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9/11: "The Deafness Before the Storm" and the Storms Now Brewing, Part 2

9/11: “The Deafness Before the Storm” and the Storms Now Brewing, Part 2

By Dennis Loo (9/12/12)

Part 1 of this article is here.

There are a number of different and inter-related threads to 9/11 and Kurt Eichenwald’s Op-Ed in The New York Times on 9/10/12 helps to raise the question again of, as he puts it, severe negligence by the Bush White House. 9/11 is the tip of an iceberg – a melting iceberg. But before getting into examining that iceberg, I’d like to talk further specifically about 9/11.

No doubt Bush et al were spectacular failures at preventing and/or mitigating the 9/11 attacks. They easily could have, for example, beefed up airport security before the attacks, something that Richard Clarke tried mightily and unsuccessfully to install – but which the FAA refused to carry out, despite the fact that Counter-Terrorism Chief Clarke was officially their boss – and the federal government could have shot down the second airplane after the first one hit the World Trade Center.

After all, fighter jets are routinely dispatched in incidents like this, and travel at supersonic speeds, so they could have stopped the second jet hitting the WTC if the jets hadn’t been sent in the wrong direction. Then, of course, there’s the problem that the WTC was built to withstand being hit by jetliners…

There are so many obvious things that weren’t done, that went wrong, and that even violate the laws of physics, that a number of people have concluded that this had to be an inside job.

I am not here, however, to prove that it was a false flag attack. There is a deeper problem here that is much more serious and disturbing than the idea that the leaders of this country would participate in or allow to occur a devastating terrorist attack on the homeland, as disturbing as that is.

There is no reason to think that they are above carrying out or permitting a false flag attack, as there are many other false flag attacks that have occurred – the Gulf of Tonkin incident, for example – and the neocons’ ambitions for world domination are so extreme that they would need, as they wrote themselves in the 2000 Project for the New American Century’s “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” an incident like “a new Pearl Harbor” to accomplish it.

But unlike those who believe that by proving that 9/11 was an inside job the PTB will be toppled, 9/11 is not THE crime, as big a crime as it is. THE crime is something more pervasive and institutional.

I delve into these matters in depth in Globalization and the Demolition of Society, particularly in Chapters Three and Four.

[W]hat is striking here is how much their [the Bush Regime] behavior before 9/11 matches their actions prior to and after Katrina[i] —utter indifference and criminal negligence. While 9/11 obviously served as the equivalent of a false flag attack for the Bush White House, Katrina did not. Katrina, in fact, created widespread disaffection with Bush and Cheney. At least the FAA’s behavior, which was subject directly to Clarke’s edicts prior to 9/11, can also very reasonably be ascribed to the power of lobbyists in a weakened regulatory environment and to the common characteristics of bureaucracies especially before a disaster strikes: “We’ve always done things this way, and we’re damned if anyone outside of us, even if they are above us, is going to make us change what we’ve been doing.” The worst and most alarming news here, in other words, is not that 9/11 was an inside job, a grand conspiracy hatched within the highest US government echelons. It is instead that 9/11 and other disasters such as the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe are due to the normal and ordinary workings of capitalism, and specifically neoliberal policies. That is much more distressing than believing that 9/11 was an inside job. (p. 162)

Why do I say this?

In neoliberalism, whose mantra is that market forces and privatization should be carried out relentlessly and put in charge of everything, you have a philosophy that is based on the notion that empires do not have to take empirical reality into account and that they can make real whatever they want to make real.

If it served their purposes to insist that Iraq was colluding with Al-Qaeda, then damn it, Iraq is colluding with Al-Qaeda. It does not matter, and did not matter, to these wise guys that there was absolutely no evidence for this alleged connection and that in fact Hussein and Al-Qaeda were sworn enemies. The alleged connection served their purposes, so they were going to act as if it was true and bend everything to that framework.

