Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 380, August 13, 2006

"When you let people do whatever they want, you get Woodstock.
When you let governments do whatever they want, you get Auschwitz."


The Boys Who Cried "Terrorist"
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

    Question everything or shut up
    and be a victim of authority.
    —Green Day, "Warning"

As just about everybody on the planet, and most everywhere else in the Solar System, knows by now, the benevolant and doughty secret police of Airstrip One—oh, please excuse me, they're still calling it Great Britain, aren't they? How quaint—claims to have foiled a heinous plot to blow up commercial airliners with the use of explosive toothpaste.

Or maybe it was sports drinks, or toilet water, or hair gel. It's increasingly difficult to understand Tony Blair and his minions, with their tongues lodged firmly, the way they are, in George Bush's nether orifice.

Talk about your "Southern Rim".

As a result today, every TV channel there is—and even a few I didn't know about—was filled, from edge to edge, hour after hour, with the repulsive visages of Michael Chertoff, Obergruppenfuhrer of Heimatsicherheitsdienst (only the perfectly brain-dead Republican Party would choose a front man for its fascist staatspolizei who looks like he keeps a big mayonnaise jar full of wingless flies in his refrigerator) and Alberto Gonzales, the Heinrich Himmler of the Bush Administration.

One after another, Bush's thugs and their numberless underlings denounced the evil subhuman beings who they claimed had schemed to turn decent American Gatorade into nitroglycerine and blow themselves up—cowards that they all are—in an ill-conceived effort to spoil the vacation plans of tens of thousands of transatlantic airline passengers.

Then our protectors listed the countermeasures that would now be taken, to violate the unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human rights of every man, woman, or child who aspired simply to move freely from one spot on this battered, bloodsoaked ball of rock to another. Apparently the previous violations over the past several years had proven completely ineffective, and the answer, clearly (to anybody who ever worked for a government) was to violate them even more!

Throughout this embarrassingly prolonged and shameful display, it never occurred to any of the whores and pimps of the roundheeled mass media to demand some sort of proof that any of this had ever really happened.

It should have. This is a successor, after all, to the government (just to name a small fraction of the examples that come to mind) that muddied up the investigations of the murders of Jack Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King so thoroughly that today, nobody can even be sure if they're dead—or in Bangkok playing pinochle with Elvis.

This is a successor to the government that manufactured the Gulf of Tonkin incident out of whole cloth, directly resulting in the deaths of 60,000 Americans and something on the order of two million Vietnamese.

This is a successor to the government that lied constantly about its shining successes in that southeast Asian war—enemy corpses counted, antiaircraft missiles evaded—until it was bodily driven out by that country's people in the most ignominious rout in American history.

This government lied about Mt. Carmel and its victims the Branch Davidians.

This government lied about the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City.

This government lied about the way it encouraged Saddam to invade Kuwait.

This government lied about Iraq's non-existent "weapons of mass destruction".

This government lied about the fact that the resulting war is being waged for the benefit of the Bush Administration's corporate cronies.

This government is lying now about a contrived oil shortage that has driven gas prices up to five times higher than they would be in a free market, and threatens to deprive Americans of their treasured mobility.

And that's only a tiny sample. Governments in general, this one in particular, lie constantly, continually, continuously. (I'm assured by my New York book editors that there are differences between—or is it "among"?—the three, but maybe that's a lie. In any case, I have digressed.)

Accordingly, I'm going to ask—and answer—the question that journalism's ladies and gentlemen of the evening failed to ask today. That question is, on the basis of past performance, why ever in the bleeding hell should I believe a single word that the Blairies and the Bushies had to say today? Given the murderous lies they've told so easily and glibly in the past, how do I know that any of it really happened?

The answer, obvious to any but the most dimwitted "useful idiots" in both countries, is that I don't know, and neither do they. There is no reason to believe government about this or anything else, and there hasn't been, since, at least, the War Between The States. If the sons of bitches announced that the sky is blue, I'd go outside and check it.

Therefore there is no reason—except for the submachineguns aimed at our bellies—for Americans to accept the additional illegal and immoral regimentation imposed on air travellers today, or at any time over the past 30-odd years. It was that very regimentation, in fact, that made the travesty of September 11, 2001 possible in the first place. A single individual aboard any of those doomed planes, armed with no more than a humble .22, could have stopped the hijackers cold.

So what do those who are not fooled do about all this? How can we stop it now and make damned sure that it never, ever happens again? There are answers—quite a few of them, in fact—but none of them easy.

The first thing is to stop flying. Drive the airlines into total bankruptcy. They are owned and run by influential individuals who will then be forced to reevaluate the illegal security measures they are happy, at present, to have the government appear to force on them. At the same time, corporations—simply extensions of the government, after all—must be subject to stringent enforcement of the Bill of Rights.

The second thing is to vote for no incumbent ever again. Never forget that these are the specimens who—without even reading it—shoved the Patriot Act down our throats and elevated creatures like Chertoff and Gonzales far above their proper station in life, which is picking up cans, bottles, candy wrappers, and used condoms along the highway.

The third thing is not to vote for any Republican or Democrat ever again. These two mirror halves of the Boot On Your Neck Party have had their way with us—played Ping-Pong back and forth with us—for far too long. It's time that they were relegated to the septic tank of history.

The fourth thing is to pass a law—yes, this libertarian is actually saying "there ought to be a law (as long as it applies only to the government)"—making it an offense punishable by public hanging for any government employee, at any level, to lie to any individual for any reason. Government lies kill, far more reliably, far more universally and cruelly, than any so-called "weapon of mass destruction".

There are other solutions: a foreign policy that doesn't make the world want to kill us; a military—organized at the state or county level—that can't be called up by a president in absence of a formal declaration of war; immediate transfer to the front for any senator or congressman who votes to declare war and any president who asks them to.

But the point right now is to ask yourself—and everybody you know—what hard evidence you have for believing a single word they say.

The answer? Not a shred.

Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith has been called one of the world's foremost authorities on the ethics of self-defense. He is the author of 25 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, The Probability Broach, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collected articles and speeches, Lever Action, all of which may be purchased through his website "The Webley Page" at

Ceres, an exciting sequel to Neil's 1993 Ngu family novel Pallas was recently completed and is presently looking for a literary home.

A decensored, e-published version of Neil's 1984 novel, TOM PAINE MARU is available at: Neil is presently working on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Roswell, Texas, with Rex F. "Baloo" May.

The stunning 185-page full-color graphic-novelized version of The Probability Broach, which features the art of Scott Bieser and was published by BigHead Press has recently won a Special Prometheus Award. It may be had through the publisher, at, or at

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