Social Question

Flo_Nightengale's avatar

Do you think the government is doing all it can to reduce the threat of terrorism?

Asked by Flo_Nightengale (1491points) December 27th, 2009

After the most recent occurence on the Delta jet on Christmas Day, it comes out in the news that the man’s own father went to the Amereican Embassy to report his son’s change in beliefs. This is not the first time people have reported things to the government and the govenment did not act on it. I am curious to know the opinions of others. Would you report something if you thought someone or someplace was in danger?

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39 Answers

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

No. The government is doing whatever is necessary to create the impression that something is being done about terrorism. True security would create too much of a disruption in commerce and would not be tolerated by those who hold the real power in this country.

Mandomike's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land ,I don’t believe that true security can be achieved without measures that the public would not accept, like bomb sniffing dogs at every terminal, closing the borders to illegals and so on, it’s just a matter of time until one of these attempts succeed.

Pazza's avatar

If all western governments were doing all they could to prevent terrorism they would pull the troops out and stop invading countries they have no right to be in.

Steve_A's avatar

Or better yet if we always had governments who were doing all they could do to prevent terrorism we might most LIKELY not 100% thats impossible, elminate terrorism or prevent it, and maybe today there would not have even been a war.

but of course that does not matter it has already happened. Although It does seem that we have not learned much from the past though does it?

Maybe to some degree we need to blame ourselves least I feel we should, being born and living in the USA people do not take enough action…..How do I know?

I am one those people, I sit here and talk about it maybe even argue etc….., lets do something about it but I don’t do jack shit about it. I just go on and forget.

Its sad really…..I bet in a week or two I might forget I even wrote this….do you see what I am saying?

The government knows they can at the end of the day, and really who is the government run by, just human beings last I checked no space aliens trying to take over.

In the end we our at fault…least I feel I am, I can not blame the government,the president and everyone else for my own laziness.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

If they act people complain. If they don’t people complain. Sometimes things just happen. I certainly don’t want to go through 14 extra security checkpoints because of this one incident.

Pazza's avatar

More people get killed every year by peanut allergies, so far as I know, according to the statistic, I think more people get killed every year by stray dear running across the road.

So why doesn’t the government spend hundreds of millions getting the serfs into debt to the international bankers exterminating stray dear and peanuts?

Nothink to fear but fear itself.

Flo_Nightengale's avatar

Please keep on the subject. Much appreciated.

JesusWasAJewbot's avatar

Nope, some dude got an explosive on a plane like last week and set his dumb ass on fire. Security is such a damn sham, one time i got a lighter through ORL airport on my way to JFK just forgetting it was in my bag.

laureth's avatar

“U.S. authorities told The Associated Press that the suspect came to the attention of intelligence officials in November when his father went to the U.S. embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, to express concerns about his son.

One government official said the father did not have any specific information that would put his son on the “no-fly list” or on the list for additional security checks at the airport.

Nor was the information sufficient to revoke his visa to visit the United States. His visa had been granted June 2008 and was valid through June 2010. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because neither was authorized to speak to the media.” (Source)

Looks like Dad couldn’t tell them quite enough to warrant the son’s investigation. Frankly, if the government had worked him over on really vague information, I would be more worried. I realize that taking fireworks through an airport should really have been jumped on, but the government probably doesn’t have the manpower to round up every person that someone feels unsubstantiatedly funny about – for every “terrorist” they miss, there must be thousands of people who are just blowing off steam, converting to Islam, don’t like Obama, or some other thing well within our rights to do.

philosopher's avatar

No I do not .
I am a moderate Independent but Mandomike makes valid points . We must secure our borders. We may have to sacrifice some of the freedoms we treasure to ensure our safety . Next time these barbaric subhumans may attempt to explode a dirty bomb in our cities. They do not deserve to be treated as our equals; they are as civilized Neanderthals were. They hate us because we are free and civilized .
They are completely immoral and hateful . The fairer, the kinder we are the more evil they become.
9/11 was an act of War. Terrorist should be treated as solders from another nation who are attacking our democracy. They should be tried in a Military Court. When they are found guilty. They should be put to death.

Flo_Nightengale's avatar

Said with such eloquence @philosopher!

