The Conversation

The all-seeing State averts its gaze

In response to Are Mosques Excluded from The Digital Snooping Dragnet? :

This has been a long-running complaint about the security powers asserted during the War on Terror, going all the way back to aftermath of 9/11 and the creation of Homeland Security.  What's the point of giving all these surveillance powers to the all-seeing State, if ideology causes it to deliberately avert its gaze from certain potential threats?  

The government has known plenty of disturbing things about nearly every big-time terrorist, from the Boston bombers to Nidal Hassan to the 9/11 hijackers.  Tsarnaev hung out on bloodthirsty jihad websites.  Hassan advertised himself as a jihad sympathizer on his business cards.  The 9/11 crew advertised their malevolence in comically obvious ways to all sorts of government officials, who recalled their diversity training and snapped into action by willfully ignoring them.  They got their fake IDs through the kind of identity theft that our ruling class is openly talking about ignoring, in the rush to grant amnesty to its practitioners... who, after all, can hardly be blamed for stealing the Social Security numbers and other materials they needed to live illegally in the United States.  Nothing to see here, move along.

The Department of Homeland Security was supposed to eliminate all those Clinton-era "walls" between agencies, but they still deliberately avoid communicating with each other, for reasons of both ideology and turf protection.  At the heart of every scandal currently raging around the Administration is some sort of communications breakdown, and none of them were truly inadvertent.

We subject ourselves to security theater at the hands of the TSA because intelligent efforts to target likely terrorists are considered unacceptably rude.  I've heard it said that the NSA is spying on everyone because ideology prevented it from focusing on the likely terrorists.  If the story you linked holds up, it's worse than that - they're spying on everything except the places terrorists have been known to coordinate their activities, and fall prey to sting operations.  We live in fear beneath the tread of far too many blind government giants.


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