Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Forgetting 9/11's Legacy of Fear

By Alan Caruba

As the election nears, it occurred to me that we have forgotten the fear that we felt on 9/11, the shorthand for the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. It has been replaced by a new set of widespread fears that are communicated to me every day either personally or via the Internet.

I am talking about fears of a government under the aegis of a President Obama that abandons the U.S. Constitution and imposes its authority via martial law, declarations of emergency powers, and the myriad ways it can intrude into the privacy of our homes and lives. I am talking about a President Obama for whom there is plenty of proof—whole books—that reveal his Marxist views.

I am currently reading “Homeland Insecurity” by Terry D. Turchie and Dr. Kathleen Puckett ($25.95, History Publishing Company). Turchie is a former Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI and his co-author is a former FBI clinical psychologist. Together they provide a defense of the Federal Bureau of Investigation by examining how a dozen Washington, D.C. politicians have, over the years, compromised national security in their personal quest for political power.

We became aware of this after 9/11 when we learned that a “wall” had been put in place between the FBI and other national security agencies that made it impossible for them to share knowledge of internal and external threats. Incredibly, the person most responsible for it, Jamie Gorelick, was selected to serve on the 9/11 Commission. The authors deem the Commission to be little more than an exercise to excuse Congress from its responsibility for the circumstances that permitted the attack to occur.

Indeed, from the days of the Watergate scandal, charges have been leveled against the FBI to discredit it despite the fact that it was a high ranking FBI official, Mark Felt, who secretly assisted the two Washington Post reporters in revealing the corruption that had infected the Nixon White House.

9/11 wiped out an estimated one trillion dollars from the nation’s GDP in 2001 and I still recall George W. Bush telling us that the way to respond to it was to “go out and shop.” In the meantime, the Patriot Act was pulled off the shelf and voted into law, allowing all manner of government invasion into our lives on the mere suspicion that we might constitute a threat. Targeting the real terrorists, however, has been spotty at best if one takes a tally of cases brought against jihadists in the U.S. since 9/11.

The main theme of “Homeland Insecurity” is the view that “The political culture of Washington, D.C., operates on the principle that power enables privilege just as the royal courts of Europe functioned. Privilege shared creates its own favored class exempt from legal and social rules that govern other citizens.” None of that bodes well for the rest of us.

What I am hearing from people is the belief that the Obama administration will find a reason to impose dictates on Americans that will facilitate the “redistribution of wealth” and silence its critics.

If you think you were afraid on 9/11, it will be nothing compared to the fear that will spread throughout the nation if these predictions come true.

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