The United States government has its own methods of "cooking the books" when it comes to manipulating facts and statistics on issues for which they have an agenda. They do not find it always necessary to actually distort facts or outright lie. They merely shine the spotlight on those things they want the public to consider the most important issues to be dealt with. Those issues may or may not be of any significant consequence, but the very fact that the administration presents them through the media as of such paramount importance, virtually insures their nearly blind acceptance by the majority--those who, though claiming distrust of television news and the print media, continue to believe what they are told even when it defies common logic.
In a previous article we discussed the vapid arguments the government has used to promote and justify the Communications Decency Act--the most, as yet, far reaching and potentially restrictive piece of legislation ever designed to "protect" American citizens, specifically children. Even though a federal court has struck it down, this does not mean it is out. Just a few more highly publicized incidents of "kiddy-porn" detected on the Internet and the media will be inciting citizens to tear down the courthouse doors (literally or figuratively).
For any government that has become more fearful of its citizen's rights than protective of them, their first response is to find--or manufacture--"legitimate" reasons to limit (or eliminate) those rights; especially the right to freedom of information and freedom of travel or movement. For this purpose, terrorism, among others, is a tailor-made issue.
The director of The Council on Foreign Relations' national security programs, Richard N. Haass, stated in a syndicated column, August 4th that terrorism is "a war with an unlimited number of battles, none of them decisive....For a long time, terrorism was something we Americans mostly read about or saw on television. Now, terrorism has come to the United States, with a growing list of casualties and notorious events: the World Trade Center bombing, Oklahoma City, the Unibomber attacks, possibly TWA Flight 800--and certainly the pipe bomb at the Atlanta Olympics." Haass went on to state, "In a world in which borders count for less and less, it should come as little surprise that terrorism has come to America. Our cities are the new battlefields, and we are the combatants."
Every war should have such "battlefields" and "combatants" as American cities and citizens have become as the result of domestic terrorism. Logic would have to ask Mr. Haass if it does not remain true that Americans still only read about terrorism or see it on television. With extremely few exceptions that is exclusively the case. There have, to date, been far more U.S. citizens killed by terrorism outside our borders than within, in this decade alone.
By comparing U.S. vital statistics we would likely find that death by terrorism--just considering the eight years of this decade--rank below death by lightning strikes. If we factor in the years only since World War Two, terrorism fatalities would probably fall far beneath demise by food choking (even after the advent of the Heimlich Maneuver).
In the arena of domestic terrorism, specifically referred to by the CFR's National Security Program's director, there are:
- World Trade Center bombing - 6 fatalities
- Oklahoma City Federal Building - 169
- Unibomber attacks - 3
- Olympic Games in Atlanta - 1
With this growing list of casualties, death from terrorism by the year 2000 may actually exceed those from bee stings. So, why does the news media give such seemingly unbalanced publicity to a comparatively small statistic--and what can legislation actually accomplish in this fantasy warfare? As Time Magazine recently reported, in an article on the Atlanta pipe bombing, the incident "occurred in the midst of what amounts to an armed camp--with 30,000 law-enforcement officers deployed to protect 10,000 athletes and 2 million fans. In addition, [there were] 11,000 National Guard and active-duty military personnel on Olympics duty, including more than 500 Delta Force and SEAL-Team 6 commandos, airmen from the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, and specially trained U.S. Army Rangers....[There was] Metal-detection equipment set up outside all venues, and a sophisticated security system [comparing] live handprints to a chip on ID badge[s]. The Olympic Village [became] a virtual fortress: on city streets, manhole covers [were] welded down to prevent anyone from getting access to power lines." In spite of all this, a single, unsophisticated chunk of pipe stuffed with low grade explosive still managed to find its way through all of that most "sophisticated security system". The result was as effective as a much larger device would have been because of the media coverage given it. This is, after all, the very highest goal of terrorism, is it not? - the intense focus of the media upon its actions? If such media focus were given boating accidents, there would likely follow legislation requiring a license to handle a glass of water.
The term "knee-jerk", however much overused it may be, does aptly depict the mindless, gut-level reaction of the public on which the government likes to base its legislation. "Don't think--just react" is the desire of lawmakers for their constituency whom they picture more as cattle with voting power than thinking, rational people.
