Sunday, May 01, 2005

Name, Race & Social Security Number

Congressman Conyers' latest diary at Daily Kos is entitled "Bush Parties While Engaging in Racial Profiling"

"Last night, while the president, the first lady, and assorted establishment types yukked it up, his own administration continued to engage in the discredited tactic of racial profiling to condcut law enforcement. I was amazed, but perhaps not surprised, to learn that even the White House press corps -- although perhaps not Jeff Gannon --need to provide racial information in order to obtain access to the president."

Conyers along with Rep. Nadler wrote a letter to the Secret Service (viewable at the above link) requesting "them to explain and justify these race based police tactics."

In the letter other examples of the Secret Service engaging in racial profile are detailed:

"In July 2004, a Bush-Cheney campaign official, on Secret Service instruction, asked for the race of an Arizona Daily Star photographer before she was allowed to photograph Vice President Cheney."

"In September 2004, Secret Service requested that journalists covering a presidential debate disclose their race on a media credential application."

"In October 2004, Secret Service requested that journalists covering a President Bush appearance in Colorado provide their race and gender."

"In March 2005, Vice President Cheney's staff requested the race and gender of the Orange County Register editorial board before the Vice President would meet with them."

Some wingnuts think that racial profiling is okay, anything to help weed out the bad guys: Jay Tea's The Wack Album.

But why is it being done to the Press? And why only at selected occasions? If it were a necessary tactic to employ in order to guarantee the President's safety from imposters posing as journalists - some of whom are imposters posing as journalists - then it would be safe to assume that it would be employed at all times.

But it's not.

Because it's not.

I call bullshit.

What is it really about?

Glad I asked.

I'd guess that it's all about maintaining the police state and extending the Patriot Act laws. In order for the Press to understand and remember that we're still at war then they must face some of the same restrictions on life and liberty that ordinary Americans are forced to. That way the next time someone is picked up with little to no evidence strictly based on racial or religious reasons (Detainment) members of the Press won't be so outraged since they also have to bow to the same post-9/11 conditions.

The Secret Service aren't acting pro-actively. They are acting propagandistically.

After all, why isn't the Secret Service asking for gender? Surely, that would be needed to make sure the journalist or guest of the journalist is who they claim to be. But asking for gender won't reinforce post-9/11 restrictions to the Press. It would only - in the scenario that has been constructed to explain the racial profiling - make sure that the President was safe.

And that's not what this is about.


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