Texas Also Wants In On The Eavesdropping Racket
In a plan to battle border violence, Republican Gov. Rick Perry is asking the Texas Legislature to expand wiretapping authority for state and local law officers.
His proposal, part of a Texas-Mexico border security package Perry has been promoting around the state, is expected to be addressed in the 2007 Legislature.
According to Scott Henson, director of the police accountability project for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, says that Texas already has the authority to wiretaps.
"Criminal organizations that are bringing drugs and violence into Texas, that's the target of this law enforcement tool," said spokeswoman Rachael Novier. "It doesn't at all weaken the process for requesting wiretap."If authorities can eavesdrop in investigations into murder, capital murder and many drug trafficking, what is Perry up to? It is sort of worrisome when Perry is requesting that Texas have the same "intelligence gathering tools" as the Federal agents, but which agency CIA or NSA.
"Texas law officers should have the same intelligence gathering tools as their federal counterparts."
In order to win back Texas, we must step back and start asking the hard line questions. Perry is no different when it comes to fearmongering and divisiveness and that is the worst thing that can happen to this state.
The right's fearmongering isn't an accident, either. This is all part of the wingnuttery's political marketing campaign that cynically uses the threat of terrorism as a wedge issue.
Since the end of the second world war, social psychologists and communication scholars have been conducting empirical studies in order to learn more about the effectiveness of fear appeals. Some have criticized the conceptualization of the studies, and others have found fault with the experimental methods, but the general conclusions are worth considering, if not accepting.Perhaps because Republicans have been so open about turning Sept. 11 to their political advantage, they have created an environment in which fear is the norm. It is not hard to spot the propaganda Perry is spewing as to why he chose Swinford to champion Perry's cause.
- "All other things being equal, the more frightened a person is by a communication, the more likely her or she is to take positive preventive action."(Pratkanis and Aronson, 1991)
- Fear appeals will not succeed in altering behavior if the audience feels powerless to change the situation.
- Fear appeals are more likely to succeed in changing behavior if they contain specific recommendations for reducing the threat that the audience believes are both effective and doable.
The governor said he chose Swinford to push the measure "because he is a law and order lawmaker who wants to stop illegal activity in places like Laredo and Del Rio before it impacts towns like Amarillo."It seems Perry is using a page out of Rove's Book on Fear, as Perry warns us of the unknown. In fact, Swinford joins with his meme.
"It is a huge issue with my constituents, and I believe with everybody's constituents," Swinford said. "There's not a person in the Legislature who's not being impacted, or their citizens being impacted."Well folks, hang on to your hats, it looks like the GOP wingnuts will continue to ride the "war on terror" meme. This time around - immigrants is the new al-Quida and drugs is the new WMDs.