L. Neil Smith's
Number 288, September 12, 2004

"We don't trust our own government"

Protected My Ass—The Sequel: Attacked By The Clowns
by L. Reichard White

Special to TLE

"These guys [the 911 hijackers] were not superhuman," I. C. Smith noted, "but they were playing in a system that was more inept than they were. If you go back to the aircraft hijackings of the early nineteen-seventies, I can't recall a single instance where we caught a guy" —in advance —"who really intended to hijack a plane." SEYMOUR M. HERSH, MISSED MESSAGES, THE NEW YORKER, Issue of 2002-06-03
"We have no choice; we've got to depend on the people." -Government Official

A few years ago I got a great object lesson. I lived in a "gated" community in Las Vegas. It even had the "fingers of death" to blow tires if someone tried to go in the out drive.

I felt secure.

Then one day I came home just as an appliance company was moving a refrigerator in the out drive by the simple expedient of a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood over the "fingers of death."

I didn't feel so safe anymore.

Then a friend in a really high security building just up the street—full time guards, surveillance cameras in the halls, the Full Monty—had a sizable amount of money stolen right out of his apartment, apparently while he was sleeping.

But the final object lesson—till now—was the high security enclave in Atlantic City where robbers conned the security guards into helping them carry a particularly heavy safe out of the building.

All those object lessons prepared me for 9-11. You see, there is no security. Like the fingers of death, it's all show to make us fools and dupes think we're safe.

You're probably thinking, "Huh??"

Well you see, the same observation applies in spades to Homeland "Security." If people are motivated, they'll find a way—and it's a safe bet that folks like, say, suicide bombers probably are.

And The-Powers-That-Be know full well they can't protect us; every once in awhile they let that embarrassing little truth slip out—in Dis-Mything 911 Part 1: Protected My Ass for example.

My favorite from that article is the following:

Unknown bomber(s) explode a bomb near Wall Street, blowing the front windows out of a building during a nearby police anti-terrorist exercize. -CNN HLN, 11-09-97, ~4:08pm EST

But maybe despite what Desert Storm General Norman Schwartzkopf, Man-Of-The-Year Rudy Giuliani, and Sec. of Offense Donald Rumsfeld all told us then —- now they can protect us because they've had a few years to hone their operation?

Nope. As Rumsfeld told us, ~"The asymmetrical advantage a terrorist has is that he can strike any place at any time, using any conceivable method of attack, and this is impossible to defend against." -CNN Late Edition, May 26, 2002, 13:05:16

That hasn't changed.

What happens, for example, even in Israel, the country with the biggest, most intractable and persistent terrorist [1] problem in the world - - - and thus the most experience in dealing with it (and the police state to prove it)?

At least 14 people were killed and over 40 injured when a car bomb blew up next to an Egged bus at 4:23 P.M. Monday not far from the coastal city of Hadera. ... Monday's car bombing was carried out despite increased security measures instituted by the Egged bus company. Ron Ratner, a spokesman for Egged, said security officers in cars are now trailing buses, looking out for potential car bombs. "From the first reports reaching me, there was such a (security) vehicle dozens of meters from the car bomb," he said. At least 14 killed as bus hit by car bomb near Hadera, By Jalal Bana and Haim Shadmi, Ha'aretz Correspondents, Ha'aretz Service and Agencies, Last update - 03:05 22/10/2002

A very current example? How about the Athens Olympics?

The Sunday Mirror claims an undercover reporter was able to get a job at the main stadium without proper vetting. The paper claims the reporter worked at the venue until the opening ceremony. It says he planted three suspicious packages within the stadium which were not detected by security sweeps. The paper says the parcels contained material for three mock bombs, including plasticine, batteries and wire. ... A "security lockdown" on 5 August failed to detect the packages, the paper says. ... Mr Graham said security was so lax he was even able to gain access to the site with names such as Michael Mouse and Robert bin Laden handwritten on his identification pass. Olympic 'security lapses' exposed, news.bbc.co.uk, Sunday, 15 August, 2004, 05:19 GMT 06:19 UK

But The Powers That Be told us that "Athens security for the 2004 Olympics is the largest 'single event' security operation the world has ever seen, involving 70,000 security/police/military personnel, 200 planes, 78 missile batteries and 57 ships complete with frogmen, and costing about $1.5 billion" (NWI , 5:40 PM 8/9/04)

