Recently in Domestic Surveillance Category

lady-justice.jpgIf my Senator is co-sponsoring the Justice Bill, he should be into protecting citizens of his own state from ongoing and pervasive civil liberties violations.

I don't have any sort of rescue fantasies, but wonder, who will have the courage and fortitude to help us out of this mess and ensure that no one has to endure anything like it again? If not my Senators (will Baucus demonstrate that he's not completely owned?), then who? Is there a Serpico in our midst? The UN? I mean, it's ridiculous. I've written so many letters on behalf of prisoners of conscience, and now I'm going on 2.5 years of virtual imprisonment in the U.S. I have to believe that someone out there cares more about justice and integrity than membership in an unprincipled patronage system. The reason the U.S. is assumed to be so great is because we supposedly don't need international observers or rescuers to swoop in and save its citizens from one another. Right?

Dear Senators Tester and Baucus,

I write because I need your assistance to combat pervasive and intractable corruption in our state. My mother and I have encountered judicial malfeasance, unfathomable corruption of the legal profession, and discriminatory, untruthful local law enforcement. We believe these overall gross violations of our rights have been made possible by lax regulation of intelligence contractors and agencies working in tandem with local agencies. In response to FOIA requests, I got the runaround from the FBI and a “Glomar” response from the NSA. The civil rights attorney I hired to help me ended up lying about which agencies he contacted and withholding documents. My mother and I cannot fight such insidious and pervasive interference in our lives alone.

We need the help of senators who are not afraid to upset the current balance of cronyism in Montana.  We are targets of entrenched Republican and Democrat interests seemingly because of our sex, religious affiliation (or lack thereof) and political affiliations and activities. It is very possible that local polluting industries have funded interference in my life at one time or another for at least ten years simply because I was part of a campaign to work with the union and management at Stone Container to stop poisonous dioxin emissions in our valley.

If you are courageous men who are not hemmed by the coal or any other lobby, if you are men who believe that human and civil rights extend to all people in your state and not just the back scratching elite, then please step up and help us. The current strategy seems to be to make the administrative and legal processes of seeking assistance so drawn out and impossible as to drain all of our energy and financial resources. We need men of conscience who truly believe in the best of democratic and republican ideals to keep their compact with the electorate and not the entrenched interests of a corrupt few.

About a year ago, I contacted Senator Tester and described some of the gross violations of my and my mother’s civil rights and liberties. He suggested that I contact local law enforcement. After many more months of harassment, and actual and attempted harm to our persons and property, we did finally contact the Missoula Police Department. We have come up against lies, evasion, and overall discriminatory treatment. Again, we need the help of individuals in a position of power who will use the position that the people of Montana have entrusted them with to take a stand against corruption and cronyism. Every effort is being made to ensure that we cannot do it on our own.

I request that representatives from each of your offices contact me so that we can find a way to work together to ensure that my mother and I emerge from this morass in one piece, and that no citizen of this state will ever have to endure such politically- and socially-motivated hijacking of supposedly neutral local and federal agencies again.

Senator Tester, as a co-sponsor of the Justice Act, I believe it would be unconscionable to leave two citizens of your state who have seemingly been victims of Patriot Act Excesses out in the cold.  We could easily serve as “poster children” for the necessity of reform. Please show us that your commitment to constitutional safeguards is more than mere talk.

Respectfully,


Kyeann Sayer

Did RAND Brand Me a "Terrorist"?

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21278.jpgCommuting in Los Angeles is an experiment. Just when you think you have a routine down that gets you home in under an hour, there's a surprise. You could find yourself cruising down the 10 and then suddenly at a standstill: that's right, Lakers at the Staples Center. As you're unexpectedly moving at a snail's pace one August morning you remember that it's time for the UCLA kids to clog the freeways and your commute time will double for the next four months. Many days accidents were the culprit. Often I would rely on a web site dedicated to traffic reporting to know when I should go home -- that such web sites exist illustrate how much traffic jams affect all of our lives every day.

