Senator Rand Paul and other congressmen said they would have approved of armed drones going in as well to help take out the suspect.
We have no idea yet whether or not the suspect is in fact guilty of terrorism in Boston.
But it is important to remember – as Glenn Greenwald points out – the FBI has been “positive” about the guilt of numerous people who were totally innocent.
.The above are real pictures of military and police locking down Boston and searching door-to-door for the Boston bomber in Watertown, Massachusetts.
And here’s a video of the involuntary searches and evacuations:
Senator Rand Paul and other congressmen subsequently said they would have approved of armed drones going in as well to help take out the suspect.
We have no idea yet whether or not the suspect is in fact guilty of terrorism in Boston. But it is important to remember – as Glenn Greenwald points out – the FBI has been “positive” about the guilt of numerous people who were totally innocent:
Indeed, the high-tech manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has reminded a lot of people of Running Man … the distopian Arnold Schwarzenegger movie where – after Schwarzenegger is framed – high-tech assassins are sent out to get him.
Again, we are not saying that Tsarnaev is innocent. We have no idea of his innocence or guilt.
But sending in overwhelming military and police force to get one 19-year old under ever-shifting explanations makes me a little nervous.
Many Americans assume that this was just a one-time emergency. After all, a terrorist who had allegedly killed and wounded many innocents was on the run … and had supposedly thrown more pressure cooker bombs at police.
But there are many other negative consequences which stem from over-reactions to terror. For example – after 9/11 – many Americans were so scared that they supported a war in Iraq that will actually backfire and increase terrorism. Indeed, if the Boston suspect did it, it was likely because we invaded Iraq and have launched wars throughout the Middle East.
And the Iraq war was so expensive (as much as $5 to 6trillion dollars) that it helped make us broke … which further weakens national security.
As Andrew Napolitano writes in the conservative publication Reason … which was heartily supported by liberal site Reddit:
The American people made a pact with the devil in the weeks and months following 9/11 when they bought the Bush-era argument that by surrendering liberty they could buy safety. But that type of pact has never enhanced either liberty or safety, and its fruits are always bitter.
The pact with the devil occurred in the fall of 2001, when then President George W. Bush and Congress decided that they would use the machinery of the federal government to secure safety, rather than liberty. So, the Bush-inspired Patriot Act permits federal agents to write their own search warrants, and the Bush-inspired new FISA statutes permit search warrants of some Americans’ phone calls without a showing of probable cause as the Constitution requires, and the Bush-era intimidation of telephone service providers permitted our overseas spies to snoop on our domestic phone calls. None of this has enhanced safety, and all of it has diminished liberty.
In the Obama administration, the devil has demanded more. In the past five years, we have seen federal spies capturing the keystrokes on our computers, local police using federal dollars to install cameras and microphones on nearly every street corner, and, the latest lamentable phenomenon, the use of false emergencies to undermine freedom.
Think about this: The governor of Massachusetts, the superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, the mayor of Boston, the Boston police commissioner, and the head of the Boston FBI office all proclaimed on Saturday morning that the danger had passed and Boston and its suburbs could return to normal. Yet the attorney general in Washington told his FBI agents in Boston to disregard those officials and instead pretend that the public safety was still jeopardized and then expand a 10-second window to 72 hours.
Former deputy national intelligence officer for transnational threats, a 23-year senior CIA analyst, who “drafted or was involved in many of the government’s most senior assessments of the threats facing our country [and who] devoted years to understanding and combating the jihadist threat”, writes today in the Washington Post that the neocons have whipped us into an irrational fear of the terrorism. In reality, “Osama bin Laden and his disciples are small men and secondary threats whose shadows are made large by our fears” and our leaders.
This is no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. The BBC produced a documentary called The Power of Nightmares in 2005 that showed that politicians were greatly exaggerating the terrorist threat for political ends.
Because so many Americans got their panties in a wad about the boogeyman, we have allowed our basic rights and liberties to be taken away, allowed the executive branch to seize dictatorial powers and ignore Congress and the courts, allowed an illegal war be launched which has destroyed our economy … and has actually crippled our real national security (torture and imperial wars create real terrorists and push away our allies).
To terrorize and destabilize, terrorists need publicity and our complicity. With publicity, even failed terrorist acts succeed in terrorizing; without publicity, terrorism would fade away … By amplifying and connecting relatively sporadic terrorist acts into a generalized “war,” the somewhat marginal phenomenon of terrorism has become a primary preoccupation of our government and people.
Our founding fathers advised us not to panic:
Those who would trade safety for freedom deserve neither.
– Thomas Jefferson
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
– Benjamin Franklin
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