Cheat-Seeking Missles

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Most Ridiculous Story Of 2008? (Part 3)

Anyone who's watched It's a Wonderful Life -- and that's everyone, right? -- knows that during WWII, local businessmen enforced national security in towns across America, making sure black-outs were enforced, maintaining Civil Defense facilities, organizing War Bond campaigns and other tasks that appear quaint today but were selflessly patriotic then.

But in 2008, when the enemy has proven he can strike our shores, unlike the situation in WWII, if businessmen work with government to improve the nation's security ... well, let the paranoia and ridiculousness begin!

Not at all surprisingly, this ridiculousness has roosted at Newshoggers, where Libby (as in "liberal?") Spencer writes:
I've taken a lot of criticism over the last year about my speculation that our government is preparing to declare martial law. Unfortunately, it looks like I'll get the last laugh, only it's no laughing matter and it's a lot bigger than just Blackwater. Consider InfraGard.
It's writing like this and what follows that gets Spencer's feverish nightmare of a piece nominated as the third entry in the 2008 "Most Ridiculous Story Of The Year" competition.

(The rules for the competition are this: Entries must be work that serious writers present in all seriousness that goes far, far beyond the sublime and settle heavily into the imbecilic.)

That "no laughing matter" link in the pulled quote above goes to an AlterNet post that's similarly paranoid about InfraGard, saying it gives the George Baileys of the world the right to "kill without repercussion:"
One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to "shoot to kill" in the event of martial law.
"... in the event of martial law." That's what's stuck in Libby's craw, that Bush has just got less than 11 months left to prove her right, and she and AlterNet are putting their bets on InfraGard as the key to the devious Bush's plans (no doubt still being managed secretly by Karl Rove).

"InfraGard?" you say? That's a federal program that links business leaders in a town to an FBI agent in that town -- a federal program that was created under the Clinton administration, a tid-bit that Libby seems to have missed. From the InfraGard site:
InfraGard is a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) program that began in the Cleveland Field Office in 1996. It was a local effort to gain support from the information technology industry and academia for the FBI’s investigative efforts in the cyber arena. The program expanded to other FBI Field Offices, and in 1998 the FBI assigned national program responsibility for InfraGard to the former National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) and to the Cyber Division in 2003. InfraGard and the FBI have developed a relationship of trust and credibility in the exchange of information concerning various terrorism, intelligence, criminal, and security matters.
After 9/11, the FBI expanded InfraGard's charter from cyber- and business-related crime to broader assistance against homegrown terror. It's not a bad idea. Business owners have their eyes on their communities and their employees and are in a much better place than the average man on the street to see suspicious activity -- and report it to the FBI, not just shoot the suspected perp.

Libby, of course, does not trust business, as evidenced by her conclusion to the constant left-wing question: Why isn't everyone else as freaked out about this as I am?
Don't count on seeing this reported in the mainstream media. I expect the major media conglomerates are also members.
Would that be the Jew-owned national media, Libby? The Bush-Rove-Israel axis of evil?

So now we get to the basis of Libby's confidence that Bushitler is going to declare martial law any day now, from an "eyewitness account" that, she says, should make one and all "reconsider their mockery of my paranoia."
This business owner says he attended a small InfraGard meeting where agents of the FBI and Homeland Security discussed in astonishing detail what InfraGard members may be called upon to do.

"The meeting started off innocuously enough, with the speakers talking about corporate espionage," he says. "From there, it just progressed. All of a sudden we were knee deep in what was expected of us when martial law is declared. We were expected to share all our resources, but in return we'd be given specific benefits." These included, he says, the ability to travel in restricted areas and to get people out. But that's not all.

"Then they said when -- not if -- martial law is declared, it was our responsibility to protect our portion of the infrastructure, and if we had to use deadly force to protect it, we couldn't be prosecuted," he says. (emphasis no doubt in Libby's fevered mind)
Note that the quote is not attributed in any way.

Let's posit how it came to be that "all of a sudden" the meeting was "knee deep in what was expected of us when martial law is declared." Here's my guess: They began talking about what would happen if a major act of terrorism had occurred on the business owner's home turf. People were dead and dying. Infrastructure was out. Perpetrators were loose and possibly planning additional attacks.

Only lib-Libby and her anti-American ilk would think that the martial law was declared because Bush had nothing better to do that day. What would she have us do in such a terrorism scenario? Reach out to the terrorists and tell them how sorry we are that America's despicable behavior drove them to their justified act?

Libby cares not about what al-Qaeda or home-grown Islamists might be up to in the real world. Instead, she links to a 47-page ACLU document, The Surveillance-Industrial Complex, that highlights such outrages as:
Bush also called for “Neighborhood Watch” programs to be doubled in number and expanded beyond their traditional role of deterring and detecting household burglary to “make them more attuned to preventing terrorism.”
I've always thought Neighborhood Watch was just a cover for US-grown Stasi-like programs, and admit it, you did too, right?

The ACLU study documents all sorts of information-gathering activities by government, some going back to the 192os and 1940s, as if it were actually documenting the wholesale stripping of our American freedoms. But when it comes right down to it, the entire 47-page report only includes one specific example of someone allegedly stripped of their rights because of these Surveillance-Industrial Complex programs:
An American citizen named Hossam Algabri received a statement in late 2002 from Fleet Bank discontinuing his account. The bank would not tell him what the problem was, except that he had been targeted for “suspicious activity.” Algabri was just one of many people with similar experiences.
The horror! That #$@&! Bush!

But really, folks, how do we know that Algabri wasn't involved in something suspicious? Certainly there's nothing in the ACLU's write-up of this horrific quashing of his God-given right to have a bank account that would lead us to any other conclusion. (And BTW Wells Fargo suspended one of our credit cards last week due to "suspicious activity" -- Incredible Wife and Incredible Daughter #2 were using it at a trade show buying a lot of stuff -- and I didn't call the ACLU!)

Lib-Libby wraps it all up:
This is how 9/11 changed everything. Our government created a "Surveillance-Industrial Complex." Private contractors now have a license to kill Americans at will.

It's as I've been saying all along. We're in no more danger from terrorists than we were on 9/10/01 but we're in infinitely more danger from our own government because in the shock and fear of the moment, we allowed the Bush administration to trample our civil rights into oblivion, in trade for a false sense of security.
Have we had a rash of private contractors going Scott-free after killing Americans? Can anyone identify a civil right Bush has trampled -- not in theory, but in a real case, involving a real American who is not a terror suspect? And don't give me that attorney from the Northwest who got arrested. Due process worked for him.

Libby just might lose this competition, though, because she wrote, "We're in no more danger from terrorists than we were on 9/10/01," acknowledging that there is a certain danger posed to America by Islamist terrorism.

How did a crazy idea like that get into her head?

See other 2008 candidates for Most Ridiculous Story Of The Year:
Michael Chabon's Obama vs. the Phobocracy
Gloria Steinem's Women Are Never Front-Runners

hat-tip memeorandum

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