It seems the "fingers of death" work just about the same everywhere. Las Vegas, Athens, Israel, Atlantic City - - -

And here's another clue as to why:

WASHINGTON - U.S. intelligence overheard al-Qaeda operatives discussing a major pending terrorist attack in the weeks prior to Sept. 11 and had agents inside the terror group, but the intercepts and field reports didn't specify where or when a strike might occur, according to U.S. officials. ... Some of the clues lie buried in 350,000 pages of documents turned over by the CIA for the hearings U.S. had agents inside al-Qaeda, By John Diamond, USA TODAY, 06/04/2002
There aren't enough analysts on the face of the earth to analyze the amount of information we can collect. -Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Intelligence Cmte., June 8, 2002, 13:26:30 [2]

As Rummy revealed, "It's like trying to take a sip of water out of a fire hose."

None the less, we do have the suggestion that since we here in the united States haven't been attacked by terrorists lately, the government must be doing something right.

This argument reminds me of the one about the "Tom Ridge" that went about town banging a wooden spoon on a tin garbage can lid. When asked by a citizen, "Why," he said, "To scare the elephants away." "Elephants aren't afraid of loud noises," said the citizen. "But it seems to be working," said the "Ridge," redoubling his efforts.

It's like a starfish opening a clam. The starfish isn't strong enough to overcome the clam's shell muscle. So it pulls every once in awhile. The clam doesn't know this, so it tenses it's muscle all the time. Eventually its muscle gets exhausted and the shell opens on the next tug. The starfish drops it's stomach inside and has a good feed.

"The Ridge" keeps giving us all these "Amazing Technicolored Terror Alerts: fuchsia, turquoise, salmon pink" ...

Meanwhile, "we" are doing al'Qaeda's work. Remember bin Laden's—ah, Osama, not the other bin Ladens who are quite chummy with the Bush Clan—claim that once the u.S. was attacked, "our" government, given its past history, would do the rest. It would act like a thug and bull in a china shop, indiscriminately bombing cities and killing innocent civilians. This would radicalize the world against the U.S. and do al'Qaeda's recruiting job. [3] "The U.S. Government will become our most effective ally," Osama reportedly said.

Boy was Ossama smart.

~"You could kill all the terrorists in Afghanistan, all the terrorists in the world. You could hang Osama bin Laden in sight of the White House. You still wouldn't have solved the problem because you will have created a whole new generation of terrorists." -Col. Richard Dunn writing in the Washington Post, quoted on ABC THIS WEEK, October 21, 2001

And what can those newly minted "terrorists" be expected to do?

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Investment guru Warren Buffett offered a bleak prediction for the nation's national security, saying a terrorist attack on American soil is "virtually a certainty." ... "We're going to have something in the way of a major nuclear event in this country," said Buffett ... "It will happen. Whether it will happen in 10 years or 10 minutes, or 50 years ... it's virtually a certainty."—Billionaire Predicts Nuclear Attack, Sun May 5,10:28 PM ET , By JOE RUFF, Associated Press Writer

But they couldn't really. Could they?

As part of a Sept ll, 2002 ABCNEWS investigation , a team successfully smuggled 15 pounds of depleted uranium, half enough to make a nuclear device if it had been enriched—and plenty for a "dirty nuke" all by itself—from Austria thru Romania, Turkey and on ship-board, right thru U.S. Customs' most sophisticated detection equipment in the Port of New York and on into the U.S. heartland.

So, they just got lucky ....

Sept. 10, 2003 Last month the container ship Charlotte Maersk pulled into the port of Los Angeles after a trip across the Pacific from Jakarta, Indonesia. It was carrying about 15 pounds of depleted uranium that went undetected. ... For a second year, U.S. government screeners have failed to detect a shipment of depleted uranium in a container sent by ABCNEWS from overseas as part of a test of security at American ports. ... "If they can't detect that, then they can't detect the real thing," explained Tom Cochran, a nuclear physicist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Customs Fails to Detect Depleted Uranium - Again, ABCNEWS.com, September 11, 2003 [4]

Ah, they got lucky twice?

