Friday, July 29, 2005

Unfortunately, 'Big Brother' isn't just reality TV (a retro-post)

They'll narrate the terror
Then they'll turn up the commercial ...

 -- Heather Guerin

IT IS TV. BUT IT'S ALSO fast becoming reality.

"The incredible presence of CCTV cameras in this city has yielded incredible results," CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour reported approvingly this morning. She said this during her coverage of the latest non-events in the London terror story -- non-events to which viewers around the world are supposed to react with paralyzing fear and beg for Big Brother's warm embrace.

Following Amanpour's report, the CNN anchor chimed in that London's omnipresent cameras "have proved instrumental in catching people." Implying: Those Brits sure are on the ball! Why don't we have cameras everywhere like they do?

Of course, cameras everywhere didn't stop the 7/11 bombings. But the cameras are performing quite well when it comes to conditioning an entire law-abiding population to stifling and overwhelming government surveillance.

What cameras did capture was the unprovoked police murder of another terror "suspect." The guy entered the subway, tripped and fell, and the police shot him dead. Because, you see, he "didn't heed their calls to stop."

It must be comforting to Londoners -- who aren't used to gun-toting cops -- to know that if they've got their iPod up too loud and don't see or hear plainclothes officers telling them to stop walking in a public place, they will be immediately shot dead.

On his WLS radio show today, Roe Conn said that if the guy they shot was the wrong guy, "I don't think Londoners would really care." Yep. That's the evil of terror and responding with indiscriminate force: morality disappears, swallowed up by fear. The Bible speaks of rulers wielding the sword of vengeance upon evil, but also says that "he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword." Rulers, and their subjects, keep crying for more and sharper and bloodier swords. There's gonna be a lot more dying before the simple lesson is learned.

FAUX NEWS ("We Distort. You Deride.') clearly gets a big hard-on at the slightest whiff of Terror. Their content was all terror, all day -- even though the little that happened, or didn't happen, over there across the pond could easily have been summed up in a minute or two. But they managed to stretch it out into an all-day blitz of terror, alternating between repetition of the few facts and propaganda about the wonders of London's seamless surveillance system. They seemed to be telling us: Get ready to be on government TV everywhere, all the time.

YOUR FREEDOM OR YOUR LIFE. This is the false choice being presented to Americans and Britons in the "War on Terror." We must destroy our freedom in order to save it. Hand over your God-given, constitutionally protected liberty, or else. It's a threat, all right, but it's not al-Qaeda making it.

"This is the new normal," said Lynn, wife of Dick Cheney, on Fox' Dayside. The problem is that "normal" keeps getting worse and worse.

(By the way, the anchor then asked Ms. Cheney how her books are doing. He neglected to ask this champion of family values if she perhaps had some more dreamy, steamy lesbian fiction in the works.)

"War on Terror" supporters are always saying of the latest proposal to increase government surveillance and police powers: "So what -- all your information's out there already." Much information about us is "out there," but it's dispersed among many databases and filing systems of government agencies and businesses all over. It's not integrated into a centralized government super-dossier, which is what they're proposing to create for every single American citizen. All to "protect" you.

Another unthinking cliche often used by defenders of Big Brother goes like this: "So they want to monitor our every movement and action, conduct random searches, track what books I read -- so what? If you're not a terrorist and you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to worry about." It should only take one false arrest and detention, or perhaps a little police brutality, or perhaps a false conviction and prison sentence, to convince such people that, yes, the law-abiding do have something to fear when already too-powerful police get more power.

History provides no reason whatsoever for people to have confidence in political leaders. Only ignorance of history (inculcated via the government school system, naturally) allows the confidence games to continue.

THE HOST OF FAUX NEWS DAYSIDE "remarked during an interview with terror analyst Mansoor Ijaz, "is it just me ... but it seems the British authorities came up with the information [about the identities of the 7/11 bombers] so quickly."

Well, they're not alone. Our remarkable U.S. authorities share that talent. For, we are told, for months before 9/11 nobody had any idea that anything funny was in the works, despite massive preparations and international communications and probably years of planning. ("If we had known," Condi said, "we would have moved heaven and earth...") Yet, within hours after the attacks -- before the dust had even settled -- they had all the culprits ready to present to the American public, and they had their Goldstein, a Saudi one named Osama bin Laden.

Why, they even managed to have a "hijacker's" passport pop up, still legible, in the WTC rubble, having escaped a fire which, it is claimed, was super-hot enough to melt steel beams and for the first and only time ever, bring down a skyscraper constructed of fireproofed steel and specifically designed to withstand an airliner impact.

If you believe that yarn, then I've got three skyscrapers' worth of steel to sell you. ... No, wait, sorry. That steel was sold to the Chinese, quickly and quietly, not long after 9/11, with no opportunity for any forensic investigation into how and why three hulking steel towers (the third of which wasn't even hit by a plane) could simply fall down. Oh well, my bad.

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