STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Law Enforcement's Anti-Business Turn
By Staff News & Analysis - May 03, 2013

News … In his new book, The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on = Terrorism, investigative journalist Trevor Aaronson analyzes 10 years of terrorism cases that were prosecuted in the United States after Sept. 11. By assembling a database of the cases and going through court records, he concluded that the FBI, which receives $3 billion per year for counterterrorism, is "the organization responsible for more terrorist plots over the last decade than any other." Rather than stopping actual terrorist attacks, like the Boston bombing, the FBI focuses significant resources on using informants and sting operations to entrap would-be Islamic terrorists who "never could have obtained the capability to carry out their planned violent acts were it not for the FBI's assistance," he writes in his book. – CBC

Dominant Social Theme: If there are terrorists, they will be caught.

Free-Market Analysis: This is a disturbing story based on research that shows quite clearly how the US's premiere national police force is contributing to what we might call the "terrorists among us" meme.

The charge that the FBI is manufacturing terrorism – and suspects – rather than keeping the US safe from terrorism is an extremely grave charge that brings up shades of countries that slid into authoritarianism based on claims of civil unrest that were eventually seen to be manufactured.

It is fairly clear that something similar is going on in the US for whatever reason and one can only hope for a better outcome than in the past. Just today, in fact, headlines spoke of a US sheriff advocating investigations into people who spoke out against fedgov actions for whatever purposes.

Here's a report from the Palm Beach Post:

Palm Beach County sheriff gets $1 million for violence prevention unit amid questions about civil liberties, care for mentally ill … Florida House and Senate budget leaders have awarded Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw $1 million for a new violence prevention unit aimed at preventing tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., from occurring on his turf.

… Bradshaw said his proposal is a first-of-its-kind in the nation, and he hopes it will become a model for the rest of the state like his gang prevention and pill-mill units.

The goal won't be to arrest troubled people but to get them help before there's violence, Bradshaw said. As a side benefit, law enforcement will have needed information to keep a close eye on things … "We want people to call us if the guy down the street says he hates the government, hates the mayor and he's gonna shoot him," Bradshaw said. "What does it hurt to have somebody knock on a door and ask, 'Hey, is everything OK?' "

We can see from this report something that has been written about before – namely that US law enforcement is conflating violence with US constitutional concerns.

The FBI may be exaggerating terrorism fears to make its organizational structure more important and its mission more compelling. But if this narrative is repurposed for civil policing authorities – as it apparently is – and aimed at constitutional freedoms, then bedrock US principals will be violated and freedom shall be further diminished.

Already Homeland Security has been forced to retract literature linking constitutional freedoms to terrorist activities. If this meme gains general credence, the US entrepreneurial class could find itself under even more attack than currently.

There is not a direct correlation between entrepreneurial activity and US constitutional freedom, but one can certainly make the case that authoritarianism diminishes economic opportunity and damps "entrepreneurial spirits."

Perhaps that is the reason for this headline on the Drudge Report: "Percentage Of Self-Employed Americans Is At A Record Low."

The article, posted at The Economic Collapse begins as follows:

The percentage of Americans that are working for themselves has never been lower in the history of the United States. Once upon a time, the United States was a paradise for entrepreneurs and small businesses, but now the control freak bureaucrats that dominate our society have created a system that absolutely eviscerates them.

There is an obvious correlation between civil freedoms and prosperity. But many reports are now showing that the US is traveling in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, history shows us that once a society starts traveling down this road, the direction is hard to change. Let us hope these trends are reversed.

After Thoughts

We are not especially optimistic.

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