[N]eocons … represent the lunatic fringe of neoliberalism. Given the disconnect between neoliberal policies’ negative consequences and their proponents’ ardor in advocating neoliberalism irrespective of those devastating results, neoliberalism, in any of its manifestations, suffers from a singular lack of self-consciousness. With respect to the neocons, I use the term “lunatic” here not mainly as a pejorative but as a technical descriptor: their outlook and behavior fit the definition of insanity. Jane Mayer in her book The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals, writes:

High-ranking and very conservative administration lawyers who worked closely with [David] Addington found themselves astonished by his radical absolutism. One later recalled sitting in meeting with Addington wondering, “How did this lunatic end up running the country.”

Mayer also cites Walter Dellinger, Clinton’s Solicitor General and Duke University Professor of Constitutional Law, describing the Bush White House’s theories about executive power as “insane.” Their theory of presidential power, he said, is “like Mussolini in 1930.”[ii]

Seymour Hersh, in Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib quoting an intelligence officer, writes: “[Senior White House officials] were so crazed and so far out and so difficult to reason with—to the point of being bizarre. Dogmatic, as if they were on a mission from God.”[iii] In the neocons’ view, reality is what you make it, not what you have to recognize and cope with and possibly reshape. In other contexts that perspective—that reality is not something that you have to take into account—is known as living in a fantasy world.

The Bush White House did not prepare for the ensuing chaos in Iraq after their invasion because they actually believed their rhetoric that Iraqis would greet the US soldiers as liberators and shower them with garlands. But what is more disturbing than the Bush White House’s mendacity and incompetence is the fact that with the very few notable exceptions of individual public officials who spoke out and acted against them (people who then resigned their positions and lost their careers), the Bush policies were not only tolerated by the rest of the American government, but their radical rupture with previous norms was also permitted and retroactively legitimized by the Congress; they were tolerated albeit with some ineffectual grumbling by certain mass media outlets, and much of it, especially with respect to “national security,” has been maintained, legitimated, and carried further by the Obama White House. Bush and Cheney are gone from the White House, but the new occupants, while endorsing science and thus accepting evolution and global warming as realities, nevertheless have shielded the Bush White House from prosecution for their many crimes, including the monstrousness of torture, and moved to institutionalize the Bush Doctrine on foreign affairs and its domestic corollary—the annihilation of civil liberties.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Obama’s 2009 declaration that the government may continue to hold a detainee indefinitely on the grounds that it thinks that the person may be too dangerous to release. This represents a fundamental breach of a person’s right not to be indefinitely detained and their right to be released if they are guiltless of any crime. It is also a fundamental breach of the principles underlying jurisprudence that a person may not be considered guilty absent a court finding of guilt. The absence of habeas corpus rights in a war that Dick Cheney said will last “generations,” a war waged upon a tactic, is the sign of a tyranny. Even if one likes Obama and thinks that he only suspends due process for really bad people, one day someone else will occupy the Oval Office, and they will not have any curbs or supervision upon their exercise of judgment as to who is bad and who is not. That is why the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus marked such a momentous development in human affairs and politics because it curtailed the power of an unfettered executive, making it subject to independent supervision and consideration.

The corollary to Obama’s decision to use preventive detention is his refusal to prosecute war crimes and war criminals in his insistence that he is “looking forward, not backward.”[iv] The unnecessary deaths of more than 1.2 million Iraqis because of Bush and Cheney’s 2003 invasion of Iraq is just one of their numerous crimes. Known war criminals are being shielded, and people adjudicated as not guilty can be punished with indefinite detention and, in some cases, torture. What kind of society can be sustained in which there is no rule of law, except that asserted arbitrarily by those in power? Adopting the wisdom of the hookah-smoking caterpillar of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale of a world gone awry, our leaders tell us in essence: “Words and laws mean what we want them to mean.” (Pp. 139-141)

The underlying reason why both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party are engaged in an enormous amount of deception about their real agendas is because they cannot accomplish their aims without straining the meaning of facts and truth to the breaking point and actually rupturing their connection. You cannot get enough people to go along with what these august leaders are doing without ruthlessly playing fast and loose with the truth.

