The holiday season has greeted us with “Terr’ists” who prefer their underwear to their shoes (and they need well-dressed escorts when they forget their passport). It would all seem ridiculous if it hadn’t already caused a dramatic increase in airport security, as people are now being told to show up 4 hours in advance for international flights. This is a rather large problem. For those in the business of creating problems, though, this was a well-chosen stratagem for eliciting the all-important reaction; is there ever a more stressful time or event than Christmas travel? So, as dot connectors, we need to look at what solutions are being offered for this problem. Enter stage left (and right): Tyranny.
1. The new 3D body scanning device that makes us all more naked than naked was met with faux consternation when it was first revealed. It was, naturally, played down. But we can be pretty sure that this new technology will be implemented, pronto, with its full capability, and with no choice to opt-out: mission accomplished.
2. Prisoner training. After the hassle of actually getting to, and getting on the plane, it will literally be prison-like conditions once aboard. No electronic devices or hand-held items (books), and no bathroom breaks for the last hour of the flight. As DHS Secretary Napolitano stated on the TSA website:
Passengers flying from international locations to U.S. destinations may notice additional security measures in place. These measures are designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect to see the same thing everywhere. Due to the busy holiday travel season, both domestic and international travelers should allot extra time for check-in.
3. The Patriot Act: As of December 16, the renewal of the Patriot Act in its present form was still being disputed, delayed, and debated. Pretty sure it will be sailing through, with even more draconian measures attached: mission accomplished.
4. Expanding the war (s). Yemen? Who knew? Well now the world knows that it is near Pakistan, Afghanistan . . . heck, it’s in the Middle East — TERRORISTS — BOMBS AWAY! No Congress, no discussion needed: mission accomplished.
5. The African connection. They have been working on Africom legitimacy for a while. Underwear bombers from Nigeria with connections to Yemen (and born in England?): mission accomplished.
6. (More) Military presence on American soil. Let it not be said that there isn’t freedom somewhere in America — you just have to be part of NORTHCOM or INTERPOL. Total freedom to investigate, abuse, arrest, and never to be questioned about it: mission accomplished.
7. Keeping Americans at home, while discouraging inbound tourists. In a November 14th article titled, “International Tourism Decline on the Upswing, if America Doesn’t Sabotage the Recovery,” we can read a call to action in this interesting choice of words — if you are standing at the top of the pyramid. The last thing that people who are trying to consolidate power, and siphon as much money from bottom to top, would want is a recovery in the real economy. Additionally, the fear of travel reinforces U.S. isolationism. The ultimate effect? Dependence on the government for both security and financial aid: mission accomplished.
8. Overall security must be increased. Although Janet Napolitano almost unforgivably forgot her script, she is back on track the day after and in lockstep with security apparatchiks everywhere — current security measures are never enough, more must be done: mission accomplished.
So, if all it takes is Terror to create Tyranny, then the words of the Underpants Bomber seem to ring true for 2010: There is more to come.