The War on Terrorism is a Fraud
Although the truth about the United States' war on terrorism is as plain as day, it is verboten to express it. Simply put, there would not be any terrorism to war against if Americans would stop meddling in the internal affairs of Islamic states, scale back their carte blanche support for Israel, and find some mode of transportation other than gas-guzzling automobiles. More to the point, neither the United States nor Israel, alone or together, can win a war of extermination against the Islamic world and auto emissions are destroying the ecology of the planet.
The Americans' phony-baloney war on terrorism is also bankrupting the Treasury. In addition to the hundreds of billions of dollars which American officials (colonial administrators, military personnel, contractors, mercenaries, et al.) either piss against the wall or pocket in ratholes such as Afghanistan and Iraq, tens of billions more are lavished on Israel and friendly Islamic governments each year. In addition to all of that, the 2005 budget for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a whopping $50 billion -- the equivalent of the GNP of New Zealand. Tant pis, like most of the money spent combating terrorism abroad, the lion's share of the domestic anti-terrorism budget is either squandered or pocketed by thieves at the DHS and consequently contributes little or nothing to national security.
Last week in Der Spiegel, Georg Mascolo presented a laundry list of waste and corruption at Homeland Security. For instance, a $300 million security system designed to detect explosives in shipping crates entering U. S. ports had to be scrapped when it was belatedly discovered that it was unable to tell the difference between nuclear bombs and cat litter. Another $1.2 billion was spent by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a division of Homeland Security, on worthless technology designed to detect explosives. Even bomb-sniffing dogs have escalated in price to $10,000 apiece. As things now stand, less than ten per cent of all cargo entering U. S. airports and harbors is inspected in any shape, form, or fashion. This negligence no doubt accounts for the myriad of invasive plants and animals now wreaking havoc with the ecology as well as for the introduction of Old World zoonotic diseases.
Other questionable outlays include: $2.5 billion for sensors and drones to augment the work of vigilante Minutemen on the nation's borders; $10 billion to equip all 6,800 commercial airliners with anti-missile systems; and, $10 billion for a new computer program called US-VISIT which digitally fingerprints and photographs all foreign visitors. According to the June 22nd edition of the Washington Post, however, US-VISIT so far has been primarily responsible for snagging the crews of foreign airlines. All of this is in addition to the hiring and equipping (weapons, Blackberrys, etc.) of hundreds of thousands of new security cops and the building of new emergency command centers. CNN reported on April 20th that one such center built for the TSA outside Washington is opulently furnished with seven kitchens, a 4,200 square-foot fitness center, and $500,000 worth of art, silk plants, and other luxuries.
To this ever-growing litany of waste and corruption Mother Jones adds the following: a $500,000 cost overrun in the hiring of passenger and baggage screeners at the nation's airports; an extra $49 million paid to Boeing for a contract to do nothing more strenuous than to oversee other contracts; and, $1.5 billion in bonuses paid to TSA executives during 2003 plus another $462,000 for an awards ceremony so that they could pat themselves on the back for doing such a good job of fleecing the public and such a sorry job of protecting the country.
Finally, all of these newly-commissioned hired guns must be given something to do and this has led to the staging of a seemingly endless parade of mock anti-terrorism drills across the country which have wasted hundreds of millions of dollars and inconvenienced untold numbers of people. One recent such drill in New Jersey cost $14 million. Looking on the bright side, this is probably a small price to pay in order to keep these welfare bums with guns off the backs of ordinary citizens.
Lord Acton once sagely observed that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" and nowhere is that dictum more self-evident than in the United States' war on terrorism. Even George Bush's old ally from Texas, Clark Kent Ervin, was fired from his job as head auditor at Homeland Security because he refused to go along with the systemic waste and corruption that he found at the 180,000-man department. Former department head Tom Ridge is now a lobbyist for Savi Technology, a multinational located in Sunnyvale, CA, and is cleaning up by selling RFID technology to the Pentagon. The TSA itself has had four directors within its first three years of existence who have quit in order to shill for the security industry and its worthless high-tech gadgetry.
As egregious as all of this corruption is, it pales in comparison to the deleterious effect that the war on terrorism is having on civil liberties at home; money can be replaced but freedom once surrendered is not so easily regained. As if both the Homeland Security and Patriot acts were not bad enough in themselves, Congress last month, quietly and without any real opposition, passed the Real I. D. Act. This law will require all Americans to carry a national identity card embedded with a still to be determined assortment of sensitive biometric data and perhaps RFID as well. This card will be needed in order to get on an airplane, to apply for government services and benefits, and even to use a public computer. Starting this fall, RFID technology will be added to all U. S. passports. The enactment of this provision and, especially, the Real I. D. Act spells the end of freedom as is has been known in America. Big Brother now controls all the strings: the individual has been reduced to a mere marionette.
Nine-one-one, whether by design or cockup, has yielded an unprecedented bonanza for all the usurpers in this country. Without first scaring the shit out of everyone with nine-one-one, neither Afghanistan, Iraq, the war on terrorism, the Patriot and Homeland Security acts, nor the looting of the U. S. Treasury would have been possible. The Democrats are in this respect every bit as guilty and as corrupt as the Republicans and this is evident not only in their wholehearted support for Bush's international and domestic agendas but also in the disgraceful manner in which so-called liberal senators such as Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd have siphoned off porkbarrel Defense and Homeland Security dollars to their home states. The Israelis and their supporters in this country, whether complicit in nine-one-one or not, have nevertheless profited mightily from it in the form of $10 billion to fight terrorism, arms sales to China, Islamic states, and others, and by being given a free hand by the United States to continue their policy of plunder and extermination against the Palestinians. The mass media, stooging as usual for the capitalists, the Jews, and the Christian Right, have also been generously rewarded for their unwavering support of the war on terrorism in the form of FCC-approved consolidations and monopolizations. A few shekels have even made their way down the social ladder and into the pockets of factory workers and others charged with producing the food and equipment needed by the military and Homeland Security. Much the same can be said for the families of fallen soldiers who are profiting from greatly enhanced survivors' benefits. In America, the corruption of both body and soul is pervasive.
The most nauseating aspect of this sorry spectacle is, however, the way in which the supporters of the war on terrorism drape themselves in the flag. In doing so they have thus made patriotism synonymous with bigotry, genocide, lying and, above all, wholesale thievery. If the capitalists, Jews, and the Christian Right are all so patriotic why don't they donate their money and lives to the war effort instead of raiding the Treasury and dispatching the lower classes to die in their imperialist misadventures? The only plausible answer is that they are too cowardly and too venal. Dr. Johnson said it best all those years ago when he defined patriotism as the "last refuge of a scoundrel."