Over the past month, there has been rising fear over terrorism by ISIS and there is now a real threat of Ebola spreading within the US. Fears and rumors are running rampant among the citizens of this country. This morning, I was greeted with the news that a second health care worked has been infected with Ebola in my home state. History shows us that in a time of increased fear, governments love to capitalize and expand their power, and the citizens are often all too willing to justify these actions over fears of their safety. Their memories become short and they literally can’t remember the history of government expansion and its consequences. This is a trap we as Americans can not afford to continue to fall into.
Our president has expanded the war on terror over the past month. A new shadowy terror group called Khorasan has emerged in the past couple of weeks seemingly out of nowhere. This group was immediately said to consist of Al-Qaeda members and officials in the administration claimed the group as an imminent threat to the US. As it turned out, there was no specific intelligence gathered of targets or a terror plot that was imminent, but this hardly mattered to government officials. FBI Director James Comey recently stated the following: “I can’t sit here and tell you whether their plan is tomorrow or three weeks or three months from now”, but that “we have to act as if it’s coming tomorrow.”1 Right, there is a vague threat to the US from this group at some point in the future (which, by definition, is not imminent) so we have to bomb now. Haven’t we heard this story before? The facts don’t matter to this administration nor did they matter to his predecessor Bush. Obama has his “justification” for bombing in Syria and the expansion of the war on terror.
Watch the following video by the Young Turks on Khorasan and the manipulation of the media. This is a textbook case of government inventing a vague enemy and using the media to promote war to the public. [WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS LANGUAGE]
The government will capitalize on the fear of citizens in order to expand its power. They did this with the Patriot Act legislation after the 9/11 attacks which was passed before most had the chance to understand its consequences on their liberties.
We should be cautious about any new legislation that is proposed in Congress in order to combat terrorism or the Ebola threat.