Uncle Joe is Watching You

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Via ThinkProgress, Joe Lieberman is using the small-bore terrorist plots in the UK as a rationale for more domestic spying. Never mind that the plots that were stopped were snuffed out via old-fashioned police work. He wants to "end the partisanship" and get both parties to endorse greater government wiretapping powers, and he wants cameras on every corrner:

The Brits have got something smart going in England and it was part of, I believe, why they were able to so quickly apprehend suspects in the terrorist acts over the weekend. And that is they have cameras all over London and other of their major cities. We've got some in NY, we've got an extensive program beginning in Chicago. I think it's just common sense to do that here much more widely. And of course we can do it without compromising anybody's real privacy.

Well, that's good. But the U.K.'s got more surveillance cameras per person than country in the world and it's not helping them prevent terrorist attacks. It's helping them mop up the damage afterwards and chase down the perps. We don't have nearly as many cameras as the U.K., and yet we've had no terrorist attacks since 9/11. Thus, we need more surveillance cameras.

More Lieberman:

This is about the security of our country and our people with an enemy that is prepared to attack us again and again here at home.

Lieberman must think a victory in Iraq would do nothing to retard or halt terrorists' penetration inside this country—we're still in Iraq because we can't let them "follow us home," remember? So his arguments boil down:

1)We must stay in Iraq to defeat the terrorists.
2)We must empower our law enforcement to spy on/defeat the terrorists.
3)That ain't gonna stop the terrorists.

If the most dangerous place in Washington is between Chuck Schumer and a camera, the most dangerous job is laundering Joe Lieberman's perpetually damp bedsheets.

NEXT: This Magic Mushroom Moment

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  1. These comments from a man who was one Supreme Court vote away from the Vice President’s office. He makes Dick Cheney look like a civil libertarian.

  2. I believe, why they were able to so quickly apprehend suspects in the terrorist acts over the weekend.

    This is the problem supporters of the surveilance state always stagger by without noticing. Cameras are generally only good for catching things after the fact.

    They don’t provide any help in preventing terror attacks. They just provide a false sense of security.

  3. Didn’t you get the memo from Cheney? We haven’t had any attacks since 9/11 because of the extraconstitutional spying and data mining. Jeez.

  4. Lieberman is a little wrong and a little right.

    The wrong part is that preventing terrorist attacks doesn’t need to be high priority. To lose a crowd in a mall isn’t a big deal except to the media, which will keep it on TV for weeks, finding bereaved families, can it happen here stories, steps you can take stories, finger of blame stories, and so forth. As George Carlin said before 9/11, terrorism is basically entertainment.

    What you do have to prevent is any organization pulling off a seriously damaging attack. To do this, they need to be of a certain size ; but the bigger an organization gets, the easier it is to detect and defeat, though its activities and through defectors. The trick is to track and harass organizations so that the biggest organization you miss is smaller than it has to be to pull off a seriously bad attack. In fact, we seem to have achieved that, so far.

    The larger global strategy is to make sure that no state fails to harass terrorist organizations, to similarly limit their activities to media events only. Iraq is one such place.

    But domestically, all that tracking and surveillance is useful in limiting the size of any operation, and for that Lieberman’s right.

  5. TJIT,

    To be fair, they can also alert the authorities to suspicious activity before an attack occurs. Of course, that only applies if there are actually people watching the cameras.

    This is why I support having video-only cameras watching public places with the feeds available to anyone over the Intartubes. That’ll help make sure there are eyeballs watching and make it difficult for the authorities to cover up their own misdeeds.

  6. But, I will agree with the general consensus that Lieberman is a statist gerbil-muncher. I was watching This Week this morning, and he was decrying the fact that there are Republican candidates opposed to the party base on abortion and immigration, but no Dems opposed to the party base on the war. (He notably failed to mention the Republican candidate opposing the base on the war.)

    Seriously, it sounds like he’s running for Deacon of the Bipartisan Party these days.

  7. Crimethink-

    Lieberman, a bit like John McCain, tends to have the worst tendencies of both parties. Hes bi-partisan in the absolute worst sense of the word.

