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Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027

Phone (262) 673-9745
Fax (262) 673-9746


November 14, 2002

We Made a Mistake; We'll Fix It

Earlier this week, JPFO sent out a Veterans Day alert that contained an error. We linked to a story from the Hartford (Connecticut) Courant that claimed the FBI was randomly monitoring the computers in Hartford Libraries. We composed the alert before the Courant posted a correction.

The newspaper's source had apparently misunderstood what was actually happening: ( http://www.ctnow.com/news/opinion/columnists/hc-hunter1110.artnov10,0,6354989.column).

Linking to an unsubstantiated article was our mistake. We own up to it and apologize for it.

In the same alert, we cited an article on another topic from Counterpunch. Several readers criticized us for using information from a left-wing magazine. We do not apologize for this. When information is valuable, we'll use it or share it, regardless of what part of the political spectrum it comes from. No particular "wing" has a lock on the truth or on thought-provoking opinions.

A PLEA FOR PARANOID TIMES

Members and supporters of JPFO are entitled to the most accurate information we can supply, and through the fault of one of our very apologetic writers, we failed you with our Veterans Day alert.

With a deep sigh that we live in such perilous, and sometimes paranoid, times, we offer one point (and two more news stories) in our defense.

The bad news for freedom comes so rapidly that, as we said on Veterans Day, you can pull police-state horror stories out of any day's media coverage. Where one story turns out to be sheer paranoia another (perhaps even more ominous report) turns out to be true. Take this true story from the New York Times:

Pentagon Plans a Computer System That
Would Peek at Personal Data of Americans

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/09/politics/09COMP.html

According to reporter John Markoff, this computer system, now under construction, "will provide intelligence analysts and law enforcement officials with instant access to information from Internet mail and calling records to credit card and banking transactions and travel documents, without a search warrant." Markoff is directly citing Pentagon documents and speeches given by the spy system's director, Vice Adm. John Poindexter.

No doubt your Brady instant-check records and concealed-carry permit data will be included in the database. William Safire has detailed other horrifying implications of this plan in his Times colum, "You Are a Suspect" (http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/14/opinion/14SAFI.html).

The fact that the military has no reason to spy on millions of Americans and is forbidden to spy on any Americans without "extraordinary legal authorization" isn't stopping anyone. The comprehensive surveillance system is being built under the auspices of a new agency, the Office of Information Awareness, and if you're not worried now, you should be when you get a glimpse of their logo (http://www.reason.com/0210/artifact.shtml)

Another cheerful bit of this week's news comes from the Detroit Free Press, where staff writer Tamara Audi reports that federal agents are commencing the same kind of random checkpoints in the northern U.S. that they have long conducted along the U.S./Mexico border. (http://www.freep.com/news/metro/checks12_20021112.htm)

While traveling within 25 miles of Canada, you can increasingly anticipate random stops to question you about your citizenship and your doings. The agents, who "will have leeway to ask a host of follow-up questions," will be "looking for illegal immigrants, terrorists and drug or weapon smugglers."

Thus "Your papers, please" extends to yet another part of America. Freedom disappears. And we're not one bit safer from enemies foreign or domestic.

So while we apologize for our error and will try our best to do better fact-checking in the future, we hope you'll understand if we're occasionally a little bit too ready to believe bad news when we hear it.

The Liberty Crew



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