Over the last year, I’ve written a few entries in relation to this topic – I originally wrote a blog entry “Terrorism “will not change our way of life” and the loss of freedom” where I reported the facts of the pre-2001 terrorism state. I then followed it up with “Making war on the Public” and “Religious Cultural persecution in the name of terror“. To a lessor degree, the recent entry “I need someone to protect me from all the measures they take in order to protect me” is also related.
I decided that I needed to re-look at the stats reported by the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism and see what they were now reporting. However, lo and behold, the reports are no longer available – in fact the page now states:
Reports From the Field
The Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (S/CT) and its U.S. Government counterterrorism team, in concert with international partners, are engaged in a comprehensive, continuous, world-wide effort to defeat the terrorist enemy.
To read about specific accomplishments and to view reports about counterterrorism activities worldwide, please choose a selection from the list in the left-hand column.
In fact the last available “Patterns of Global Terrorism” report available dates back to 2003. I guess, this information is now considered “national security”? Perhaps it’s just me, but it seems like the site (and the department) is nothing more than a huge propaganda machine now. What happened to that impartial stance they had? Was it considered unpatriotic or dangerously political to not take on the fanatical mouth-foaming stance of the White House?
The world is going nuts, we are told that “Terrorist networks currently pose the greatest national security threat” ready to attack our every way of life. This “terrorist enemy” is a faceless, great seething mob and have the “characteristics of a “globalized insurgency” and employs subversion, sabotage, open warfare and, of course, terrorism. It seeks weapons of mass destruction or other means to inflict massive damage“.Yet, while they claim that “Our strategy acts to create conditions for enemy collapse, by disaggregating the extremist networks through attacking enemy leadership, safehavens and the conditions that terrorists exploit” – the real effect and impact is on the public trying to live their lives.
This “war on terror” has attacked our way of life, more than anything else. We no longer have the freedoms we had simply because we must be ever vigilant towards the “terrorist enemy”. We are told we cannot do things, cannot go places, all in the name of “protecting you from the terrorist enemy”. We are, by form of stealth or clever manipulation, moving at the speed of light into George Orwell’s vision of 1984.
You know, V for Vendetta may almost be a documentary. Anyhow, where was I?
My life, like those of others, was once again impacted last week as photographers are told that because we’re not taking “happy snaps” our photos are suspicious because the photos of “obscure” items are considered of no photographic Interest, and thus we are open for suspicion of terrorism.
In a report by the Australian Attorney-General, we find, that the last page entitled “Should I report it? A security checklist for critical infrastructure” states a number of points that deem inappropriate behaviour and keystones to potential terrorist activity. These include:
- Is the person TAKING NOTES of security vulnerabilities?
“things of interest include the timing of events, parking areas, security arrangements and hiding spots”
So, it sounds reasonable, right? Yet, right next to this, they have a picture of two trainspotters. Terrorists obviously.
- Do Video and photo subjects have NO credible PHOTGRAPHIC INTEREST?
Again, the image is of a photographer with the reflection of a building on his lens.
- Does the person have NO LEGITIMATE REASON for being in an area?
Guess what the image associated to this is? Yeop, a photographer, on public land, taking a photo of silos.
- Is the person COLLECTING INFORMATION from promotional literature or inquiring about security?
OK, this scares me – should we shut down the Internet, block the media and stop handing out tourist brochures? seriously, wtf?
I won’t keep going – you get the gist. Is it any wonder then, that a minimum wage Security Guard, who’s been given this brochure as part of their “in house training” and told to keep an eye out, is not going to get antsy about basically anyone?
I find the use of statistics across the entire report, the arguments used, aggravating. Let’s spout out how many attacks were conducted at shopping centres to justify why we need to look after these shopping centers. Let’s avoid mentioning the fact that all of these attacks occurred in countries where there is great socio-political strife, where the aim of the attack was specifically to hurt civilians of a particular type or as a revenge attack of the same. NO! If it happened in an Israeli market by a Palestinian suicide bomber to kill as many civilians as possible as a revenge attack on the civilians killed by a tank attack in Palestine, it can happen here by those wishing to … oh, wait, who’s attacking us again?
The Terrorist Enemy of course!
Errr, because they think we’re evil!
Err, never mind about that.
No, why are they attacking us?
Errr, because they think we’re evil and it’s a holy war!
Yeah! and the Palestinians are terrorists too … I mean Israel was using military power, they should have done the same!
OK, but then the US would have stepped in as an ally and bombed them.
True, but it wouldn’t be terrorism then.
Yes, but you would destroy a country and a people because they think differently from you.
Well, we’ll rebuild them later – see, we’re not evil.
Yes, but you’ll rebuild them you’re way – using US resources and creating US markets there – you’ll completely subvert their existence and claim anyone who speaks out against you is a insurrectionist.
Well, of course, who doesn’t want democracy?
But, the US doesn’t even have democracy – you’re a republic! True democracy is not run in 98% of the countries that claim they are democratic!
Hey! Insurrectionist! Free Speech is evil! Arrest this man!