100 Percent Scared: How the National Security Complex Grows on Terrorism Fears
Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch: "Here, then, is one of the strange, if less explored, phenomena of our post-9/11 American age: in only one area of life are Americans officially considered 100% scared, and so 100% in need of protection, and that's when it comes to terrorism. For an E. coli strain that could pose serious dangers, were it to arrive here, there is no uproar. No screaming headlines highlight special demands that more money be poured into food safety; no instant plans have been rushed into place to review meat and vegetable security procedures; no one has been urging that a Global War on Food-Borne Illnesses be launched. In fact, at this moment, six strains of E. coli that do cause illness in this country remain unregulated. Department of Agriculture proposals to deal with them are 'stalled' at the Office of Management and Budget. Meanwhile, the super-toxic E. coli strain that appeared in Europe remains officially unregulated here. On the other hand, send any goofus America-bound on a plane with any kind of idiotic device, and the politicians, the media, and the public promptly act as if - and it's you I'm addressing, Chicken Little - the sky were falling or civilization itself were at risk."
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