PROTECTION

Five years after 9/11, our enemies have not succeeded in launching another attack on our soil, but they’ve not been idle. Al Qaeda and those inspired by its hateful ideology have carried out terrorist attacks in more than two dozen nations. And just last month, they were foiled in a plot to blow up passenger planes headed for the United States. They remain determined to attack America and kill our citizens — and we are determined to stop them. We’ll continue to give the men and women who protect us every resource and legal authority they need to do their jobs.

George W. Bush
September 11, 2006


The president pledged to the American people that he would do whatever he could within the Constitution to protect this country. It has always been the case since we’ve had electronic communications that in a time of war this country engages in electronic surveillance in order to get information about the enemy.

We need to know who the enemy is. We need to know what the enemy is thinking. We need to know where the enemy is thinking about striking us again. And so absolutely, this president is going to utilize all the tools that are available to him to protect this country and I think the American people expect that of the president of the United States, who is the only public official charged, not only with the authority with [sic] the duty of protecting all Americans.

Albert Gonzales, Attorney General
January 16, 2006


That’s the standard way you cloak and protect power: you make it look mysterious and secret above the ordinary person — otherwise why should anyone accept it? Well, they’re willing to accept it out of fear that some great enemies are about to destroy them and because of that they’ll cede their authority to the Lord, or the King, or the President or something just to protect themselves. That’s the way governments work — that’s the way any system of power works…

Noam Chomsky
1989

37 thoughts on “PROTECTION

  1. Days of Broken Arrows

    “We need to know who the enemy is.” — Alberto Gonzales.

    The whole reason we have intelligence is so the government should ALREADY know who the enemy is before they attack. Whatever the reason for the 9/11 attacks (Clinton, Bush, the inability of gov’t departments to communicate) it should never have gotten to the point of chaos.

    The main job of government is to protect its people –not to enforce arcane laws regarding internet gambling or whatever this week’s issue is. The government failed to do that on 9/11. So now we all suffer.

    As soon as the Iraq intelligence was deemed faulty, heads should have rolled. This is why Bush is no leader and Reagan — love him or hate him — was.

  2. Jewcano

    Politics on DCB?

    Honestly, if you live in DC it’s even more painfully obvious than normal that the people who work for the government are boobs. It’s not a government of supermen, it’s a bunch of assclowns that couldn’t make it in the real world. It doesn’t even matter, to some degree, who you elect; there’s enough career goobers between you and any elected officials to render any good works to shit. Trust me, I worked for the govt for 6 years. These are not people capable of intricate plans and shadow conspiracies. It’s a miracle your mail gets delivered.

    Going soft, DCB? It’s been nothing but fluff posts since Spain. Get back to the bar antics, please.

  3. Spread Em

    Fuck….Congress/The White House are all knuckleheads who need to be tossed out on the street like bums…..I fault the American public thats been complacent for 6 years out of fear of having to live with more fear. This government lies to us, manipulates the facts it wants, supresses freedoms in the name of terror, and shows no empathy toward the common middle class family plight. I feel like Lou Dobbs…When are people gonna get tired of the Potomac Shuffle…..

  4. Joe T.

    To DABA, good post, only I don’t just fault the Bushies for not severing and rolling heads after the Iraq “intelligence” was “deemed faulty”. I fault Bush and Cheney for deliberately fabricating that intelligence. Few dare call it treason.

  5. Roissy

    the masculinity is waning fast on this blog.

    the chomsky school of argument:

    theorizing a conspiracy automatically makes it so.

  6. lady bizness

    Stop the Presses! This just in: Government abuses its power, especially under the guise of National Security.

    Snore.

    The Chomsky quote would be worthwhile if he (and all other lefties) would stop assuming that the problem will be solved as long as the “right” people are pulling the levers of government.

    The problem isn’t Bush or Cheney or Condi. The problem is that Americans have, since the Progressive Era, turned to the national government to solve the country’s (and world’s) problems. As long as we keep demanding that the Feds have their fingers in everyone’s pies, we’ll have the corollary political fallout from their often bungled actions.

