Owen Myles, Contributing Writer
What do Ybor City, Irish stout, and Albania have in common?
On Saturday, January 7, the FBI arrested Sami Osmakac for attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. Sami allegedly had plans to terrorize sheriff’s departments, nightclubs (including an Irish pub), a Starbucks coffee shop, and the Army. Like other recently “foiled” and unfoiled plots (1, 2, 3, 4), the arrest was the result of under-cover FBI operations.
Preventing catastrophe is sensible enough, but in the strange light of NDAA, and other extreme abuses of power under the guise of national security, it would be foolish to not wonder where it stops. In a country of over 300 million people, the practice of nurturing evil will definitely produce results; the plenitude of stress, crazed ideologies, and stupidity make this a fertile field. But what additional effects might guided negative influence have? If we were to do this for every prospective crime, or ill ambition, our potential for foul things may be endless. Just imagine what the FBI could accomplish if given unfettered access to mental-institutions for purposes of extrapolating sinister plots!
Public safety and security are difficult subjects. In the particular case of Osmakac, a serious threat seems to have existed. Maximum extraction of the enemy appears an effective strategy; knowing how far they’ll go, what they’ll do if given the opportunity; and efficient debilitation. Hopefully the FBI asks how far they are willing to go themselves.
The axiom of absolute power corrupting, may be worth mention. If a subject aspires to vandalize a building, but is distracted by under-cover agents proposing “bigger and better” things, is it possible that a new dynamic has been added to the situation?
“I was only going to graffiti the facade of a bank, but when some little green man informed me that I could destroy the entire galaxy, I decided to go with that instead“. – Hypothetical bad guy
If someone is sick enough to aspire to harm others, then it does make sense to address them accordingly. To arrest a potential murderer on a misdemeanor when patience will yield a felony or worse, would be counter-productive. Despite these considerations, I remain skeptical of such methodologies when terror is involved. After all, terrorism is big business, and pretending to fight it has become one of the most thriving industries around; look at the curriculum of any university in 2012, and you’ll see “Homeland Security” listed.
The notion of weeding out extreme volatility from society makes sense; what makes none, however, is cultivating it — all while letting the the most dangerous terrorists remain unprosecuted and ever plotting. Foiling plots and dramatizing hypothetical terror is one thing; but some are still awaiting satisfactory explanations for tangible events of terror — See: 9-11, 7-7 London, and OKC-Bombing, etc, etc.
Hopefully such efforts will be fairly distributed between hypothetical threats and real threats. We scarcely need to manufacture terror when so much already exists and continues to erode society. In a country with a war on consensual crime, journalists, and critical-thinking, my hopes are not too high — and with the world’s largest prison population, I think I know what to expect. New America; land of the incarcerated, paranoid, and insecure, where you are free to call fascism democracy, drink yourself to death, and bask in endless debt.
Owen Myles edits the Eccentric Intelligence Agency: Helping the Ouroboros finish itself.