Showing posts with label Michael Chertoff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michael Chertoff. Show all posts

Monday, November 22, 2010

Helping the Terrorists Win

Recently there's been an uproar over body scanners at airports. People are worried about X-ray dosages and the invasion of privacy. Others are calling for mass protests to opt out of scans and getting a pat-down instead, and many of those same people are then screaming that they don't want to be touched. This will cause massive slowdowns and cost lots of money in delays.

Those people are helping the terrorists win.

The purpose of the 9/11 attacks, the shoe and underwear bombers, and the recent printer toner cartridge bombs is not to inflict maximum carnage. It's to inflict maximum economic distress, to slow down our economy and make us change the way we do business. They want to raise fears in the American public to demand security measures which would then make the cost of doing business so high that it will eventually bankrupt us. They want us to make people fear and hate our government by making our government do things people hate.

The Republicans have aided and abetted the terrorists the whole time. Every time Bush needed a push in the polls in the 2004 election he'd jack up the terror alert level to orange. The Bush administration created the Department of Homeland Security (that name still gives me Orwellian chills) and the TSA as sprawling bureaucracies with the mandate to invade our privacy and make us take off our shoes every time we board a plane, tap our phone messages and read our email.

The current scanner brouhaha was started during the Bush administration, which ordered the installation of the machines at airports. So far the whiners are complaining about having their junk touched. But in another few weeks I'm sure we'll be into full-blown nut-case conspiracy mode, where right-wingers insist that Obama's socialist/communist/fascist agenda is behind all this, and Janet Napolitano wants to get pictures of us all naked and let child molesters cop feels.

The terrorists behind the recent package bombing attempts recently published an article about their exploits. They claimed the whole thing only cost them about $4,200 to pull off. Think about it. They only had to spend 4,000 bucks to get us to spend billions of dollars in additional security measures. If terrorism were a business it would have the biggest profit margin ever.

Which really makes you wonder: Bush used the terrorism card to get votes. How many of these guys are using terrorism to get rich? Well, at least one: Michael Chertoff, the former DHS secretary under Bush, has been pushing for full-body scans now for years. It turned out that he also shills for the company that makes the scanners.

To be honest, I'm surprised that the security backlash has taken this long. I've always felt that the reaction to 9/11 was overblown, that we've sold our privacy and our souls and wasted billions of dollars on security measures that do very little, and actually make us feel less safe. I didn't think it would take us nine years to get tired of all this nonsense at airports. We're not as courageous and clear-sighted as I thought we were

And to make matters worse, the scanners are already obsolete. Al Qaeda doesn't bother doing the same thing twice once they've failed. They also take their time plotting their next big thing, often waiting years before the next attempt. The shoe bomb didn't work, and the underwear bomb didn't work. What's next?

Al Qaeda has already attempted an assassination using a bomb hidden in a body cavity. They haven't tried this on a plane yet, but if they do no body scanner will detect it. Another question: are body scanners being used at the foreign airports where the shoe and underwear bombers boarded?

Right now the nexus of terrorism seems to be Yemen, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, all ostensible allies. That tells us something very important: anti-Americanism flows from internal dissent. We're in the middle of a domestic squabble. In a way, that's a good thing. Getting out from between two feuding brothers should be easier than toppling a dictatorship or stopping a madman from getting nuclear weapons.

The terrorists are using attacks on America to coerce us into changing our policies toward their countries. And it works: the prima facie reason bin Laden attacked us was because of the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia, where they had been stationed since Gulf War. Bush pulled all our troops from that country in 2003, giving bin Laden exactly what he wanted.

Terrorists attack us because they believe the US is occupying their country, American companies are interfering with their lives and prosperity, or the US is propping up an illegitimate regime. We need to seriously examine what we're doing in those countries and ask ourselves whether it's helping or hurting us.
Enhanced by Zemanta