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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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March 21, 2014 - 7:20 am

The US Navy built its LinX system in 2003, supposedly to help conduct counterterrorism. But that’s not what it’s doing, according to the Washington Examiner. It’s engaged in an activity that crosses the posse comitatus line.

A parking ticket, traffic citation or involvement in a minor fender-bender are enough to get a person’s name and other personal information logged into a massive, obscure federal database run by the U.S. military.

The Law Enforcement Information Exchange, or LinX, has already amassed 506.3 million law enforcement records ranging from criminal histories and arrest reports to field information cards filled out by cops on the beat even when no crime has occurred.

LinX is a national information-sharing hub for federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. It is run by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, raising concerns among some military law experts that putting such detailed data about ordinary citizens in the hands of military officials crosses the line that generally prohibits the armed forces from conducting civilian law enforcement operations.

It seems that everywhere we turn, the US government is crossing lines and gathering up information on ordinary Americans. These government agencies are doing this despite President Obama’s promise that the government isn’t spying on ordinary Americans.

This bit is interesting.

The number of records in the system has mushroomed from about 50 million in 2007 to more than 10 times that number today.

Background checks for gun sales and applications for concealed weapons permits are not included in the system, according to NCIS officials and representatives of major state and local agencies contacted by the Examiner.

How can we be sure of that? Or, more accurately, while LinX may not be collecting gun background check pings, how can we be sure that some other government agency out there isn’t? How can we be sure that some obscure agency or program out there hasn’t scooped up all of the gun background checks, and all of the state records on concealed carry, and is just storing it all somewhere? NSA supposedly can record every phone call placed in a given country. If it can do that, it’s probably child’s play to tap into the NICS lines.

Can we be sure they or another agency isn’t doing that? I don’t see how. The FBI has its own version of LinX, called the National Data Exchange, or N-Dex. So together the military and the politicized DOJ have a database of about 500 million records of our ordinary interactions with law enforcement. Along with what else?

It’s surely tempting for government officials to find a way to amass firearm background check and purchase records, along with state carry permits.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (15)
All Comments   (15)
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Our military from the Commander-in-Chief down to the generals who survived Dear's Leader's purge are afraid to tackle Putin and the jihadists. The only thing left for them to do to "justify" their existence is to track Dear Leader's domestic enemies, the "ungovernable" American citizens.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Listen, Bryan. Snowden is a f-ing traitor, alright.

The last thing we need is you helping these traitors get the word out about all the things the government is doing. These operations help law enforcement.

Is it coincidence that this information leaks out and it helps criminals? Is it Bryan?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're hyper obsessive with the whole Snowden traitor thing. I think he is a traitor for sure, however the information pertaining to the metadata gathering on us was a worthwhile move from him, the rest....eh not so much and the fact he's broadcasting all this from Putin's Russia makes me believe his intentions were less than noble. If anything it's all theater and I don't trust him.

It is entirely possible to consider him a traitor while acknowledging he did give us a piece of vital information. Dunno why it has to be one or the other.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, my! An agency that ignores the Constitution is more traitorous than Snowden who whistle blew the Agency's secret war on the American citizens whom they have sworn to protect.

Keep burying your head under the sand with your ass up will perpetuate govt. bureaucrats' treacherous behavior. Behaving like an ostrich does more harm to the country than Snowden ever could.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
An agency that ignores the Constitution is more traitorous than Snowden who whistle blew the Agency's secret war on the American citizens whom they have sworn to protect.

God bless you. I could not have said it better.

Now, if you could only convince Bryan Preston.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Snowden being a traitor is irrelevant. If the government is doing this crap I want to know about it, ESPECIALLY under the current adminstration.

Need I remind you that this is the same administration that has transformed the IRS into their private goon squad? And is fighting tooth & nail to disarm us? If you don't find it troubling that they're compiling information on us all then you're just not paying attention.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm only making the exact same point Bryan Preston made recently when he said that Snowden's actions were helping Putin.

