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The paranoids are right: - Elf M. Sternberg
The paranoids are right:
From Congressional Quarterly:

Eight months before the White House appointed him the Homeland Security Department's top intelligence official, retired U.S. Army Gen. Patrick M. Hughes told a public forum at Harvard last year that the government would have to "abridge individual rights" and take domestic security measures "not in accordance with our values and traditions" to prevent terrorist attacks in the United States.

"What I'm about to say is very arrogant -- arrogant to a fault," said Hughes, a former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), in previously unreported remarks at a March 2003 Harvard University forum on "Future Conditions: The Character and Conduct of War, 2010 and 2020."

"Set aside what the mass of people think. Some things are so bad for them that you cannot allow them to have them. One of them is war in the context of terrorism in the United States," Hughes said, according to a transcript obtained by CQ Homeland Security.

"Therefore, we have to abridge individual rights, change the societal conditions, and act in ways that heretofore were not in accordance with our values and traditions, like giving a police officer or security official the right to search you without a judicial finding of probable cause," said Hughes.

"Things are changing, and this change is happening because things can be brought to us that we cannot afford to absorb. We can't deal with them, so we're going to reach out and do something ahead of time to preclude them.

"Is that going to change your lives?" Hughes asked rhetorically. "It already has."

Neither the department nor Hughes would comment for the record on whether Hughes stood by his comments in the year he has held the senior DHS intelligence post.

At the time of his remarks, Hughes was a private consultant whose clients included the CIA, the FBI, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DIA, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Booz Allen Hamilton, Science Applications International Corp., SRI International, Anteon, Boeing, Rand Corp., and others, according to the Web site for his company, PMH Enterprises, LLC.

Current Mood: shrill and frightened
Current Music: The Secret Machines, Now Here is Nowhere

2 comments or Leave a comment
riverheart From: riverheart Date: October 28th, 2004 04:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're surprised?
drewkitty From: drewkitty Date: October 28th, 2004 05:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

We have not tolerated 250 years of violent crime in this country to sacrifice our civil rights to a vague fear of terrorism.

There are no sacrifices of civil liberties that could have prevented 9/11. There is no "search without probable cause" that would stop a future attack.

There is a lack of funding for certain issues. There is some gross mismanagement going on, particularly with the air travel security programs. (Requiring air marshals to wear business suits when guarding a flight full of vacationers, for example.) The blatant lie that private companies cannot run airport security screening is another such. One company I know did it for twenty years. The airlines kicked them to the curb because they paid their people $10 an hour instead of $6 an hour. TSA civil service B.S. is not doing much better.

Some vulnerabilities cannot be publicly discussed, because they are unfixable and to do so would cause unnecessary attention to them. However, none of these vulnerabilities are going to be fixed by a DHS agent throwing their weight around with impunity.

A team doing random-stop-and-frisks in the airport would not materially help with security. For less random action, we need more peace officers in the airports. Where's the money for that? Oh, I'm sorry, the airlines want to be bailed out by the Feds when the industry tanks, but don't want to pay to keep the country safe from their own product.

Part of winning the war on terror is keeping our civil rights intact.

If the U.S. had a Federal concealed weapons permit program with flight endorsement, odds are that at least one of the traveling citizens aboard the hijacked flight(s) would have been armed and would have resolved the situation far more quickly, possibly with less loss of life.

As it is, most peace officers cannot travel armed (absent agency orders and an FAA endorsement). What kind of B.S. is this? They've even dragged their feet on arming pilots and armoring cockpit doors, which are no-brainers!

Tell me that we need to suspend civil rights when there's a car bomb going off every day in a major U.S. city; when someone releases an inhalation bioweapon or has a nuke; when rioters with rifles fill the streets and snipe out the police; when a real threat to the survival of the American way of life presents itself.

Until then, respect the Constitution or resign your position, psuedo-expert.

Even then, once the emergency is over, I want my rights back. Or this isn't America anymore.
2 comments or Leave a comment