Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Leopards don't change their spots

So the two biggest terrorist attacks on the US, ever, were the September 11th, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, and the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. They were executed, respectively, by the one of the worst forms of religious conservatives (violent Salafi Muslims) and a paranoid far-right conspiracy nut who quoted lovingly from the racist screed, The Turner Diaries. So who is the CIA worried about in the wake of Iraq?
Anti-US and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint.
Glenn Greenwald is worried that this means the Bush Administration will now use its terror powers against it's political enemies. Two things: 1) Don't kid yourself. Bush has been abusing the civil rights of various groups for years, if he's been breathing oxygen. This is just a certainty. The question is whether he'll start dragging them off to be tortured in the middle of the night. 2) No, I don't think so (yet.) Rather, the throwaway line about the "left" and "anti-globalization" is probably nothing more than the US intelligence and law enforcement's institutional memory getting in the way of rational thought.

These institutions spent decades disrupting and destroying every organized group across the world that organized against American gun-to-the-temple capitalism. Whether they were unions, churches, or national governments, the CIA, FBI, Department of Defense, and every other constituent of the American security apparatus - the same people who wrote this NIE - were there to do their damndest to make sure it never got anywhere. The old saying that, back in the day, the bullets went from right to left, isn't a joke.

So if you ask them, on any given day, who the threat to American power is, the default setting is "Communists!" It really doesn't matter that the threat of Third World Socialism was probably never serious, or that the threat of Second World Socialism was vastly overstated for the last decade of it's existence. These losers still jump at dark people shadows.

Update: This should be the silver bullet for the idiotic idea that somehow, the CIA or the FBI or - for God's sake! - the Pentagon are part of the reality-based community. You know, the left.

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