To what lengths are the Washington opinion forgers willing to go in order to win blind acceptance for ever-increasing control over their electorate? What else do those who govern do in order to obtain these ends?
There is a growing body of extremely alarming and highly credible evidence that the U.S. Government, for purposes of stimulating public acceptance of legislation to limit personal freedoms, has itself engaged in the encouragement and the actual planning of acts of domestic terrorism against its own citizens. Some of this "encouragement" was brought to light when a reliable FBI informant notified the bureau of the immanent bombing of the World Trade Center. The incident was reported by the New York Times in the form of transcripts of tape recordings made by the aforementioned informant. These tapes were made of his conversations with FBI agents using equipment they had supplied him.
Against vigorous efforts by the Justice Department to keep the tapes and their contents secret, the federal judge presiding over the case of those indicted for the Trade Center bombing, ordered the recordings released and they became public knowledge.
Richard Ben-Veniste, former associate Watergate special prosecutor, exclaimed that the tapes, apparently unprecedented in American jurisprudence, foreshadowed "an absolute nightmare for federal prosecutors." In addition to the New York Times story, the Los Angeles Times in an October 28, 1993 article also revealed details of FBI involvement in the terrorist act. FBI spokesmen in Washington refused comment.
Capitol Hill speculation is laced with stories of the government's desire that the bombing would expedite the passage of anti-crime legislation. What better way to generate restrictive laws than for those in power to secretly perpetrate the crimes they want those laws to address, and, then with great pretense of concern, continually denounce the "heinous" or "cowardly acts" before an enraptured media who willingly splatters it across their newspages and television screens? What better way to disarm an American public who heretofore sported bumper stickers claiming that the government would take away their guns when they "pried" them from their "dead cold fingers." Create a serious enough threat--even if totally imaginary--and one can be persuaded to give up almost any liberty to regain the apparently lost security.
What government cannot obtain by the use of dictatorial force from a people who have been inculcated with the idea of "personal freedom", they accomplish by a tyranny of laws. This end, as we have indicated, is achieved by the vastly exaggerated media coverage of events which they make to appear so portentous as to warrant their invasive legislation "for your own protection and well-being."
The CFR's Richard Haass, quoted earlier, also included in his column an ominous assertion: "Greater vigilance [against terrorism] will also involve a willingness to compromise some of our civil liberties, including accepting more frequent phone taps and surveillance. Those who would resist paying such a price should keep in mind that terrorism could well get worse in coming years." [They hope].
To many, the idea that the American people could be induced to sacrifice liberty so willingly seems rather fanciful. But consider a "Bullet Poll" conducted by a television station in Shreveport, Louisiana, KTBS-TV Channel 3. They asked their audience, "Would you be willing to give up some of your freedom for a little security?" Seventy-four percent claimed that they would surrender "some, most or all" of their personal liberties, given the proper set of circumstances.
Why is this agenda by our government so apparently obscure that most do not easily recognize it? The answer to that is that anyone could if they cared enough to examine the extent and effect of the laws in the light of the true need for those laws. One does not employ a nuclear warhead to address the threat of a med fly infestation in a fruit orchard. When a thinking individual examines legislative proposals in the light of whether they are truly necessary, versus the far-reaching effect of those laws, he has to question what the real purposes of government are that they would approach such comparatively miniscule problems with vastly over- proportioned legal responses. When one makes such objective examination, an astounding imbalance appears between the powers these laws grant the U.S. Government and the potential security or benefit accruing to the public by the sacrifice of their personal liberties necessary to grant the government those powers.
It has been stated that the purpose of lawyers is to describe the truth without revealing it. The greatest majority of lawmakers in Washington are lawyers.
The Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia has as its motto displayed on a plaque at its entrance, a quotation from Jesus found in the Gospel of John, chapter eight, verse thirty-two, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." What they omitted was what He said just before that: "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples. And ye shall know the truth...." Even quoting Christ they remove His words from their context. In this they do exactly as the one referred to in that same book as the "Father of lies". That is, they seldom express an outright untruth. They merely surround the truth with a context that brings one to an erroneous conclusion, thus making a lie out of the truth. This technique, telling a lie using the truth to do it, is as old as the Prince of Darkness himself--but there is a just reward contained within the act of wrenching truth from its context--a reward which cannot be avoided.
"They... wrest...the...scriptures [truth], unto their own destruction." 2 Peter 3:16.
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