The context for all of this is public order policies, policies that both the Republicans and the Democrats are purveyors of. Public order policies is another name for neoliberal policies in the specific realm of the exercise of social control.

Public order policies began to emerge worldwide around the 1970s. They may be defined as a shift in emphasis by governments away from dealing with actual and discrete threats to public safety towards preparing for a putatively more generalized and ubiquitous foe. The very possibility of something untoward happening began to be treated as probable. These policies are also sometimes referred to as “risk assessments.” Precluding the unlikely has increasingly become a guiding principle in statecraft and private enterprises. Saying it this way highlights how peculiar a practice public order policies are; devoting immense resources in an attempt to prevent the unlikely makes no sense. The zenith of this irrational approach could be said to be embodied in Dick Cheney’s declaration that if a threat had a “one percent chance of occurring, then it needed to be treated as a certainty.”[v] This led Ron Suskind to title his book about Cheney and Bush The One-Percent Doctrine. Obviously, treating remote possibilities as certainties means that probable possibilities cannot be given proper attention, since the necessarily limited resources available cannot be stretched over one hundred percent of the contingencies. Cheney’s declaration is, in short, evidently a recipe for certain disasters.

Did Cheney actually mean what he said? Was it merely a cover to justify his and Bush’s invasion of Iraq and their national security policy of ubiquitous surveillance? It is impossible to know for certain, although it seems wildly improbable that Cheney could have meant what he said. One could not operate on this principle in one’s own life, let alone run a government based on it; one would have to become a mad recluse in a fortified house watching TV and scanning the news every day for remote possibilities and treating them as certainties. If, for example, there were a remote chance that you could trip and fall in the kitchen, you would have to take that possibility as a certainty and crawl about the house to forestall that contingency. Moreover, consider Cheney’s ridiculous one percent equals certainty claim side-by-side with Bush’s famous excuse after Katrina: “No one anticipated that the levees would be breached.” If you think that even one-percent-probability events must be treated as certainties, then how is it that the collapse of levees that needed repairs in the face of a Category 5 hurricane was not anticipated?

Cheney’s one-percent doctrine does represent the ultimate extreme of the logic of public order policies: if it is even remotely possible that someone or some group might be out to harm us, then we—the government—are justified in carrying out preemptive actions to suppress them as threats. In an example that could easily have served as a dystopian sci-fi scenario—indeed, it invoked the Tom Cruise movie The Minority Report —in 2009 the ACLU learned from a leaked copy of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) annual training course exam for all of its personnel that the DoD was instructing people that legal protest constitutes “low-level terrorism.” (See Chapter Four for a detailed discussion of this.) (Pp. 144-146)

The irony here, of course, is that while implementing public order policies that treat everyone as a suspect and that include the collecting of data through warrantless surveillance of everyone and suspending due process in the name of cracking down on crime and fighting terrorism, the same people in charge of these policies are the most myopic leaders imaginable when it comes to anticipating and acting against real terrorist threats. Their record on this is abysmal, with 9/11 of course the most dramatic example. But consider their failures on the Xmas Day bomber:

One expression of this universalization of public order policies can be seen in the development and growth of “intelligence fusion centers.” Fusion centers gather government and private intelligence in one place based on the rationale that the response to terrorism requires an unprecedented degree of data collection and surveillance. In June 2009, DHS recognized some seventy-two fusion centers nationwide. As stated by one of its advocates:

Signs of Cold-War-era threats to national security—troops massing, submarines departing, and missile launchers where they weren’t before—were easier to detect than today’s more subtle indicators of terrorist activity. Emerging terrorist threats can hide in plain sight on our own soil, scattered among millions of driver’s license applications and bank transfers or amid tourists snapping photos of national icons. In this new environment, vigilance is everyone’s job, and the tasks of vetting, analyzing, and sharing information about threats can’t be left to the federal government alone.[vi] [Emphasis added.]