Unpredictable, snarling traffic could be fodder for many an ethical discussion. If an ambulance can't reach me because of Lakers traffic, are the Lakers responsible? The Staples Center? The city planners?

The death and destruction related to automobiles is normal to us. There were 41,059 traffic-related fatalities in the US in 2007 alone. We've clearly collectively decided that this astounding loss of life is acceptable in our auto-centric culture.

Sometime while working with RAND I was at dinner discussing this with an acquaintance who worked in the office next to me. I'm not sure he was actually a friend. I believe he worked for Bruce Hoffman on some terrorism-related research but it could have been Brian Michael Jenkins -- I don't remember. He might have just been eliciting comments, as I now realize so many did in those years. We discussed Critical Mass, the bicycle protests where bicyclists flood the streets apparently to create an experience for drivers similar to the one they face every day. I had never taken part in one and am very unlikely to because I can barely ride a bike.  He said that people shouldn't take part because if they did, they might be responsible for emergency services not being able to get through to someone in need.

I agree that would be terrible, and if I were a part of any large event that was the obvious culprit in preventing someone from getting essential medical care I'd feel awful. But traffic is so random. We don't consider a Lakers game a terrorist event when the traffic jams caused by it result in delays in all our lives -- in emergency situations or not. So, people involved in Critical Mass, who are on their bicycles, on the street to point out how violent and destructive our car culture is (not only in terms of direct destruction of human life, but astronomical CO2 levels that affect not just local communities but the whole planet) should be held to some higher standard of responsibility because their purpose for being on the street en mass biking is political in nature? What about jams caused by political conventions? It's complicated territory.

At that restaurant in that moment in time I thought that taking the risk to take part in such a demonstration despite the fact that a concurrent fateful act might make it difficult to get an ambulance through would be worth it because overall it might draw attention to the manner in which our reliance on cars kills so many. But it was all hypothetical, because, as I alluded, I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was 21 and barely can. I had not intention of ever taking part in Critical Mass.

You would have thought I had approved of the most heinous atrocities known to man. By the end of that conversation my companion could barely look at me, and didn't speak to me much again. At first I thought it might have been simply that he was not used to being disagreed with, but came to believe that my comments about Critical Mass seemed to completely change his view of me -- like, change my category from nice friendly person to "bad person".

Funding Alternative: Combat Human Trafficking

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As I enter year three of a well-funded total assault on my life, I thought I would begin offering concrete suggestions for other destinations for the wasted funds. (This weekend's street theater/car shenanigans were a complete, absurdly funny waste, btw. Sad. Thank goodness an appreciation of the absurd and ironic can't be stolen and are nearly impossible to harass out of a person.) An aspect of surviving has been tempering daily horrors or irritations with the knowledge that people are living much more hellish existences in the world, this country, this state, this town, possibly on my block. As I survive my plight, I recognize the importance of taking responsibility for the plights of others.

We hear about human trafficking, but I think it's too overwhelming for most of us to come to terms with. This Frontline documentary on sexual slavery had me in tears. Watch it, and then imagine that five years ago it was estimated that 600,000 - 800,000 people are trafficked annually, and most of them for sexual purposes. Imagine if your wife or daughter were stolen. It's happening at malls and outside of schools.

We have to work with estimates when discussing this issue.  If there were around 13,000 women shipped into the U.S. publicly this year, examined in the town square, and sold to pimps (aka slaveholders), of course decency would never allow it. But shipping them in secretly, and providing access to 7 johns a night in suburban neighborhoods is apparently acceptable to us. If 10,000 girls and women are providing services across this country each day, that's 70,000 men who seek pleasure from and thus allow (through denial or sickness) sexual slavery. In a single day.  (I lectured a few men in Thailand who justified their sex tourism to themselves -- just because a woman is smiling, faking an orgasm for you and saying all you want to hear doesn't mean she's there willingly or actually getting paid for the "pleasure." Men need to know that these women have no control over their lives.) That doesn't count the mercenary men and women who buy and sell human beings.

