When voices in the wilderness- like the ACLU, Democrats, and an increasing number of Republicans- cry out to put the brakes on the feds’ abuse of power in the name of “security”, we are told that this is a new kind of war and that the president can blow off “old law” to hunt the evildoers. We’re told, basically, that the president can do whatever he wants in the name of protecting us and that “civil liberties don’t matter if you’re dead”. If you’re Bob Barr, Chris Matthews will say that you and your kind are “poor Republicans”.
The fact that the government has spied on People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Greenpeace, the Catholic Worker, and others who simply express themselves politically means little to that crowd.
Well, the Department of Homeland Security has found a new breed of danger lurking in the shadows of America:
Financially responsible retired schoolteachers.
It seems that Walter and Deana Soehnge of Rhode Island decided to do the responsible thing and paid off their JCPenney’s credit card to the tune of $6522. But the payment was held up because it was higher than their usual payment, and this made Walter, a native Texan “madder than a panther with kerosene on his tail.”
They were told, as they moved up the managerial ladder at the call center, that the amount they had sent in was much larger than their normal monthly payment. And if the increase hits a certain percentage higher than that normal payment, Homeland Security has to be notified. And the money doesn’t move until the threat alert is lifted.
Walter called television stations, the American Civil Liberties Union and me. And he went on the Internet to see what he could learn. He learned about changes in something called the Bank Privacy Act.
“The more I’m on, the scarier it gets,” he said. “It’s scary how easily someone in Homeland Security can get permission to spy.”
At this point, I could go off on a non-civil liberties rant about who benefits from Americans’ deep debt, but we’ll save that for some other blog. Just read all the dirty details from the Providence Journal.
How are the feds keeping us safe when precious resources are being wasted on this nonsense, a blatant invasion of this couple’s privacy?
Andy in Harrisburg