DIRECTIVE NUMBER 12….In the Bill Sammon piece I linked to earlier, he notes that George Bush is busily “institutionalizing controversial anti-terror programs so they can be used by the next president.” Guantanamo was the example Sammon used to illustrate this point, but a friend emailed last night to raise my consciousness about another example: Homeland Security Presidential Directive Number 12. A blogger whose wife is a grad student doing climate modeling for NASA explains:

This Presidential Directive is all about choice….My wife’s choice is she can either sign over to the Federal Government the right to investigate every aspect of her life (including fingerprinting, credit check, medical records, character references, etc.) or she can “voluntarily” choose to not be allowed entry into the building wherein she works. The choice is hers.

….NASA, of course, has many top secret projects, projects which require high security. No one questions the need for high security and detailed background checks for specific, highly sensitive projects. This is perfectly reasonable.

But the Federal Government under Bush is now insisting that ALL employees, contractors, students, etc. associated with NASA agree to allow an investigation into their lives should the Federal Government deem it necessary for any reason.

Basically, if you want to work for NASA in any capacity, you’re now required to sign away your privacy rights in advance. Ditto for just about any other government agency that decides to implement this directive. It’s just another lovely little policy being “institutionalized” for George Bush’s successor.