Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

Homeland Security Act Includes Union-Busting, New Snooping and Surveillance Powers: An Overview of the Largest Reorganization of Government in 50 Years

November 21, 2002

In today’s Christian Science Monitor an article on the recently approved Homeland Security Act begins:

“When you board a plane in the next year, your pilot may be armed. Make a call from a pay phone at the ballpark, and it may be tapped. Pay for a sandwich with a credit card, and the transaction may wind up in an electronic file with your tax returns, travel history, and speeding tickets.

“These are some of the ways that the biggest reorganization of the federal government in half a century could trickle down into the minutiae of the daily life of Americans.

"The Homeland Security Act that President Bush is poised to sign is sweeping in scope and will have big consequences, intended and unintended, on everything from civil liberties of Americans to due process for immigrants."Added at the last minute to the House version of bill were several pro-business amendments including one that would retroactively protect pharmaceutical firms from lawsuits. One such lawsuit was filed against Eli Lilly by parents who blame its vaccine on causing autism. Companies that provide airport security and develop anti-terrorism technologies will also be protected from lawsuits.

Eli Lilly, the St Louis-based drug maker was the industry’s largest donor to congressional candidates at $1.6m, with 80 percent going to Republicans. Mitch Daniels, the White House budget director, is a former president of North American operations of Eli Lilly, and the administration supported the measure.

The bill also directs $120 million to build a new homeland security research center to be housed at Texas A&M University. The university’s incoming president is former CIA Director Robert Gates who bragged to the Houston Chronicle last spring that his Washington connections would bring home the project.


  • Gail Chaddock, Congressional correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. Her article "Security Act to Pervade Daily Lives" appears in today’s paper.

Related link:

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.