Here, Bryan is assisting criminals who wouldn't otherwise know how our heroic military is helping our heroic law enforcement personnel to track them. It seems more than a little hypocritical for Bryan Preston to stomp around calling Snowden a traitor (since Snowden's revelations apparently help Putin) when he's so quick to get this information into the hands of the very people our big brother wants to track and monitor.

I mean, if Snowden's revelations helping Putin out make him a traitor, what does this article make Bryan Preston? Is Bryan against violations of American freedoms or is he for traitors spilling the beans on all these lovely citizen monitoring programs?

Traitorous bastard is as traitorous bastard does, mamma used to say.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
The fact that Snowden is a traitor doesn't mean that he can't also be something of a hero. If it were up to me, I'd give him the Presidential Medal of Freedom and pin it on his chest - and then have the firing squad aim for it at his execution.

"Law enforcement" requires that the laws be Constitutional - and I've apparently missed the clause in the Constitution that allows this kind of intelligence gathering against American citizens. Remember that the Constitution describes a Federal government of STRICTLY LIMITED powers - and that the 9th and 10th Amendments say, in essence, "Nothing else! And we MEAN it!"
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, yes...and no.

Snowden being a traitor is not irrelevant. Curing aids by injecting your cells with cancer is not a bright idea.

The lawlessness of this administration, this Gangsta Government, this totalitarian tyranny...is a major infestation into every nook and cranny of our republic. It needs to be rooted out and people should hang.

That is not hyperbole. People should hang.

But, Jaycen is absolutely correct. The manner in which we obtain, control and protect sensitive information cannot be thrown recklessly to the wind.

The balance between tearing the heart out of tyranny and preserving national defense secrets should be handled with deftness...not ham-handed clumsiness.

Bryan is a gift to this site and I give him wide berth on his posts because he gives us so much. So, I'm treading a little more lightly than Jaycen with him, because I think he deserves that courtesy.

But Jaycen is one of the best commenters here. His points are usually well reasoned and have been thought out. Take heed when he posts. He gives it to you loud and dirty like Patton so his point will stick...but his points are always worth reading. I wish we had more like him.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wow, thanks, cfbleachers. I'd say much the same about you.

Honestly, I generally love Bryan's work. I'm really annoyed about his treatment of Snowden, more than anything because it's so contrary to how Bryan typically deals with statism. Specifically, I'm really torqued at Bryan's response to me on his last article about Snowden and the program where the NSA can record a month of calls from an entire country.

This comment was just some sauce for the gander, as it were.

Best regards to all.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not suggesting we give Snowden a pass for his treason. What I'm saying is that ignoring vital information because the source is a scumbag just isn't very smart.

To use a deliberately absurd example, if Charles Manson woke me up to tell me the house was on fire I wouldn't just roll over and go back to sleep. I'd get out of the house (then deal with Charlie, of course).

Saying we should ignore this because it helps law enforcement might be reasonable if law enforcement, especially at the Federal level, was worthy of that degree of trust. But after the last 20 years I don't think anyone can convince me that they are.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are spot-on with your analysis.

The federal government has proven beyond a reasonable doubt it cannot be trusted with it's authority to spy on the enemy and not spy on Americans as if they were the enemy. Many of the programs we're upset about today were implemented under George W. Bush (R).

That is why Snowden is a hero and any traitorous actions pale like a candle next to the sun by comparison. You can't expose this evil without also letting the "legitimate spying" activities out of the bag. That our enemies are assisted by this action is an unfortunate - but extremely necessary - side-effect.

This lesson must be painful. It must be, or we won't change the behavior, much less learn anything from it. Please feel free to explain to me how I'm wrong.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually it doesn't sound like you're wrong.

It sounds to me like your original comment was sarcasm alluding to a prior post and, not being in on the joke, I thought you meant the exact opposite of what you truly meant. Hence my reply.

Happy Friday to you :)
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Apologies, Shepard N7.

Your sarcasm detector is operating at optimal efficiency. My final challenge was issued to the general public, not you specifically, neighbor.

Cheers.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
"from about 50 million in 2007"
This predates Dear Liar. The federal government is out of control and has been for a long time.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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