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
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
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
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