3. Checkpoints: The slow acclimation of the populace to military-style checkpoints began first as border control operations up to 100 miles inland in what the ACLU calls the Constitution Free Zone. However, this has rather quickly morphed into local traffic stops across the country for "unsavory" characters such as those targeted by the Amber Alert system and DUI checkpoints. Though apparently well meaning, we are now far beyond even loosely suspected criminal activity, as VIPR teams have been introduced to take over public transportation and events. The TSA tyranny has hit the streets of America, now forming a de facto internal passport system straight out of the totalitarian playbook. The expanding checkpoint system dovetails with new initiatives such as the No Ride List proposal of Chuck Shumer, building upon the No Fly List already in place. These no-travel lists are extrajudicial, secret, and form a guilty-until-proven innocent framework that subverts freedom instead of protecting it. Incidentally, this element of constant suspicion is exactly what leads to a citizen spy network.
4. Citizen spy network: Dictatorships know how difficult it is to rule over large populations with only the relatively small numbers of military and police. Despite the lessons of terror created by citizen surveillance that the East German Stasi files left us to examine, just such a network has been openly introduced to present-day America -- and now it's even more high-tech and populated. Secret black budget projects organized through the NSA like Perfect Citizen is just one among many. Our head of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano -- in partnership with retailer Wal-Mart -- kicked off the See Something, Say Something program, which goes beyond the already high-tech surveillance apparatus of the NSA and turns each of us into an unpaid employee of the police state.
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