FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Duck and Cover-Up

by BRIAN J. FOLEY

I’m too young to remember when the fear of nuclear war pervaded our schools. But I’ve seen the 1950s films of first-graders hiding beneath their little desks. I once saw a poster in a novelty shop that gave detailed instructions about what to do in an atomic attack. The last lines: “Put your head between your legs. And kiss your ass goodbye.”

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge interrupted today’s regularly scheduled TV broadcast to announce that the threat of a terror attack has increased. We’re now at Threat Level Orange (High), one step below the highest level, Red (Severe). Ridge said this is the first time the government has raised the level since May 20, 2003.

Al Qaeda might use aircraft, Ridge said, much as they did on September 11, 2001.

Aircraft? Shouldn’t those be un-hijack-able by now? There’s heightened security at check-in. Pilots are armed, cockpits are sealed, passengers ready to pounce.

Ridge told us to carry on with our holiday celebrations per usual — but we must be vigilant. Report any suspicious activity or packages.

What does that mean?

If a box arrives from LAND’S END tomorrow, should I call the police? It might not be that sweater I ordered. Is “Land’s End” a message — the end of our land, our country? You can never be too sure when it’s Code Orange.

If I see a car full of Middle Eastern men, should I call the FBI? It could be a “team” headed for the nearest airport, to turn a routine flight into skyscraper-seeking missile. Or to down a jet with a rocket-launcher. What about a car with one Arab? Is she a suicide bomber? If I see a car with a regular-looking Joe in it, should I call the cops? Perhaps Al Qaeda got to him, threatened to kill his family…

If I see a woman board my bus with a nervous demeanor, should I shove her back down the steps, before she can detonate a dynamite vest?

If I see a suitcase unattended, should I have a bomb squad encircle it and blow it up, before it destroys our freedoms?

If I hear someone speak Arabic, should I follow him, to find where his terrorist cell hides?

If I see an Arab on a cell phone, should I knock it out of his hands, in case he’s coordinating an attack?

If I hear any Americans sounding too patriotic, should I rat them out, in case they’re Al Qaeda infiltrators?

I am an American. I want to be vigilant.

But being too vigilant could be too disruptive. I might be mistaken in any given instance, and hurt innocent people. Maybe I will just put my head between my legs, and kiss my ass goodbye.

Or better, I’ll carry on as usual — and disregard this alert as a bunch of bull to help an Administration that maybe feels it didn’t get enough bounce in the polls from capturing Saddam Hussein.

I might look at the other Orange Alert dates and get suspicious:

September 10, 2002: To keep us afraid, and from asking questions, on that first anniversary.

February 7, 2003: To distract us from the fantasies and lies in Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN Security Council two days earlier, about Iraq’s (still AWOL) WMD.

March 17, 2003, the day President Bush declared war on Iraq: To keep us from protesting, to distract us from the fact the rest of the world opposed us, as well as from the fact that the last war, against Afghanistan, apparently hadn’t reduced the threat of terrorism.

May 20, 2003, after Al Qaeda attacked in Saudi Arabia and Morocco: To distract us from the fact that the murders of U.S. troops in Iraq were starting to make President Bush’s May 1 victory lap around the flight deck of the <U.S.S>. Abraham Lincoln look a tad premature.

Happy Holidays. Let’s hope there’s no terror attack. But if there is, and you survive, don’t call our government prescient. Call it incompetent.

BRIAN J. FOLEY is a professor at Touro Law Center in Huntington, N.Y. He can be reached at: BrianF@tourolaw.edu.

 

 Brian J. Foley is a lawyer and the author of A New Financial  You in 28 Days! A 37-Day Plan (Gegensatz Press). Contact him atbrian_j_foley@yahoo.com.

More articles by:
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
Stephanie Van Hook
The Time for Silence is Over
Ajamu Nangwaya
Toronto’s Bathhouse Raids: Racialized, Queer Solidarity and Police Violence
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull (But 500 Years of Trauma)
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Johan Galtung
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
Binoy Kampmark
Headaches of Empire: Brexit’s Effect on the United States
Dave Lindorff
Honest Election System Needed to Defeat Ruling Elite
Louisa Willcox
Delisting Grizzly Bears to Save the Endangered Species Act?
Jason Holland
The Tragedy of Nothing
Jeffrey St. Clair
Revolution Reconsidered: a Fragment (Guest Starring Bernard Sanders in the Role of Robespierre)
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail