by Jacob G. Hornberger
To justify the federal government’s massive post-9/11 infringements on civil liberties, the proponents of Big Government have sometimes said, “There hasn’t been another major terrorist attack on the United States since 9/11. ”
I have responded with the following: “But if there had been another major terrorist attack, you Big Government advocates would be using that as a justification for even more severe infringements on civil liberties. So, either way you go, doesn’t Big Government win? ”
No one can deny that if the guy on that international flight to Detroit had succeeded in blowing up the plane, the Big Government advocates would be using that as an argument for having the federal government crack down even more on civil liberties.
And isn’t it interesting that the massive post-9/11 crackdown on civil liberties didn’t prevent the guy from apparently almost bringing down the plane. The fact that he failed doesn’t seem to have had anything to do with any security measures taken after 9/11. U.S. terrorism agents apparently even ignored or disregarded a personal warning from the guy’s father about his son’s extremist proclivities.
Even the anti-immigrant crowd is left empty-handed. It turns out that the guy apparently was entering the country legally, confirming what I’ve been saying ever since 9/11: That if people really want to keep out terrorists, they’ve got to put a total ban on foreign tourism to the United States. They’ve got to hermetically seal the United States, just like North Korea does.
Not surprisingly, the pro-empire crowd is using the incident to show why it is more urgent than ever to continue the brutal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and to expand killing the “bad guys” to Pakistan, Yemen, and who knows where else. The idea is that the government needs to keep killing those “bad guys” over there before they come here and kill us.
But as I’ve pointed out for years, the U.S. Empire has become the world’s biggest terrorist-producing machine. The more people it kills over there, the more the ranks of those who wish to retaliate against Americans are swelled.
In other words, the pro-empire advocates say, “We’re over there to kill them before they come over here and kill us. ” But what’s actually happening is this: They’re coming over here to kill us because the Empire is over there killing them.
What this is all about is the maintenance of the U.S. Empire — the “right” of the U.S. government to impose its will on countries around the world. Those regimes that cooperate receive U.S. taxpayer money. Those who refuse to cooperate receive bombs and missiles, or sanctions, embargoes, coups, assassinations, invasions, or occupations.
What the American people need to finally realize is that with Empire comes costs, including:
1. The meaningless deaths of U.S. soldiers. (No, they’re not dying to protect our rights and freedoms here at home but rather to maintain the hegemony of the Empire.)
2. The out-of-control federal spending that is sending our nation down the road to bankruptcy through debt, taxes, and inflation.
3. The constant threat of terrorist retaliation.
4. Ever-growing infringements on civil liberties.
The only way to avoid such costs is to dismantle the Empire, end the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, close all the overseas bases, and bring all the troops home and discharge them. There is no other way. Either keep the Empire and accept the costs, or restore a republic and get peace, prosperity, harmony, normalcy, and freedom.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.