Thursday, October 23, 2008

Uncle Sam's Thin Air

The U.S. government makes laughable statements in regard to respecting the sovereignty of other countries. The BBC reported:

A suspected US missile strike has killed at least eight students at a religious school in north-western Pakistan, witnesses say.

At least two missiles, reportedly fired by pilotless US drones, hit the school early on Thursday.

The US state department has affirmed "its support for Pakistan's sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity".

The Bush administration has shown similar disdain for citizen's privacy. Uncle Sam listened to Americans talking to loved ones in the Middle East, in contrast to his promise to only monitor al Qaeda calls to citizens. The Washington Post noted Homeland Security will take over flight passenger screening in January.

Security officials say the additional personal information -- which will be given to airlines to forward to the federal agency in charge -- will dramatically cut down on cases of mistaken identity, in which people with names similar to those on watch lists are wrongly barred or delayed from flights.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) chief Kip Hawley said yesterday that, except in rare situations, passengers who do not provide the additional information will not be given boarding passes.

By taking over watch-list vetting from industry, the officials said, the government will consistently apply the most up-to-date list information and more sophisticated computer programs to catch name variations, and will avoid the risk of giving sensitive data to foreign air carriers, Chertoff said.

U.S. officials said Secure Flight will not tap commercial data, conduct "data-mining" or generate risk scores on passengers.

Is that like respecting other country's sovereignty? Where's the Predator in this scenario?