The Ultimate Form of Terror

Obama’s speech today is totally predictable.

He’ll play the usual word games, defining the situation in self-serving terms like Counter-Terrorism.

He’ll say that Counter-Terrorism in general, and drone warfare and facilities like Guantanamo in particular, are morally just, legal, and necessary to defend America.

He will not say that Counter-Terorism is an aggressive form of political warfare that is necessary to expand and protect the American Empire, coerce and weaken strategic enemies (Russia and China), and control you, the American people, by expanding government surveillance, reducing civil liberties, and, through the type of propaganda he will deliver later today, shaping the political attitudes of the American people.

By political attitudes, I do not mean Republican and Democratic Party politics.  I mean the politics of the State imposing its will on the people, and how much authority the people will grant the State, in the name of security.

Obama will not explain that the State has been waging political warfare for 65 years, as the executive branch incrementally increases its extra-legal powers through the members of the National Security Council, primarily the CIA.

Most importantly, Obama will not say that Counter-Terrorism = Terrorism.  Political violence.

His speech – indeed, all of stated National Security policy regarding Counter-Terrorism – is designed to deflect attention from the fact that America engages in terrorism and imperial aggression on a massive scale.

I’ll give you an example.  A few weeks ago I went to the FBI office in Springfield, Massachusetts, about ten minutes from where I live.   I asked a Special Agent what constitutes terrorism amd support for terrorism.  He referred me to Washington, DC.  The PR person in DC sent me excerpts from a law book defining terrorism and support for terrorism.

As a follow up question I noted that the Syrian rebels, including associates of Al Qaeda, are engaged in documented acts of terrorism against the Syrian government.  I asked the FBI if the CIA, which supports the Syria rebels, was not by definition engaged in support for terrorism?

The FBI said it has no authority over the CIA.  It did not dispute that the CIA engages in terrorism.

The United States Governemt claims that the Syrian government terrorizes Syrians.  Aid to the rebels constitutes Counter-Terrorism.

And that’s how Counter-Terrorism = Terrorism.  Always has, always will.

Drone warfare is the ultimate form of terrorism.  It is political warfare designed to terrify foreign enemies and American citizens alike.  It demonstrates to foreign enemies that the President can kill them and their supporters like a god hurling a lightning bolt from the sky.  It lets Americans know that Obama is omnipotent, remorseless, and above the law.

Despite what he says, you know this to be true.

Drone warfare is no longer experimental, either.  It’s here to stay and you have been conditioned to accept it.

Likewise, kidnapping people, rendering them, and holding them without due process in torture centers like Guantanamo is terrorism, designed for all the same psychological reasons as drone warfare.

And like drone warfare, administrative detention is not going away either. And you have been conditioned to accept it.

Doesn’t matter that you are more likely to be killed by a bee sting than a terrorist attack.

Doesn’t matter that 30,000 Americans die every year in automobile accidents.  You will climb into your car and hurtle down the highway at 80 MPH, heedless of the danger.  Fearlessly.

But you will fear Obama.

DOUGLAS VALENTINE is the author of five books, including The Phoenix Program and The Strength of the Wolf, which are available at his websites and .


Douglas Valentine is the author of The Strength of the Wolf: The Secret History of America’s War on Drugs, and The Strength of the Pack: The Personalities, Politics, and Espionage Intrigues that Shaped the DEA.