Opinion » Lingo Yarns

Terrorist Free


Sometimes I think the terrorists have succeeded in doing what they intended to do. We can't turn around without someone screaming that the sky is falling. A few weeks ago, a geocache was mistaken for a bomb on the Rainbow Bridge north of Smith's Ferry blocking traffic for hours while bomb squads investigated. Last year, harmless flour used to mark a trail for a Monday night Hash House Harriers run was mistaken for--you guessed it--anthrax. This week, an entire terminal in San Diego's airport was cleared because an X-ray screener mistook a child's toy and cookie for bomb making parts.

And exactly how many terrorist bombs have blown things up in the United States since 9/11? Oh sure, King George recently said that Homeland Security efforts had thwarted 10 plots by al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. But only three of them were planned for U.S. soil, and details were sketchy at best. Nothing has blown up. No biowarfare. No nukes--and that's great, of course. But many have been harassed by government officials in the name of homeland security. The FBI was caught probing into the lives of Americans recently and likely will get nothing more than a hand-slap. It is an interesting coincidence that the timing of the October 6 announcement of thwarted terror plots also was at one of King George's lowest approval ratings.

Other than a lot of money being spent in the name of protecting Americans, what have we gotten out of increased security? Let's see ... higher gas prices (you're paying higher taxes on that too you know), fear, more religion and fanaticism as politicians fan the flames of nationalism and the rest of the world really despises us now whereas before they just kind of hated us a little.

But hey, we're safer. Or are we? Have terrorists really tried to hurt us? All they have to do is increase their "chatter" across the Internet and they can sit back and watch as our personal freedoms are taken away one by one in the name of security. One new photo of Osama bin Laden holding up this Sunday's New York Times would guarantee a 10 point increase in King George's approval rating and a boon to the economy in the form of trickle-down economics from cruise-missile companies. Next thing you know, we'll be asked to house American soldiers in our own homes to save the govrnement a little money.