This article goes on to cite the words of the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center’s director Richard Kelly: “We want to be able to search everything, so we could see if Mohammed Atta ever got a parking ticket in Roselle. You can’t connect the dots if you can’t see them.” Kelly is arguing for the viewpoint that underlies the advocates of the national security state: more information, and ideally total information, will give us the power to prevent undesirable events from occurring.[vii]

In each and every known terrorist incident—beginning most famously with the tracking of the 9/11 conspirators before 9/11 through the Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab’s unsuccessful attempt to blow up a Northwest flight on Christmas Day 2009—there was no shortage of information. The dots were there to be connected, and in the case of 9/11 some people connected them, such as Counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke and FBI Agent Coleen Rowley; but they were stymied by those above them and, in Clarke’s case, those below him as well. As Matthew Aid, an intelligence historian, observed after the Abdul Mutallab incident, the NSA receives four times as much data every day as is held in the Library of Congress.[viii] The intelligence community is, in other words, drowning in data.

In the aftermath of the embarrassing failure to bar Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab from boarding his flight, Obama decried the failure to connect the dots and called for accountability to ensure they would be connected in the future. Obama’s directive, however, does nothing more than reiterate the directives of his predecessors. The DHS and the Counterterrorism Center created after 9/11 were supposed to centralize information and allow the threads of intelligence to be recognized as patterns in order to correct the supposed failure to do so prior to 9/11. Moreover, as ex-senior CIA analyst Ray McGovern points out, the CENTRAL Intelligence Agency was supposed to do the very same thing decades ago in the wake of the surprise attack upon Pearl Harbor. “Been there, done that.” More information than ever is now being collected, more agencies and personnel are charged with collecting information, redundancies have been deliberately built into the system in order to improve the likelihood that at least one agency or even one agent will sound the alarm, agencies are sharing information a bit more, more money in the tens of billions is being shoveled into security, and civil liberties are being violated in unparalleled ways, and yet. . . they are still failing in their appointed tasks. How can this be?

“I’m Mohammed Atta.” “No, I’m Mohammed Atta.” “No, I’m Mohammed Atta…”

More information is not necessarily better, and in these instances there is obviously far too much irrelevant information. How can there be too much information? If you have too much data, then connecting dots becomes extremely difficult because you have too many possible threads to perceive and millions upon millions of irrelevant data points obscuring those threads. It is like trying to find multiple needles in a haystack while haystack after haystack after haystack is being dropped on you in an avalanche of hay. Obama and the bureaucracies’ efforts to approach total information awareness are doomed to fail again and again because they are based on an incorrect premise.

The notion that knowing that Mohammed Atta got a parking ticket somewhere will somehow send off alarm bells assumes that you have already determined that Atta is someone to whom you have to pay particular attention. What good would it have done to know that he got a parking ticket in Roselle, even if he was already known to be a terrorist, which he was? If you have a list of more than half a million people that are possible suspects (as the US government had as of late 2010) with the list growing longer every day, this task of focusing on the next Atta becomes more difficult than ever. You have to make choices all along the way about what is relevant information and what is not. As you amass more and more irrelevant information, you make it more difficult, not easier, to determine what is relevant and what is noise.

Moreover, US policies that provoke more and more people into opposition to them are creating a cacophony of threatening noise. Public order policies that track and observe everyone as a potential suspect foster greater and greater levels of pure noise. The noise is deafening because the potential terrorists are everywhere, and by their very nature and magnitude they are impossible to identify and track. Carrying out “national security” in this manner is like going out into a growing hurricane and trying to determine which flying objects are going to hit you and when. If what you are doing is fostering the hurricane in the first place, as the Bush White House did in ignoring global warming and weakening New Orleans in the face of a storm, then you better stop doing those things or you are inviting disaster. The insistence that everyone is a potential problem and that more information about everything is better means that actual terrorist plots are being covered up by avalanches of useless and irrelevant information. It is like taking a gourmet meal prepared by a four-star restaurant and mixing it with tons and tons of garbage. Now, your challenge is to find the haute cuisine in that pile of stench.

