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Patriot Act: Time To Amend It

We think it may be time. For example, the act in practice gives the President powers Congress believed were necessary to resolve present conflicts. That feature gained support from the 9/11 attacks that left 2977 dead (including 372 foreign nationals) plus 19 high-jackers who hijacked four commercial airliners and crashed two of them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and crashed a third one into the Pentagon. A fourth airliner crashed into a Pennsylvania cornfield thanks to courageous passengers who stormed the cockpit. Several warning signs and memos were not put together and interpreted in real time for action. Existing stove-pipe agencies in US government together with an authoritarian Commander in Chief, whose team ignored warnings from the previous administration, prevented information known in some governmental quarters from being recognized as a pattern and being acted upon. After 9/11, the fear generated was so great that the Patriot Act did not include much in the way of limits on guarding individual freedoms.
Stay hidden, hit them when they aren't looking. It worked wonders during the Revolutionary War. But now the shoe seems to be on the other foot. Only the geography and bad guys have changed.

Bruce Hoffman, professor of security studies at Georgetown University, in the Washington Post (2010) makes some key points. Al Qa'ida morphs as needed to stay ahead of barriers we erect. They are adept at training an endless supply of radicalized converts from many different cultures. They are equally adept at devising new twists in the lead-in line.
Jack Goldsmith
Office of Legal Council, OLC, 2003-2004
Executive Branch, US Government

Extended Book Review
Harry Rosenberg

History is difficult to predict, but our view of this volume is that it will become a defining reference on the Bush administration. Goldsmith accurately reports the history, as he experienced it, in the Office of Legal Counsel. While he is critical of certain aspects of how the Bush Administration conducted the war on terror, he nonetheless sided with Bush on most issues.
Karen Greenberg - Editor

Book Review with excerpts
By Harry Rosenberg

Two dozen contributors to this book add more than perspective; it adds new dimensions as well. Now, more than two years after publication, this book is still current. It reinforces our conclusions elsewhere that we must listen to bin Laden, and listen closely if we care what this man thinks. We should, for he does not think like we do. Until we know his thought processes, we cannot understand his tactical use and motivation of suicide bombers much less understand his ultimate strategy.
Extracts from William Pfaff with commentary: Tribune Media Services

09 May 2007

9/11, bin Laden's gloating, and Mr. Bush declaring war on terror gave us all the impression that what terrorism is all about is our presence in the Middle East. If we had not been in the Middle East, we would not have been hit.
Bin Laden, Al Qa'ida, and Recent Iraqi History

25 April 2007

We know not what we do. Or so it seems. But what is certain now is that we are fighting the wrong war. And we are losing the real one; the one for the hearts and minds of those who would welcome and embrace freedom and self-determination under any flag, economic system, religion or government--democracy in other words.
Update 16 Jun 2007

More than five years after 9/11 there is little room for optimism amid the ruins of economic imperialism and "democratic" nation building. If al Qa'ida has lost so many people, had to move its central base, and lost much of the freedom it once had to communicate and move money and people freely, why is it still so effetive?
This page profiles how terror of one kind begets terror of another kind in never ending cycles. Our aggressive self-centered behaviors expressed by our Authoritarian Personalities feed on themselves. This is a natural consequence of our nature (genetic) / nurture (rearing) background. When we can, we lord it over others in imperialistic fashion. When we are humiliated by taxation without representation or by having our resources co-opted by others, we fight back militarily or with terror a last resort. America seems to have forgotten its own response to humiliation. There are better ways to fight terror.
June 2003

It was in prison that Sayyid Qutb made his lasting marks.
Nov 2003; Revised Jan 2004

Excerpts from Daily Mislead

Jan 2005 -- Dec 2005

On this page we ask selected questions from the media, our visitors, and from our own sources. We hope they are thought provoking along with our tentative answers.
On this page we ask selected questions from the media, our visitors, and from our own sources. We hope they are thought provoking.
Mar 2003

This page collects selected questions from the media, our visitors, and from our own sources. We hope they are thought provoking.
Book Reviews

In this area we bring you contemporary book reviews of books dealing with terror or counter terror.

Selected current books that record history in the making are reviewed.

Rev 30 Aug 2004
Links defining known terror organizations:

Defense link - US military listing Global Terror Primer
Counter Terror Archive "A Summary of Worldwide Terrorism Events, Groups, and Terrorist Strategies and Tactics.
While chasing ghosts in Iraq and alienating "old Europe" America sat on its hands while Pakistan contributed significantly to the spread of nuclear know-how. This one was real and it still is!
Updated 31 May 2007

This ultimate terror has already visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Harry Truman made that decision based on the loss of life on both sides that military alternatives would incur. He operated in the political darkness of what was to come.
Updated 19 Mar 2007

The history of terrorism dates from the century before the common era. One of the earliest accounts of terrorism was carried out by religious fanatics two millennia ago.
Revised Dec 2005

Terror has always embraced multiple spheres, religious, secular, economic and special interests. Jihad movements of recent history have sent religious terrorism to historic highs. Al Qa'ida and especially 9/11, have provided a blueprint that bodes ill for humanity. That blueprint was responsible for the Casablanca, Madrid, and London attacks among others. These were the works of locally inspired and organized cells. There was no wide-area network, only private communications.
Updated 31 May 2007

Religious Polarization

Neocon Politics

Whose god is God is a primary driver of the conflict between Islam and the West. Sociopaths and their authoritarian pals fan the flames of conflict and violence. Neocon over-reaching has the same result, and so, also, for Zionism in Palestine.
San Jose Mercury News -- Excerpts
Dec. 08, 2003

By Curt Anderson
Associated Press
A century of social and academic research have not come close to revealing a general theory of terrorism. What seems to fit one group, fails for another. Terror modes change over time as do their nominal motives and adversaries.
Terrorism involves the deliberate killing and injuring of randomly selected noncombatants for political or economic ends.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address.

And so it is today. Only the threat and the times differ.
Martyrdom has it basic roots in religious beliefs and writings from antiquity.
Material appearing on this page has been integrated with that on
Updated 3 May 2010

Our times have never been more perilous.
We the people of these United States Of America enjoy certain freedoms the kind that could be enjoyed by all humankind.
Causes of Terrorism

There are as many avenues for radicalization as there are terrorists. The closer you can get to the terrorists themselves, the better your chances for understanding them.
Causes of Terrorism

Excerpts from David R Henderson, The Hoover Institute
See also Environment in Dynamic Equilbria
Causes of Terrorism

How personality and temperament combine in Authoritarian Personalities.
Updated 31 May 2007

Brigadier General Billy Mitchell
Prophet Without Honor

General Billy Mitchell was the first prominent American to publicly support a vision that strategic air power could dominate future warfare.
Causes of Terrorism

Psychological and Historical Elements in Terrorism