Zackyy's avatar

Its doing everything it can to preserve the American way of life even if it means needlessly sacrificing American lives.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

It seems far more likely that the government is doing all it can to help create more and more terrorism worldwide.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

The recent attempt on the airliner was a failure of airport security in another country. No matter how tight we make security here in the US, we cannot force other nations to implement the same level of security. Especially in nations such as Nigeria where corruption is a way of life and any security measures can be circumvented by paying a bribe. I know from personal experience that US embassies receive thousands of notifications every day and have to classify them in a sort of triage process. In this case, the threat description was probably not strong enough to warrant action. Even if we adopt completly isolationist policies, something will get through. About all we can do is severely punish the culprit and swiftly retaliate if it is state-sponsored terrorism.

lynfromnm's avatar

Freedom and equal access to justice are the best preventions of terrorism. As usual we are attacking the problem from the backside, by putting out fires, rather than working on preventing the level of desperation that leads to acts of terrorism. Therefore I do not have a lot of confidence that government is doing all it can to reduce the threat of terrorism. Please do not leap to the conclusion that I am excusing terrorism in any way – I think it is vile and inhuman to cause harm and fear to others.

The current methods of reduce terrorism mostly restrict MY freedoms, and I am NOT a terrorist. It is reminiscent of the early 1950s, when it was considered patriotic to spy on your neighbors and report them to authorities if they read a book by Marx or expressed disagreement with a government policy (see McCarthyism). The Department of Homeland Security is the scariest thing I have ever seen, much scarier than the threats from other countries. This Department says to me that the terrorists have won – they have us afraid of our neighbors.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@lynfromnm Agree with you on that. The greatest terrorist threat in the US right now is some Gestapo/ninja-types kicking in your door because a neighbor doesn’t like you. The entire Patriot Act should be repealed and we must return to transparent due process of law. This is the Red Scare and Yellow Peril all over again.

dpworkin's avatar

They may have begun with the best of will, but they also must have been terrified. Don’t forget that neither Cheney nor Bush served in the military, and they got their ideas about intelligence from TV shows like 24 Hours.

Obama, being a hyper-cautious centrist (he ran Left, but that was a charade) is unlikely to do anything fundamental to alter the status quo.

Besides, we are woefully underprepared for asymmetrical warfare. Our armed forces were trained to fight the conventional war with the USSR that we all thought was coming.

It is clear that we were entirely unprepared for this new form of warfare, or we wouldn’t have funded Osama Bin Laden during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Nor were we prepared for the near-failure of the Pakistiani State, which is of particular danger because of their nuclear arsenal which is under attack and deeply coveted by the Taliban, another former client of ours whom we “misunderestimated” in the words of our former Commander In Chief.

There are a few counterinsurgency experts now involved (Petraeus, Odierno, McChrystal) but they know, although they are not telling us overtly yet, that to win this war in Afghanistan will take more then ten years and require at least 500,000 troops. Since we are not going to allocate either the money or the manpower, we are on a fools errand. No one knows what will happen, but we must assume that it will not be pleasant.

ucme's avatar

Terrorists have the distinct advantage here. The element of surprise. No matter what any nations security measures are. These sick but highly motivated bastards are going to breach those defences from time to time. Unfortunately that’s just the way it is. A governments job is to limit the potential risks as best it can.

HighShaman's avatar

Nope; I do not . I believe that the government actually wants Terrorism as it will escalate the war and keep the military in business…

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@pdworkin Good analysis. +GA We may have to make a preemptive strike on Pakistans arsenal if it seems likely to fall into Taliban hands. The Iranian “program” may have to be dealt with in the same way if they don’t back down, although I think the Iranians are doing this just to be provocative, creating an “external threat” to try and get the minds of their people behind the government that most of them dislike.

Grisaille's avatar

We must secure our borders.

Can you elaborate on this? How does one secure all access into the country without hurting trade and tourism, two aspects many states rely on as a primary source of income? By “secure our borders,” I hear “full lockdown.”

We may have to sacrifice some of the freedoms we treasure to ensure our safety.

Fully agreed, we are during wartime. Makes perfect sense, but I have issues with your further statements.

