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Liberty Lost? Certainly is at the Mall of America.

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posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 04:04 AM
As you would expect there has been a rise in programs devoted to 9/11 ten years on and questioning the impacts on society with regards to the various government strategies employed to counter any further terrorist activities.

One such program I listened to recently is this one.

Newshour and The Mall of America

If you can spare the time it’s only 11 minutes and worth the watch, if not or you don’t have speakers or headphones I’ve paraphrased the salient points below. If there are any mistakes a little nod and a wink and I’ll correct, if you think its biased then watch the show yourself. And inevitably I have searched and not found this posted.

The Mall of America, being the largest mall in America in its own response to counter terrorism has developed it’s very own counter terrorism unit to look out for “suspicious” persons. Maureen Bausch executive VP of business development, and obvious believer in the scaremongering, advises us that the government advice to the mall management is to be “on the watch”.

For the 6 years that this counter terrorism unit has been in operation about 1000 “suspicious” people per year have been stopped and questioned by the unit staff and reported around 100 of these individuals to the police. All those persons reported to the police end up on their data base as a “suspicious” person.

Details of suspicious people include the following;

Guards reported to police because a man was writing on a piece of paper and they thought he may be taking notes and undertaking surveillance. Turns out he was a musician waiting on someone.

Another man walking with a backpack and 1 hand in back pocket was also reported as being suspicious.

A 70 year old man left his phone in the mall. On return to the mall and being unable to locate it he was reported to the police as having a nervous demeanour about the loss of the phone. All in this suspicious person generated an 11 page report half of which was forwarded to the FBI. Remarkably the visit was actually followed up by the FBI, following up on report by the malls counter terrorism unit the police and others.

Other examples, yes there are more unfortunately, are explained in the program.

Maureen Bausch while being upset that a few people have not had a good experience at the mall she believes that “since the world has changed” they are doing the best they can to keep the building safe.

On the other hand, Mr Dale Watson, executive assistant director for counter terrorism FBI 1999-2002, believes the move from reasonable suspicion to suspicion of everything with the result of people ending up with a police record is “not worth the effort”.

The government approach, through the Department of Homeland Security, has an opinion that would seem to be fantasy at best.

John Cohen, Principal Deputy Counter Terrorism Coordinator of the Department of Homeland Security, believes that the suspicious activity reporting measures are working. Indeed he believes it is working on a number of fronts. Citing one and only one example he relays the report about the foiling of the time square bombing. That incident did result in an arrest however it was apparently complete luck the bomb did not go off. Importantly the suspicious activity reporting had nothing to do with the arrest.

When asked directly as to whether any of the Mall of America reports had initiated an arrest his response “well I’m not willing to go into specific cases”. He expanded this explanation to say that literally hundreds of cases have been opened investigated and subsequently closed out, apparently without arrest.

Juliette Kayyem, Former Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Homeland Security states that she is unaware of any specific cases of suspicious activity reporting that have resulted in an arrest.

Clearly one thing that both John Cohen and Juliette Kayyem agree on is the quality of the information and that currently it could and should be of a higher standard.

The final commentary in the program falls to Dale Watson and a “suspicious person”. This part is worth a watch, so you’ll have to watch it because I’m not paraphrasing it.

America is not alone in the fight on terror and neither is it alone in having experienced the brutality of a terror attack. For those who are interested the following link is fairly eye opening.

History of Terrorist Events

So why has America of all the countries that have recently experienced such a thing chosen the path of depravation of liberty. I know, understand and agree that TPTB want to maintain a culture of fear simply because that works in their favour. It keeps people fearful of their livelihoods and reputations and it is through that fear of loss that compliance to the corporate national agenda is assured. The fear of terrorism I think has very little to do with the fear at all.

But I do not consider that it is just fear. I do not consider that it is normal for people to live in fear for 10 years or more. To me it is clear, that in the US at least, the policy of dumbing people down is starting to show some fruit. It is through this dumbing down that blind adherence to a policy such as suspicious activity reporting, or any other policy for that matter is guaranteed even if that means a loss of liberty.

This is demonstrated in the application of the suspicious activity reporting policy. Surely personnel attempting to identify a terrorist would have some training other than that of a normal security guard. Surely it would be in the interests of the management of any facility to ensure that such training is provided. It should be in the interests of the state and nation to ensure that such a thing should occur if indeed you enact such a policy. And if they do not have such training then there should be no recourse to the police other than to call them to the scene of the “crime”. But that is not the point.

The point is image over content and TPTB understand that most people now are not interested in content. So long as people are seen to be doing something about it that is all that needs to happen, and if that policy happens to impinge on your liberty, then oh well it’s better to be safe than sorry.

I don’t recall exactly who said this, and I’m paraphrasing here, but “it’s a bit like spraying a room that has no bugs with a pesticide then the day after espousing the benefits of the pesticide because there are no bugs”. Transparent stupidity.

Sadly I see no easy way back for the US, Liberty is hard fought for around the world, and in 10 years you have demonstrated how easy it is to let it go. Hopefully I am wrong.

Feel free to let loose your opinions.


Edit: I'll be back in 12hours. Time for beer, then sleep.

edit on 8-9-2011 by myselfaswell because: Thinking of Beer

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 04:24 AM
reply to post by myselfaswell

all these 911 shows are bull
its all bush loving and cheney sucking

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 10:40 AM
I share your discouragement, my guess is that we could restore America with about thirty years of work (which is not likely to occur, but hey, it's possible).

I wonder if the cause is a little different from what you are suggesting, however. The dumbing down of America is almost a cliche now. It has been going on for decades. Perhaps, that comes from a profession that is used to seeing itself as more intelligent and superior to most others, therefore nearly always correct. There is no check on it, so the profession goes roaring along. When it jumps the track there is no way to get it righted, so it becomes more and more bizarre, with the results we see in today's students.

Accompanying that problem is the appearances of teachers who do not teach history, politics, or the entire culture of our society. This cuts students loose from their past and deprives them of a trustworthy, guiding light. They have no training in liberty, independence, civility, or respect for good judgment and wisdom.

Add to this the age old desire for bureaucratic power, which now seems to be running unchecked by the people or other branches of government. The desire for power that is extended by extending it over more and more money and people.

And, toss in the belief that it is safer (and easier) to not exercise judgment in a country where more and more freedom destroying rules are being promulgated with ever harsher penalties. Which, of course, results in our loss of the ability to use good judgment.

Perhaps I'm just restating your position. If so, I apologize. It seems to me to be less of a central plan as much as a coming together of various unfortunate trends.

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 11:56 AM
Malls have always had security in place and always will. Like it or not, they have every right to moniter the activities within the footprint of their property. Don't like it; shop somewhere else. I know it's all about your personal liberties, but sometimes you have to think about the liberties of every other person and that includes the liberty to surveil and secure the property for the safety of all.

What group of teens has never been told to move along or gotten questioned by mall security between the years of 1960 - present? This is nothing new and it doesn't hurt you one bit.

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 12:05 PM
reply to post by usernameconspiracy

Private property owners certainly have the right to watch their property. I dont have a problem with that.

When an old mans lost cell phone results in several federal agencies getting involved that's when I start asking questions like "WTF?"

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 05:39 PM
Back again, 6:30am.

You make a good point that I didn't really touch on. The apparent dumbing down was never something that was ever going to happen overnight. It was always going to take numerous generations. When I wrote about finally bearing fruit that is in essence what I mean't, you explained it rather well, however the point you make of the loss of connection to such things is the key.

Is it the case now where there is such little understanding of these things that a return is impossible? Are there too few people now with memory and experience of the past to effect change now? It would seem that Ron Paul can talk the Talk, but walk the walk?

I don't think that the dumbing down of America is a cliche. In describing it as such seems to me at least to be an admission of defeat and acceptance of the reality, or perhaps hope that things will not get any worse.


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