In mainstream U.S. culture we allow the exploitation of sex to sell everything from deodorant to jeans. It was completely acceptable for elderly former presidential candidate Bob Dole to joke about getting an erection from watching a young Britney Spears jiggle and shake because it was in a Pepsi commercial! So creepy! And yet, there it was on prime time. (And we wonder why someone who was marketed as jail bait and grandpa fodder has had issues to work out!) But as we mainstream this sort of wink-wink creepiness and Girls Gone Wild videos go like hot cakes, we are also completely puritanical/obsessed about it (i.e. Ted Haggard) or hysterical (i.e. sex offender witch hunts).

Yet we remain in a complete state of denial about the fact that sexual exploitation through molestation and rape are factors in so many of our sexual identities (the statistic that's always thrown around is that 1 in 5 girls is molested). We have to begin to discuss sex honestly and openly so that the sexual deviance that is exploiting vulnerable girls and women isn't such a booming industry. It's not a "women's issue." Hurting/exploiting other people emerges from having experienced abuse or indifference or very bad socialization. We have to ask ourselves how our societal conception of sexuality is skewed to allow this kind of domination to be accepted/desired by so many men and women. There must be an alternative to this fascination/obsession vs. moral posturing polarization. Sexuality is one of the most beautiful aspects of human existence and we seem hell bent on making it as ugly and problematic as possible. (Maybe Meaghan McCain will help usher in some genuine Republican sex positivity.)

As someone who has been an unknowing and unwilling star of government-funded, secretly filmed porn, and is an involuntary part of a 24-hour peep show (Yep! that's where funding $ are going! And how someone - or ones - seems to make a living. That's what you're associating yourself with!), I can attest to the fact that these changes need to occur at the top (apparently in local and federal government). Maybe human trafficking is ignored because people who crave and maintain power are disproportionately sadistic. 

Also, apparently, as a culture, we still believe that brown and slavic-speaking people from all over the world should happily, silently and cheaply pick our food, build and clean our buildings and diaper our babies.

So, those of you who have worked so hard to ruin every aspect of my life and keep on a-tryin', how about funding one of these organizations? Or this one. How about working to ensure that there are no prisoners or slaves on your block -- not me or anyone else.

~~

Getting on the Right Side of History

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11_-Hollar-Nuremberg.jpgAll of those quaking in fear of Obama’s supposed dictatorial/Socialist impulses should feel unsettled today. His waffling “indefinite detention” stance, as far as I can tell, still allows “enemy combatants” to be detained without charge. (I don’t know the specifics of how this relates to the Military Commissions Act – will wait for more analysis to better understand. But as far as I know any U.S. citizen could still be subject to Gitmo-like limbo detention.) Rather than keeping us safe, this ongoing half repudiation of the last administration’s inhumane and unconstitutional policies means that we and future generations are all still vulnerable to the excesses of unfettered executive privilege.

Under a bad (but not worst) case scenario, Obama and his cabinet could become paranoid about, oh, say, potential homegrown terrorism based on recent Homeland Security reporting about right wing extremist threats.  Or there could be a right wing extremist attack much more spectacular than the church shootings, clinic bombings and community massacres that we’ve become accustomed to. Just as the last administration ignored the 4th amendment rights of every single US resident by monitoring all of our electronic communications, 2nd amendment rights could conceivably go out the window with as much ease if we are terrified into a state of hysteria because of the actions of a few NRA members. (Montanans are actually stocking up on guns as if they were swine flu vaccine.)

The specter of unchecked executive power should unite all of us in a nonpartisan desire to investigate (and if necessary prosecute) the abuses of the last administration. Though I don’t believe the above Obama scenario is anything to fear, that belief is based on faith. It shouldn’t be. All of us should go to sleep at night secure in the knowledge that constitutional guarantees will be enforced -- no matter which party helms the White House. That’s why we must demand truth, transparency, and justice.

