If I were a true-blue conspiracy theorist, I'd be mightily upset right about now. And it's not about something that could be considered “national news”; no, rather it's actually “state news” -- and I depart from my usual national (or global) emphasis to report it nonetheless... even though, on an average day, anything having to do with the state government of Pennsylvania is about as scintillating as clothes dryer lint. But on this occasion, there are national – yea, global – implications... so I don't feel that I'm lowering my standards by reporting it. And it is, after all, the talk of Harrisburg (which is the state capital of Pennsylvania, for those of you in Rio Linda).
It seems that a private contractor hired by the Pennsylvania Department of Homeland Security – and did you know that every state has its own DHS? I sure didn't – has been issuing “bulletins”, for many months now, warning government agencies, police forces, and “the private sector” as to the potential of various activist groups for provoking, inciting, or performing terrorist acts. Among the suspects are: gay and lesbian groups, G-20 protesters, Marcellus shale activists, Quakers (they might actually have a point in that case), tea partiers, anti-war demonstrators, environmental activists, animal rights advocates, tax protesters, gun owners, advocates of public education reform, and anti-abortion groups. (It would almost be easier to list the kinds of groups that _weren't_ included!) And of course the groups in question, once they found out that they were on the “watch list” for terrorism, immediately responded with indignation, dismay, the threat of lawsuits, and what not. And in response, the state government has awakened from its customary slumbers and has started to hold “hearings” on the matter. The result, so far, is that no one seems to know who hired this outfit or why – and, as I'm sure you've already guessed, it was on the basis of a no-bid, sole-source contract. For all anyone knows (or admits knowing), these people just, one day, up and started gathering data on the honest, hard-working citizens of Pennsylvania... and then reporting it to anyone who they thought might be interested. No authority, no accountability, no nuthin'. Just like the Soviet Union.
But here's what would have my “conspiracy detector” screeching like a Geiger counter at Chernobyl. The private firm in question is headed up by two individuals – one a “former policeman from York (Pa.)" named Michael Perelman (now how big a demographic do you think he represents?) -- and the other "a former Israeli police captain" named Aaron Richman. And it “has offices in Washington and Jerusalem”.
So what does it all mean? Is it all just a coincidence that, even though our foreign policy is securely in the hands of Israel, there is an Israeli connection to an outfit performing (supposed) domestic counter-terrorism work? And what's remarkable is that the media, while appearing to exert no effort to conceal this connection, have been completely silent as to its implications. But what are those implications? Well... as I said, if I were a conspiracy theorist, I would, first, see what those various “potential terrorist” groups have in common. They do seem to be arrayed across the political spectrum, it's true – but there are some themes, like anti-war and anti-big government. True, each of the groups will tend to be either one or the other – but none of them is both pro-war and pro-big government (as far as I know). And what does being against war and/or big government have to do with terrorism? Nothing whatsoever, except that anyone who is against any government policy these days is most conveniently labeled a “potential terrorist” for reasons which should be obvious. That way, they can be tracked, and, as needed, harassed or even detained. Always remember that the Patriot Act is intended to protect real patriots -- that is, people who always agree with everything the government says and does. Everyone else is automatically under suspicion.
So far, so good. But then why the Israeli connection? Well, who has the most to gain from the U.S. being in a state of perpetual war against Islam? And, in turn, who has the most to gain from the gradual slide of the U.S. into totalitarianism – which insures, among other things, that its perpetual war against Islam will remain unopposed by anyone with any power or influence? Why, Israel, of course! They have far more to gain from the U.S. being in a state of perpetual war than the average U.S. citizen does – or any U.S. politician, for that matter. Who profits from our modern-day crusade against the Islamic/Arab world? The usual suspects – the arms makers, the neocons, the Evangelicals, the Israeli lobby, and Israel itself. And, therefore, who has the most to lose if any of the anti-war and/or anti-big government protest/activist groups gain a foothold? The same people, of course. So it would make perfect sense if an Israel-based outfit was in a position of “helping” state and local governments police U.S. citizenry, to make certain no one wandered too far off the reservation without suffering the consequences.
Another way of putting it is that an Israeli outfit would be doing for us (which means, for various governmental bodies) what we do for our puppets in Iraq and Afghanistan – basically, protecting them from the wrath of their own citizens (and protecting their interests at the same time).
So if our domestic watchdogs – first and foremost being the FBI and the intelligence agencies – are not quite up to the job, our “eternal allies” will step in and fill the gap. That's the implication. Or it would be... if only I were a conspiracy theorist in good standing. But really – by the cold, clear light of morning it will become clear that this is just all a coincidence, and that these guys are just trying to make an honest living by protecting Americans from genuine threats. Surely they can't be taking orders from Jerusalem as to which American political groups are dangerous and threaten their interests. I mean... surely they can't have penetrated that far into our power structure. Right?
One good thing about this story – and the reason why it refuses to just vanish with the next news cycle – is the sheer number and diversity of the groups that were being spied and reported on. Just about everyone in Pennsylvania who is not a brain-dead straight-line voter is going to have a bone to pick with at least one of these revelations – which is, I'm sure, why the state government has decided to pursue the matter rather than just let it wither on the vine as usual. Not that this means anything will come of it – but it will, at least, take a bit longer to disappear down the memory hole. A few people will persist in wondering why one of our “allies” deems it necessary to spy on, and police, American citizens. Well, I mean, if they're better conspiracy theorists than I am.