The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is…

In the intervening period, not only were there multiple reporters who were able to track him down and gain interviews, but there were statements released both by spokesmen and by bin Laden himself.  So, we were asked to believe that the most highly trained and funded intelligence organizations in the world (not only ours, but the Mossad, MI5, MI6, etc) could not find him, but some intrepid boy reporters could.

OPINION:  It is much more likely that bin Laden was serving a very useful purpose.  He was a fantastic boogey man.  As long as he was out there to keep the populous afraid, the Right wing could just keep pulling his name out and scaring the beejeezus out of the masses, which led to people voting dutifully for them, and supporting the expansion of the PATRIOT act (that great intrusion into and erosion of your civil liberties)  When the populous start to lose their fear of him, he lost his utility, and he had one last, great role to play.  His final act.  The great death scene which would create new heros, and which the POTUS saw as a chance to bump up his approval rating.  It should have been a win-win situation all the way around.  In other times it would have been.  But, sadly for the POTUS, we are living in a time when the right wing is eating itself, so he was attacked from his right wing even harder than he could have anticipated.  Though his actions were completely in line with what they wanted, it wasn’t enough, because it was him.  Too bad, Barry.

And, now …

Ladies and gentlemen, if I may have your attention please!  Now, playing in the center ring to delight and scare you!  To chill and thrill you!  Gentlemen you may wish to draw your little ladies close, and be sure to cover the eyes and ears of any small children.  Now, don’t be too alarmed as we bring up the spot light.  Understand that we have the situation well in hand.  Trust us.

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula.  Current information suggests that al-Qa’ida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August.  This Travel Alert expires on August 31, 2013.

The contributors of terror, including Gen. Martin Dempsey, have gone on to say that the threat was more specific than previous ones.

I find this awfully convenient.  Can I say with absolute certainty that this is the tail wagging the dog?  Of course not.  I do not have access to all the data and information.  That would be violating all of what I just wrote.  It is hidden away specifically so that we do not have access to it.  In the name of not tipping our hands to the terrorists, of course.  However, after several weeks of a news cycle on whether or not the NSA’s spying on us and the collection of all of this data was valid, suddenly we have this threat that is actionable?  We have had claims that the NSA has prevented attacks using the data, but mysteriously all of those were kept secret.  Until now.  All of them.  Every single one.  We have had a rash of documents that were declassified in an attempt to diffuse the Snowden leaks, and now this.

It is certainly very suspicious.

When I was growing up, one of the things that my father taught me was that the most basic problem with lying is that once you have been caught in a single lie, it makes everything you say after that suspect.  I guess I am applying this here.

So, what happens at the end of August if there is no attack?  Are we supposed to give the Intelligence Apparatus credit for successfully defending us?  I am of the opinion that doing so, without the production of a lot more evidence, would be akin to someone showing you a gun, then not shooting you, and then you giving them credit for saving your life from being shot.  It makes no sense, does it?

When do we grow up and stop making decisions based on fear?  When do we start acting like adults?  I almost typed “again”, but I am really not sure that we ever did.

“Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear.”  – William E. Gladstone


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About Just Torch

Author of the SCIAMAGE column a space devoted to American political and social commentary and analysis. It is unabashedly liberal, but makes every effort to present clear, verifiable facts and sound reasoning. It also makes a commitment to clearly distinguish between facts and opinions. View all posts by Just Torch

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