L. Neil Smith's
Number 215, March 17, 2003


The Phantom Menace

by William Stone, III

Exclusive to TLE

Every day, in increasingly shrill tones, the right wing of the Boot On Your Neck Party (otherwise known as the Republicans; left-wing "BOYNs" are Democrats) screech that starting a war with Iraq is the only answer to terrorism.

"Weapons of Mass Destruction™!" they scream in our faces. "Mass DESTRUCTION!! He gasses his own PEOPLE!! MASS destruction!! He's out to GET US!! Remember September 11—mass destruction!! Thousands dead, MASS DESTRUCTION!!"

Annoying as their shrieking has become, freedom-lovers can amuse ourselves with the deer-in-the-headlights look the BOYNs invariably achieve with the realization that some people simply aren't buying it.

"Don't you UNDERSTAND?!" they opine, their tone approaching that of fingernails being dragged across a blackboard. "Mass DESTRUCTION!! He'll kill us all, don't you see?! MASS DESTRUCTION!!"

Relax. Breathe. Think. Use the Force. You have nothing to fear from Saddam Hussein nor terrorists in the United States. They're a phantom menace manufactured by the true villains in this story.

Governments lie constantly, over successive generations and Presidencies. Almost nothing governments tell us is true. The United States FedGov's "reality" is some kind of strange, twisted, alternate universe. It's rather like the original "Star Trek" episode, "Mirror, Mirror": in the FedGov's universe, Spock has a beard and Kirk keeps a stunning brunette in his quarters.

September 11 didn't transform the FedGov's operatives from lying, power-mad, would-be dictators into wizened statesmen. It simply gave them an opportunity to divert attention from their myriad nefarious schemes.

Imagine for a moment that the United States was teeming with terrorist cells, like fleas on a dog, all waiting for an opportune instant to strike. When would have been the most advantageous moment for this?

8:00am Eastern time on September 11, 2001.

If the United States was brimming over with the FedGov's phantom terrorist cells, its leaders would have watched the WTC towers falling and shouted with glee.

"This is it!" they'd've cried. "Today's the day we've been waiting for!"

If they were anything other than phantoms, September 11 should have been the day that all the cells struck. Weapons of Mass Destruction™ would have been used, bridges blown up, power lines sabotaged, home-made grenades randomly pitched out of car windows, etcetera, etcetera.

It's important to understand that terrorists do not rely solely on Weapons of Mass Destruction™ for their dirty work. There's nothing stopping a terrorist from going down to the store, buying powder, PVC pipe, and some rusty old nails, and filling his garage to bursting with home-made pipe bombs.

In general, terrorists don't like Weapons of Mass Destruction™. They're too expensive, complicated, prone to failure, and subject to health hazards totally absent in chemical explosives. Terrorists prefer car bombs, home-made grenades, and conventional weapons. What did the September 11 terrorists have for weapons? Box cutters. Such are the preferred weapons of terrorists worldwide: cheap, easy, and effective.

The fact that no terrorist attempts to use cheap, easy, and effective weapons in modern America is indicative that such terrorists are phantoms. In order to prove this, allow me offer some specific examples of things terrorists could do if they had a mind to.

Please note that I do not advocate these activities, as any one of them would be an initiation of force. I simply bring them up as vulnerabilities that I—as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional with training in physical security—can categorically state exist.

1. The Sears Tower in the Chicago Loop [link].

For the entire decade of the 1990s, I lived and worked in the Chicagoland metropolitan area. In the early part of the decade, I worked as an international courier, which took me all over the Chicago Loop.

The western side of the Sears Tower faces Wacker Drive [link], and they are unguarded. It's easy to imagine scenarios under which a bridge could be weakened or destroyed.

3. The lock-and-dam system on the Mississippi River.

There is a complex lock-and-dam system on the Mississippi [link], designed to control downstream flooding. Thousands of vessels pass through these locks every day, ranging from private recreational traffic to enormous (and impressive), multi-part barges [link].

Imagine what would happen if only a small handful of the locks between Minneapolis/St. Paul and St. Louis were damaged. The Mighty Mississippi would suddenly rise by several feet or more, guaranteeing disastrous flooding in St. Louis and points south.

These locks are not particularly secure. Having spent several summers in the late 1980s working along the Mississippi, I can easily imagine how explosives could be planted on either private boats or commercial barges.

