It’s fitting that the bureaucrat in charge of a fake war against fake weapons touts his cowardly "gut feeling" to scare up support.
Michael Chertoff, the craven and creepy Secretary of the cornball Department of Homeland Security (DHS), "feels" that "we are entering a period this summer of increased risk…" Have squadrons of Al Qaeda bombers been sighted over the Atlantic, heading our way? No. Is a Moslem coalition reconnoitering a beachhead to land an army on our shores? Hardly. Has Al Qaeda exchanged its caves and box-cutters for tanks and M16A2 rifles? Nope. Yet Chertoff shudders, "We could easily be attacked." Suck it up there, Mikey. We’re the superpower policing and paying off most of the Arab world, remember?
Chertoff nattered this nonsense last week when he delivered "an unusually blunt and frank assessment of America’s terror threat level" — yeah, right — to the gullible toadies comprising the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board. However preposterous Chertoff’s claims, the editors veered towards skepticism only once: they noted that his "comments come as the Bush administration faces political and business opposition over its immigration and border policies that have security implications."
Tellingly, the DHS links to the Tribune’s interview on its website. Its sub-bureaucracy, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), went further and posted the whole sorry mess (since reduced to a link as well). Nor is this the only article so honored: the TSA regularly publicizes those that recycle its press releases. Current examples include the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s whitewash of the agency’s warrantless searches and a puff piece from the Tulsa World ("Air Security TSA Strives to be Nimble: Ban on complacency"). Americans used to call this "propaganda."
Meanwhile, Chertoff walked a tightrope at the Trib. On the one hand, he must be vague lest his lies catch up with him. And so he sees no " specific threat," just an "increased vulnerability." I’d have to agree: credulous Americans are now even more vulnerable to government’s manipulation and tyranny. On the other hand, demagoguery works best when it isn’t ambiguous. So Chertoff mixed a strange brew of insinuations, "recent al-Qaeda statements, intelligence [reports] he did not disclose," and the now notorious "gut feeling." Basically, we’ll restrict more liberties, snuff more lives, and spend more billions because this jerk’s got gas.
Collaborating with his hot air were others of Leviathan’s lickspittles. As the Tribune put it, "ABC News also reported that u2018new intelligence suggests a small al-Qaeda cell is on its way to the United States, or may already be here.’" Ah, but no Al Qaeda cell is too small to serve neo-con purposes. Imagine how eagerly the sheeple will forfeit their remaining liberties to ferret out those few phantoms. "There have been reports already that suggest intelligence warnings at a similar level to the summer before Sept. 11, 2001 and that al-Qaeda may be mobilizing… Chertoff added[,] u2018The intent to attack us remains as strong as it was on Sept. 10, 2001.’" Hmmm. Could America’s slaughter of 665,000 Iraqis have anything to do with that?
You may be wondering how many terrorists it takes to twist Chertoff’s knickers so tight his gut starts burbling. It’s hard to say because no one knows Al Qaeda’s numbers for sure. And I’ll bet the Feds aren’t working overtime to count since they play the uncertainty to their advantage: though the South Asia Analysis Group calculates the group’s membership at 500 to 600, the Feds inflate that to 20,000 to 60,000. These charlatans set your tax rates, too.
Chertoff likes his propaganda explicit and emphatic, by gum: "Americans must soon decide between enduring greater inconvenience and costs or allowing terrorists easier access to the borders. [Chertoff] warned against increasing resistence [sic] to security measures based on comfort and self-centered motives. u2018If you get to complacency then I guarantee you we will lose the race with the terrorists,’ he said." Somebody tell this goofball that we’ve already lost it. He and his henchmen have destroyed far more folks and freedom than have all the terrorists, now or ever, put together.
Yet we’re supposed to fear the terrorists, not the Feds. And what does Chertoff plug as our best protection? Yep: more surveillance. "Chertoff cited Chicago’s technologically savvy police department and its use of street-corner, blue-lighted cameras as a blueprint for strong homeland security. u2018I think the use of cameras here and other technologies is a model for the country,’ he said." Nor is Chertoff’s police state for the faint of heart. "u2018We are going to do more law enforcement actions [against immigrants],’ he said. Conceding the raids are u2018going to be ugly’ and tear parents from their children who wonder why they have not returned from work, Chertoff warned: u2018the consequences are going to be tough from an economic and humanitarian standpoint.’" Ironically heartless words from the grandson of Russian immigrants.
This isn’t Chertoff’s first foray into irony or barbarity. A few months ago, he sneered, "We are at war with a global movement and ideology whose members seek to advance totalitarian aims through terrorism." Well, after all, Mike, not every totalitarian has a Department of Homeland Security at his disposal.
And, hey, next time your gut grumbles, try some Bean-o.
Becky Akers [send her mail] writes primarily about the American Revolution.