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Elastic Terrorism

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Having grown tired with chasing phantom international terrorists, the powers-that-be have decided to turn their collective eye inward--to domestic terrorism. From this AP article, we learn that:
Intelligence officials now fear that homegrowns pose as much of a threat to the U.S. as foreign terrorists. State and local police are being enlisted to watch for signs from people who in the past would have never gotten a second look.
Is it possible that the reason the people never got a second look is because they never deserved a second look? This sounds to me like creating they're creating problems to solve. To set the stage for their new domestic terrorism fear mongering, they cite some recent events:
Mass transit bombings, in Madrid in 2003 and London in 2005, were carried out by self-organized cells of homegrown extremists. In June, 17 Canadian Muslims were charged with plotting to bomb targets in Ontario. British citizens are charged with conspiring earlier this month to bomb as many as 10 trans-Atlantic flights headed to the United States.
Closer to home, five U.S. citizens were charged in June for plotting to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago and a federal building in Miami. They allegedly took an oath to al-Qaida and sought help from the terrorist organization, although FBI Deputy Director John Pistole said the group was "more aspirational than operational."
Numbers of all federal arrests and prosecutions in homegrown terror cases were not immediately available -- in part because of differing definitions of what a homegrown terrorist is, said FBI spokesman Richard Kolko.
So, their justification hangs on a bunch of al Qaida wanna-be's who couldn't terrorize their way out of a paper bag. Brilliant! To make matters worse, no one in the law enforcement community can actually point to a national definition of what terrorism actually is. (For example, see this FEMA document, "Modeling the Vulnerability of Potential Targets to Threats of Terrorism," page 3 - Terrorism Defined.)
So, where does that leave us? We have this elastic blob called terrorism that the government can now use to cover all sorts of acts. So what? Well, if you haven't been paying attention to the ever-increasing powers that have been granted to law enforcement in combating terrorism, then you're in for a surprise. Most of the restraints placed on policing powers are non-existent if you can place the criminal activity under the "terrorism" umbrella. Don't believe this is where they're headed with this? Read on...
Cilluffo is working with scholars at the University of Virginia, law enforcement officials and prison counselors on a study to be released next month on homegrown terrorists. "We don't want to suggest we have an absolute epidemic on our hands; we just don't know," he said.
Allen said federal analysts will rely heavily on suspicious activity reports and other information from state and local authorities to root out homegrowns. "A lot of data flows into Washington, and we need to learn a lot more about how to read that material, and I think the answer will be at state and local governments," he said.
Interpreted, they intend to have field offices spread throughout the country. Looks more like a swarm of secret police every day, no? It gets better:
"We need to start looking at people who look more like us," said Gaithersburg, Md., police detective Patrick Word, president of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Gang Investigators Network, which shares intelligence among law enforcement officials.
Word said the federal government also "needs to broaden the scope of what terrorism is and what homeland security is."
"Are you more worried about the plane crashing into the building or biker gangs bringing a pipe bomb to a local restaurant? Or drive-by shootings, or machete attacks by armed gang members?" he said.
They need to "broaden the scope" of something that no one can currently define? How the heck will the average person on the street even know if he's simply breaking the law, or committing an act of terrorism? How will a law enforcement officer know if he's dealing with a common criminal or a domestic terrorist? Will civil disobedience be considered an act of terrorism? Trust me: we don't want to go down this path.


Blogger Mark said...

What in the world is the matter with you? Just as everyone has the capability of committing murder or stealing, then, given the right circumstances, everyone has the ability to commit acts of terrorism. I mean, look around; isn't the country nearly overwhelmed by terrorist acts? Aren't all our mall shoppers being targeted by AK-47-carrying Muslim madmen? Are you blind? Haven't you read about the pipeline bombings, the dirty nuclear bombs in every port? Yeesh!

So, every cop-on-the-beat, every State Trooper has to watch out for suspicious activity. Did you break the speed limit? That's obviously an attempt to strike fear in the heart of every soccer mom driving her kids to practice. Isn't that blatant enough for you? Did you over-report your charity donations on your income tax form in order to get a bigger refund? That's clearly an attempt to limit the amount of money the government can spend on fighting terrorism. You're aiding the terrorists. Well, aren't you?

Obviously, your post was an attempt to plant doubts in my mind about how well the government can protect me. That's also aiding the terrorists. I bet your phone is tapped and the NSA is reading all your emails as they should be.

I'll be happy when they come and get you. All your posts will be evidence at your miltary tribunal trial that you have aided and abetted terrorism. And it serves you right that they won't let you attend your trial. People like you think that you deserve the habeas corpus protection of the Constitution. Well, you don't. You just deserve to be shot for treason. Go to hell!

6:34 PM  
Blogger Don Bangert said...

My point exactly!

8:42 AM  

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