man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its
-- Douglas MacArthur
In the wake of 9-11 I have frequently observed that there is a dichotomy in America.
On one hand there is a very real visceral desire for politically incorrect revenge. We want to strike back -- hard -- even if in some grand gesture that may be more form than substance. On the other hand, despite the fact that current polling suggests this is a minority position, there is a very real danger that in an effort to "protect" us, our government seems intent on mitigating our freedom and liberty. Hell, we now know the number two guys in the Defense Department and at least one senior U.S. senator who want to revoke legal doctrine of posse comitatus.
The two questions I hear most frequently on my daily radio talk program are: 1) When are we going to hit back? (I think that was satisfactorily answered yesterday morning.) And, 2) When and where are the terrorists going to strike again?
U.S. intelligence officials told members of Congress there is a high probability that terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden will try to launch another major attack on American targets here or abroad in the near future: "At a briefing Tuesday, in response to a senator's question about the gravity of the threat, one intelligence official said there is a '100 percent' chance of an attack should the United States strike Afghanistan."
What "kind" of attack is probable? Biological? Chemical? Nuclear? Car bomb?
The biological threat is fueling a lot of polarizing talk.
One expert says "No worries"; it's too hard to disseminate; they don't have it (yet); casualties would be minimal. "It's not that easy to release biological agents so that they are infective, so that they can be inhaled," said Dean A. Wilkening, a physicist who heads a working group on biological terrorism at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation.
Another expert says, "It's cheap and easy"; a small amount could and would spread exponentially and create a monumental psychological impact. I recently interviewed Col. Gerald Schumacher (retired) who ran an early detection program during the Gulf War. We discussed the recent war game -- called "Dark Winter" -- which was a June 22-23 CSIS bioterrorism exercise. The war game involved senior-level officials, including Gov. Frank Keating of Oklahoma, former adviser to the president David Gergen and former director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey.
Among the findings:
Hey, here's a what if. ... What if we demonstrated our force and resolve and actually helped in probably mitigating a potential threat?
Apparently one of the world's largest dumps of the biological weapon agent anthrax has been left unguarded by one of our new alleged coalition allies.
"The dump is on Vozrozhdeniye Island in the middle of the Aral Sea, on what was once a Soviet open-air biological weapons test site. It is about 600 miles from Afghanistan ... the island was abandoned nearly 10 years ago, but enough anthrax spores remain to kill the world's population several times. It is buried in metal drums a few feet below the surface."
How about our new buddies in Russia give us the eight-digit grid coordinates for the dump and we increase the ground temperature by a few hundred thousand degrees?
We could thereby 1) eliminate a potential threat of a virulent weaponized biological, 2) give the world (and voters) a massive pyrotechnic display (film at 11) and 3) remove further embarrassment to the Russians who operated their "Bioprepara," the USSR's secret biological weapons program throughout the '70s and '80s in complete defiance of the 1972 Biological Weapons Treaty. Mikhail Gorbachev lied through his bad teeth when he denied the existence of a biological weapons program; check out "Biohazard" by Ken Alibek.
Moving to the second horn of the dilemma -- the preservation of our traditional America liberties -- we have Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz who claims that to enhance the nation's ability to counter terrorism, he strongly favors reviewing a legal doctrine that has kept the U.S. military from engaging in domestic law enforcement activities since 1878.
Authorities can (and will) sugar coat this however they want, but if or when the government integrates the military with the civil police functions, the net result is martial law. Maybe recruiting for Orwell's "Thought Police" could be next.
According to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard we as a country are not the Lone Ranger in exploiting tragedy to eviscerate personal freedom and liberty.
tells us, Dr. Jurgen Storbeck will "soon be one of the few men outside
Pyongyang, Baghdad and a handful of other despotisms heading an agency
with double access to law enforcement and intelligence secrets -- something
that every first-term student of political science is taught should never
happen in a democracy." Storbeck is reportedly supposed to be a good guy,
but what happens when Europol is run by a Janet Reno?