American Security-Intelligence: Bad Value for Money?
by Dan Ehrlich

Julian Assange may not be so lucky out of jail. At least inside he had some measure of safety from the many death threats he’s been getting. But the threats that go unannounced are the ones to be taken seriously. It’s a good bet more than one government would like him silenced…but since that one main government is Russia, he and his operation may be living on borrowed time,

“The Russians play by different rules.” US law enforcement official said. He explained if WikiLeaks and Assange, follow through on threats to post highly embarrassing information about the Russian government and what is assumed to be massive corruption among its leaders, “the Russians will be ruthless in stopping WikiLeaks.”

The seemingly endless cascade of confidential material coming from Wiki Leaks naturally stirs up anger among many Americans, as well as people from nations worldwide. However, now that Assange and his prime source, the alleged US Army traitor Bradley Manning are in the slammer, we can take a closer look at how the world biggest cyber disaster took place.

The Wiki Leaks affair, 9/11 and the Pan Am Lockerbie disaster have one thing in common, a failure of American security to identify threats and prevent the outcomes. Arguably these government failures bear as much blame as the culprits involved.

As a nation we has become complacent, even decadent. Our security services are too busy with intra departmental rivalries to stay up with the changing world and the people with whom we have to deal. Time and time again they have ignored red flags that could have prevented the disasters that have occurred.

Dec. 21, 1988 a Pan Am 747 jumbo jet blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland killing a total of 273 people. Yet for months beforehand red flags had been raised in Europe about a possible Arab terrorist attack on a US airliner. The US security services were given tips but failed to pass these one. The result was a major tragedy and mystery, one that has never been resolved.

The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred when a truck bomb was detonated below the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 1,500 lb urea nitrate–hydrogen gas enhanced device was intended to knock the North Tower (Tower One) into the South Tower (Tower Two), bringing both towers down and killing thousands of people. It failed to do so, but did kill six people and injured 1,042.

The attack was planned by a group of conspirators including Ramzi Yousef, Mahmud Abouhalima, Mohammad Salameh, Nidal A. Ayyad, Abdul Rahman Yasin and Ahmad Ajaj. They received financing from Khaled Shaikh Mohammed, Yousef's uncle. In March 1994, four men were convicted of carrying out the bombing.

Yet, the FBI, CIA and custom agents failed to grasp the obsessive mentality of Muslim fanatics who practice the old adage: if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. The end result was 9/11 which fufilled their initial failed plan. Of course if we had people on the ground who spoke Arabic we might have had a hint of their plans.

And the terrorists were able to do this in spite of some being on customs watch lists. They entered the country and even took flying lessons. These shady characters were able to move freely about the US, planning and eventually carrying out their murderous attacks.

Which brings us to a tragedy of a different sort….the treasonous acquisition and distribution of top secret information in the Wiki Leaks affair. I’m not going to go on about the morality and propriety of this massive theft and open airing of US government information. Much of this should have been made open to the public in the first place. While other files should have been kept secret.

But, I agree with US Congressman Ron Paul in his speech to the House in which he asked: “Could a larger question be how can an army private access so much secret information?” Here’s a 22-year-old kid, a UK citizen by birth, and a computer wiz, who was able to access top secret US files and simply copy them to a disk, passing it on to Assange.

And, Paul then asked: “Why is the hostility directed at Assange, the publisher, and not at our governments failure to protect classified information?” Which is a valid point. Assange didn’t steal the files…he’s not American and wasn’t even in America. And while I think he acted very irresponsibly and vindictively, what laws did he break, laws that apply to him?

In fact, the American news media, by publishing the files, is far more culpable that Assange. Will the government put the press on trial, a Constitutionally guaranteed free press?

Yet, as was with all the terrorist attacks above, the government shortcomings, even incompetence, will not be publicly aired. This led Paul to ask the money question: “Are we getting our moneys worth of the 80 Billion dollars per year spent on intelligence gathering?”

The problem is as a nation we have become soft and removed from the ever-growing government bureaucracy. As I said once before, we have in fact become a dictatorship of implied consent. We let those who rule, rule and only vote them out when we endure hardships. We know very little of what is being done in the taxpayers' name. Even with these many leaks, how many of us will know or remember what has been leaked?

This means that government agencies are not answerable to the people because we know or care little about them, other than how they are depicted in Hollywood movies. We only react after the fact…after the deed has been done and the press publicizes it.

No, instead of security heads rolling in public, the public will be the loser…WikiLeaks will only spur on governments to enact controls on the Internet. Eventually these governments will act together to insure they can maintain a worldwide monopoly of power over the Web, in something that moves us closer and closer to dystopian science fiction.

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