(P)ermanent war has become
the de facto policy of the United States
--Root Causes, Andrew Bacevich
What do we do?
The standard answer is that we need better leaders.
The real answer is that we need better citizens.
--Advice From Grandma, Thomas Friedman
Cause I'm radioactive oh yeah
Oh yeah radioactive
Don't you stand, stand too close
You might catch it
--Radioactive, the Firm
Counterterrorism expert Roger Cressey, who served in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, said in Tallahassee last Wednesday that trains and subways were the "ultimate soft target in the U.S," -- more vulnerable to attack than any other sector (Counterterrorism Expert: Mass Transit the 'Ultimate Target'.)
Okay -- let's agree that the U.S. transit systems are soft targets susceptible to attack. Has there been any credible evidence that these systems are being targeted?
To digress, the nature of terrorism and terror tactics is that every new attack must be significantly more spectacular than the previous. If a terror network targeted said soft targets, it would only serve to demonstrate their weakness and poor operational skills.
Attacks on low-level transit systems would not create any significant fear factor, or at least it would not have in the past. For terrorism to be counted a success, the fear must be amplified by the target audience's news systems. What has always been the case is now amplified in our 24/7 plugged-in lives.
Everything has become terrorism and we are overreacting, our senses overloaded. Simply stated, there are vulnerabilities that cannot be eliminated but that are low-level, even though they remain soft. No sophisticated terror operative would waste skills and resources to blow up a train or attack a subway system. The Japanese survived Sarin attacks by AUM Shinrikyo in the 1980's and survived without too much fanfare.
Mr. Cressey then delivered the bait-and-switch, and/or non sequitur, by diverting attention to Pakistan, calling it "a mess. There are plenty of forces inside of Pakistan that don't want us operating in their country." Somehow he effected a nexus among the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©), Pakistan and U.S. transit systems.
His synthesis promotes an over-response, thereby attracting government dollars to the consultant-fear monger, a self-perpetuating system. One can feather one's nest quite nicely with fear, as evidenced by Mr. Cressey's recent vita:
Cressey's talk at the law school was sponsored by FSU's Center for the Advancement of Human Rights and was part of its ongoing series. He is a counterterrorism analyst for NBC News, and has a company that advises clients on homeland security, cyber security and counterterrorism issues.The PWOT is a government tit-sucker's best friend. In fact, it is a cash cow for many people unqualified for any other useful social function. These people are sub-species of the Homeland Security racket, called "consultants". Consultants make money telling the government what they want to hear. Today, the message is one of fear, and the messengers are well-paid and esteemed.
Our system perpetuates the problem.