For two years the Obama administration has been secretly developing a “disposition matrix” that draws on all known information about suspected terrorists and provides advice on how to pursue them, reports Greg Miller of the Washington Post.The “single, continually evolving database,” is being developed and run by the National Counterterrorism centre (NCTC).
But that’s not the only thing they track. Since its formation in 2003, NCTC has run a “massive, secretive data collection and mining of trillions of points of data about most people in the United States,” according to the ACLU.
So the same people running the new kill list are also in the domestic spying business, and they can also pull data from other government agencies in name of national security.
The NCTC matrix serves to harmonize the separate CIA and Pentagon kills lists while also providing strategies to kill or capture individuals who appear on those lists based on how each fits into the matrix.
“We can’t possibly kill everyone who wants to harm us,” a senior administration official told the Post.
The nation’s other domestic spying apparatus, exposed by National Security Agency whistleblower William Binney, tracks all kinds of electronic activities—phone calls, emails, banking and travel records, social media—and map them to collect “all the attributes that any individual has” to build a profile based on that data.
The NCTC goes further to collect “records from law enforcement investigations, health information, employment history, travel and student records” because “literally anything the government collects would be fair game,” the ACLU notes.
ACLU’s legislative counsel Chris Calabrese calls it a “reboot of the Total Information Awareness Program that Americans rejected so vigorously right after 9/11.”
What this means, Glenn Greenwald explains, is that “the NCTC — now vested with the power to determine the proper “disposition” of terrorist suspects — is the same agency that is at the centre of the ubiquitous, unaccountable surveillance state aimed at American citizens.”
In other words, welcome to the matrix.
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