Sunday, 25 February 2007

Terror figures skewed by Bush administration for political gain

Not too surprising, but interesting — and underreported — nonetheless.
AP (via NYT)

Federal prosecutors counted immigration violations, marriage fraud and drug trafficking among antiterror cases in the four years after Sept. 11 despite there being no evidence linking them to terror activity, a Justice Department audit found Tuesday.
The numbers, used to monitor the department’s progress in battling terrorists, are reported to Congress and the public, and they play a role in shaping the department’s budget.

These are some of the same numbers President Bush has used in defending his so-called war on terror. It looks as if PR has replaced national security data as this administration uses one of its most powerful political tools to increase or hold their political capital: fear of terrorism, especially after 9/11; showing that the White House is 'defeating' terrorism. Considering terrorism is meant to provoke fear and, thus, give terrorists an upper hand, is the White House spinning terrorism in order to create fear in the public but also convince the public the Bush administration is fighting the evil terrorism? (Is that not terrorism, or a form of exploiting terrorism for one's own motives, in itself?) It's bad enough the GWOT gets compared to the American War of Independence by Bush himself.

The Bush administration is using terrorism in a way that gives them — and, ironically, the terrorists — a political advantage. Iraq and Afghanistan were the Islamic extremists' perceived 9/11 — i.e. they've convinced much of the public those supposed fronts of the 'war on terror' are an attack similar to the one the United States felt on 11 September 2001. The extremists have benefited from Iraq; Bush benefited from 9/11. As it has turned out, the mutual benefit of perceived terrorism and actual terrorism, in the case of Iraq and 9/11 (respectively), has helped Islamic extremists as well as their pursuant, the Bush administration, in convincing their respective public that their mission is necessary and increasing their own power.

No doubt the fire paradox of terrorism and counterterrorism ties into this too.

Technorati technorati tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments: