Metroblog

A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

21 June 2007

Common Sense on "Homeland Security"

"The more you tighten your grip, the more systems will slip through your fingers."
--Pricess Leia Organa to Grand Moff Tarkin

In this era of "asymetric warfare" (meaning the enemy doesn't play by rules, but we're forced to [pretend we do until we can gut the letter and spirit of the law]) is it "appropriate" to debate the measures taken to protect the civillian population?

After all, our intelligence services are doing the best they can to forecast threats and stop them. We cannot, of neccesity, know of every threat, every mutter. Not only would that blow some fairly delicate intelligence-gathering systems, but it might erode civil society. For example, imagine that synagogues or mosques were found to be funnelling money to people who comitted acts of terror. Wouldn't the civillian populace revolt at this rot in our midst, possibly resulting in hate crimes against the unfortunates who happened to share a set of basic beliefs?

Imagine that New York bars were found to have jars on the bar for the collection of money for terrorist organizations ... Or rather don't. Because all of those things have happened. And yet society manages to muddle through somehow.

Until now. Three thousand unfortunates' lives were used as a symbol by people determined to undermine freedom and place free citizens in fear. And nothing has been the same since. Whether those taking such advantage were the dead Saudi terrorists or the still-ruling Bush administration is left as an exercise for the student.

So is it appropriate to question the wisdom of our civil masters when they are taking steps they believe will make us "safer"?

You bet it £µ©λing well is.

Let's start by considering the United States, whose panicked frenzy we now seem to be aping:

Since the patriator act came into force in the US--how many terror attacks have been stopped by either the TSA or the Department of Fatherland Insanity?

None. All the "attacks" (and by this we often mean to include half-baked plots involving people who may or may not have been unstable) declared as forestalled by the administration were stopped by the cops, and/or by the FBI and related agencies. By the way, do you know who the only serious plotters foiled were? Go on. I bet you can guess.

Intelligence is clearly what is required here. Pity it's in such £µ©λing short supply.

So, ignoring the fact that the best equipped terrorists--sorry, I forgot, if they aren't brown then they're just run-of-the-mill, uh, patriots? ... Anyway, ignoring the fact that the best-equipped militias and movements who are willing to carry out this sort of attack are primarily homegrown, exactly how much safer does adding another layer of froth on our Gestapo soup make us?

The thing that the raving authoritarians pushing this kind of invasive control are trying to prevent is a repeat of the terror attacks of September 11th, 2001, and those that occurred in the London and Spanish train attacks.

A no-fly list will not assist this effort. No terror attack has been stopped by the No-Fly List in the United States--except for these ones.

The failure in security that led to 11-9 was the total absence of any but the most basic security on domestic flights. Had the same set of controls been in place on domestic flights as were on international ones in 2001, the hijackers could likely never have boarded the aircraft.

But instead of setting up a rational response after the attacks, like putting in place regular, normal, civil authorities, the Bushies created the Homeland Security Department--crawling with uncivil authorities.

As with many such, its name belies what it stands for. It stands for loss of security, privacy, and the right to question bullies in uniform. If you doubt me, try crossing the border with only your driver's license. Or better yet, ask one of those gutted, gunned, godforsaken Jack Bauer wannabees if they think they're doing any damn good. After all, all the foiled plots so far have been happening inside US cities--even the few actually set in action by foreign citizens.

So obviously they aren't doing Jack squat.

(In fact it says a great deal about the nature of this silliness that the poster boy for Fatherland Insanity is a crazed torturer (that he is fictional is no handicap--so is the rest of Republican history). And that so many of those border bozos want to be like him. Or that so many Reptard presidential candidates and judges invoke his name.

Especially when Darth Vader's in the back with his hand in the air, jumping up and down and yelling "Ooh, ooh--Pick meeeee!")

So what have we got so far:

Since the aircraft attacks, nothing to do with Homeland Insipidity or the No-Fly List has actually "made America safer".

(I will not re-open here the question of what "safer" is supposed to mean. My bullshit detector just got repaired again after last time.)

There is no evidence that anyone could prevent an assault on any large concentration of people in a thousand locations besides airports. Were I a terrorist, I'd go to a Virginia gun show, buy about thirty guns, hand them to my followers, and repeat the instructions George the Lesser gave the American people on 12-9:

"Go shopping."

Metro the Terror Leader says: Head for the malls boys, go to Wal-Mart, buy your ammo off their countertops.

"You want that giftwrapped, Mister?"
"No thanks, I'll use it here."

Head for amusement parks, churches and schools, and remember: guns don't kill people, people with guns kill people!


Need I point out the futility and pointless, aggravating stupidity of a no-fly list at this point?

Now a "no-drive list". That I could get behind. I see people every day whose right to use a motor vehicle could use some serious circumscribing and abridgement. In fact, some of them could stand to be thrown off abridgement.

But our NEW Green (GREEEN I TELL YOU!) Conservative Government (New!), which is trying to shred current Canadian gun control legislation, is also trying to stuff a no-fly list somewhere personal.

I don't want a Department of Motherland Defence, I don't want a Canadian Pay-a-traitor Act. I don't want my government telling me "We're arresting this guy because he's a bad guy--you'll have to take our word for it, and never mind how we got him to confess."

I want Stephen Harper and his Bush-admiring cronies to just, please, £µ©λ off and leave the police and CSIS to figure out how to do this right--without becoming the money-sucking bemoth and home for unemployable brothers-in-law that the Fatherland Insanity office is.

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