Maybe we don't want to believe ABC NEWS and Warren Buffet, the Sage of Ohmaha and CEO of Berkshire-Hathaway, one of the few companies to put its money where it's CEO's mouth is by writing terrorist insurance, but other insurers are apparently paying attention - - -

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -Excerpt: "State Farm, the nation's largest auto and residential insurer, is changing its car insurance policies to clearly exclude claims stemming from nuclear explosions or radioactive fallout. The Bloomington-based insurer is mailing notices to 40 million auto policyholders that says nuclear blasts or radioactive damage are not normal road hazards, whether the incidents are accidental or intentional. The nuclear exclusion will be added to automobile policies up for renewal beginning Dec. 1, and should be included in all State Farm auto policies by June 1, 2004, Johnson said." -State Farm Cuts Nuke Damage From Coverage, Associated Press, February 26, 2003

O.K. So, we're gonna get nuked because of our "leaders."

Is there anything else to worry about?

Although biodefense has gotten a shot in the arm, it is important to understand that the goal of defending against bioweapons is not primarily public protection—which is largely impossible, as last year's attacks demonstrated. It is rather "to allow the military forces of the United States to survive ... according to the annual report of the Department of Defense's Chemical and Biological Defense Program. ... Biological weapons are preeminently anti-population weapons. But it would be impossible to provide the entire country with protective suits, masks, detectors, shelters, training and vaccinations against the large and growing array of potential agents. Anthrax Attacks Pushed Open an Ominous Door, Times Headlines By BARBARA HATCH ROSENBERG September 22, 2002

Actually, it's much harder to protect a whole open city or country than it is to protect a high security building or enclave. And they're still not very good, even at that. Airport security is still a joke, and even with the massive and unprecedented "security" at the Republican National Convention in New York City, ACT UP demonstrators and others got into the convention, unfurling banners and demonstrating right in front of "Dubya's" wife, Laura, during her Tuesday speech. Often they can't even protect their own.

In fact, the "terrorist's" possibilities—when they choose to take them—are, as they say, endless - - -

The impossible questions begin with where, what and how, and end with what to do about it. Sgt. George McClaskey, a Baltimore cop, spends his days thinking about the answers... The list of vulnerabilities is perilously long in Baltimore, as it is just about everywhere in the United States. ... ''So how would you defend against frogmen blowing up half the harbor?" I asked McClaskey. ... The sergeant shrugged uneasily. "Honestly," he confessed, "I don't think it's possible." ...Now factor in the 276,000 natural gas wells in the U.S., the 1.5 million miles of unprotected pipelines, the 161 oil refineries, 2,000 oil storage facilities and 10,400 hydro, coal and gas-fired power generating stations "Fortress America", The New York Times Magazine, February 23, 2003, By MATTHEW BRZEZINSKI

One public-health official who has participated in Homeland Security discussions described the group as being overwhelmed by the potential threat to America's water supply, electrical grids, oil depots, and even the wholesale processing of milk. "Where do we start?" he said. "So many threats. We're like deer in the headlights." MISSED MESSAGES, by SEYMOUR M. HERSH, Why the government didn't know what it knew., THE NEW YORKER, 2002-06-03

Maybe we should go the Israeli route - - -

One significant argument against the creation of an American security state, a United States that resembles Israel, is that even there, in a society rigorously organized around security, the safety of its citizens is far from guaranteed. ibid., "Fortress America"

- - - maybe not.

Now the mayor [Rudy Giuliani] had spoken earlier on the general threat of terrorism saying, "Short of closing down America and closing down the city of New York, it would be impossible to entirely prevent terrorism." He [Giuliani] added that, "It's impossible to have a police officer every place. That would be unrealistic and it would change the nature of a free society." -Time Magazine's 2001 "Man of the Year" and New York City's Mayor Rudy Giuliani, quoted by Brian Jenkins, CNN Live, 19 Feb. 1998, 2:04pm

So do we want them to continue putting on this police-state charade to fool and dupe us into imagining we're safe? What are you willing to give up for the illusion of security, for a situation that's at best like the one in the Israeli police state where "the safety of its citizens is far from guaranteed?" Are you willing to "have a police officer every place" "close down America," and "change the nature of a free society" in return for the sham of security?

Or would you rather they just stop severely ticking off foreigners by killing their innocent friends, neighbors and family, particularly with bombs which, no matter how "smart," don't discriminate between the innocent and guilty—can't tell the difference between "terrorists" and the civilian men, women and children they kill—any better than did the Molatov airliners of 911?