Next time these barbaric subhumans may attempt to explode a dirty bomb in our cities. They do not deserve to be treated as our equals; they are as civilized Neanderthals were. They hate us because we are free and civilized.

Barbaric subhumans?

Treat a man like an animal and he will act like one.

This is in no way an attempt to reach across to the Taliban, Al-Qaeda or any other extremist group, but assuming they are in someway less than human is a false notion. Such thoughts push them farther into their ideology. That said, their acts and continued operation is beyond inexcusable and unspeakable – however, their eradication depends not on a complete clean sweep, instead on culturing lower-level, underpaid individuals and then cutting the head clean off. We’d do well to remember that the middle east has been an area of social, economic and political unrest for decades; the people would like nothing more than a semblance of peace.

They are completely immoral and hateful . The fairer, the kinder we are the more evil they become.

Again, tying in with what I said, you are assuming that everyone within the ranks of an extremist group operates on extremist ideology. This is false; as certain advances has shown, simply paying the lower to mid-level opponent troops is enough to sway them to pick their rifles up in defense of their people.

9/11 was an act of War. Terrorist should be treated as solders from another nation who are attacking our democracy.

9.11 was not an act of war, it was an act of terrorism. We declared it an act of war shortly after.

This is not a normal war, @philosopher. These are not soldiers fighting with a sense of loyalty and pride, these are general civilians taught to hold a rifle, given the promise of a few bucks so that they might put food on their table or be able to afford what we’d call necessities. The reason this fight is so draining on so many levels is because the area is in such a level of unrest – a few dollars to a twenty-something year old can mean the difference between starvation and promise.

They should be tried in a Military Court. When they are found guilty. They should be put to death.

Considering the fact these “Barbaric Subhumans” were tortured in your name, considering many were proven to have next to no ties to any extremist group whatsoever, considering they were prodded with sticks until they cried out with false information so that a certain Vice President could promote his agenda, no. Military Courts in this situation is entirely biased. I’d almost exclusively back up the notion that enemy soldiers should be tried in a military court, but these instances are corrupted beyond all repair. As I said above, 9.11 was an act of terrorism, and not an act of war, regardless.

Beta_Orionis's avatar

Just as an illustration of how much can be missed, I flew between PIT (pgh intl airport) and ATL (Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta Intl Airport, the BUSIEST of U.S. Airports (by passenger traffic) this week.

Going in on Wednesday, I was allowed through with six .5L jars filled with powdered substance.

On the way back, day after the attack, news abuzz with terror, I was allowed through ATL security, alongside a long line of military passengers, with 2.5 lb loose powdered material in containers ranging from 8 oz. to 20oz.

Both were carry-on.

john65pennington's avatar

No. the borders of Mexico are wide open. can you tell the difference between a hispanic and a terrorist? i can’t and the Mexican borders are wide open to be crossed freely by anyone. The Federal Government should have taken major steps years ago, in order to stop the border invasions, instead of sending our troops to foreign countries for wars that can never be settled. our troops should have been protecting our southern borders. how many terrorists are in America because of this lack of protection? no one knows.

Grisaille's avatar


Why our Southern borders, @john65pennington? Why not the Canadian one, too?

dpworkin's avatar

The Canadians aren’t brown, and Mr. Pennington is making a racialist statement, knowingly or unknowingly.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

Everyone can tell a Canadien from a terrorist… or can we?

Beta_Orionis's avatar

@john65pennington What about the Oregon border? They have one cop on patrol per hundreds of miles*

*Can’t remember the exact distribution of the top of my head.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

Gee, I didn’t realize that Oregon was a border state.

Beta_Orionis's avatar

@Kelly_Obrien I mean, if we’re going to be ridiculous, why not say someone could take a boat and hop right in?

laureth's avatar

@Kelly_Obrien – not a land border, but a border nonetheless.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

@Beta_Orionis Actually, that happens more often than most people know.

@laureth I understand there really is a serious problem with illegals in the growing fields of the great north west.

lynfromnm's avatar

if we are at a point where we are willing to sacrifice our precious freedom for a little temporary safety then we deserve neither. (Got that from Ben Franklin.)