  7. laughing at you

    If were you, I’d stick to what I knew- like being a cynical single in a saturated beef market.

  8. sean

    “If were you, I?d stick to what I knew”

    That goes for Chumpsky too. He’s just a goddamn linguistics professor. Ooooooh Ahhhhhh…..many….many….words! I hear Hugo Chavez highly recommends his books though. College freshmen just can’t get enough either.

  9. Joe T.

    To lady bizness — maybe it’s time we did stop relying on the national government to do all these things. Maybe it’s time we had a WORLD GOVERNMENT, or at least maybe it’s time we aspired to one and set the wheels in motion so that it can develop in our, or our children’s, lifetimes. The only way out of this collective morass of oppression and poverty, in which Anglo-Saxon capitalism has placed us, is for the world’s people to agree that we’re interdependent and that everyone’s survival is linked. It’s rabid free-market fundamentalists like you (“lady bizness”? ha ha!) who sell us a bill of goods that it mustn’t be done.

  10. lady bizness

    Ah, Joe T. I enjoy your complete inability to understand the point of my post, which is: government is too inept and corrupt to trust with most aspects of our lives. Whether or not that government is a town council, national government, world government, or intergalactic republic makes no difference. The point is that when you give government power to regulate something, then those affected by it will lobby, bribe, threaten, and cajole politicians to regulate it in their favor. Then you have succeeded in politicizing something that isn’t really political at all, and in the process alienate those people who are adversely affected by the policy. In the utopia of my rabid free-market fundamentalist collegues, most things that are currently political issues would become the personal issues they once were, and we can all stop hating on each other because one person won’t be getting favors over anyone else.

    As a sidenote: Please remember that nothing has brought more people out of poverty and oppression than capitalism. Please feel free to compare living standards of pre and post-Industrialization England and America if you need to jog your memory.

  11. Roissy

    uncle joe t., thanks for the laugh. i’m curious, if you aren’t a parody, do you leftists just let your storm surge of emotions ride you like a cathartic tsunami, burying all logic and reason in the process?

  12. Joe T.

    Lady biz, what you and those of your ilk have missed is that we have (by default) given corporations the very same powers that you ascribe to governments, and say governments have abused. Do you know, or even care, that your private information (date of birth, addresses, SSN, credit history, shopping history, etc.) is bought and sold by a chain of data-mining mega-corporations which sell you cheap, gaudy consumer goods with one hand and conspire to impoverish and enslave you with the other? Why do you focus just on governments? It’s so cliche.

    I realize I’m being a little overblown in my rhetoric here, and no, I’m not a communist. In fact, I’m in the process of starting several million dollar businesses. I believe in free enterprise. The problem is that one specific brand of free enterprise, i.e., Ango-Saxon “Turbo” Capitalism (see Edward Luttwak’s book “Turbo Capitalism”) has not served us. Hugo Chavez is 100% right (and by the way, instituting socialism does not necessarily mean doing away with private business — it just means making enterprise serve the public.) It’s only the ideologues among us who continue to keep the blinders on.

  13. aNON

    Everyone is pussyfooting (Politics on DCB? I figured i’d throw in the word ‘pussy’ for brand integrity) around the main issue: The core “beef” extremists have against the United States is its (unfairly biased) foreign policy with regards to the Israeli Palestinian conflict – The United States (the right in particular) strongly defends this position with the argument of “protecting foreign interest in an unstable middle east” – “securing an ally in Israel” or whatever … Isn’t it more important to protect domestic interest/ civilian safety by not creating new enemies who believe enough to kill themselves for a cause.

    I don’t know what the solution is in Israel/Palestine and I don’t think anyone does … My personal take is that Clinton handled it best and that was primarily because Madeline Albright knew her shit; specifically regarding the cultural nuances of the region. Plus, Clinton was a PLAYA :hump:

    The public doesn’t help either … the average American thinks the situation in Iraq is a good thing, where in fact it has not only perpetuated already existing anti-US sentiments, but also created a breeding ground for a cultural/ religious tension of collosal magnitude: Suni Vs. Shiite Muslims.
    (besides being absolutley pointless in the first place)

  14. eltoroverde

    I don’t read this blog often, so I’m probably the least qualified to comment here. But I do read it on occasion because it provides a nice respite from all of the BS going on in the world right now, much of which revolves around US politics. Please leave politics for the political blogs. Just a humble request from no one in particular.

