Love the one you text…

NSA Officers Sometimes Spy on Love Interests……….

“If you’re down and confused.  And you don’t remember who you’re talking to….


         This takes the meaning of the phrases: “a terrorist under every bed” to a new (low) level. I think we need to take a moment, take a deep breath and thoughtfully analyze the actual, and true level of the threat. This is beginning to look like the electronic version of “stop and frisk”; with the entire U.S. public playing the role of Black and Latino young men. I think most Americans accept that the post-9/11 environment would mean a higher security status that would dramatically change the way we went about our daily lives. Most people accept longer lines at airports, more scrutiny and I.D. requirements when entering  government buildings. I also think that the average American understands (even if they haven’t read Carl von Clausewitz’s: On War, that the U.S. can’t fight an asymmetrical war against an enemy who sees any/every U.S. citizen (including Muslims) as potential targets; and thus the need for some types of governmental clandestine actions. Yes, we get that extraordinary times, call for extraordinary actions; but where is this going? Every American citizen can’t be turned into a suspect. Operationally, it seems that the net is being spread too loose, and too wide. Things seem to be getting a little crazy ; and I don’t get the feeling that the national legislative branch is  anxious to trade in their cheerleading uniforms to play their required oversight and review of  possible abuses role.  I was in NYC on 9/11 and I get the full pain, suffering and fear of that experience. As CSD 29 superintendent I had a large number of children in my office late into the night, as we searched frantically (without cell phone access) for relatives that could take custody of the children. For most of the children, their parents worked in Manhattan, and because of the subway shutdown, just could not get back to Queens; but for an unfortunate few, their parents were to never come home. I am still haunted by my memory of the children playing in my office, oblivious to the terrible event that had just occurred; and us adults trying so hard to pretend for them that this was just a subway delay, and their parents were on the way. I think for the rest of that month I probably attended more funerals and memorials then I had attended in my entire life. The problem with fear, (the ultimate objective of the perpetrators of 9/11) is that it has historically caused human beings to overreact in response to that fear. We saw this tragically played out against Japanese Americans during this nation’s war with Japan. The government, with the public’s consent wrongly defined just being Japanese as sufficient to be called a “potential” enemy. Can you imagine if every time the U.S military went into action, (Italy, Korea, Germany, Granada, Panama, etc.)  the government rounded up and “locked-up” all of the U.S. citizens who had a cultural link to that nation?

        (And everything you need to know about life you can learn in English class.) One of the themes in the book Animal Farm  is a lesson about how the fear of the enemy can cause a few (the “protectors”) to opportunistically use that fear to take liberty and freedom away from the many; but it is also a story about how the many; out of  fear, real or imagined; grant permission to the protectors to take away their freedom and liberty.