Paul Craig Roberts
If there were any real terrorists, Jose Rodriguez would be dead.
Who is Jose Rodriguez? He is the criminal who ran the CIA torture program. Most of his victims were not terrorists or even insurgents. Most were hapless individuals kidnapped by warlords and sold to the Americans as “terrorists” for the bounty paid.
If Rodriguez’s identity was previously a secret, it is no more. He has been on CBS “60 Minutes” taking credit for torturing Muslims and using the information allegedly gained to kill leaders of al Qaeda. If terrorists were really the problem that Homeland Security, the FBI and CIA claim, Rodriguez’s name would be a struck through item on the terrorists’ hit list. He would be in his grave.
So, also, would be John Yoo, who wrote the Justice (sic) Department memos giving the green light to torture, despite US and International laws prohibiting torture. Apparently, Yoo, a professor at the Boalt School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, was ignorant of US and international law. And so was the US Department of Justice (sic).
Notice that Rodriguez, “The Torturer of the Muslims,” does’t have to hide. He can go on national television, reveal his identity, and revel in his success in torturing and murdering Muslims. Rodriguez has no Secret Service protection and would be an easy mark for assassination by terrorists so capable as to have, allegedly, pulled off 9/11.
Another easy mark for assassination would be former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who staffed up the Pentagon with neoconservative warmongers such as Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, who in turn concocted the false information used to justify the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Rumsfeld himself declared members of al Qaeda to be the most vicious and dangerous killers on earth. Yet Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, Richard Perle, together with neoconservative media propagandists, such as William Kristol and Max Boot, have been walking around safe for years unmolested by terrorists seeking revenge or bringing retribution to those responsible for as many as 1,000,000 Muslim deaths.
Condi Rice, Colin Powell, who delivered the Speech of Lies to the UN inaugurating the invasion of Iraq, and Dick Cheney, whose minimal Secret Service protection could not withstand a determined assassination attempt, also enjoy lives unmolested by terrorists.
Remember the deck of cards that the Bush regime had with Iraqi faces? If terrorists had a similar deck, all of those named above would be “high value targets.” Yet, there has not been a single attempt on any one of them.
Strange, isn’t it, that none of the above are faced with a terrorist threat. Yet, the tough, macho Navy Seals who allegedly killed Osama bin Laden must have their identity kept hidden so that they don’t become terrorist targets. These American supermen, highly trained killers themselves, don’t dare show their faces, but Rodriguez, Rumsfeld, and Condi Rice can walk around unmolested.
Indeed, the Seals’ lives are so endangered that President Obama gave up the enormous public relations political benefit of a White House ceremony with the heroic Navy Seals. Very strange behavior for a politician. A couple of weeks after the alleged bin Laden killing, the Seals unit, or most of it, was wiped out in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
If you were a Muslim terrorist seeking retribution for Washington’s crimes, would you try to smuggle aboard an airliner a bomb in your underwear or shoe in order to blow up people whose only responsibility for Washington’s war against Muslims is that they fell for Washington’s propaganda? If you wanted to blow up the innocent, wouldn’t you instead place your bomb in the middle of the mass of humanity waiting to clear airport security and take out TSA personnel along with passengers? Terrorists could coordinate their attacks, hitting a number of large airports across the US at the same minute. This would be real terror. Moreover, it would present TSA with an insolvable problem: how can people be screened before they are screened?
Or coordinated attacks on shopping malls and sports events?
Why should terrorists, if they exist, bother to kill people when it is easy to cause mayhem by not killing them? There are a large number of unguarded electric power substations. Entire regions of the country could be shut down. The simplest disruptive act would be to release large quantities of roofing nails in the midst of rush hour traffic in Boston, New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco. You get the picture: thousands and thousands of cars disabled with flat tires blocking the main arteries for days.
Before some reader accuses me of giving terrorists ideas, ask yourself if you really think people so clever as to have allegedly planned and carried out 9/11 couldn’t think of such simple tactics, plots that could be carried out without having to defeat security or kill innocent people? My point isn’t what terrorists, if they exist, should do. The point is that the absence of easy-to-do acts of terrorism suggests that the terrorist threat is more hype than reality. Yet, we have an expensive, intrusive security apparatus that seems to have no real function except to exercise power over American citizens.
In place of real terrorists carrying out easy plots, we have “terrorist” plots dreamed up by FBI and CIA agents, who then recruit some hapless or demented dupes, bribing them with money and heroic images of themselves, and supplying them with the plot and fake explosives. These are called “sting operations,” but they are not. They are orchestrations by our own security agencies that produce fake terrorist plots that are then “foiled” by the security agencies that hatched the plots.
Washington’s announcement is always: “The public was never in danger.” Some terrorist plot! We have never been endangered by one, but the airports have been on orange alert for 11.5 years.
The federal judiciary and brainwashed juries actually treat these concocted plots as real threats to American security despite the government’s announcements that the public was never in danger.
The announcements of the “foiled” plots keep the brainwashed public docile and amenable to intrusive searches, warrantless spying, the growth of an unaccountable police state, and endless wars.
The “War on Terror” is a hoax, one that has been successfully used to destroy the US Constitution and to complete the transformation of law from a shield of the people into a weapon in the hands of the state. By destroying habeas corpus, due process, and the presumption of innocence, the “War on Terror” has destroyed our security.
This article first appeared at Paul Craig Roberts’ new website Institute For Political Economy. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His Internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Donations are much appreciated.