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case. Usually when all the lower courts are in harmony, the Supreme Court lets their judgments alone, but not when the Siloviki's interests are at stake. In a classic Silovik move that could have been stolen from a page in Putin's book, Cheney's been clumsily romancing his inside connections with Justice Scalia, taking the justice duck hunting as a none-too-subtle reminder of who the topper is and who the bottomer is in their relationship.

SHARE:  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit

Way East of Tynda: 116 Hours in A Small Room :

Russia's Nanotechnology Breakthrough :
Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo
Film Review: Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay :

Russian Quotes For Foreign Hacks : Worried About Your March 2nd Election Story?


Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442