  15. sean

    Eltoroverde makes so much sense after reading all the mind numbing political commentary on this thread. None of you have a clue, about ANYTHING. SO STFU and save your comments for Kos or whatever. This is a blog about poontang, nothing more, nothing less. That said, I just can’t resist….

    “I realize I?m being a little overblown in my rhetoric here, and no, I?m not a communist. In fact, I?m in the process of starting several million dollar businesses. I believe in free enterprise. The problem is that one specific brand of free enterprise, i.e., Ango-Saxon ?Turbo? Capitalism (see Edward Luttwak?s book ?Turbo Capitalism?) ”

    Holy. Fucking. Shit. Elvis has left the building.

  16. lady bizness

    Joe T. please give me an example of a corporation having government power. I know that I have to pay my taxes or the IRS will come after me. If I decide to stop patronizing Wal-Mart corporate goons aren’t going to take me away. The only power corporations may have is GRANTED BY THE GOVERNMENT through sweetheart deals. And we’re back at square one of the argument.

    FYI: Chavez has, though the power of Socialism, done a fantastic job mismanaging the Venezuelan oil monopoly so now its mandate is social welfare instead of producing Venzuela’s most important product. Watch the crash in a few years when the rotting infrastructure and incompetant employees combine with falling oil prices to destroy the only means Chavez has to fund his Socialist utopia.

  17. Roissy

    best advice you’ll get all week, joe t. stalin:

    short sell interests in venezuela and south africa.

    thanku&goodnite.

  18. Chris

    to Ladybizness, Chomsky does not advocate any particular person to be the be all savior of any society. His basic argument is that the structure, in its current form can only result in the disasterous policies we live with today. Dismissing him as “just another lefty” shows how truly uninformed you are. In fact, you bore me, go back to whatever misguided corner of the stable you come from. Take Lonnie with you too. Know-it-alls deserve each other.

  19. Chris

    as far as Venezuela…Chavez is relying heavily on his countries main product for export—of course…which country doesn’t tend to exploit its natural endowment for its advantage? All the oil producing countries are so-reliant and act accordingly. Oil is an inelastic good that right now, can determine the market–and they are. The only different is that he is in turn reinvesting the money received to infrastructure (which DCB can attest was completely ignored over the past 30 years), health care for the poor, and education in sectors of the country that had none before (among other things). He doesn’t deceive himself into thinking that the oil will be there forever. He, and his country’s entrance into MERCOSUR, is just one step to trying to create a functional relationship with the other countries in South America for the betterment of all. He is changing things down there, and right now, the people who are suffering are the people who were of the landed gentry, who were born with all the advantages and none of the hardships. Although, they are hardly suffering.

    In addition, Venezuela (and Chavez) worked with Argentina after its economy crumbled in 2001. Venezuela purchased a lot of the crippling debt that was the cause of Argentina’s troubles (as well as financial mismanagement as well). This allowed Argentina to free itself from the IMF and start fresh. Argentina now answers to Venezuela under much more favorable debt terms. In fact, Venezuela is making money off the debt–but not to the detrimant of Argentina. So in fact, Chavez is moving into other areas outside of a pure-oil driven economy. As far as him mismanaging it…in what way? taking the profits that were going 95% to the oil companies and redirecting to domestic needs? You soulless harpie..

    Chavez, like most politicians, has both his proponents and critics…but he is in power for a reason. There are people in Venezuela that approve of the job he is doing. You in your lilly-white office/cubicle in DC have no idea what you are talking about.

  20. DCB Post author

    Chavez when asked about the IMF (International Monetary Fund)

    “I want to create an International Humanitarian Fund.”

    Very smart politician.

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