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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/11/13

It's Our Own Damn Fault

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What do we know? What can we know? What price are we willing to pay to know?

Stick with me here for a bit. You know me and my over-use of analogies.

We have thousands of highly-trained meteorologists scattered around the globe, armed with the fastest supercomputers gobbling up real - time data from both manned and unmanned outposts -- ships, buoys, planes and satellites. That entire arsenal's singular mission is to predict the weather, especially extreme weather, so that humans can be ready if the worst should happen.

Yet the worst still happens all the time : Tornados rip through the M idwest and P lains states every year ; hurricanes tear up the Southeast and Texas; flooding and/or droughts ravage... The batting average for th e trillion-dollar assemblage of weather analysts and their machines remains sketchy, at best.

The only reason I mention th is is because the same thing goes for another very similar "predictive assemblage "-- our intelligence networks.

I have no problem with anything the weather-intel folks are up to, because all they are doing is trying to figure out what Mother Nature is up to. But the government's intelligence agencies are another matter entirely. They want to know what "we" are up to.

As we discovered this week -- as though we haven't suspected this all along -- the US intel agencies, particularly the National Security Agency, have decided to place  their data - gathering "buoys" throughout the sea of electronic data, and from there , well up into the streams and tributaries that feed that sea... including the tiny creek that runs right through the computer you are reading this on.

Who gave them the right to do that? Well, we did. Yes , we did.

In a flash, 9/11 turned cocky , self-satisfied Americans into a mob of scared school girls. We went screaming to "Daddy , " demanding to be kept safe from "terrorists." Spare us the details, we said, and just get-et [?] done, we demanded.

Stop for a moment and compare that response to how the Brits responded to years of terror weapons raining down on their cities during WW II.

"Starting on 7 September 1940, London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 57 consecutive nights. More than one million London houses were destroyed or damaged, and more than 40,000 civilians were killed, almost half of them in London. Ports and industrial centres outside London were also heavily attacked; the major Atlantic sea port of Liverpool was the most heavily bombed city outside London, suffering nearly 4,000 dead." (Source:WikiPedia)

Americans had never felt such a blow. But, unlike the Brits , who rather than panic stood up, strapped on a pair, and just kept on keeping on, we freaked out after 9/11. Four jumbo jets, three buildings , and 3000 dead, and we went to pieces.

Be ashamed, Americans , b e very ashamed. One attack -- tiny by comparison -- and our first response is to offer up our freedoms in return for protection.

And so came the Patriot Act -- likely the most un- American piece of legislation ever passed by Congress and signed into law by an American president. It was slapped together by panicked government employees, passed by politicians who were far more terrified of their terrified constituents than they were of actual terrorists, and signed into law by the dumbest man ever to serve in the Oval Office.

We did that --b ecause we let them do that.

And it came to pass that nations too can only "reap what they sow." We sowed the seeds of a surveillance-state and, like Jack's beans, it grew to the sky. And now we are shocked, simply shocked, by the outcome.

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Stephen Pizzo has been published everywhere from The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine. His book, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, was nominated for a Pulitzer.

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