no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

My Country Went to War on Terror and All I Got Was this Lousy Police State

September 30th, 2011

Exactly two years ago yesterday I wrote that the threat of terrorism is essentially non-existent. This is not because the Alphabet Soup Agencies are doing a spectacular job keeping us safe, it’s because even despite all the Imperial meddling around the globe, there just aren’t very many would-be terrorists. If the terror threat was credible, we couldn’t stop it.

Not much has changed since then. In fact, there are so few actual terrorist threats (probably because there are so few actual terrorists) that the FBI has to manufacture its own terror plots, and then take credit for saving the day.

Let’s put things in perspective.

You are eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist attack


Does the TSA Really Keep Us Safe?

November 16th, 2010

Do you really believe that the threat level is “elevated” or that there are imminent threats from all sides at all times and only the grace of god and the high-school dropouts in the royal blue TSA clown suits at the airports have been able to keep us safe? If so, hopefully you have more faith in the grace of god than you do the TSA.

bright blue clown suitsThe last time I flew, I arrived in my hotel only to discover that I hadn’t remembered to separate my toiletries (cologne, toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream) from the rest of my luggage for the security screening at DTW. I wasn’t pulled aside, so either the TSA goons were asleep at the wheel, or they didn’t care, or it doesn’t matter that you bring a 3oz bottle of cologne on an airplane. I think it’s probably a combination of all three.

Proponents of the new porno scanners and aggressive grope searches like to point out examples like the underpants bomber at Detroit last year. But he was thwarted by more or less conventional techniques: the porno scanners and dick-fondling didn’t exist as a matter of procedure last year. These procedures didn’t exist last month. And the historical record is pretty much the same: nobody has successfully smuggled a bomb on to a flight originating in the US in over 50 years.

I love being treated like a criminal by the TSAI’ve maintained all along that the threat of terrorism is — to be quite frank — not unlike the bogeyman or any other folklore monster, contrived to keep people frightened, timid, and complacent. I’ll admit that the theatric value of blowing up an airplane mid-flight is unrivaled by pretty much anything a would-be group of bad guys could possibly hope to accomplish. In actuality, the only means less discriminate and more extravagantly destructive are available only to state militaries.

The fact of the matter is, as I’ve said previously, if these threats are real, then mathematically speaking there should have been many more successful terrorist acts on US soil.Maybe “many” is three, maybe it’s a dozen, maybe it’s 20 or 100. That’s for some actuary to work out.

Not just airports — although those are certainly soft enough that a coordinated attack could raise serious hell, like a dozen dudes with suitcases packed full of C4 or something in a dozen airports across the country — but shopping malls, sporting venues, etc., where any organization with the will and a relatively minimal amount of firepower, could kill hundreds of people in a few minutes. And comparatively easier (than bombing an airplane) to pull off successfully.

The smart money says that there is no credible threat, because soft targets haven’t been hit, and they’re as ripe for the picking today as they have ever been.

So all this extra “security” isn’t making us any safer.  It might make you feel safer, they’re “protecting” you from a threat that doesn’t really exist.

The Terrorists are Still Winning

September 13th, 2010

I don’t do the 9/11 anniversary post. Billy Beck sums up my feelings about it pretty nicely or there’s Thoreau’s self-described “tasteless” pull-no-punches memo, in which he congratulates the winners, a list including GW Bush, the CIA, the military-industrial complex, Al-Qaeda, etc.

OK. I kindasorta did one a few years ago the crux of which was: We’re all less safe, as long as the Empire is bent on exporting its democracy, its inflation, its violence.  So, let’s stop using 9/11 to rationalize all sorts of horrible policy which is really the hallmark of terrorist victory.

Now when I say the terrorists won, it’s not necessarily or exclusively the Al-Qaeda.  Remember, there are plenty of terrorists at work within the US government, too. And their machinations are that much worse, because what they do, few people notice. And of those, fewer recognize as acts of terrorism.

The entire official line is a lie. I’m not talking about “There were no bodies at the crash site of flight 93” or “It was a missile that hit the Pentagon” conspiracy-theory crap. I’m talking about the “official” version of the truth, basically a series of lies by omission spanning decades, at least back as far as the end of WWI.

William Blum’s Anti-Empire Report for September 1, 2010 challenges the official line:

[E]ven if one accepts the official government version of 19 Muslims hijacking four airliners — the question remains: Why did they choose the targets they chose? If they wanted to kill lots of American infidels why not fly the planes into the stands of packed football or baseball stadiums in the midwest or the south? Certainly a lot less protected than the Pentagon or the financial center of downtown Manhattan. Why did they choose symbols of US military might and imperialism?

[9/11] was not a religious act, it was a political act. It was revenge for decades of American political and military abuse in the Middle East.

If you’re willing to ignore a century of meddling in the Arab world, pesky details like those are easy to sweep aside.

no third solution

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