After 12 years post September 11, 2001, what have we learned?
The purpose of terrorism is to sow terror, to sow doubt, to undermine peoples’ faith in their governments. Why? To accomplish whatever long term goal the terrorist or group has in mind. It is a tool, not an end. It is a means to an end and it can be very effective. As any security person will tell you, “We have to be 100% effective, they only have to be effective once.”
Can we keep you 100% secure? No.
Read that again, please.
The reorganization after 9/11 was, for the most part, over-reaction. You may think I base that on how many times we have been hit since then. You would be wrong.
We have poured billions of dollars into securing our nation and any police officer, soldier, law enforcement personnel, emergency management person would look you dead in the eye and agree most of the added security is bullshit, feel good, look good bunk. We passed laws, we spent money, we bought equipment, we trained, we prepared after-action reports, we generated miles of papers analyzing this, that and the other. And, for what result? Do you feel safer? More important, are you safer?
No. You do not and you are not safer.
The more laws we pass, the more regulations that ensue, the less effective we become. As soon as one law or regulation goes into effect, somebody will protest and tie the issue up in the public forums or in courts. We’ve become so sensitized that our intelligence agencies are not allowed to use certain words that may offend somebody somewhere. We’ve become so sensitive that we might hurt someone’s feelings that their abilities do not matter, only their self-esteem matters.
I read something somewhere yesterday or maybe the day before that only in the United States can they pass a law forbidding common sense and then penalize the person who does not use it. We know for a fact that profiling works, yet we forbid it. We know both foreign and domestic threats exist, yet insist the deed be done before it be stopped. Well, we used to. If one person goes beserk, all of us must pay the price. If you do not recycle, you are a bad person. If you have an opinion that is not approved by every sensitive creature, you are not only a bad person, you will lose your job, your reputation, and maybe even your family and friends. That is a form of terror.
Information is only as good as its source. If you no longer believe in the source, the information is not valued.
I direct your attention to a post by Richard Fernandez, entitled “The Black Chamber.” A great takeaway is:
“His proposed addition of more layers of oversight evades the basic problem of why current oversight doesn’t work. It is not that supervisory bodies do not now exist, but they have been remiss and shirked their duties. The controversial NSA programs were all known to the classified overseers and were even visible to Snowden, who we are told had no special access, but that did not keep them from going forward. The question is why.
The failure of oversight lies rather in the bureaucratic incentives in Washington. In particular it may suffer from the ambiguous mission of the FBI, which is not only an a de facto domestic intelligence agency, it is also a law enforcement organization. Intelligence gathering is by nature concerned with what the Minority Report called “pre-crime”. By contrast, law enforcement is by American tradition a post-facto affair.”
The more liberty you have, the more responsibility you carry. If you want free speech, you accept others’ opinions that you hate. If killing someone is murder, does it matter if it happened in a 7-11 store or in a building in New York? Yes, it does. How many families received payments from the U.S. taxpayer in compensation for the loss of their loved one and his/her ability to provide income? If your wife, father, brother, sister was in a 7-11, sorry, pockets just aren’t big enough.
I am very tempted to say “Oh, never mind. I just came back to this after receiving a call that another dear friend has jaw cancer, Stage 4.” But, somebody has to say something.