We are now in a new age at least according to certain politicians and security officials. It is the age of terror not simply the war on terror. Here is their perspective that deserves attention but which should not overly dominate our thinking? You decide if you think you can anymore as a voter or opinion giver stop this road to constitutional and democratic ruin.
We know thousands of college trained kids have the potential to put an atomic bomb together, maybe even tens of thousands. There is just too much information out there on the Internet and beyond.
We know “crazies” like the President of North Korea possess them and within minutes could obliterate the largest cities in Northeast Asia. And if not by minutes certainly by days. We are not fully sure with whom he would be willing to share his fissile material under certain conditions.
We know that an inventory of fissile material of the United States years ago showed substantial amounts missing or unaccounted for. This was in the news in case security officials reading this think this is special insider information. I hope they have better things to do.
We know there are millions who cheered when the buildings in New York were taken down in 9/11. We know given all the mess in the Middle East there is huge and growing blowback and destabilizing flows of refugees.
In short authorities are gun shy, no terrorist and nuclear terrorist potential shy and feel with the nuclear, bacteriological and deadly chemical proliferation along with hate and weapons of mass destruction means they cannot afford any longer to give anyone with a geo-political mind and view privacy or no file.
They also see western political institutions (beginning to) crumble because they are indeed weak. But their view is if they do, groups like ISIS or homegrown terrorists will have a better day. That’s why I have been writing since my Harvard days about building a more humane and effective world order especially regarding more easily radicalized youth.
So positive activists who weaken these institutions, legitimately or not get their attention especially if they weaken public commitment to them, goes this authoritarian thinking. They are very troubled people who need help?
Because the weak are more likely to be paranoid and that weakness is not in security hardware but in moral and fiscal leadership. And because a grotesque orientation in recent US history too often is into mass killings in the Third World much of which was totally unnecessary. That makes for a lot of enemies and illegitimacy, oh yes, and blowback.
In short, their view and too many leaders they monitor too, though not all, do not care a real rats ass overall whether they have invaded your privacy, misdiagnosed your threat capability unless there is a major media scandal of unknown portions irrespective of whether your views morally resonate. Then after a short time, if they are still nervous about you right or wrong they go back to monitoring you. They feel backed in a corner more so by ever spreading populism.
Their job is therefore nasty and imprecise which makes them dangerous as well to many innocent and decent people but that is the way it has been and will continue to be. Bless most of them anyway as they are essential.
The nation and world are too unstable nowadays to let “shit disturbers” rightful or not any room is their view. And the technology is too deadly even if one individual gets involved just with fertilizer. Yup farmers who over buy the stuff get attention, too. Farmers dangerous? Everybody is now?
The individual’s rights weighed against Mr. Bomb mean little in the age of potential mass destruction and multiplying terrorism and mass questioning of the state elites and institutions. The rise of Trump to the youth popularity of Paul are demonstrations to these officials that America is a political basket case and needs their thorough attention and ‘help”? And vast expansion of budget never mind about fiscal responsibility?
In sum, the world is too threatening at home and abroad in many security officials’ eyes to really care about your rights. They are trying hard for example to stop atomic bombs, dummy from hitting your pub to club. Give’m a break with all this democracy stuff invented before the age of the nuclear terrorists? I am being sarcastic.
Fortunately, there are also many in the security branches trying to balance all these demands. But the neo-conservatives “do not sleep” and have much influence to overly scare the Hell out of us. Just remember Senator Lindsey Graham running around saying nukes might be on the loose in his state.
We indeed need prudence but not hysteria. But hysteria is convenient to create a police state. No thank you Lindsay and friends as we want neither your extreme fear or the nukes too in our cities.
If we are smart we can ensure both. If we are not we will get that police state and fascism. In my view it is is a fifty-fifty chance unless people legitimately stand up against Graham and his type of gangs wherever they be. And Hillary is precariously close to being as bad.