WAR ON TERROR OR WAR ON FREEDOM?
September 22, 2011
A recent major investigative report by the Los Angeles Times sheds light on what all this "war on terror" is actually costing--and actually accomplishing. According to the report, "A decade after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, federal and state governments are spending about $75 billion a year on domestic security, setting up sophisticated radio networks, upgrading emergency medical response equipment, installing surveillance cameras and bombproof walls, and outfitting airport screeners to detect an ever-evolving list of mobile explosives.
"But how effective has that 10-year spending spree been?
"'The number of people worldwide who are killed by Muslim-type terrorists, Al Qaeda wannabes, is maybe a few hundred outside of war zones. It's basically the same number of people who die drowning in the bathtub each year,' said John Mueller, an Ohio State University professor who has written extensively about the balance between threat and expenditures in fighting terrorism."
The LA Times report goes on to say, "Like the military-industrial complex that became a permanent and powerful part of the American landscape during the Cold War, the vast network of Homeland Security spyware, concrete barricades and high-tech identity screening is here to stay. The Department of Homeland Security, a collection of agencies ranging from border control to airport security sewn quickly together after Sept. 11, is the third-largest Cabinet department and--with almost no lawmaker willing to render the U.S. less prepared for a terrorist attack--one of those least to fall victim to budget cuts.
"The expensive and time-consuming screening now routine for passengers at airport boarding gates has detected plenty of knives, loaded guns and other contraband, but it has never identified a terrorist who was about to board a plane. Only 14 Americans have died in about three dozen instances of Islamic extremist terrorist plots targeted at the U.S. outside war zones since 2001--most of them involving one or two home-grown plotters."
The report also notes, "Large sums of Homeland Security money, critics complain, have been propelled by pork barrel politics into the backyards of the congressionally connected."
See the LA Times report.
Add to the LA Times report a report by Madison Ruppert. In the report, Ruppert notes that it is clearly the Bill of Rights--especially the First Amendment's freedom of speech and the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms--that are suffering the most egregious attacks from the federal government's "war on terror."
Ruppert concludes his report saying, "In short, despite the fact that all the statistics and data in the world directly contradict the report's findings and the claims made by clearly biased 'experts' on the threat of terrorism, especially of the homegrown variety, the HSPI [Homeland Security Policy Institute] and other bodies continue to fearmonger and lie to the American people to keep us scared while they empty our pockets and continue their imperialistic adventures in the Middle East and now North Africa."
Back to the Times report, not only do we Americans have about an equal chance of dying at the hands of a terrorist as we do dying in our own bathtubs, we have a much greater risk of dying at the hands of prescription drugs--something lawfully encouraged and tightly controlled by the US government. According to a recent report, more people now die each year from prescription drugs than from automobile accidents. That's some 37,000 deaths via prescription drugs annually! (Come to think of it, how many people do you know who have died from marijuana?) And as hard as it will be for some people to accept, this number is gigantically greater than those who die from hard drugs such as heroin or crack cocaine. In fact, the prescription drug Vicodin, by itself, has killed more people than cocaine and heroin combined.
See the report on prescription drug deaths.
So, what has this trillion-dollar "war on terror" accomplished? If it's not making us more secure, what is it doing? Well, for one thing, it has created a stupendous surveillance society. Virtually every piece of public communication is now captured and stored by the federal government. Surveillance cameras are now ubiquitous throughout the United States. We have a gargantuan federal police department (which is anathema to the US Constitution): the Department of Homeland Security. We have thousands of Orwellian laws, most of which were spawned by the Patriot Act. And more and more often, law enforcement agencies are demonizing US citizens for their religious and political beliefs and statements--even categorizing them as potential domestic terrorists based simply on those religious and political beliefs.
To refresh reader's minds regarding how Americans have been labeled, profiled, and denigrated as "terrorists" because of their religious or political beliefs, please peruse the material on this web page.
Fortunately, it does appear that the combination of an emerging police state and a declining economy that has resulted from this "war on terror" is finally starting to catch the attention of the American people. According to a Brooking Institution report, "Six in ten Americans believe that that the United States weakened its economy by overspending in its responses to the 9/11 attacks. In particular, respondents felt this was especially true of the U.S. mission in Iraq. Two out of three Americans perceive that over the decade since 9/11, U.S. power and influence in the world has declined."
A Rasmussen report further revealed, "As with the recent turmoil in Egypt, most Americans (67%) say the United States should leave the situation in the Arab countries alone."
Beyond that, "A Zogby poll conducted in August 2007 found that 51% of Americans want Congress to probe Bush/Cheney regarding the 9/11 attacks, two-thirds (67%) of Americans say the 9/11 Commission should have investigated the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7."
The LA Times is right to question what Americans are getting for their $75 billion a year contribution to the "war on terror." Some could even argue--with convincing data--that the "war on terror" is in reality a "war on freedom."
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