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View Diary: David Gregory is haunted by a New Age of Terror that exists in his imagination (165 comments)

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  •  It's dangerous to be extreme on both fronts. While (5+ / 0-)

    it is true that we are not being overrun by terrorists, it is also true that terrorists do exist. Being in New York City, that is quite apparent to me.

    Yes I abhor the scare tactics of elevating terrorism into a daily crisis. but I am also irritated by those who ridicule the idea that there are terrorist looking for opportunities to kill again, and perhaps the reason they can ridicule and laugh at the notion of terrorism is based on the fact that people who are involved in the difficult tasks of identifying those who would do us harm and preventing them from doing us harm have had some success in the performance of their duties.

    Yes, we do not have terrorist under every bed in the United States, but please be prudent to not give in to laughter and ridicule, as I have seen some on the left do, at the notion that terrorism pose a real threat.

    This is not some silly make-believe or a laughing matter, when we just had three people killed in Boston (Oh I’ve heard it before, the guys in Boston weren't terrorists...yeah, right) and we have had three thousand killed in New York City, and countless others killed in cities across the world. Does anyone want to tell the families of these victims that terrorism isn’t a real danger?

    Why do we always have to fall into arguing from extreme opposing camps? Can’t there be a middle ground in there somewhere? Each extreme position is equally faulty.

    •  Domestically, its a law enforcement issue (14+ / 0-)

      We've been able to successfully handle that kind of criminal activity originating within our borders since the 19th century.   We even have a top notch criminal justice system to try them and lock them up and we didn't need warrantless wire-tapping and searches either.

      Can you imagine how freaked out Gregory would be if he lived during the days of Al Capone, The Purple Gang, Bonnie & Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, Dillinger, etc?

      "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being up there."

      by Betty Pinson on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:26:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Get a Grip!!! THREE people (12+ / 0-)

      We've got stories of 3 dead suburban white women killed by their suburban white boy friends on our front page.   19 year old sets off a bomb?  Well, we had a 19 year old not paying attention run down a buggy full of Amish kids.  Didn't I just see a report of a Lincoln limo going up in flames killing a bride and a half dozen girl friends?  

      Wild and crazy stuff abounds.  People fall off roofs.  People slip on the ice.  People text themselves into on-coming traffic.  

      No one pays any attention when 3 people die in the latest gang hits, domestic abuse, overdoses, suicides whatever if they live on the wrong side of anyone's town for that matter.  

      •  Some potentially deadly attacks have been averted (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NedSparks, Dr Swig Mcjigger, sandbox

        At least 3 in New York City alone in the last few years that could have killed hundreds.

        Even the death and destruction in the intentional bombing murders in Boston could have been far worse.

        and btw, why do you think we would share your obsession with the color of the dead womens' boyfriends?

        •  If the plotters had had any weapons or a plan (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Executive Odor, Jim Domenico

          not provided for them by an NYPD  "anti-terrorist" agents provocateur .

          And then there was the guy with the British Connection  who was going to make rocket fuel  grade hydrogen peroxide by cooking the stuff you buy from hair salon wholesalers.  

          And the guy who was going to set Kennedy Airport on fire by doing something with a road flare in the airport fuel depot.

          So  we've had a choice between the "aspirational" and the "impractical" over which Police Commissioner Ray Kelly got to gloat.

          And all we had to give up in return were  1st, 4th and 5th Amendment rights of the  Mosque-attending portion of NY's civilian population.

          Come to think of it: we've probably lost more citizens to shot by  NYPD than have been shot, bombed, gassed, poisoned, or spit on by  "terrorists."

          •  You mock the incredible work (3+ / 0-)

            done to protect us. Some of the attacks were pretty stupid, but some of the foiled plots were very serious.

            And you pretend that terrorist plots simply kill people. They do, but they also cause economic damage and things like PTSD for many, many more people.

            When you look around the world, muslim "terrorists" use bombs to kill hundreds of people each day. I only used the quotes here because you did, Adam, to me, they are terrorists, as in no quotation marks.

            I'm afraid that my signature won't match the mood of my comment.

            by heybuddy on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:25:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Terror is an effective tactic only because .. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rlochow

              and to the extent that,   people are willing

              1) to be terrorized --
              and
              2) to amplify, embellish and spread their fears

              Hence

              One discovered Terrorist  (singular) becomes The (many) Terrorists.

              "What might have been,"  is every bit as horrifying as  if really had happened --

              Plotters can  be re-imagined as sinister supermen who cannot be detected by ordinary police procedures, who cannot be tried by ordinary courts, or confined in ordinary jails.

              So a malcontent moslem kid from Queens sketching subway stations at the direction of an NYPD paid informant becomes one of Bin Laden's Terrorist SuperDupermen.

              "Everyone Wins !"  The authorities consolidate their power over those who feel the need to be protected ... the terrorists increase their prestige among their sponsors and followers -- and demand is created for private security products and services.  

              Bin Laden was of the opinion that Americans were weak, craven, and easily frightened into self-harming over-reaction.  

              He wasn't very wrong, was he ?

          •  Now that was perhaps the most incoherent thing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dr Swig Mcjigger

            I have read here in a while.  Of the little I can decode, it teeters between the loathsome and the laughable.

            Quite an achievement.

          •  not so sure about this one: (0+ / 0-)
            Come to think of it: we've probably lost more citizens to shot by  NYPD than have been shot, bombed, gassed, poisoned, or spit on by  "terrorists."
            Maybe over many decades, but about 3000 people were killed by terrorists on 9/11/01.
      •  Get a grip s/he says. Tell the families of those (4+ / 0-)

        once living breathing individuals who died, just because they stood on a street watching a marathon, to get a grip, because someone down the road just got knocked down by a truck.

        This is the kind of insane reasoning that goes on here. The lives of three people are nothing, so let people blow up bombs on busy streets in America....

        Here is a good idea, write your "get a grip" remark, as it relates to terrorists not being a big deal, on huge placards and take them down to lower Manhattan where 3000 people died. I bet you'll be extremely popular!

        •  Not to mention previous jihad attacks on (3+ / 0-)

          Madrid commuter trains, London subways, Mumbai hotels, Bali, Belsen, Israel buses and on and on. Terrorism remains a big potential threat.

        •  Ned, when greenbell said "Get a grip," (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BradyB

          s/he wasn't talking to the victims, s/he was talking to you.  I'd be willing to bet that greenbell wouldn't speak that way to one of the victims.  I certainly wouldn't, and that's not hypocrisy.  It's only decency and good manners to speak one way when you're airing your views in public, but in a very different way personally to one who has just been seriously injured.  

          No one can deny the special horror of terrorist acts, or that they really do happen sometimes, even to us.  But their incidence is statistically nearly insignificant.  The overreaction of the new surveillance-and-security state has been wildly disproportionate, and a cure far worse than the disease.  

          Who around here has been mocking terrorism and its victims and law-enforcement people, anyway?  I haven't seen any of that.  

      •  Grip this: al Qaeda advocates, encourages, enables (4+ / 0-)

        people visiting or temporarily living in the US to ATTACK us with bombs or other means of destruction. Buggy companies or limo companies are not advocating homegrown terrorism. Lightning or accidental deaths are not the result of an ongoing specific intent to destroy us. Where someone is intent on destroying you, it's not a sound policy to chalk it up to an act of God that can't be foreseen.

        "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

        by Kvetchnrelease on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:21:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Three people (3+ / 0-)

        as in two more than Trayvon Martin or Dr. Tiller, yet did you tell anyone posting about them on here to get a grip?

    •  Agreed. I despise terror hysteria but (4+ / 0-)

      it's ridiculous to pretend it doesn't exist.

      It's also a real potential killer of any progressive future, so we need a much better argument than ridiculing the very notion of terror as a phenomenon.

      •  It's also ridiculous for our hysteria... (12+ / 0-)

        to allow a doubling of defense spending in the years after 9/11. Imagine the good purposes to which those 100s of billions of dollars could have been put. Instead we squandered them on useless technology and ill-conceived wars in the middle east and Asia.

        There's a real price for this irrational fear.

      •  It doesn't exist in any way shape or form (8+ / 0-)

        proportionate to the response.  We had a perfectly reasonable way to deal with terror and terrorism under Clinton until the Bush Administration blew off the intelligence and law enforcement path and created this monster that is not much greater than it has ever been on the planet, just that it is now also directed toward the US, where formerly that was less true.

        The threat isn't any greater, its just that now, we in the US are just as likely to be targets as anybody else on the planet.  That's really all that has changed, thus the increased panic among authorities, media and many citizens.

        For too long Americans lived with the invisible privilege of never really having to know that terror existed.  Folks in Britain, in India, in Spain,  in the Middle East, in parts of Africa and now in the former Soviet Republics have always known about terror, about the indiscriminate use of violence against a civilian population in order to force a political issue.  Those nations and populations have long dealt with terrorism without elevating it to a world-historical problem.  It's a tactic, and one that's been around for at least 165 years.  

        It isn't really that we are under greater threat now, it is simply that we can no longer feign ignorance.  But what have we traded that feigned ignorance in for???  A completely out of proportion threat, mostly because of our long help privilege to remain ignorant.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:29:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Israeli citizens are forced to deal with (0+ / 0-)

          inconveniences far surpassing what happens on a day to day basis in the U.S.

          The German government has utilized anti-terrorist strategies like allowing police to search whole apartment buildings for suspected terrorists and, at one point, even requiring government employess to take loyalty oaths.

          The U.S. has not behave in the most extreme fashion in response to terrorism as you suggest. And I don't believe they should.

          •  Still, neither of those governments (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nellgwen

            has started any wars in the last 10 years or spent maybe a trillion dollars on defense and homeland security, as we have. We have turned anti-terrorism into a vast industry.

            •  Are you kidding me? The Israelis have fought a (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dr Swig Mcjigger

              number of wars in the last ten years in the interest of what they defend as their own security. Wow, it is just false assertions after false assertions.

              •  Israel attacks countries (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NedSparks

                on the premise that they have something which someday might fall into the hand of someone who will attack them. Sounds not unlike the justification for our own Iraq war.

