In addition, an unknown number – at least to the public – of attacks have been prevented, through the undeniable disruption of terrorist networks and through increased security measures. Of perhaps even greater importance, high-quality intelligence work has resulted in the prevention and, indeed, preemption, of a number of potential attacks.
Of course, these successes have come at some price to the individual liberties treasured on both sides of the Atlantic. But it should be noted that the public, thus far, has been very accepting of the additional burdens placed on their societies. It seems fair to say that the balance between liberty and security has become more stable in recent years. But the fact remains that the greatest threat to those freedoms is the next terrorist attack. If that attack involves large numbers of casualties, or the use of WMD, then the public will demand, and governments will supply, security measures which may have a significant impact on liberty.
That said, much remains to be done…. [Emphasis added]
“Professor Doctor” Clarke – or should it be “Herr Professor Doktor”? – has taken his talking points straight from the bush/Cheney cabal:
- “… [An] unknown number… of attacks have been prevented….” One of the primary “justifications” for administration secrecy is the “war on terror”, accompanied by claims – never documented – of tremendous strides in combating the evildoers. We are supposed to take the busheviks at their word that they are providing a suitable level of protection for Americans, a claim that may be debunked simply by looking at New Orleans.
- “ [U]ndeniable disruption of terrorist networks…” Again, we are supposed to believe the men who said our soldiers would be greeted with flowers, and that the war would last three to six months. There have been no trials (other than Richard Reid) of those terrorists whose attacks have allegedly been prevented, and obviously, no convictions.
- “[P]revention and preemption of attacks…” Another “fact” offered without any semblance of proof. If this administration had in fact prevented or preempted an attack, they would have been screaming it from the treetops. And claiming the need for “confidentiality to protect sources and methods” won’t wash, folks… remember, this is the same bunch that outed a covert CIA operative in retaliation for her husband’s criticism of the bushevik’s claims.
- “[T]he public has been very accepting….” This is said almost as if we had any say in the matter. The administration has made it abundantly clear that they, and only they, have any discretion in granting or limiting freedoms. And since individual freedom is anathema to this Fascist regime, our freedoms are becoming more and more limited.
- “[T]he public will demand, and governments will supply, security measures…” This is, of course, one of the main “points” repeated advanced by the busheviks – that if we do not surrender our liberty now, the “terrists” will have won.
To me, however, the most terrifying part is where Herr Professor Doktor Clarke says, “That said, much remains to be done.” In using this phrase – “that said” – Clarke reveals his arrogance and disdain for the freedoms he professes to support. “That said” is simply a polite way of saying, “Now that I’ve covered the politically correct bullshit, here is what we really need.” Don’t believe me? Listen carefully the next time you hear that phrase… I can guarantee you that whatever follows will effective negate whatever preceded it.
Clarke then lays out ‘what we really need’: “…a ministry of the interior, a domestic intelligence service and a national police force.” [page 24]. In mentioning a “ministry of the interior,” Clarke does not mean reconstituting the existing Department of the Interior, responsible for national parks, environmental issues, and the like. No, what Clarke wants is a “ministry” similar to those found in authoritarian states like the Soviet Union, mainland China, and North Korea, a ministry that inevitably houses a secret police or political police organization.
Additionally, the United States already possesses a “domestic intelligence service”; it’s called the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI has been tasked with domestic counterintelligence responsibilities since at least the 1940’s. Clarke’s objection to the FBI seems to lie in that agency’s commitment (even these days) to individual rights. Clarke also glosses over the fact that, in the free European nations, the national counterintelligence agencies do not have law enforcement powers; Britain’s intelligence agencies, such as MI-5, must request assistance from local police agencies or Scotland Yard to make arrests. It is the authoritarian nations – China, the Soviet Union, and North Korea – where the counterintelligence agencies have full police powers.
We also have a “national police force” that manages to function within the confines of the Constitution, the United States Marshal Service; other Federal agencies have law enforcement responsibilities within the scope of their respective duties. Obviously, the “national police force” that Clarke envisions would be based on the KGB, “the sword and shield of the party.”
Clarke also says:
Moreover, given the potential for catastrophic terrorism, every effort must be made to prevent and preempt terrorist attacks before they occur – even if this means the employment of armed force…. [page 24]
Again, Clarke is parroting the bushevik line – you must give us unlimited power to battle the terrorists. While I am in full agreement with the necessity of preventing and preempting terrorist activity, I do not agree that unfettered power for the government is the way to achieve that goal. The administration has already shown its willingness to use military force in the pursuit of its goals… regardless of the actual necessity of using that force. Giving government the green light to wage unprovoked, aggressive warfare, against “enemies” who have not been conclusively proven to pose a threat to the national security, is one more step down the slippery slope to fascism.
We have already seen many examples of the creeping fascism of the current administration: the virtual abolition of habeus corpus, simply by declaring someone an “enemy combatant;” the revocation of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures through the use of “national security letters;” the limitations on freedom of speech and assembly (bush’s so-called ‘free-speech’ zones, where protestors are kept far away from Dear Leader). Telecommunications companies have been co-opted by the government, ordered to release confidential business records, with no notice to the citizens involved, and no accountability for the companies. In fact, they have recently been granted retroactive immunity for their trespasses.
“Big Brother” has demanded unparalleled powers in the “war on terror,” powers which have been granted by politicians and others desperate to be on the “inside,” to be close to the seat of power. This uninhibited raping of the Constitution has been carefully overlooked by those in power, leaving those of us on the outside – the poor, the weak – to raise the alarm. Those who can act to protect our Constitution, refuse to do so.
The Framers of the Constitution were well aware of the perils of a unitary executive; they had fled England for that very reason. The three branches of government were carefully crafted to prevent such abuses of power in this new nation. Unfortunately, the legislative branch – the Senate and the House of Representatives – have proven incapable of pushing back against the administration, while the judicial branch – the Supreme Court – has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Republican Party since the days of George H. W. Bush (remember, Junior “won” the presidency in 2000 by a single vote, thereby negating the power of the polls). With the two “competing” branches completely enthralled by the Executive, there is no effective means of stopping the busheviks. Civil disobedience obviously would serve no useful purpose, in that we have witnessed “legal” authorities trampling the rights of individuals to protect those in power.
The lack of a common perception of the threat across the Atlantic represents the biggest problem in transatlantic homeland security. Alliances are predicated on a shared sense of risk. Will the terrorists succeed where the Soviet Union failed, in convincing Europeans and Americans to abandon their solidarity and seek that separate peace? Therein lies the greatest danger of all.
Given the fascist tone of the rest of Clarke’s article, this final paragraph is especially chilling. Not content with the unitary executive power currently wielded by bush, Cheney, and the rest, Clarke apparently wants to expand their power to global hegemony. By rattling the saber of the Soviet Union – a nation that effectively ceased to exist more than twenty years ago – Clarke is using the old concept of the “Godless Russky commies” to instill fear in the hearts and minds of Americans, in an effort to force us to surrender those freedoms held nearest and dearest, in the interest of “national security.”
No, Herr Professor Doktor Clarke, that is the greatest danger of all.