So we have a U.S. Government elite bent on - - - something, probably world domination as defined by the Neocons from PNAC (or maybe just fleecing "we the people" a bit more) - - - sending our sons and daughters in harms way, doing al Qaeda's recruiting (by killing innocent civilians all around the world [5]), motivating them to retaliate and thus condemning us, our kids and grandkids—and beyond—to:

1. Perpetual attacks from the ticked-off families and survivors of the innocent civilians our military kills—and remember how ticked-off we were when someone [6] killed 3,000 of our civilians in the 9-11 attacks.

2. Police state repression at home—using the untenable excuse of "protecting" us.

The "Forever War"—and no real possibilities for our liars [7] to protect us from the logical results of their actions.

Protected my ass!

Exactly the opposite. [8]

So, what are you going to do about it?


[1] Older U.S. military manuals more accurately—and thus more usefully—described "terrorists" as patriots with inferior weapons. return

[2] Assuming the translators manage to get the info to the analysts. "Sibel Edmonds, a translator who worked at the FBI's language division, says the documents weren't translated because the divison was riddled with incompetence and corruption. Edmonds was fired after reporting her concerns to FBI officials." Lost In Translation, CBS 60 Minutes, June 6, 2004 return

[3] "Have we been creating more terrorists than we have been eliminating?" -Donald Rumsfeld. The latest count is that there are 20,000 foreign anti-American fighters now in Iraq. -Patrick Buchanan, Meet the Press, September 5, 2004, 10:34 return

[4] Predictably, rather than attempting to sharpen-up their operation, the ABCNEWS test was criticized by officials at the Department of Homeland Security, who assigned agents in at least four cities to investigate ABC personnel and news sources involved. In fact, instead of cleaning up their own act, Homeland "Security" threatened to "kill" the messengers—by threatening to file criminal charges against the ABC reporters writing this story. Makes you feel all warm, safe and cuddly inside now. Doesn't it? return

[5] The very conservative Iraq civilian body count so far:

And look here for the Afghanistan civilian body count:

http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mwherold/. For each day since October 7, when the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan began, he [Prof. Marc W. Herold] lists the number of casualties, location, type of weapon used, and source(s) of information. And here for some examples of his research: 3,500 Civilians Killed in Afghanistan by U.S. Bombs, Marc Herold, University of New Hampshire, Dec. 10, 2001 return

[6] According to top-notch polling company Zogby International, an August 2004 poll found that over 49% of New York City residents believe that some in the Bush Administration "knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act." return


Remarkably, for women [Psychologist] Carrie [Keating of Colgate U.] has found no relationship between deception and leadership. ... But with adult males, as with children, Carrie has found an unmistakable connection. PBS - Scientific American Frontiers:Previous Shows:Transcripts:Show 301, The Power of Persuasion
"President Clinton is so successful because he's an unusually good liar." -US Senator Bob Kerry D- Nebraska
Frankly, I don't trust the president. I don't trust his motives or his judgment. After WWII, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, I've become very skeptical of what our leaders tell the American people, critical of their intellect, honesty and motives, and disillusioned by the way they make decisions when it comes to war. ... Bush the latest wartime president we can't trust, JUAN ANDRADE, Chicago suntimes.com, January 17, 2003
When American presidents prepare for foreign wars, they lie. Surveying our history, we see a clear pattern. Since the end of the nineteenth century, if not earlier, presidents have misled the public about their motives and their intentions in going to war. The enormous losses of life, property, and liberty that Americans have sustained in wars have occurred in large part because of the public's unwarranted trust in what their leaders told them before leading them into war. The Oval Office Liars' Club: To Make War, Presidents Lie, by Robert Higgs, San Francisco Chronicle, November 24, 2002
Addressing assemblies of journalism students, a respected Sage of Journalism, I.F. Stone admonished his charges: "Only two words you should know if you really want to be an honest journalist, two words: Governments Lie." -Historian Howard Zinn, Tufts University, 2002
"I completely distrust the government—and everybody should. They've told lie after lie, so the average American has become so cynical. Today, the first assumption is that what the government is telling you is a lie." -popular talk-show host Art Bell, WASHINGTON DC, NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY, May 6, 1998, Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222, E-Mail: 76214.3676@Compuserve.com return

[8] "We are less safe, not more safe as a result of this [Iraq] war." -Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla), Meet the Press, September 5, 2004, 10:41 return


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