The overriding problem here, however, is not the plethora of unusable and illegitimately obtained information about all of us, as insuperable as that problem is. Even if that problem did not exist, there would still be a larger problem: intelligence failures do not discredit the existing policies of ubiquitous surveillance, war, occupations, indefinite detentions, torture, assassinations, and drone attacks. Failures of intelligencepromote and justify the existing policies that are supposed to prevent terrorism. The longer the US goes without another successful or abortive terrorist incident, the harder it becomes to justify the security state’s measures. Thus, the security state has a stake in having at least some anti-state terrorist incidents occur. This is the security state’s dirty little secret. (Pp. 149-152)

And consider their failure to address the unfolding disaster and emergency of global warming.

While Obama believes global warming is a danger, the measures being undertaken to slow it fall grievously far below what is necessary at this point. As James Hansen, whose proven track record on anticipating the course of global warmings’ progressive danger signs makes him the most credible scientist around, has forcefully warned, the point of no return has already been passed and emergency measures are needed. In a 2003 report commissioned by Andrew Marshall and written by former Shell Oil Head of Planning Peter Schwartz and California think tank Global Business Network’s Doug Randall, the Department of Defense (DoD) itself warned of the convulsive effects that global warming in the not distant future will wreak in the form of forced migrations of tens of millions and wars over resources critical to actual survival; the DoD described this as a threat “greater than terrorism.”

The research suggests that …adverse weather conditions could develop relatively abruptly, with persistent changes in the atmospheric circulation causing drops in some regions of 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit in a single decade. Paleoclimatic evidence suggests that altered climatic patterns could last for as much as a century, as they did when the ocean conveyor collapsed 8,200 years ago, or, at the extreme, could last as long as 1,000 years as they did during the Younger Dryas, which began about 12,700 years ago. . . .

[A]n increasing number of business leaders, economists, policy makers, and politicians are concerned about the projections for further change and are working to limit human influences on the climate. But, these efforts may not be sufficient or be implemented soon enough.

Rather than decades or even centuries of gradual warming, recent evidence suggests the possibility that a more dire climate scenario may actually be unfolding. . . . [ix]

As famine, disease, and weather-related disasters strike due to the abrupt climate change, many countries’ needs will exceed their carrying capacity. This will create a sense of desperation, which is likely to lead to offensive aggression in order to reclaim balance. Imagine eastern European countries, struggling to feed their populations with a falling supply of food, water, and energy, eyeing Russia, whose population is already in decline, for access to its grain, minerals, and energy supply. Or, picture Japan, suffering from flooding along its coastal cities and contamination of its fresh water supply, eying Russia’s Sakhalin Island oil and gas reserves as an energy source to power desalination plants and energy-intensive agricultural processes. Envision Pakistan, India, and China – all armed with nuclear weapons – skirmishing at their borders over refugees, access to shared rivers, and arable land. Spanish and Portuguese fishermen might fight over fishing rights – leading to conflicts at sea. And, countries including the United States would be likely to better secure their borders. With over 200 river basins touching multiple nations, we can expect conflict over access to water for drinking, irrigation, and transportation. The Danube touches twelve nations, the Nile runs though nine, and the Amazon runs through seven. [x] [Emphasis added.]

The response from the Pentagon’s spokesperson Dan Hetlage to this report was interesting:

We did not expect any White House response to the Pentagon on this report. Andrew Marshall is our Yoda, our big thinker who peers into the future. But it’s all speculation. It was very ethereal, very broad in scope. It wasn’t like, “Oh, wow, that totally debunks the president’s stand on global warming,” because it was merely a thought exercise. We don’t have a crystal ball. We don’t really know.[xi] [Emphasis in the original.]

