Thursday, December 2, 2010

The TSA, Terrorists and Safety

We must give up our rights for security. That is the cry of the tyrant. That is the cry of the big government apologists. That is the cry of the sheep that don't realize the shepherd is eventually going to eat them. Benjamin Franklin said "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." You may be tired of hearing or seeing that quote, but it is especially pertinent today. Why? Perhaps because old Ben knew that those who provide security and ignore individual liberty are more of a threat to the common man than those they are attempting to catch.

I am personally a little tired of hearing the corporate media crying about the need for security. I'm tired of them putting so much emphasis on those who endorse giving up liberty so they can feel safe. I'm especially tired of them implying that only the big federal government can provide security or has the ability to determine what standards should be adhered to when providing security. I believe the airlines would be better able to determine the amount of security that would best serve their customers. But that's neither here nor there, for the argument has been framed wrong. This system hasn't been set up to provide security, it has been set up to train people to accept a police state and so that a few can make a lot of money at the same time.

To try to examine this a little closer, I'm going to try to think like a terrorist. For this little experiment, I'm going to use the definition that a terrorist is an individual or a group that uses terror to accomplish political gain. How do you suppose one would go about accomplishing such a goal? Would hijacking or blowing up a plane be the best way?

Well, ok, suppose I am an extremist Muslim who has somehow determined that blowing up planes would be the best way to bring Sharia law to the United States of America. Would sending suicide bombers aboard passenger planes be the best way to blow up those said planes? After all, suicide bombers worked so well in Israel where they are now occupied by crazed mullahs who rule that tiny nation with steel fists. Wait, that didn't happen. Instead, the suicide bombers only served to turn world public opinion against the Palestinians. Well, perhaps it is a strategy that will work in the United States of America where once enough suicide bombings have occurred the sheeple will beg the mullahs to rule the nation with Sharia law to keep the planes from falling out of the air.

Hmmm. Perhaps I should reconsider that. Why should I waste Muslim lives when I can maybe get a bomb on board a plane in the cargo area? That way perhaps it won't have to pass through such stringent screening. Or perhaps I can purchase a rocket launcher and some surface to air missiles, that way I won't even have to worry about getting a bomb on board a plane. These people are well funded, right? There's areas where such an attack could be carried out, isn't there? I admit, I don't know much about these weapons and it could be harder than I think to carry out such an attack, but it sure seems to me such an attack would be possible and would certainly terrorize air travelers whether it was successful or not. Just the thought of it sends shivers down my spine.

Then again, what good would an attack on a plane do? How is taking down a plane going to benefit me if I'm a Muslim extremist? I can understand the vengeance motivation, but that would likely only pacify a single individual and not bring much benefit to an organization. In fact, it would likely draw the interest of very powerful people and lead to the destruction of that organization. It would also likely turn public opinion against the organization and make it harder for it to accomplish any of its goals, and it certainly isn't going to create a rush to become Muslim. That's not a very efficient way to go about things.

Ah, but suppose I was a different type of terrorist. Suppose I wasn't a Muslim extremist, but instead was an extreme authoritarian statist. Suppose I truly hated people's freedoms and I wanted to create a society of folks who could be easily controlled and manipulated. How could I go about accomplishing this?

Well, I could start by taking advantage of a traumatic incident that occurred years ago but still brings fear to the public psyche. I would make promises to keep people safe and prevent another tragedy from occurring. Then I would proceed to see just how far I could push the people. I would see just how much abuse the people are willing to take. I would have my people violate individual rights and see just how much the common folk would allow their rights to be violated in order to feel just a little more secure. Then I would figure out ways to make money as I gain control.

It might start with things that sound reasonable, like taking away normally harmless tools people carry with them that could be used as weapons, but as such a terrorist I would want even more control. I might go as far as carrying out schemes that would frighten the populace into allowing more and more humiliation and violation of their rights. I could foil plots to mix liquids to create an explosion on a flight, to create and set off a bomb in a shoe, and finally to set off a bomb in some nutcase's underwear. The plots would all have to fail for the desired effect to take place, because if they worked all witnesses would likely die and no one would know for certain what happened.

I could now humiliate anyone who wanted to fly by making them remove their shoes, empty their fluids, and have them pass through machines that virtually strip them naked. As a bonus I could hold a financial interest in the company that makes such machines. I could hire thugs to feel people up if they decide they don't want to go through the machines. I could keep them shaking in their socks so much that they would willingly allow such abuses to take place so long as they are kept safe.

Then, I could take these practices out of the airports and onto the streets by pointing out that there are many other soft targets the terrorists could try to hit, such as buses, trains and malls. Soon, such security theater could pervade every aspect of society. No matter one's business, one could not go anywhere without being virtually stripped or sexually assaulted by some TSA style bureaucrat. At this point, I would have the power to get the people to go along with about anything I want. I could get them to buy with their public dime whatever I wanted to sell them. I could get them so dependent on government that they wouldn't dare try to break free of its control. I would have created a total police state. I would have the power to herd people anywhere, anytime I wanted simply by claiming it was for their security. At this point I would have won.

But I'm not a terrorist. I don't know how the mind of a terrorist works. I am a man seeking liberty. I just want to be left alone. I want to be able to grow as a human being. I want to be able to decide how I can best apply my talents to make a decent living. I want to be able to compete with the big boys in the marketplace. I want to be able to find a niche in society that I can fill. What I see happening is consolidation and a minimization of opportunity. What I see happening isn't an increase in security, it's the opposite. What I see happening is an increase in control by a brutalizing class and a decrease in choice that would be provided by a free and open marketplace. What I see happening in the world is equivalent to economic and security terrorism.

The terrorists might not have won the war yet, but they are gaining control. They are quite a powerful force that has managed to erode our choices, opportunities and our liberties. They truly hate our freedoms and they are finding ways to violate them and excuse themselves through color of law. I, for one, am quite frightened and worried about the future, so I guess the terror tactic is working on me. But I am also quite hopeful. People are beginning to discover that the terrorists don't win unless the common folk let them win. It seems that perhaps people have been pushed far enough and they have discovered that they will not allow themselves to be pushed over the cliff.

The opt out day that occurred recently was a terrific success, despite what the corporate media would have you believe. Hardly anyone was in the airports on what was supposed to be the busiest travel day of the year. Just the threat of mass civil disobedience caused the brutal controlling class to shut down their machines and revert back to more civil behavior toward common folk just trying to get somewhere. The thought of so many choosing not to fly likely sent shivers down the backs of the airline executives who care about attracting passengers and making money. Just the thought of an open and objective discussion of the concepts of freedom versus security has caused the corporate political class and their propagandists to expose themselves as the collectivist control freaks that they are.

The pressure caused the ruling class and their bullying bureaucrats to back off. Yet now they are creeping back into our lives. They are returning to their old ways. They will not go away if we relent. The pressure needs to continue. The tax funded TSA needs to be abolished in favor of security provided by private enterprises. Everyday is opt out day. The civil disobedience needs to increase. Those in charge want us to go back to sleep. They want us to give up and accept their dictates. We must not let that happen if we are to achieve a free society. Speak up. Make them show themselves for what they are. Refuse to go along to get along. It is time to grow up and show them we can take care of ourselves. We do not need a ruling class to watch over us. It is up to you to defend your individual liberties. Insist that they respect you and don't violate your rights and the terrorists that so hate our freedoms will find themselves in full retreat.

My archived articles are available at Please visit there to help support me and my efforts. I also have an ebook available entitled "The Ouijiers" by Matthew Wayne.

No comments: