Failure, for some

Another successful terrorist attack

By Mark Luedtke

Not long ago, Great Britain passed the West’s most oppressive spy law. Even the mainstream media acknowledges that. Last November Newsweek wrote,  “The U.K.’s Investigatory Powers Bill, also known as the Snooper’s Charter, is an extraordinary document. It grants the state the ability to harvest information in bulk and to process and profile it without suspicion. Companies can be compelled to hack their customers and weaken their security systems. Innocent people’s devices can be hacked in ‘bulk’ in order to get closer to unspecified targets.”

The article reports this really isn’t new. “All of these practices appear to have existed for many years, in secret and without a Parliamentary vote,” Newsweek continues. “Hidden creative interpretations of our existing laws allowed so-called ‘bulk powers’ to gather information about millions of people, secretly tap internal cables belonging to Google or Yahoo!, and to hack foreign companies, such as Belgium’s national telecoms provider, turning them into Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) surveillance conduits. The only reason we know, of course, is because of Edward Snowden’s actions, revealing what the U.S.’s NSA and Britain’s GCHQ were up to.”

Rulers claim they spy on everybody to protect us from terrorists. If they’re telling the truth, then they are fantastic failures. If the battle between terrorists and rulers trying to protect us was a boxing match, the referee would stop it. Terrorists slaughter us at will, literally, as the recent terrorist attack in Manchester, England, illustrated.

The Inquisitr reports, “The Manchester bomber was known to British counter-terrorism authorities. Exactly why [the terrorist] was on some type of watch list has not yet been shared with the public.”

Just like the Boston Marathon bombers were being watched by the FBI. All these terrorists are known to authorities, but the authorities inexplicably fail to stop them.

Furthermore, Fox News reports, “British and French intelligence have information that [the terrorist], 22, had been to Syria, although it was unclear if he was part of a larger network of attackers, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said Wednesday.”

He also traveled to Libya for terrorist training. Despite boasting the West’s most oppressive spy law and ridiculous travel constraints on every traveler, British spies had to learn the terrorist, a British citizen, traveled to terrorist camps from French spies.

It’s not possible even for socialist police and intelligence agencies, with hundreds of billions of dollars in funding, to be that incompetent. If they really wanted to stop terrorists, they could. They don’t stop them because that’s not their real goal.

Mises Wire, a libertarian political economic publication, Editor Ryan McMaken notes, “States have always thrived on the fear of the taxpayers, and states have always justified their existence in part on the idea that without the state, we’d all be overrun by barbarians, or murdered by our neighbors. Charles Tilly, American sociologist, political scientist, and historian frequently noted that the modern state as we know it, was born out of war, and was created to wage war. War and the state are inseparable.”

The threat of terrorism empowers rulers, and there is no threat of terrorism without terrorist attacks. Terrorist attacks benefit rulers. While the threat of being killed in a terrorist attack is low, the fear the attacks inspire empowers rulers to steal more and more of our money.

Police and spy agencies don’t spend those hundreds of billions of dollars spying on likely terrorists and people on watch lists; they spend them spying on us, and that’s why they fail to stop terrorist attacks.

Early 20th century critic and writer Randolph Bourne observed war is the health of the state, and war radicalizes its victims and produces terrorism. Terrorism radicalizes its victims and produces war. It’s a vicious cycle that empowers and enriches rulers while killing and impoverishing the people.

British Prime Minister Theresa May took full advantage of the bombing to boost her poll numbers two weeks before an election. She scared Britons further by claiming more attacks may follow, and she sent British troops into the streets to heighten fears as much as possible. This makes her appear to be doing something even though all it does is further oppress the people. It doesn’t make them safer.

The solution to terrorism isn’t complicated. First, end the wars. If western rulers stop killing people, there will be no new victims radicalized against us. Second, shrink intelligence agencies, end their spying on the people in general, and focus spies and police on potential terrorists. That will make us safer and more prosperous.

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Mark Luedtke
Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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