  8. no one believed her,,,but hillary said she would not run for president when she was trying to win reelection to the senate,,the fact that it is so not newsworthy is interesting to me.

  9. The government recently introduced speaking CCTV cameras. In April, Blair’s home secretary, John Reid, announced that the government would spend close to ?1 million on fitting loudspeakers on to cameras in 20 areas around Britain. Faceless operators based in CCTV bunkers will use microphones to bark orders at those of us who litter or loiter or commit crimes.

    Although I’m not one of those assholes who get touchy over every little offense (you know, those usually middle aged guys who get into shoting matches at Burger King over not including tomatoes in their burgers) but if I litter in the street and a guy from the camera yells at me, I’d absoluetly go ape shit. Like flipping over trash, yelling at the camera, flipping birds at everyone ape-shit.

  10. *trash bins.

  11. shouting matches*

  12. Hell, re-reading that entire article I think that if I lived in London I would spend my entire time aimlessly raging through the streets yelling hysterically on the top of my lungs.

  13. Hell, re-reading that entire article I think that if I lived in London I would spend my entire time aimlessly raging through the streets yelling hysterically on the top of my lungs.

    Theres a guy who does that in my city without any cameras.

  14. The shouting doesn’t start until they tell you they can’t replace the tomatoeless burger because you already took a bite out of it.

    Or when you pay with a 20 and the cashier gives you change for a ten which you point out as the money is handed over and the drawer is still open…..
    yet she shuts the drawer and gets the manager who says they have to count down the drawer and can’t do it until the end of the rush.

    Shouting solves both problems, as does seconding their threat to call the police.
    All problems are solved by not eating at Burger King or most fast food outlets.

  15. I was standing next to a guy like that at Burger King and I asked him about why he was recating that way and he basicly nearly yelled at me saying “do you think that this is exceptable?”
    It was like he was alone in the world in his pain of getting the heel of the tomato, and he wan’t about to take the abuse anymore.

  16. To be fair, his rage probally stems from the fact that his son has a nose ring, his wife hasn’t slept with him in a week, and the boundless energy of his youth propelled him into a world where he is obsolete and resented, and not so much BK’s poor quality.

  17. Month, not week

  18. What in the hell do cameras matter to people who are on suicide missions? As all of us know, Jew Lieberman and his bipartisan goon squads want to be seen as coming to the rescue in the absence of any real threat. Feckless, totalitarian rubbish!

  19. But the U.K.’s got more surveillance cameras per person than country in the world and it’s not helping them prevent terrorist attacks. It’s helping them mop up the damage afterwards and chase down the perps.

    Mopping up the damage afterwards and chasing down the perps does help prevent future attacks. Banks, convenience stores, etc. wouldn’t use them if they didn’t help apprehend criminals. Apprehending the offender helps to deter potential offenders.

    I don’t like the idea of a surveillance state, where the only privacy I have is in my home, but surveillance cameras do prevent crimes. However, that’s because I value privacy and freedom above security. If all you care about is security, then Joe Lieberman is right.

  20. The thing to do at BK is this: if the offending presence is female, ask her, with a straight face “can I touch your meat curtains?”

  21. Mr. Poop Monkey,
    I resent the antisemitism inherent in your phrase, “Jew Lieberman.” Everyone knows that the right way to do it is “JOOOOOS! Lieberman.”

  22. Abdul … take a look at the post above yours … The “I want to plug-Mohammed’s-hole in Paradise!” crowd is intent on blowing themselves into pieces. Though this sometimes fails, they are freqently successful in this venture. Thus, cameras do NOTHING. No prevention, no apprehended perpetrator afterwards.

  23. Mr. Carter,
    Touche … Go-go gadget JOOOOOS!

  24. Come on, its not JOOOOOOOS, the correct grammar is TEH J00wz

  25. HEEL of the TOMATO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Fuckin’ manager is going to get a deep-fryer manicure if he balks at gettin’ me a NEW WHOPPER
    as of FIVE Fuckin’ minutes ago.

    Seriously, don’t let them rip you off. Start out very politely. Then ask for the manager. Only raise your voice when they say they can’t/won’t do anything.