I don’t know yet what type of commission or investigation would be best. I’m still trying to work out how to deal with my own lack of 4th amendment rights and ongoing conspiracy against my rights and illegal detention. I do know that it’s hard for anyone (intelligence analyst, senator, flooring contractor, insurance agent) to admit to being wrong.  People who were convinced to take action based on manufactured intelligence, or reluctantly submitted to cronyism, now have the chance to decide whether cowardly self-preservation is more important than truth and justice.  It’s never too late to get on the right side of history.
 
~~

Seeing Beyond the Dark Side

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091207-sub-court-house-1776.jpgAs we have all learned that the last administration achieved a “paper coup,” there has been much focus on John Yoo and his unconstitutional OLC memos. Reading a passage about Yoo in Jane Meyer's The Dark Side reiterated how important it is, when addressing issues of public policy and the foundations of our republic, to temper lessons learned from personal experience with objective, reasoned argument from other quarters. Mayer tells us:

Quite directly, Yoo’s family owed its freedom and prosperity to Harry Truman’s controversial decision to wage the Korean War without obtaining congressional authorization. Had Truman not used military force, without Congress’s permission, Yoo reflected on occasion, he would not have attended Harvard Law School and Yale Law School, nor, like so many other immigrants to America, had the fortune to have escaped Communism (Mayer, 65).
This experience would give Yoo a truly unique viewpoint. One can understand why he would want to ensure that Americans’ freedoms couldn’t be curtailed by a threat like Al Quaeda. But the possibility of his applying his own experience to legal opinions that affected every American by razing all that makes the U.S. the U.S. is terrifying. Quirks of history and fate are just those.

I know what it’s like to advocate for issues based on my own experience with extreme sexism and homophobia, the mistreatment of animals/amoral science, and environmental disregard, for example. But working for the public good involves maturing into an understanding that your experience does not represent everyone’s, and the purpose of government is to serve all of us, with our unique backgrounds and perspectives. Of course our experience defines how we operate in the world, but we should always strive to see just beyond it, to understand how our own points of view are limited.

One of the reasons for the balance of powers is to ensure that individual or small group experiences don’t get to define reality for all of us. That the Bush/Cheney cabal attempted to remake the world in its own image to such a degree is the crux of its dangerous radicalism.

Confessions of a Former Eco-Flack: Part 1

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Snake_oil_salesman_small.jpgTwo years ago, before the Orwellian nightmare kicked into full effect, I was becoming reasonably happy with the life that was taking shape. Somehow, both my mother and I were repeatedly bouncing back from all of the covert manipulation and interference that we did not realize was coordinated. I would find myself driving down Montana's Bitterrot Valley to pick up a side of beef one week, and riding a New York subway the next. I loved the "city mouse/country mouse" dichotomies and constant movement -- my plan was to set up a three-city Missoula/New York/Paris existence, writing about eco-fashion and leading eco-fashion and other tours.

Ironically, if the people who had been trying to destroy my life left me alone to take that path, I would likely have just created a lovely existence in the eco-PR bubble. My thesis might not have focused on faux post-environmentalism. I wouldn't have understood the limitations of my well-intentioned but misguided focus on image-making as the route to social change. I wouldn't have finally begun to break out of the inadvertent racism that kept me frozen, unable to understand what small part I could play in redressing injustices that I had not created.

Homegrown Terror: Change We Can No Longer Believe In

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lichtdom.jpgAlmost exactly four years ago I wept during a layover in Pennsylvania as a jubilant fellow diner gushed about the election results in a noisy air port sports bar. I was on my way to present at a graduate student conference in Germany.

Within about 15 hours I had landed in Munich, ridden a train, napped on the conference organizer's futon, and found myself touring the Museum of National Socialism in Nuremberg. The excursion wasn't my idea -- I actually really didn't know where I was going, but took a fellow presenter up on the idea of sight seeing. Soon we were immersed in the ascent and horrors of the Nazi era.

Jet lagged and deflated by the specter of a second Bush term, I wandered through exhibits that provided a visceral understanding of how the National Socialists gradually seized power, arrogated rights, and eventually created a continent-wide horror show. The beginnings of the exhibit felt unnervingly familiar. For the first time ever, in that bizarre post-election continent-jumping jumble, I believed that "It Could Happen" in the U.S.

