David Shipler, author of “Rights at Risk: The Limits of Liberty in Modern America,” explains in a recent opinion piece in The New York Times why Americans would see far less terror without the FBI.
According to Shipler, there have been 22 major terror attempts in the years since 9/11. Fourteen of them were facilitated by law enforcement.
THE United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years — or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol; a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh, N.Y.; and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts.
But all these dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naïvely played their parts until they were arrested
Shipler contends that many of the suspects caught would have never been able to carry out the plots without the help of the FBI.
Not only does the FBI run entrapment missions to catch people it finds making angry online comments and whittle them into terrorists, it continually makes Americans believe they are surrounded by likely terrorists.
A CBS affiliate in Florida recently reported on FBI flyers circulated throughout American communities that identify mundane activities such as paying for goods with cash as potential terrorist activities. Alternative media have been reporting on this for months.
Without keeping Americans in a perpetual state of fear, government would not get away with much of what it does in the name of “safety.”
It wouldn’t be allowed to implement domestic drones for constant monitoring.
It couldn’t continue to harass every American who chooses to board an airplane.
It would not be able to inch toward total control and surveillance of the Internet.
It couldn’t spend trillions contracting companies like Lockheed Martin to build inefficient and unneeded military equipment.
The United States government needs terror; it needs the average Joe to be terrified. Control and the bottom line depend on it.