  26. Hell, re-reading that entire article I think that if I lived in London I would spend my entire time aimlessly raging through the streets yelling hysterically on the top of my lungs.

    Would you shout and scream, and kill the king, and rail at all his servants? ‘Cause you know, in sleepy London Town, there’s no place for a street fighting man.

    Think the time is right for palace revolution, but where I live the game to play is compromise solution.

  27. Johnathan,
    Acceptable

    Learn to spell you punk.

  28. BK is a Jewish Conspiracy, along with Communism, The State Department, The CIA, Hillary Clinton, Section 8 housing, MTV post-1995, Hurricane Katrina, asbestos, Al Sharpton’s hair, 1-ply toilet paper, the new 7UP, The Star Wars “prequels”,and Reason magazine.

  29. To lose a crowd in a mall isn’t a big deal except to the media

    Or perhaps to the people who are part of that crowd, or indeed their loved ones.

    This brand of aloof utilitarian caluculus is the hallmark of people who have no business looking after my safety, nor my liberty.

  30. HEEL of the TOMATO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Fuckin’ manager is going to get a deep-fryer manicure if he balks at gettin’ me a NEW WHOPPER
    as of FIVE Fuckin’ minutes ago.

    Seriously, don’t let them rip you off. Start out very politely. Then ask for the manager. Only raise your voice when they say they can’t/won’t do anything.
    If I ask polietly, and don’t carry around with me an obnoxious sense of entitlement, then the problem will 99.999% of the time be taken care of. If not, then I realize that I am spending about $5 of my money and 20 minuets of my time being served by people earning minium wage and realize that fighting tooth and nail to get a burger exactly how I want it isn’t really that fucking important.

  31. Hohensee … 20 minuets of my time is precious … tends to wear down my ballerina slippers and toe-shoes.

  32. And “polietly” means using a SWAT team.

  33. Somebody alert URKOBOLD, we have a live one.

  34. Start out very politely. Then ask for the manager. Only raise your voice when they say they can’t/won’t do anything.

    Jeez, be careful. Remember, you’re planning to eat what they give you. You really don’t want to piss off the people who are preparing your food. And I don’t want to join you for lunch if you do.

  35. Not to absolutely obsess on this topic, but does anyone else not really care if someone does something to your food? When it comes to someone spitting in food, to me it’s out of sight, out of mind.

  36. Yeah, you’ll probably luck out.

  37. “Too salty? TOO SALTY? I’ll fucking show him, that sonofabitch…”

  38. That’s a really creepy headline. Uncle Joe is a convicted child molester.

  39. Wait, the surveilance cameras have helped track down the perps in the UK attacks, haven’t they? Don’t all bank machines have surveilance cameras? What about Candid Camera? Helluva good show. I think we have to learn to live with surveilance cameras. Unless you’re up to no good, why should you care? What are libertarians doing they don’t want anybody to see? Hmmmmmm?

  40. Reading posts like this ^.

  41. What are libertarians doing they don’t want anybody to see? Hmmmmmm?

    Well, right now, nothing.

    But put me in front of a camera, and I’ll be doing plenty of things you don’t want to see….

    Trust me on this one!

  42. Well, I’ve got cameras in my house and I haven’t had any terrorist attacks in my living room. So there, Mr. Dave Fancypants Weigel.

    What are libertarians doing they don’t want anybody to see? Hmmmmmm?

    Oh how far we’ve come. I remember it was conservatives who fronted this argument against liberals back when I was a kid. Let me guess, Edward, you vote a predominantly Democratic ticket.

  43. Joe Lieberman will STOP AT NOTHING to keep this country (and it’s government) SUPPORTING ISRAEL. We (US, UK, Israel) haven’t had a day of Peace since 1947.

    I luv Jewish People. But I don’t support the Any Means Necessary attitude in support for Israel. If People like Joe and the Hard-line Israeles are willing to DO WHATEVER it takes to keep the JEWISH state in existance (including the potential death of Many fine Israelis AND POSSIBLY American Citizens)…then they are JUST as SUICIDAL and CRAZY as their Muslims ememies.

