Thursday, October 20, 2005

Counterterrorism is Not a Government Responsibility

Jesse Clark keeps his own blog at World War IV Daily, but in yesterday’s post on Jamaat al-Fuqra in South Carolina he left a comment that deserves to be reproduced here in its entirety.
     Dymphna, I certainly understand where you’re coming from, and I’m just as cynical about the MSM as the next guy. Do I think the media will someday pick up the JF story? Yes. But only after JF pulls off some high-profile attack inside this country and a lot of people die. In other words: The MSM won’t care until it’s too late.
As for the source of my optimism, let me put it this way:
I am a college student seeking a future career in counterterrorism. I have many, many months left before I graduate and go off into whatever field I decide is the best way to combat this ever-growing evil. But the war isn’t waiting for me to graduate. Everyday the enemy grows stronger and I grow increasingly frustrated in my own inability to combat it.
When I first stumbled upon your blog and the your post concerning Jamaat ul-Fuqra on October 10th, I was compelled to push this effort further. In the past 10 days, our knowledge of this organization has multiplied exponentially. We, as a community of bloggers, are rapidly uncovering the details on what could possibly be the most complex and deeply-rooted domestic terror group in this country.
Chances are, none of us have formal CT training. We are all different in age, race, location and historical background. But we love this country, and the thought of people living inside it who seek to tear it apart through violence is disgusting to us. And as Baron demonstrated with his investigation of the JF compound in Red House, a little bit of research, a digital camera, and a whole lot of guts can make a huge impact. It doesn’t take much.
Counterterrorism is not a government responsibility. A group of individuals armed only with internet access and the will to defend this country can put the spotlight on an organization like JF and demand action, just a like Montana mother-of-four who knows Arabic can run an online sting operation on a Washington US Army soldier attempting to sell information to al-Qaeda.
Slowly but surely, the word will spread, and opportunities like Baron’s radio gig will make it happen faster. Will our voices be heard by the people in charge? I can’t say for sure, but I’ll be damned if I don’t scream my lungs out anyway because so long as I have one shred of influence, I will not let a group like JF eat away at this country. I will not let more people die in more terrorist attacks on this country.
And that is what my optimism comes from:
The fact I am not powerless to fight terrorism. The fact that I don’t have to sit back and watch the war unfold in front of my eyes without being able to do something about it. The fact that I can sit in my history class with a wireless-enabled laptop computer as my weapon and engage the enemy on the front lines.
Let freedom ring.


airforcewife said...

Hubby's job has to do with CI (the best way to describe CT, I think, since it is information which is the most important).

Jesse Clark is very correct about one thing in particular - that citizens, uncovering information and disseminating it, are far more effective than the government.

The government is hamstrung in many ways by many things - like the idiot wall that Gorelick decided we needed between intel and law enforcement. And that, of course, is one of the MANY limitations placed on them (did you know that infiltrations of known terror supporting mosques is illegal? It was how the back of the militia movement was broken, but we cannot use it in this case.).

Most of the stories I have heard of the instances in which we have stopped terrorist acts before they ever happened, came about because of citizens who noticed something amiss and reported it. That is our most effective deterrent.

MikeZ said...

I think he goes a bit too far. I'd amend that to "... Not Only a Government ...."

One of the few actual, real duties of the Federal Government (at least as far as the Constitution goes) is to protect the country.

airforcewife is right, though, it's become hamstrung in many ways, and then there's the thing about checks and balances - too much power is dangerous.

I think, though, that we should realize that we live in dangerous times, and too much inactivity on our part can be bad. The other side doesn't stop to think about such things.

If it's illegal for government agents to infiltrate mosques, it might not be for someone else.

Jesse Clark said...


Your amendment is absolutely right. The government has not only a sizeable role, but in fact the primary role of counterterrorism. I should have written 'not only' or some equivalent thereof but it slipped my mind. Maybe I should stop posting comments at 1 AM!

Baron Bodissey said...

Jesse -- you may have been right the first time. Check this out:

"WASHINGTON, June 27, 2005 - The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm, even a woman who had obtained a court-issued protective order against a violent husband making an arrest mandatory for a violation."

That's why we have a Second Amendment. The government does not have the legal responsibility to protect us from people who would harm us, if you believe the Supreme Court.

Jesse Clark said...

Baron, I checked out the link and I couldn't stop shaking my head in disbelief.

It's one more example of how we the people are finding ourselves increasingly cornered by our enemies on one side, and our 'friends' the government on the other. When push comes to shove and we are forced to defend ourselves against those who seek to destroy us, will the government prosecute us for overstepping our bounds even as they won't take the appropriate actions in the first place?

I'm not calling for anarchy or vigilantism, but what's an honest, law-abiding patriot to do?

Papa Ray said...

"I'm not calling for anarchy or vigilantism, but what's an honest, law-abiding patriot to do?"

Be prudent and obey the law while protecting what is yours. Be watchful and report to the authorities anything you think they should know. But only what you know, not what you think.

Also, remember that there once lived a man that ruined many innocent lives, while claiming to be a great American.

His name was Joseph Raymond McCarthy .

Papa Ray
West Texas

Baron Bodissey said...

Papa Ray -- If I think about McCarthy, I still get real mad. He gave anti-Communism a bad name, which it never lost.

The ironic thing about him is that he was right: most of the people he named really were communists. He just forged evidence, lied, and generally used bullyboy tactics gainst them to advance his agenda.