Friday, August 17

Security Theater and The Barbarossa Effect

Recently a man fell off his jet ski, swam to shore, and calmly walked across two runaways and into a terminal at JFK airport -dripping wet- before being spotted by an employee.The elaborate and very expensive security system meant to catch such an intrusion failed. How many other airports employ this fancy security system that doesn't work?  Meanwhile passengers are practically being striped searched by the ineffective TSA before getting on a plane.

The Department of Homeland Security is engaged in a security ruse. They spend little time on local made terrorists who have killed people, set fires to places of worship and generally threatened the safety of the public. Instead, an inordinate amount of time, energy, our money and media distraction is spent on the looming  non existent threat from foreigners. Obviously the DHS is more interested in Islamist terrorists than right wing extremists because the perceived threat of "foreigners" feeds our xenophobia. This re enforces the need for a more militarized police force and the exploitive practices of the DHS trampling on our civil rights.

This form of  "mission creep" is a variation of what I call the Barbarossa Effect.  In the movie of the same name Willie Nelson plays a bandit who married the daughter of a wealthy Mexican rancher. He set out to kill Nelson's character who is supposedly terrorizing the local village. But here's the twist, as long as Barbarossa is alive the rancher can justify offering "protection" to the frightened villagers to maintain his own power. When henchmen inform the rancher they killed Barbarossa, he explains how they killed their golden goose. Gary Busy, a clumsy oaf Nelson befriends', takes Nelson's place, and so Barbarossa lives on.

It's the same scam used to justify the cold war, the war on drugs and now the war on terror. As long as people think there is a reason to be afraid, our government will increase it's invasion of our rights to maintain their power. It's not Homeland security, it's job security.

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