Potential terrorists aren't stupid. If my own limited meandering can uncover three potential targets in only a few minutes, someone wishing to really cause damage could do far worse. Indeed, the ability of a few lame-brains to destroy two of the tallest buildings in the world armed only with box-cutters shows that terrorists can analyze weak points in the American infrastructure as well as anyone. The United States has all kinds of such vulnerabilities—it's impossible to avoid them without putting an end to anything remotely resembling freedom.

If there were massive, credible terrorist organizations within the United States, attacks such as these would have occurred on September 11, within hours of the WTC tower collapses. If the terrorists had anything like organization, it would have occurred simultaneous with the WTC tower impact.

The terrorist cells that the BOYNs dream about are at best a phantom menace generated by paranoids. At worst, they're a deliberate attempt to terrify Americans into surrendering liberties that they'd never dream of ceding under other circumstances.

The same is quite likely true of Saddam Hussein's military capabilities. The FedGov tells us two things:

1. Saddam Hussein is a madman: the concept that an attack on the United States using Weapons of Mass Destruction™ would mean certain doom is not enough to deter him.

2. He has the capability to launch attacks on the United States with Weapons of Mass Destruction™.

If both of these claims are true, why has Saddam yet to attack? Why did he not specifically use his Weapons of Mass Destruction™ on September 11 or shortly after, when it would have been most advantageous?

We've been told by government propaganda agencies that Hussein had SOMETHING to do with terrorism on American soil. If that's the case, why did he stop at simply backing the terrorists who destroyed the WTC towers? Why not go further, and release a biological weapon the Chicago Loop? Why has he not done so since?

If Saddam Hussein actually used Weapons of Mass Destruction™ in the United States, President Bush would face absolutely no opposition to war. Not from Congress, France, Germany, the United Nations, or other Arab nations. The Turks would trip over themselves to allow FedGov troops to stage attacks. Indeed, Middle Eastern governments would be jostling each other in line to be the site of FedGov military bases.

According to the FedGov, however, this concept is lost on Saddam.

The FedGov's propaganda is mutually exclusive. One of the two items (perhaps both) is a lie. Either Saddam is sane and understands that an attack on the United States would mean his death, or he's insane and simply doesn't have the weapons to carry out his mad plans.

Perhaps he's both sane AND doesn't have the weapons.

This isn't to suggest that Saddam isn't an evil individual. Many accounts suggest that he's an initiator of force on a massive scale. Unfortunately, since most accounts are invariably filtered through the FedGov, one has to take them with a grain of salt.

The problem is that given the FedGov's long history of lies and deceit, it's impossible to know when to trust it. Indeed, given that so much of the information it disseminates is demonstrably wrong, the only sane thing to assume is that government is ALWAYS lying.

In the present instance, the FedGov is lying for an obvious reason: it is capitalizing on the hysteria of September 11 for the purpose of acquiring and consolidating dictatorial power. The truth of this is easy to prove:

The FedGov's concentration on securing the United States from its phantom menace is primarily focused on two things:

1. The Unconstitutional imprisonment of American citizens.

2. The sexual abuse of thousands of women at Unconstitutional airport screening centers.

This is all that "domestic security" will accomplish. Those in the FedGov understand this perfectly. Those in power have no interest in fighting terrorism, and their policies reflect this.

If the FedGov actually wishes to combat terrorism, only one policy is necessary:

Enforce the Bill of Rights. Specifically, immediately declare all victim disarmament laws in violation of the Second Amendment and actively destructive to national security.

Airport security rapists can be immediately replaced with an effective deterrent that costs absolutely nothing: unrestricted access and thousands of air travelers—each armed with the privately-purchased, untraceable, unregistered knife, revolver, pistol, rifle, shotgun, or even slingshot of their choice.

This is the only step that need be taken to secure the United States from terrorism. The fact that this isn't even CONSIDERED is proof positive that security is the farthest thing from the Bush Administration's mind.

President Bush doesn't want secure free individuals. He wants disarmed, ready slaves.

Terrorist cells on every block are a fantasy, a phantom menace concocted by FedGov operatives. The real enemy is those who spin the web of lies.

William Stone, III is a computer nerd (RHCE, CCNP, CISSP) and philosopher of the Zero Aggression Principle from McCook Lake, South Dakota. He seeks the Libertarian Party's nomination for the 2004 Senate race in South Dakota.


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