Sunday, July 13, 2008
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. FBI agents and CIA intelligence officials, Time Magazine, K eith Olbermann (and here), The Washington Post, Rolling Stone and many others have all documented the intentional fearmongering tactics which the neocons have used to drum up support for their wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Iran.
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 (why do you think the fed has printed trillions of new dollars, which is leading to hyperinflation?), and has actually crippled our real national security (torture and imperial wars create real terrorists and push away our allies).
Before Bush was sworn in, the U.S. had a huge budget surplus and was the world's sole superpower. But the U.S. is now weak, insolvent, and hated.
How did this happen?
Because Americans have been peeing their pants with fear . . .
We were so scared of the graphic destruction of the Twin Towers - and we were so traumatized by the anthrax attacks on the press and Congress - that Americans allowed our "leaders" to act contrary to the nation's interest.
Have you ever seen a dog repeatedly bite his own tail? He gets whipped into such a frenzy by the "intruder" that he ignores the pain and keeps on biting. That's what the American people have been doing to ourselves for the last 7 years . . . chasing phantom enemies and biting ourselves repeatedly in the tail.
Worse, we have let ourselves become so irrationally afraid that we've nearly bitten our tail off, and we're bleeding out. And yet we keep on biting . . . (allowing new assaults on the Constitution, further consolidation of power in the executive branch, new socialist measures to support the financial elites, new imperial wars).
It is not an exaggeration to say that our fear is guaranteeing our destruction.
Get a grip, America.
Note: If you need a little shot of courage, read this.