"All the news that's fit to print about fighting Terrorism with Vigilance!"


Cliff McKenzie

GROUND ZERO PLUS 1184 DAYS,--New York, NY, Thursday, December 9, 2004--Washington politicians are walking around with puffed banty rooster chests this week, bragging about the Senate passing the new Intelligence Bill, legislation stemming from the failure by America's top 15 intelligence agencies to thwart the Terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.

Sen. Joe Lieberman and Sen. Susan Collins are co-sponsors of the Intelligence Reform Act
Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT), right, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), are co-sponsors of the Intelligence Reform Act

In response to the Nine Eleven Commission Report chiding various intelligence agencies for hoarding information and poor communications between top spy and law enforcement elements such as the CIA and FBI, the Senate passed the new bill 89-2.

Once again, the U.S. government is assuming all the power and responsibility to protect the citizens of this nation of nearly 300 million from Terrorism.

The assumption being made is that intelligence starts at the top of the political food chain and flows downward, and that by chaining and binding the various agencies under one centralized flow of information, the bombing of a building or blowing up of a bus loaded with children, or the release of some deadly gas in a subway might be averted.

One would think that politicians might be a little smarter than they appear, but that would violate all common sense. Politicians respond to the bark of the public in hopes of getting votes for reelection, and one loud bark is the public's finger-pointing at the U.S. intelligence system as being "flawed" and in desperate need of repair.

The truth is, however, that the American "intelligence system" is not located in Langley, Virginia where the CIA sports its headquarters, or in Washington D.C. where the FBI headquarters is poised in a modern new building with antediluvian data gathering and collection systems.

The real intelligence system for America is comprised of the citizens in their communities
The real intelligence system for America is comprised of the citizens in their communities

The real intelligence system for America or any country is comprised of the individual citizens within their particular neighborhoods and communities, linked to the local police and fire stations where first responses are engaged.

There are 100 million American households in this country, the majority of which some 60 million are family-owned households. Almost every household has a relationship with children in the form of mothers and fathers and their kids, or grandparents and grandchildren, or uncles and aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces.

Every household is linked with the highest possible priority of intelligence imaginable--the desire to protect the children.

It is this network, this web of concerned parents and loved ones, that needs to be strengthened rather than lining the offices of Washington with more funding to produce new power centers of bureaucratic entrenchment so that more burdens can be placed on the "government" to take control of the responsibility of the "citizens."

Terrorism intelligence is not the duty of the government to manage. It never has been and never will be.

It is the direct duty of the citizens because Terrorism begins and ends in a neighborhood.

Terrorism Intelligence is the direct duty of the citizens
Terrorism Intelligence is the direct duty of the citizens

A Terrorist who elects to strap on a bomb and blow up a bus picks his or her targets from a group of local citizens. Terrorists who want to strike Fear, Intimidation and Complacency into the hearts of Americans will not attack another World Trade Center or Pentagon because they have already proven they can penetrate the "institutional" targets. The next attack will be on the children, the families, the parents.

Government's business is to teach self-government to people, not to rob them of it. And, the new Intelligence Bill is ultimately a "thief" in the sense of stealing from the people the duty to protect themselves and their loved ones from harm.

If the government were sharpening its Anti-Terrorism Tools, it would enact a National Vigilance Bill and provide funding at the local levels for the enactment of Neighborhood Vigilance Centers(NVC's).

These NVC's would be information centers linking the local police, fire and medical units with community leaders at the school and business levels within the 35,000 towns or subdivided communities within large cities that comprise the 300 million population base.

These Neighborhood Vigilance Centers would be "Vigilance Foxholes" set on the perimeters of the nation's most vulnerable targets--local schools, local food supply centers, local hospitals, local businesses, local transportation systems, etc.

Manning these "Vigilance Foxholes" would be mothers, fathers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters and loved ones of the children and their Children's Children's Children.

If Terrorism has a single goal it is to destroy the confidence of the population in the ability to be "safe." The more a government assumes the role of providing that safety, the greater the chances Terrorism will attack because there is no way on earth any government can protect its people from Terrorism's wrath.

Nations such as Switzerland where each citizen is armed and charged with defending the nation, or Israel where all citizens are part of the military and understand that each person is as responsible to battle Terrorism as the government, are on the right track.

There is a more important reason for the establishment of National Vigilance Centers in local communities. That is because Terrorism is far more reaching and pervasive than simply bombs and bullets.

Terrorism is more far-reaching than bombs and bullets
Terrorism is more far-reaching than bombs and bullets

Terrorism exists in many different forms, not just delivered by some "foreign" agent. A mother or father or teacher or priest or neighbor can be a "child terrorist" using abusive physical or emotional actions to inflict Fear, Intimidation and Complacency into a child or another person.

It is this source of Terrorism that Americans need to be most concerned about, for when we have bolstered and reinforced our ability to ferret out the bullies within us, to expose our own Beasts of Terror, then we have defused Terrorism's ability to inject Fear, Intimidation and Complacency into our lives.

Community Terrorism is far more important to resolve than "National Terrorism," for "National Terrorism" is nothing more the pustulation of "Community Terrorism."

But the government is blind to that reality, because the government sees with only one eye--the eye on budgets and powers it can accumulate in "behalf of protecting the people."

Government sees with only one eye
Government sees with only one eye

I am confident that the heads of Terrorism around the world are scoffing not trembling at America's scrambling attempt to cover its political buttocks with the passing of the Intelligence Bill. Terrorists know that as long as the government continues to claim it can "protect" the people then Terrorism has open playing field.

What would make Terrorism tremble and quake would be when government told the people to fight the Beast of Terror at their doorsteps, and that it was their duty and responsibility to do so.

If government were to pass a National Vigilance Centers Bill, Terrorism would scream in pain. Now, however, they chortle.


Go To December 7 Story: "63rd Pearl Harbor Sneak Attack Celebrated By Afghanistan President Taking Office"



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