Aug. 21, 2014 By Jack Jodell.
I read recently at The Intercept.org, an incredible site put out by First Look Media (https://firstlook.org/) about how our government has a watchlist of 680.000 people who are “known or suspected terrorists.” The piece, written by Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux, points out that this government Terrorist Screening Database (widely shared with local law enforcement agencies, foreign governments, and even private contractors) contains a whopping 280,000 persons who, according to the federal government, have “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.” The article points out how this huge number is far larger than the number of watchlisted persons suspected of having ties to al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah combined! It further reveals how the Obama administration has boosted the number of people on its “no fly list” tenfold! That number, which contains the names of people who are barred from boarding an airplane in this country, now stands at an astounding 47,000! God help you if your name should ever appear on that list – instead of flying to your far-off destination, you’ll be taking a train, busing it, or hoofing it instead!
Keep in mind, readers, that I am NOT a terrorist, nor do I wish to make light of all the damage terrorists have done from the time of the very first ambush to the horrible 9/11 attacks in 2001 through our recent drone strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I cannot support terrorism in any form, no matter what the reason, for it always involves the murder of innocents as well as those whom one side or another claims is guilty of something. It is a mindless act of murderous vengeance which never solves anything. Rather, it inevitably leads to future acts of senseless violence. Its perpetrators are cowards, who sit safely by and watch as their smart-weapons or hired mercenaries do their bidding for them. In the end, nobody wins, and all that remains are corpses or needlessly crippled victims, whose lives have been unjustly altered forever. It is sheer INSANITY.
Likewise, while I DO believe in the practice of true self-defense, I am thoroughly opposed to preventative military strikes, and am STRONGLY opposed to overreaction on the part of paranoid government officials whose aim is always to shoot first no matter what and ask questions a long time afterward. This type of paranoid, half-cocked behavior led DICK Cheney and his cohorts in the George W. Bush administration to illegally invade, occupy, and plunder Iraq, a bloody misadventure which cost this country billions of dollars and led to the passage of freedom-robbing bills like the notorious Patriot Act and the adoption of anti-freedom practices like the wiretapping of every single phone call made from or received in this country. as well as to the storing of every single email sent into or out of this country. In the name of “preserving and defending liberty” (what a twisted, cruel joke!), our National Security Agency zealots have even taken it upon themselves to read the private emails of foreign leaders, even those of our allies. It is a very frightening thought to realize that NOBODY in the entire world has any privacy anymore! The next time you attend a major sporting event and find yourself having to empty your pockets, open your purse, and then pass through a metal detector, think of war criminal DICK Cheney and the paranoid, overly zealous neocon types over at the NSA. Our Founding Fathers, plus Abraham Lincoln, all of whom were true great lovers of liberty, are surely spinning in their graves at these menacing developments that have become hallmarks of overreaction since 9/11. Where and when will all of this absurdity end?
This very unhealthy level of paranoia is becoming dangerously pervasive, and it MUST STOP! Police forces across the country, even in small towns like Ferguson, MO., are loading themselves up with fully UNNEEDED paramilitary equipment, and are starting to use it on their fellow citizens (whom they are supposedly there to serve) at the slightest provocation. The recent fatal shooting of an unarmed young black man with no police record tragically proves this beyond all doubt. Furthermore, their harassment of the press is completely uncalled for and is downright undemocratic as well! VERY regrettably, this thug-like, arrogant behavior is almost starting to become a new normal. Police are going way overboard as a direct result of this ludicrous new anti-terrorism crusade our nation is now adopting!
Several important questions need to be answered here: why in hell are so many police shooting victims unarmed, young, and black, or of Hispanic origin? Why in hell are so many law enforcement departments buying surplus automatic and semi-automatic assault weapons, and even TANKS? Finally, why the hell is the National Rifle Association (the NRA), after all the shootings and mass murders using semi-automatic assault weapons we have seen in the past few years, still exhorting all citizens to oppose all limitations on ANY form of firearm and own a gun?
The Intercept.org article quotes former senior FBI agent David Gomez as saying, “If everything is terrorism, then nothing is terrorism.” This blogger is one lover of liberty who completely agrees. We saw how harmful and preposterous our seeing a “Communist under every bed” was in the McCarthy era witchhunts of the early 1950s. Vigilance should never become oppression! We must not ourselves become the enemy we wish to vanquish. So too, must we now see how foolish and freedom-destroying our present-day, overreactive “seeing a terrorist under every bed” is becoming in 2014!