Friday, January 1, 2010
Forget that the draconian Patriot Act was written before 9/11.
Forget that the Bush administration used its heightened powers granted under the state of emergency declared in 2001 (and continuing to the present day) to harass those who disagreed with its policies. See this, this and this.
Errington Thompson says:
About two years, ago, I asked Richard Clarke if the CIA is working with the FBI in close harmony. His answer was “not really.”The New York Times writes:
In some ways, the portrait bears a striking resemblance to the failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, despite the billions of dollars spent over the last eight years to improve the intelligence flow and secret communications across the United States’ national security apparatus.And Politico notes:
President Barack Obama’s announcement that intelligence agencies had information that could have headed off the attempted airplane bombing on Christmas Day but failed to share it has left many of those who have urged a dramatic overhaul of the intelligence community exasperated.
“It’s discouragingly familiar,” said Tom Kean, a former Republican governor of New Jersey who co-chaired the 9/11 Commission. “It’s exactly the language we heard when we were making recommendations for the 9/11 report. That was five years ago. We made our recommendations based on the fact that agencies didn’t share information, and it seems to be the case that, once again, they didn’t share information. It’s very discouraging.”
“We thought that had been remedied,” the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Kit Bond (R-Mo.), told POLITICO. “If they’re not talking with each other, that’s a problem that we’ve been tearing our hair out over for a long time, demanding that they talk to each other. … I’m very upset."
Indeed, while the 9-11 Commission made numerous recommendations on how to prevent future terrorist attacks -- many of them simple and inexpensive to implement -- the Bush administration failed to do so (and see this and this). Moreover, the Bush administration and its allies actively blocked efforts to do so.
The Department of Homeland Security, instead of protecting vulnerable targets and concentrating on keeping actual bad guys out of our country, instead randomly made up lists which included kangaroo centers, petting zoos and ice cream parlors as high-priority terrorist threats. And the Bush administration refused to fill important positions at DHS so that our security could be protected.
In areas such as airport security, things haven't improved since Obama has taken office.
Those who would trade safety for freedom deserve neither.As shown above, the government has not really done much to increase our safety. And see this.
But we have lost our freedom.