    Please Joe (and people like u), nothing good has come from this. Israel is in the HEART…and not a country in mist of those ridiculous Rock Throwing, airplane crashing into window, car bombing, and possibly some day…Nuclear Bomb using MUSLIM SAVAGES.

  44. I think the drugstore mixed up my surveillance camera’s film with someone else’s.

  45. STOP Pissing on the Muslims…and we WON’T need the:

    – Camera on Every Corner
    – The elimination of Public Trash Bins
    – The strip search of every Grayed hair
    Grandma that flys

    Abandon Israel…Bring the Israelis HERE to America.

    The Israelis are EXTREMLY resourcefull people. In just 70 years…or so, they’ve changed a DESSERT into a FIRST WORLD Paradise.

    DON’T wait for some savage with a NUCLEAR BOMB to end it. The Occupation was WRONG in the 1st place…We know that 2 b true WHY? b-cause we haven’t had a day of peace since 1947…The the ATTACKS are GETTING worst.

    And the ‘GET tough on Terrorist’ Crap isn’t working. It’s real easy to ‘GET tough on Terrorist’ when it’s not YOUR LOVED ONES on the BUS they hijacked.

    Come to AMerica…Jews are More than Welcomed here. We’re willing to Absorb nearly 12 million MEXICANS…Why not Jews.

  46. Loudspeakers on the cameras?

    It’s like London as seen in V for Vendetta.

    We won’t truly be safe until we have vehicles patrolling the streets that are equipped with listening devices that work through walls.

  47. I say…why Stop with Cameras on the STREET??

    We should have them inside and outside every public and private area…including:
    – Restrooms
    – Peoples Homes
    – The confessionals at Church
    Since NOBODY should be breaking any laws or doing anything wrong…NOBODY should have a problem.

  48. Or we could all just SHOUT.

  49. “…they’ve changed a DESSERT into a FIRST WORLD Paradise.”

    Baked Alaska?

  50. Isn’t it COLD, quite cold out THERE BOWIE?
    Do YOU need my JUMPER Bowie?
    Does the SPACE COLD do funny things to your NIPPLES, making them all POINTY?
    Bowie.
    Do you use your POINTY NIPPLES as telescopic ANTENNAE transmitting data BACK to EARTH?
    Data back to Earth d-d-do, d-d-do, do do
    I bet you do you FREAKY OLD BASTARD you

  51. BOWIE do you have one really FUNKY SEQUINED space suit, Bowie?
    Or do you have SEVERAL ch-ch-ch-ch- CHANGES?

  52. Just a Featured Kitty mask and a Too-too

  53. Meow

  54. This is the problem supporters of the surveilance state always stagger by without noticing. Cameras are generally only good for catching things after the fact. They don’t provide any help in preventing terror attacks.

    Are you actually saying that catching the culprits does not prevent them from trying again on a later date? That’s mind-bogglingly stupid. The cameras may not prevent the original attack but evidence gleaned from them can and does derail subsequent attacks.

  55. And of course we can do it without compromising anybody’s real privacy.

    “Real” privacy. Weasel.

    Apprehending the offender helps to deter potential offenders.

    1) Not exactly. The Brits are very good at “apprehending” offenders, but they refuse to send them to prison or otherwise encourage them to change their ways. As a result Britain’s crime rate is going through the roof.
    2) “Apprehending” presumes they’re going to be around to apprehend. I can just see the instructor at Suicide Bombing Academy saying, “If you detonate in front of a camera, they’ll show your martyrdom on Infidel News.”

  56. I will support Comrade Joe’s suggestion on one condition.

    All members of government have to have survellience cameras installed in their offices, homes, cars, and any other location they frequent including restaurants and dining establishments. Also, all members of the government must be wired with recording devices at all times.

    This is, of course, to ensure their security and safety. As far as any potential incriminating evidence these devices might record, well, Senators, as many of you are so fond of saying, “You have nothing to fear, if you have nothing to hide.”

  57. This is a test post. I hope it goes quietly unnoticed.

  58. This is another test post. Shhhh!

  59. This is yet another test post. I really am very sorry about this.

  60. This is the last one I hope. An explaination will be forthcoming.

  61. Rats. This is very embarrassing.

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