Big Brother Has Arrived

Thursday, August 11, 2011
By Paul Martin

by Philip Giraldi
August 11, 2011

Leading neoconservative Richard Perle has said that one of the many reasons he admires the Israelis is the moral clarity that they exhibit on the issue of terrorism. What exactly that means is not itself clear, but it would appear to be a carte blanche for any and all Israeli punitive responses to groups that question Tel Aviv’s legitimacy. Perle has never criticized Israelis for disproportionality or for committing war crimes. He has only admonished them when, in his opinion, they have not gone far enough.

By that standard, the past 10 years have seen a major victory for Perle and for those who think like he does by delivering moral clarity to the people of the United States. The Global War on Terror has undeniably simplified thinking about serious issues. As President George W. Bush put it, you are either with us or against us, which means that you either support legislation passed by Congress to catch bad guys or you are a terrorist sympathizer and should yourself be put in jail. That is the meaning of the laws criminalizing terrorist support, which stretch and transform the definition to such an extent that expressing a viewpoint favorable to a group that the United States government has defined as terrorist can land someone in court. Even providing medical assistance to someone in an area controlled by a terrorist group or advising a terrorist leader that he should stop killing people can result in criminal charges.

But even Americans who understand the serious consequences of the legislation that diminishes liberties don’t always appreciate the extent to which the change in the legal landscape driven by fear of terrorism has also led to a proliferation of mechanisms in the state security apparatus that are being used to diminish the freedoms of each and every American citizen. If the federal government wants to know more about you, it has all the tools readily available because information is being collected on citizens every day, while computer capacity and speed are now capable of storing and analyzing everything that comes in.

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