Before then, the Bush/Hitler rhetoric seemed like much of the reactionary Left propaganda.  What I had been exposed to was, actually, because it hadn't been tied to any thorough or legitimate critique. It took walking through the history stage by stage to understand how the U.S. population could become vulnerable. I wouldn't use the word fascism to describe what was happening in the U.S. for another three years, but somewhere I knew that there were seeds of it in the post-9/11 Bush presidency's bulging PR budget, "with us or against us" domestic and international rhetoric, and Patriot Act excesses.

Little did I know at the time that most of the people in my life were government or private intelligence operatives and that someone had been assigned to befriend me at the conference and completely scrutinize the trip. Do many grad students take time off from work to fly to Germany to present at a conference? If you feel like you need to compensate for years of career indecision by presenting as much as possible to get into the PhD program of your choice, you do. Maybe you do even if you just love to travel.

The fascism I was already living with would eventually be administered by unsupervised private contractors who clearly needed to come up with some sinister alternate narrative to make up for the fact that they had spent millions of dollars creating a Truman Show-like existence for an innocent person. Trips like mine remain suspect years after the fact, fodder for elicitation (Why was the tile guy assigned to elicit about it as recently as August? What was I supposed to have been cooking up in Nuremberg?).

This cowboy "intelligence" community allows sociopath contractors free reign to project all of their fears and hatreds in the name of patriotism. It allows those working at the behest of corporations to have access to your government file, to all of your medical and other records so that they can wreak havoc in your life to protect their profits. It allows them to manipulate the prejudices of Good Americans who will gladly elicit information, plant substances, or sabotage work if they are convinced that the object of their derision is a terrorist or an enemy of God. In America, this is what fascism looks like. Neither the contractors nor the hapless everyday joes they manipulate see themselves as fascist collaborators, but part of the gang, foot soldiers for God, good citizens. Or they just don't care because the money's good.

Here we are four years later. Tonight it's hard to imagine flitting off to Germany. I continue leading a largely sequestered existence, most recently to avoid the locals who have been trained to see me as an enemy of Christ or communist/terrorist and have so far failed in their attempts at vigilante justice. In this context, I wept for joy at Obama's victory. As we look toward this transition, there is no vague feeling of dread -- dread has constituted most days for the last 1.5 years. Rather, I look forward with the stark consciousness of having faced banal evil day after day. I know what it looks like, what it does to a community and to a life.

I hope and pray that we can reverse much of the radical change of the last eight years, that the rule of law can be restored, that we all say "It Can't Keep Happening Here." The price of liberty, after all, is eternal vigilance. I didn't learn as much in the Nuremberg museum; it took a homegrown campaign of terror to teach me what liberty is all about.

~~

When Chuck McGee's Wife Hates You...

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Pulp Woman.jpg...You may find yourself on "the list." Is it possible that a high school grudge can result in costly and surreal political pay-back? Maybe.

Until a few days ago I had never heard of Chuck McGee or the New Hampshire phone jamming scandal for which he served prison time.

Last week a high school friend inadvertently indicated that a woman we went to school with is very likely involved in some aspect of my surveillance/harassment situation. Because my case is so epic and absurd, there were many times when I wondered if there was a personal vendetta at play. This woman, Carrie, was my then best friend's twin sister and hated me with passionate intensity. She was a right-wing and militantly pro-life Catholic, and though most of my friends were evangelical or Mormon, Carrie always seemed to have the least tolerance for my pro-choice, gay-friendly, and nearly all other views. (There were personal aspects, having to do with her sister's and my friendship, and our shared school activities, that seemed to propel her anger in ways I didn't understand.) The last few times I saw her she didn't speak to or acknowledge me. When I heard the things she said about me, I was always baffled.