They “don’t really know.” When astronauts go into space, the backup systems NASA creates to protect the astronauts and their missions are multiple in nature in case the first few fail. The scenarios they run in preparation for outer space travel are diverse and complex. These efforts are protecting a handful of people in space; yet, when the entire planet is at risk, the trigger for action is based on whether or not they know for certain that something will happen. Of course, at the point when the dangers are manifest and present, action in response is much too late. This is the equivalent of packing the entirety of humanity into one big car and those in charge of the welfare of the passengers deciding that they are not going to put on any seatbelts because they do not know for certain that there will be an accident.

While conventional wisdom sees governments as overseeing economic players and forces, global capital (as manifested in particular by the actions of transnational corporations like Walmart and the IMF and World Bank) subordinates governments to international capital’s movements and decisions. The rivalry—to the extent that a rivalry exists—between non-state actors and the neoliberal state is therefore, contrary to Robb’s assessment, a unity of opposites (opposite sides of the same coin), rather than the new versus the old. In other words, the threat to our collective security comes from two ends of the spectrum, not just one, and both are outgrowths of globalization’s very nature. Globalization, as it ties the entire world together more tightly, at the same time paradoxically undermines our security and subjects the parts and the whole to more and more severe disruption and grander disasters. “Too big to fail” is the corollary to “the bigger they are, the harder we all fall.” The neoliberals acknowledge the growing danger and peril in society, after a fashion. They do not, of course, acknowledge their central culpability and that of late stage capitalism for this danger. (Pp. 166-168)

The system in place, capitalism and imperialism, and the corresponding policies of that system, neoliberalism/public order policies, are themselves the greatest source of instability and generators of disasters in the world. That is apparent when you look more closely and carefully at both the fine details and the larger picture. These issues are not on the electoral agenda in the sense of the candidates and the choices that their campaigns are highlighting. Both major parties in this country are neck deep in pursuing policies and protecting a system that is endangering the collective life on this planet. The problem is not only the episodic blowback disaster like 9/11 or the occasional eruption of individuals acting out on their own what they see governments doing. The problem is endemic – it’s part of the warp and woof of the existing system. The only way to address this is to recognize how deep this goes and to act in accordance with that understanding, which is that revolutionary, structural changes must take place. For that to happen, the people must be mobilized and act independently of the authorities who are determined to suppress precisely the one thing that could resolve these acute contradictions – mass actions aimed at challenging and eventually overturning the existing system.

Catastrophes are part of the very fabric, the warp and woof, of the globalized neoliberal world. As I wrote in a 2008 article:

In a November 2008 Department of Defense Strategic Studies Institute document authored by Nathan Freier[xii] entitled “Known Unknowns: Unconventional ‘Strategic Shocks’ in Defense Strategy Development,” Freier points out:

“The likeliest and most dangerous future shocks will be unconventional. They will not emerge from thunderbolt advances in an opponent’s military capabilities. Rather, they will manifest themselves in ways far outside established defense convention. Most will be nonmilitary in origin and character, and not, by definition, defense-specific events conducive to the conventional employment of the DoD enterprise.

“They will rise from an analytical no man’s land separating well-considered, stock and trade defense contingencies and pure defense speculation. . . .”

9/11 was a strategic shock. Freier warns of future such “hostile design” shocks. But what is even more dangerous, as he puts it, is the prospect of “threats of context” that arise from the very workings of the existing systems. In other words, disasters await without anyone even trying to bring them about.

Threats of context arise, according to Freier, out of “the unguided forces of globalization, toxic populism, identity politics, underdevelopment, human/natural disaster, and disease. In the end, shocks emerging from contextual threats might challenge core U.S. interests more fundamentally than any number of prospective purposeful shocks.” He goes on to say that these forces “are in- or undervulnerable to traditional instruments of U.S. power applied in predictable combinations.”

What does it tell us about the nature of the contemporary and near term future world that disasters that arise out of the very context of our collective lives are a) certain, b) unlikely to be properly foreseen, c) extremely unlikely to be adequately prepared for, and d) more dangerous than any planned hostile actions?

It tells us at least two things.