              •  Indeed you are right (0+ / 0-)

                and in particular the 2006 attack on Hezbollah was a fairly intense conflict, although limited in duration.

                Still, the Israeli defense budget is a small fraction of ours.

                We have gotten no "peace dividend" at all from the end of the Cold War. Instead we have invented new reasons to keep a gigantic procurement budget for the military, expanded our already large internal security apparatus, and committed ourselves to a protracted occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

                •  Not entirely true (0+ / 0-)

                  We certainly started to reap a peace dividend in the 90s with the base closing commission and party as a result of that and an increase in taxes, actually managed to balance the budget. We had a peace dividend, but Bush 43 squandered it.

        •  A superb comment! Cheers! n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  But don't more people die from falling off... (10+ / 0-)

      their rooftops than domestic terrorism?

      Or accidental drownings in pools?

      Terrorism is a real threat but we shouldn't allow our fear to bankrupt this nation in defense spending.
      Or turn this country into Fortress America.

      •  Well, I'm glad to hear you say terrorism is a (4+ / 0-)

        real fear.... At least you recognize the issue.... Now, in terms of how much we spend combatting the threat of terrorism, I suppose that's a fair debate.

        I will say, though,  more people are killed year after year by car crashes than from flooding, but we still need to invest in ways of preventing flooding before they happen.... Here, again, as to how much to spend on this issue is a reasonable debate.

        •  congratulations on being terrorized (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenbell, dclawyer06, burlydee

          mission accomplished...

          I assume you are as concerned each time you board a plane, or ride/drive in a car.  The chances of being impacted by a horrific event within those confines is much greater.

          I am reasonably comfortable with our laws and the job law enforcement does in managing those transportation modes.  I am not willing to equate those who see terror around every corner with those who accept that some security is slightly diminished in a free society.  I am more concerned about those that are more comfortable allowing terrorists to terrorize them, like David Gregory, thereby impacting our overall civil rights.

          "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

          by justmy2 on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:26:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The people who were killed in Mass were terrorized (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dr Swig Mcjigger, Be Skeptical

            Still the belief that there is terrorism doesn't mean the accepter of that fact is terroized, I was just a few blocks away from the world trade center when terrorists attacked those buildings with airplanes and I along with many other New Yorkers continued to travel back and forth from that location in the ensuing days and even until today. So your snark that I am terrorized just because I believe that terrorism exist is quite weak.

            •  It wasn't snark. (5+ / 0-)

              It was literally the truth.   You are the only one that was blocks away from something that happened on 9/11.  Everyone had different reactions.  No one said it was terror. I said you have accepted being terrorized.  Maybe you aren't. But your argument makes it seem as though it is the case.

              Me...who could see smoke from my office window blocks away, I was looking for the first plane to get on as soon as possible.  1.  To show terrorists that their insanity wasn't enough to make America any less the home of the brave.  2. It was never going to be safer when flights reopened.

              We choose to let terrorists put us in fear.  I refuse to allow them to make me ignore all logic because 19 loonies devised a way to get by the system once, or two fools in Boston decided to read the internet and decided to go crazy.

              I don't live by the anomaly.  And frankly, I wish more people would stand up and stop letting terrorists run our lives.   There is a time to be in fear.  Like say, London 1942.  Yet, they devised a motto that you are familiar with. Let's try to have the same level of confidence and bravery that the generation before us had, and not give these folks the attention they so dearly want, and change the country they so dearly wish they could.  Its folks like Gregory that choose to focus on fear for ratings that drove us into war 10 years ago and are doing their darndest to do it again.   Why not stand against them, instead of trying to find a way to make it seem like a strawman on the other side is the equivalent.

              "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

              by justmy2 on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:59:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  And more people die from collisions with deer (6+ / 0-)

          Which is why we need more mountain lions!

          I think everyone would agree that investigating and preventing terrorism is an appropriate role for the FBI and CIA.  I think we desperately need to have the national debate on the size of our military budget, and we certainly need to talk more about civil liberties.  

          We can reduce the risks to an acceptable level by good law enforcement, good intelligence, and a strong local, state and federal law enforcement and court system.  The problem - and I suspect you agree - is that we tend to get stampeded whenever these events occur.  That benefits nobody.  I suspect we're not in disagreement at all.

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:00:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Too late, alas. (0+ / 0-)

        The worst of the security/surveillance state is that I don't see it ever ending.  Permanency is one of its features.  

    •  Correct (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical, lazybum, burlydee, rlochow

      Terrorism is an issue... a law enforcement issue. We are never going to eliminate risk, just as we couldn't get rid of the anarchists who killed William McKinley. It took changed circumstances, cultural change, time, for that particular threat to dry up.

      Should the US pursue intelligent policies to follow and interdict terrorists and terrorist organizations abroad?  Of course. The US, including the FBI, should track and interdict terrorists in the US, including right-wing domestic terrorists.  No doubt.

      But it's a law enforcement issue.  We have federal courts, let's use them.  This is nothing so new or so extreme that we don't have the tools to manage it without further eroding civil liberties.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:57:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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