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

There are some people will not admit to feeling safe until everyone who is not like themselves is dead, or facing a military tribunal; until every civil right has been abolished and every inch of international border, and port on land or on sea has been barricaded.

Of course the rights of all non-Whites and non-Protestants will have to be revoked because anybody else could be a potential terrorist or supporter of terrorism. Of course, intellectuals have never been trustworthy and Union members all have communist leanings.

The border with Canada will be barricaded because of their Socialist policies such as Medicare. Of course the Southern Wall of Protection will seal the entire Mexican border.
We will have GTGOB (gun-toting good old boys) forces in pickup trucks on patrol on both borders and the Atlantic, and Pacific coasts and on Alaska’s borders and coastlines. Those GTGOBs not deployed there, can help round up every brown, yellow or red skinned person, every Muslim and of course all the Jews, homosexuals and homosexual rights supporters. The Catholics, loyal to a foreign power (The Vatican) will have to be interred with the rest.

All religious buildings and schools of these suspect enemies within will be destroyed and all their property forfeited to fund the Total War on Terror.

President Rush Limbaugh and Vice president Sarah Palin will be installed in office until the total war on terror is won. Democrats who won’t swear true allegiance to the True American Administration will have to be interred. The membership (voting registration) lists, past and present will serve as a guide.

Massive work camps can be set up to rehabilitate these enemies. We know from history that “Work Will Set You Free.” Those who resist work assignments or who participate in rebellions will be humanely exterminated, quickly and cleanly. All children of these enemy groups over the age of five will be reeducated in segregated “Children’s Fun and Learning Camps” for True Americans.

All schools will teach the approved, True American Curriculum and all libraries will contain only approved, True American books. Evolution will not be taught and will be a banned subject in libraries.

Internees who agree to join the military for the duration of the war, will serve in special segregated units as the wars on Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran may need to be expanded to other regional countries like Yemen, and Saudi Arabia who fund and support terrorism or fail to fight it adequately.

These sacrifices are the cost of true American freedom! In the end True America will be secure and prosperous once again. Long live True America!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence You’ve got all the points covered. Another uber-GA.

Pazza's avatar

America was founded as a constitutional republic with a common law duristiction, not a democracy with a de-facto legal system.

Democracy is a tool not a system, terroists are not fighting to destroy democracy, their fighting to remove corpratism and capitalism from their sovreign land. Innocent people (as we like to be known!) are targeted because it is we who allow our goverments to be bought by the corpratocracy and use the IMF to impose conditionalites on these lands so that corporations can rape every natural resource (including the Human one!) from that land.

Their have been a few threads talking about what a world would be like if nobody had empathy or compassion, well I’ll tell you this, a corporation by definition has been described as:

A publicaly traded liability corporation is a gigantic pool of money with an artificial personality required by law to behave like a scociopath.

Corporations have no compassion, no empathy, no interest in human life or welfare, they are the top of the food chain and they mascarade as economical prosperity expanders, expanding for the good of mankind.

The economy can only expand to a certain point, and its wholely proped up by consumerism, if people stoped buying the economy fails, if theres no money to lend the ecomony fails, so what happens when that expansion stalls, you guest it, the economy fails.

These bailouts can only lead to hyper-inflation and an inevitable economic collapse.
And no I didn’t study economics! But if you print fiat money with interest attached, the only thing your creating is perpetual debt.

Its no wonder thyese terrorists freedom fighters don’t want what we have.

Before anyone says anything I don’t condone any sort of killing, but at the end of the day, we started it, theres the blood of 10’s of thousands of innocent men women and children accross the globe on our hands.

The two greatest diseases to plague the world today are not aids and cancer, they are appathy and ignorance.

So no, the government is not doing all it can to prevent terrorism, its doing all it can to increase it.

mattbrowne's avatar

Short-term, yes. Long-term, no. We need to understand why Al-Qaeda’s recruiting efforts are so successful. And when we do, we need strategies to counter this trend.

dpworkin's avatar

Look at the Keystone Cops scramble that this last attempt on an airliner has kicked off. Security is a very poor joke, indeed.

Tomfafa's avatar

THIS government is doing everything it can to assure the muslims in this country that they are the greatest, most advanced and most civilized people on earth whom we will never profile… they laugh behind their sleeve.

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