[osint] Getting a Blood Test? ChoicePoint Gets a Drop to DNA Tag You

Brooks Isoldi bjisoldi at acsu.buffalo.edu
Sat Sep 11 07:56:43 PDT 2004

Getting a Blood Test? ChoicePoint Gets a Drop to DNA Tag You

September 9, 2004
by Greg Palast

On September 11, 2001, we Americans were the victims of a terrible

By September 12, we became the suspects.

Not one single U.S. citizen hijacked a plane, yet President Bush and
Attorney General John Ashcroft, through powers seized and codified in
the USA PATRIOT Act, fingered 270 million of us for surveillance, for
searches, for tracking, for watching.

And who was going to play Anti-Santa, watching to see when we've been
good or bad? A guy named Derek Smith.

And that made September 11, 2001 Derek's lucky day.

Even before the spying work could begin, there were all those pieces
people to collect - tubes marked "DM" (for "Disaster Manhattan") -
which his company, ChoicePoint Inc, would extract DNA for victim
identification, work for which the firm would receive $12 million from
New York City's government.

Maybe Smith, like the rest of us, grieved at the murder of innocent
friends and countrymen. As for the 12-million-dollar corpse
identification fee, that's chump change to the $4 billion corporation
Smith had founded only four years earlier in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Nevertheless, for Smith's ChoicePoint Inc., Ground Zero would become a
profit center lined with gold.

As the towers fell, ChoicePoint's stock rose; and from Ground Zero,
contracts gushed forth from War on Terror fever. Why? Because this
outfit is holding no less 16 billion records on every living and dying
being in the USA. They're the Little Brother with the filing system
Big Brother calls.

ChoicePoint's quick route to no-bid spy contracts was not impeded by
fact that the company did something for George W. Bush that the voters
would not: select him as our president.

Here's how they did it. Before the 2000 election, ChoicePoint unit
Database Technologies, held a $4 million no-bid contract under the
control of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, to identify
felons who had illegally registered to vote. The ChoicePoint outfit
altogether fingered 94,000 Florida residents. As it turned out, less
than 3,000 had a verifiable criminal record; almost everyone on the
had the right to vote.

The tens of thousands of "purged" citizens had something in common
besides their innocence: The list was, in the majority, made up of
African Americans and Hispanics, overwhelmingly Democratic voters
only crime was V.W.B: Voting While Black. And that little ethnic
cleansing operation, conducted by Governor Jeb Bush's gang with
ChoicePoint's aid, determined the race in which Harris named Bush the
winner by 537 votes.

To say that ChoicePoint is in the "data" business is utterly to miss
their market concept: These guys are in the Fear Industry. Secret
lurks everywhere. Al Qaeda's just the tip of the iceberg. What about
pizza delivery boy? ChoicePoint hunted through a sampling of them and
announced that 25 percent had only recently come out of prison. "What
pizza do you like?" asks CEO Smith. "At what price? Are you willing to
take the risk?..."

War fever opened up a whole new market for the Fear Industry.

And now Mr. Smith wants your blood. ChoicePoint is the biggest
of DNA to the FBI's "CODIS" system. And, one company insider whispered
to me, "Derek [Smith] told me that it is his hope to build a database
DNA samples from every person in the United States."

For now, Smith keeps this scheme under wraps, fearing "resistance"
the public. Instead, Smith pushes "ChoicePoint Cares" - taking DNA
samples to hunt for those missing kids on milk cartons. It's for, "the
mothers of this country who are wrestling with threats" - you know,
pizza guy from Al Queda, the cult kidnappers. In other words,
ChoicePoint's real product, like our President's, is panic.

In Hollywood, Jack Nicholson picked up the zeitgeist: "If I were an
American I would insist on being profiled. This is not the time for
civil rights."

Maybe Jack's right: screw rights, we want safety.

But wait, Jack. We're both old farts who can remember the Cuban
Crisis. In 1962, the Russians were going to drop The Big One on us.
we didn't have to worry, Mrs. Gordon told us, if we just got under the
desk, covered our necks. And she'd warned, it will all be OK as long
we, "Don't look at the flash!"

ChoicePoint's Smith admonishes that, if we,d only had his databases
humming at the airports on September 11, the hijackers, who used their
own names, would have been barred from boarding. However, experts
me that Osama no longer checks in as "Mr. bin Laden," even at the cost
of losing his frequent flyer miles.

ChoicePoint's miles of files, the FBI's CODIS system, taking off your
shoes at the airport, Code Purple days, the whole new Star-Spangled
KGB'ing of America is the new "Duck and Cover."

Thank you, ChoicePoint. Thank you, Mr. Ashcroft.


Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, "The Best
Democracy Money Can Buy" and "Joker's Wild: Dubya's Trick Deck" -
investigative regime change cards from Seven Stories Press. All are
available here:


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