Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair told Congress today that instability in countries around the world caused by the current global economic crisis rather than terrorism is the primary near-term security threat to the United States….
…Blair also raised the specter of the "high levels of violent extremism" in the turmoil of the 1920s and 1930s along with "regime-threatening instability" if the economic crisis persists over a one- to two-year period.
Oh, the horror. The horror.
With thousands of fraud investigations under way, the FBI is considering shifting agents away from counterterrorism work to help sort through the wreckage of the financial meltdown.
FBI Deputy Director John Pistole told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that the bureau may reassign some of the positions that were reallocated to anti-terrorism work after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Let’s be honest here for a moment: counterterrorism and national security are important. Absolutely. Without question. And constant work and vigilance on these issues is essential.
But it is not the sole thing on the nation’s law enforcement plate. Nor should it be.
And the causes of terrorism? Beyond people just being violent, hate-filled and batshit crazy on occasion? Desperation, economic imbalance, and any number of other factors that are stoked — especially recruitment success for these destabilizing asshats — by poverty, starvation and lack of hope for any future beyond violence and bloodshed.
Using counter-terrorism as an excuse to look the other way on financial, fraud and other crimes because all of our law enforcement agencies are tied up in knots from false Pizza Hut leads? Unacceptable. And wasteful to boot.
To the extent we may be looking at the whole picture instead of just the cherry-picked information that makes Dick Cheney’s goon squad want to pee their pants, I’m thankful. Let’s try decision-making when we aren’t panicking for a change.
We could also start by not losing track of our weapons in combat zones. That would be awesome.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m sick of feeling like we are stuck in W.H. Auden’s September 1, 1939.