First, the system we live in – global capitalism – is inherently unstable and dangerous whether you look at it from a local, national or international perspective. The spheres of the local, national and international are so intertwined that they cannot sensibly be separated as though events in one sphere do not impact the others.

Second, stability and security are more things of the past than of the present and, especially, the future. Massive dislocations and dramatic, startling changes to the status quo are not the stuff of science fiction but that which the DOD itself now finds it must take seriously. Granted, Freier’s document is not a policy document but a think tank document. But his evaluation of the situation compels serious reflection.

Several factors stand in the way of properly grasping the reality that we face. These factors include – not necessarily in order of importance:

• Bureaucratic practice and thinking, which by definition involves the routinization of ways of doing and seeing things based on what has previously happened and not what hasn’t yet happened, thus, narrowing down and aggressively anti-imaginative approaches trump their opposite. Bureaucracies, we should note, run things in the modern world. They are, in core respects, the modern world;

• Neoliberal policies – politics in service to globalization – dominate (both the GOP and the Democrats are Friedmanites) and therefore aggressive globalization which continues creating and deepening the bases for disasters and hamstringing human responses to disasters are not going to be modified or stemmed;

• Preparing for the future and hedging against unanticipated disasters are diametrically opposed to neoliberal policies of allocating resources most sparingly and cheaply for profit-making – e.g., allowing more hospital bedspace for a disaster is considered inefficient and unprofitable, devoting resources to developing flu vaccines is less profitable than drugs that require daily doses and are therefore neglected leaving us extraordinarily vulnerable to a flu epidemic.

To paraphrase (and modify) FDR, what we have to fear is the system itself proceeding along as it is. The economic crisis and the implacable wars are the most obvious conditions we confront today. But the matters which are being ruled off the table by public officials are the most perilous of all: a) re-establishing the rule of law through prosecution of its violators and b) the very logic and operations of globalization and its exacerbating of the existing economic and political inequalities and manifest threats to the planet.[xiii] (Pp. 133-135)

[i] Their actions prior to the invasion of Iraq, when they refused to make any post-invasion plans, assuming that they would be greeted as liberators and everything would go swimmingly, also matches this.

[ii] Jane Mayer, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (New York: Anchor Books, 2009), 67.

[iii] Seymour Hersh, Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib (New York: Allen Lane, 2004), 219.

[iv] Both Bush and Cheney, for example, have publicly admitted authorizing waterboarding, a torture technique first invented in the Spanish Inquisition.

[v] "'If there's a one percent chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response,' Cheney said. He paused to assess his declaration. 'It's not about our analysis, or finding a preponderance of the evidence,' he added. 'It's about our response.'" From Ron Suskind, The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2007), 62. According to Mr. Cheney, then, what we do is what matters, not whether what we are doing is based upon a reasonable assessment of what it is we face.

[vi] Joseph Straw, “Fusion Centers Forge Ahead,”, October 2009,, accessed on January 9, 2010.

[vii] “Using programs with Orwellian names, such as Carnivore, MATRIX, Talon, Eagle Eyes, and Total Information Awareness, the administration is exercising an unprecedented level of power over citizens’ lives.” Barbara Bowley, “The Campaign for Unfettered Power,” in Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney, ed. Dennis Loo and Peter Phillips (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2006), 167.

[viii] As quoted in Scott Shane, “Shadow of 9/11 Is Cast Again,”, December 31, 2009,;th&emc=th, accessed December 31, 2009.

[ix] Ibid., 5

[x] Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall, “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security,”, October 2003,, accessed on July 30, 2010.

[xi] Amanda Little, “Apocalyptic Pentagon Report on Global Warming Could Spur Action on Capitol Hill,” Pentagoners (blog),, February 25, 2004,, accessed on July 30, 2010.

[xii] In my book Nathan Freier is misspelled as Frier. I have corrected that here.

[xiii] Dennis Loo, “The Water Line: Morality, the Rule of Law, and Leadership,”, Winter 2009,, accessed January 2, 2010.

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