I knew that her husband was a Republican big wig in New Hampshire, but that was all. During my reunion weekend in 2003 I stayed at her sister's house, where a picture of Carrie and her husband with President Bush hung on the fridge. This didn't surprise me. Such a trajectory totally made sense for her. I thought about Carrie rarely -- in the course of reflecting on my relationship with her sister, occasionally through my academic work, and the personal process of trying to  break out of conventional left/right thinking and build my own tolerance for people with very different views.

For the last month plus I've dealt with a new wave of elicitation centered around Christians, Mormons, my mother's finances, and a local ski area developer. (It's kind of a Keystone Cops situation -- I don't understand why they don't think we'll notice when multiple people attempt to get our thoughts on these topics in quick succession. Especially people who are supposed to be installing tile or kitchen cabinets rather than playing 20 Questions.) This thread is not new -- my surveillance seems to have been funded by anti-environmentalists and the religious right, as well as tax payers -- I've noticed multiple attempts to get me to malign evangelical Christians. (I think perhaps private contractors use these recored conversations for fund-raising purposes.)

It was reflecting on this most recent wave that led to my friend's inadvertent revelation about Carrie's possible involvement, which led me to find out exactly who her husband is. Who knew he would turn out to be notorious? In the course of my research, I found this summary from Chuck McGee's interview with the FBI, detailing the genesis of his plan to prevent Democrats from voting:

Netroots: What Did You Expect from Obama?

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clinton-drawing.jpgI haven't blogged in a while, as I've needed every spare hour to piece my life back together after surviving a 4th Amendment-free year.

This Wired article inspired me, though
. Netroots activists are pissed at Obama's FISA flip-flop. So was I.  I'm glad that MoveOn and the independent activists who have generated support and money for Obama are trying to use their leverage to influence him now. But why did they hop on the "Change" bandwagon so nimbly and readily in the first place?

Though Hillary lost my primary vote once and for all when she didn't bother to show up for the February FISA vote, I wasn't ready to throw myself into the Obama camp. In fact, I'll be so self-congratulatory as to quote my February self:

If you're feeling the warm and fuzzy Obama-as-second-coming vibe, I hope you'll cool down and make sure he knows that you're in his corner because he believes that a renewed America means an unwavering devotion to our founding documents. "Change" must mean the restoration of our democracy.
Later, I hoped that action on the Homegrown Terrorism Bill might prove a decent litmus test. Nope.

I remember feeling bummed when I received the MoveOn endorsement ballot. Shouldn't there have been a set of criteria? Why just give away the endorsement without it meaning anything? And then, why continue to flood our inboxes with the cheer leading Obama "Change" rhetoric?
When we suddenly say we're all about Obama and "Change" don't we put ourselves in a sort of ridiculous predicament? For one, we assume that people can't be motivated to vote with the truth: the man is a politician. No matter how noble his intentions, we can bet that many of his life decisions (like turning down lucrative positions to move to an electorally significant state to create a grassroots support base) have been calculated. He will disappoint us because he can't possibly be all things to all Americans. Just because he may be the best option right now doesn't mean we have to leap into absurd fairy tale rhetoric about his somehow having magical powers to enact sweeping change. Once we give over to the rhetoric, anything he does to deviate from our fantasies of what he stands for invariably disappoints.

We've already been to a place called Hope. Young voters don't know what it's like to have a preternatural politician grab their hearts with rhetoric and then become a whopping, co-opted, double talking disappointment. Are our memories so short? Do we really want to do that again and lead another generation to the kind of apathy that allowed the current administration to enter the White House?

Let's be honest. An Obama administration will mean a world of difference no matter what. But he's a politician. We are the change agents. We can't just walk to a voting booth, dimple a chad, and expect America to be a safer, fairer, more just place. We have to change. We have to get out of our comfort zones, and remain active, engaged citizens.

The moment our 4th Amendment protections truly become more important to Americans than our sofa patterns or TV schedules, we will see what change means.

