Today's contestant is a cabinet level secretary, who enjoys long walks on the beach, fusion jazz and law enforcement fetish gear, please give a big Mojowire welcome to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff...
Now Secy. Chertoff is going to have to go big to get over on Van Allen Schooners and Jack Bauer Democracy, so let's see what the nation's top guardian had to say today:
"We now have a capability of someone to radicalize themselves over the Internet," Chertoff said on the sidelines of a meeting of International Association of the Chiefs of Police.uhhmmm... yeah... I'm flashing on the "Know Yer Dope Fiend" bit from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, where Hunter Thompson is at a District Attorney's convention watching some clueless crank talk about the "Drug Culture."
"They can train themselves over the Internet. They never have to necessarily go to the training camp or speak with anybody else and that diffusion of a combination of hatred and technical skills in things like bomb-making is a dangerous combination," Chertoff said. "Those are the kind of terrorists that we may not be able to detect with spies and satellites."
Is he genuinely under the impression that the mighty tubes of the internets are an actual replacement for formal training in fieldcraft for would be trouble makers? That my experience playing Ghost Recon online would qualify me to lead a platoon of special forces soldiers or confer some competence to me in small arms combat or counter insurgency tactics? That downloading the Anarchist Cookbook would somehow constitute sufficient training or information for someone to conduct a sophisticated act of rat-fsckery?
This guy is worrying that the next terror threat is a bunch of l33t speaking, red bulled 15-year olds with high speed dsl... gosh Mr. Secretary it would be teh_sux if u got pwned...
You know, our preivious entrants were probably funnier, either because they were just goofballs saying some relatively wacky crap that probably didn't come out the way they wanted, or in the case of Laura Ingraham who's grasp of reality is truly tenuous, and who's intellectual vigor is flagging. Ingraham, like Peggy Noonan's incessant humping of the dead leg of Ronald Reagan, is a one schtick chick, and her act is pretty played out, but at the end of the day its real world effect is negligible.
But this concept of internet-as-terrorist-bootcamp from the DHS secretary is a genuinely dangerous thing. Dispassionate sarcasm aside, the frightening thing is that Chertoff believes that the disemination of ideas over the internet that he deems dangerous is what is of concern.
Thanks to those anti-American freedom haters at the ACLU we are starting to get a peek at how the Department of Defense is keeping tabs on peace groups. How soon until the Department of Homeland Security starts shutting down servers for being too critical of the U.S. government?
How soon until the President declares the operators, owners and content providers of those sites or servers as "unlawful enemy combatants" or their enablers per the newly signed Military Commission Act... that will get you a one way ticket to Gitmo, no warrant, no lawyer, no trial. Combine this with the fact that the CIA and NSA protective forces are about to be granted de facto plenary domestic police powers.
You know, we have been going on about this for years, now. Enough of the pieces are now in place for a radical change in our country, for a bonaifde police state, and all we get from the public is a giant collective yawn... and a change of the channel to see "Dancing with the Stars."
Never forget, America... when you realize a legally binding loyalty oath and official government permit becomes part of your internet service's user agreement, and your neighbors start getting disappeared for voting Green, you did this to yourself.