Sunday, August 26, 2007

The fear factor

By Libby

Here's a fine example of the consequences of six solid years of the politics of fear. Via John Cole, we see the city of New Haven was driven to panic by the overreaction to a couple of people marking the trail for a private foot race with flour. When the pair came back to tell the police the substance was a harmless baking product, they were arrested for felony disturbing the peace. Especially pathetic was the mayor's excuse for the over the top response.
“You see powder connected by arrows and chalk, you never know,” she said. “It could be a terrorist, it could be something more serious. We’re thankful it wasn’t, but there were a lot of resources that went into figuring that out.”

Something more serious? Like what? A secret code for this way to the dirty bomb? Does anyone seriously believe that terrorists or even any ordinary psychopath would be that obvious if they intended to secretly harm the public? The city should arrest itself for its overly hysterical response. Feeding the Bush inspired fantasy of a terrorist around every corner is not only stupid, it will only jade the public to the point where they're likely to ignore real threats, should any ever actually materialize.

On the bright side, one might suppose the terrorists are less likely to bother to attack us when we can scare ourselves silly without any effort on their part.

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