~~
rankin.jpgNow I have an inkling of how it feels to be Britney Spears. The girl is a walking economic stimulus agent. Her very existence supports thousands of individuals -- from paparazzi to copy editors to advertising executives. My case has been that of an unwitting commodity for intelligence contractors who have given nearly everyone in my life the opportunity to make some cash off of information, solicitation or entrapment.

These are people with bumper stickers like "Live Simply So Others May Simply Live." People who take their dogs on generous afternoon hikes on the sides of mountains before studying the I Ching. Individuals who ride their bikes, buy organic, and play benefit concerts in their quasi-hipster alt-country bands. Who among them would like to think of themselves as akin to Nazi collaborators? I can't even simply equate them with "Good Germans" who stood by and did nothing as the Jews were dehumanized and eventually carted off. They were/are modern day willing executioners.

Apparently a vast cross-section of Americans have become too enamored of the "good life" to bother with cultivating silly qualities like moral fortitude. Seeing me humiliated or jailed was worth money for a new guitar or in vitro fertilization. My ruin was only a pit stop on individual aspirational highways. Even in so-called "progressive" circles, claiming one's own piece of the American dream is more important than rights, the law, or decency. Maybe if I were an abstract, distant, deserving indigenous Ecuadoran Amazonian? Perhaps then I would have merited solidarity?

The people in Missoula who have collaborated with tax payer- and corporate-funded contractors didn't expect that I would return for good. I left suddenly after one of the only people I trusted got sloppy and outed himself as a mole last fall. In the mean time, it seems I was supposed to be entrapped in some sort of drug-related incident. Our tenant/property manager (who has turned out to be a fake, industry-funded "global warming activist") has certainly behaved as though my mother's house was meant to be confiscated. My former friends and new acquaintances must have been assured I would never discover their complicity, and if I did I would be completely discredited anyhow: as a nut case or a criminal.

I can count 15 over 100 people in Missoula who either work for government agencies, for corporations, or were just hired as agents for either, who entered my life under false pretenses or were paid to use their proximity to me over the last year and a half. (That number leaves out many people like hair dressers and estheticians.) Now I will see these people at the farmers' market with their children, friends, husbands and wives. There is no Truth and Reconciliation Commission for victims of illegal corporate and government spying.

I know I am not like those Chileans who have to sit at the opera near their former torturers. I was not in a concentration camp. I am not a former Guantanamo detainee. 

Rather, I have faced the banal evil of America's 21st century. Those who live in opposition to the Bush administration and its policies, who would decry Chevron's genocidal ruin of the rain forest, would also take money from either to help destroy an innocent person -- so that they can have the shiny things they've always wanted or grasp the "American dream" they believe they deserve.

~~

Six Hours A Week Is:

A coping strategy, advocacy outlet, and form of protection. My life has been nearly destroyed by the unconstitutional practices of politically/socially-motivated private intelligence contractors and the corruption and cronyism that allow them. Apparently because I speak out in ways that prioritize the little guy and human and environmental health above gargantuan profit margins, and believe that facts are as important as PR spin, I was someone who had to be completely discredited. In 2007, after a few months of a surreal and relentless invasion of privacy and dignity, I started to spend six hours each week researching, communicating about, and advocating legal and ethical responses to assaults on our shared democratic and republican ideals. For most of that time I was writing from the perspective of someone whose life was manipulated into a constant state of terror and emergency. In 2010, many of the array of entrapment attempts seem to have failed and it seems no longer possible to get away with such excessive, obvious harassment and overt interference. As we take more practical steps to address what has been allowed to happen to my family, we do expect to see some more harassment and intimidation. But I should be able to chronicle it from a more measured perspective, rather than that of someone in constant fear. Part of me would like to go back and delete earlier posts, because even I find them hard to relate to in some ways. But this blog has been one of our only forms of protection as everyone in any official capacity ignored the truth and tried to spin and frame us into the troublemakers and perpetrators of one form or another. So I leave it up as a form of protection, a record of what has occurred, and (with luck) the account of our way back to credibility and some form of legitimate justice. All content on this site is property of Kyeann Sayer. All rights reserved.

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